I Took This Shift Because Of Her --- Politics - Justice - And Wrestling With The Angel
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Good news. We will not be assaulted by the "Crescent of Embrace":
Designers of a Flight 93 memorial have made a bowl-shaped piece of land its centerpiece, replacing a crescent-shape design that some critics had said was a symbol honoring terrorists, officials announced Wednesday.
The new design for the memorial, to be built on the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, crash near Shanksville, features most of the details of the original, which was unveiled in September after a worldwide design competition.
But a round, bowl-shaped area would replace a "Crescent of Embrace," a crescent-shaped cluster of maple trees.
In September, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., criticized the design in a letter to the National Park Service Director, saying many questioned the shape "because of the crescent's prominent use as a symbol in Islam and the fact that the hijackers were radical Islamists."
Paul Murdoch, president of Paul Murdoch Architects, which designed the memorial, had called the criticism of the crescent an "unfortunate diversion," but said they were sensitive to the concerns.
In both old and new versions of the design, a tower with 40 wind chimes welcomes visitors to the site, where they can then walk to a large circular field ringed by 40 groves of red and sugar maple trees, symbolizing the 40 passengers and crew who died. There will also be pedestrian trails, a plaza from which to view the crash site, and a white marble wall with the victims' names inscribed.
In the Flight 93 National Memorial's newsletter, Murdoch described the new design as an "evolution" of what was announced two months ago, reflecting input from the public, the competition's jury and others.
The circle enhances the earlier design by putting more emphasis on the crash site, officials said in the newsletter. A break in the trees will symbolize the path the plane took as it crashed.
Congratulations, everybody. Good work.
The other day, my friend, Always On Watch put up a post on a shocking fact of life at Guantanamo.
Are you ready for this?
Well, as you probably already know, the United States Military sees to it that the Islamic Jihadis imprisoned at Guantanamo have a Koran, and a Prayer Rug, and whatever other paraphenalia they need to practice their religion.
And, you know what? That's fair enough.
However, you know what they are not allowed to have?
Because, it's considered a danger.
Go read the Always on Watch post:
The following article appeared, verbatim, on the AP "News" Wire tonight:
Bush Attempts Hard Sell on Iraq Progress
WASHINGTON - President Bush's depiction of Iraqi security forces as "helping to turn the tide" is difficult to square with persistent setbacks in handing control of the country back to its own people.
His suggestion that Americans are solidly behind the mission also understates opposition at home, and his hard sell on the rising quality of Iraqi forces overlooks complexities on the ground.
Bush on Wednesday declared the Iraqi army and police forces are "increasingly taking the lead in the fight against the terrorists," even as recruits patrol Iraq's most violent cities barely three months after learning how to use weapons and police forces struggle to get officers to come to work.
The president, in a major speech on Iraq war aims and in an accompanying strategy paper, acknowledged all has not gone as planned, speaking several times of a need for "adjustments" along the way.
Still, the White House paper cited a number of positive statistics on the recovery of the Iraq economy, asserting "our restore, reform, build strategy is achieving results."
The International Monetary Fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook, in September, issued a more sobering view.
"The new government faces daunting medium-term challenges, including advancing the reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, reducing macroeconomic instability and developing the institutions that can support a market-based economy," the survey stated.
The IMF staff cited a "volatile security situation" as one of the biggest challenges and said only "slow progress" had been made in restoring Iraq oil production to prewar levels.
Bush, making his remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy, spoke as if the debate about Iraq were limited to Washington and only politicians were questioning the mission.
"When you're risking your life to accomplish a mission, the last thing you want to hear is that mission being questioned in our nation's capital," he told cadets. "I want you to know that, while there may be a lot of heated rhetoric in Washington, D.C., one thing is not in dispute: The American people stand behind you."
Bush's public standing and support for the war have declined. In an AP-Ipsos poll taken in November, 62 percent said they disapproved of his Iraq policy,and his overall job approval rating dropped to 37 percent, the lowest level of his presidency.
The president spoke of "an increased focus on leadership training" to build a core of midlevel and higher ranking officers needed to guide and lead an Iraqi force that can operate on its own.
It takes years to develop a strong officer core, and the process has been a particular struggle in Iraq. The deficiency was highlighted recently when Iraqis put out a call for more former officers from Saddam Hussein's army to rejoin the armed forces. Bush did caution it would take "time and patience" to train enough Iraqi forces to carry the fight.
"As the Iraqi forces grow in number, they're helping to keep a better hold on the cities taken from the enemy," he said.
Indeed, large Shiite cities in the south now are largely controlled by Iraqi forces. But throughout central and northern Iraq, cities that are either Sunni Arab or ethnically or religiously mixed have proved more difficult to stabilize.
In Samarra, only 100 of the 700 police on the city payroll are showing up for work most days, even as U.S. soldiers prepare this week to turn over control of the inner city to Iraqi forces. The Americans tried twice before to do that in the city of 200,000 but failed when insurgents moved against police.
As he did before the invasion, Bush tied Iraq to terrorism, to make the case that a stable Iraq would make for a safer America.
He declared, "The terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity. And so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror."
Iraq was not, however, the terrorists' chosen battlefield until Saddam was defeated and extremists poured across unsecured borders.
I'm guessing that none of my readers need to be told that that is NOT a news article, but that it is, instead, an opinion piece.
However, I thought it was worth noting anyway.
You're not going to believe this one. From No Pasaran:
The most recent AP-Ipsos poll, released on November 11, brought bad news for President Bush
writes John Rosenthal.
The headline told the story: "Poll: Most Americans Say Bush Not Honest". Coming just after the indictment of vice presidential aide "Scooter" Libby for perjury in the so-called CIA leak affair, the implication was clear: the majority of Americans were beginning to get what Democrats and Frenchmen had understood all along (or almost): "Bush lied!"
But this was not the first time that an AP-Ipsos poll had been the bringer of bad tidings for the President. … Why, if one were to judge by AP-Ipsos polling, one would have to conclude that American attitudes toward their President -- and indeed themselves! -- were beginning to seem positively… well, French. Americans were finally acknowledging that they were mistaken for re-electing the malevolent boob -- and that they were themselves uncivilized and fat to boot.
But, then again, if one were to judge by AP-Ipsos polling, George Bush would not have been re-elected in the first place. On October 22, 2004, just ten days before the presidential election and at a time when other polls almost all showed Bush in the lead with just a smattering of ties, the AP released an Ipsos poll showing John Kerry with a three-point lead. …
So, maybe Americans are not turning French, after all. Maybe the anomalous AP-Ipsos results have to do rather with the firm that is doing the polling.
What exactly is Ipsos?
Read the answer (the one neither the American nor the French MSM will tell you).
AP press releases identify Ipsos coyly as an "international polling firm". Ipsos's own releases on its AP work describe the company as "a leading global survey-based market research company" -- as well as "non-partisan" and "objective". One would hardly expect them to say otherwise. But here is what neither AP nor Ipsos want Americans to know and assiduously avoid saying: Ipsos is a French polling firm. Not that this should matter per se. But AP and Ipsos undoubtedly fear that to many Americans it might or that, in light of the current climate of Franco-American relations, it might at least raise some doubts about Ipsos's impartiality and objectivity.
And what is worse: about this particular French polling firm, these doubts would be highly justified. On its home market, Ipsos is well known precisely for the unreliability of its polls and for being especially tight with the French political establishment.
Here's how a November 2001 profile in the French economics weekly l'Expansion described the cozy relationship of Ipsos co-President Jean-Marc Lech to the occupant of the Elysée Palace:
During the two seven-year-terms of François Mitterrand, he was one of the advisors to the prince and he held open house at Copenhagen, the famous restaurant on the Champs Elysées not far from the "castle". Since he began working for Jacques Chirac, he has left the Champs and stays put in the XV arrondissement at lunchtime. Now, he merely delivers his confidential polls personally to the antechamber of the President.
According to the latest Ipsos financial report, a holding company controlled by Lech and his partner Didier Truchot controls 35 percent of Ipsos capital and nearly half of the voting rights in the firm. Ipsos's international expansion in the late 1990s was, incidentally, largely financed by the Artémis investment group of French businessman François Pinault. This is the same Artémis and the same Pinault that were heavily implicated in the Executive Life fraud and that only avoided being indicted in US courts presumably through the intercession of Pinault's close personal friend Jacques Chirac and by coughing up some $185 million. Artémis sold its stake in Ipsos when the firm went public in 1999.
There's more, and you can go read it at Tech Central Station:
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
And, Apparently Thinks He's Some Kind Of Messenger of God
Can We Start Bombing, Already?
From Radio Free Europe:
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says that when he delivered his speech at the UN General Assembly in September, he felt there was a light around him and that the attention of the world leaders in the audience was unblinkingly focused upon him. The claim has caused a stir in Iran, as a transcript and video recording of Ahmadinejad's comments have been published on an Iranian website, baztab.com. There are also reports that a CD showing Ahmadinejad making the comments also has been widely distributed in Iran. Is the Iranian president claiming to be divinely inspired?
Prague, 29 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- According the report by baztab.com, President Ahmadinejad made the comments in a meeting with one of Iran's leading clerics, Ayatollah Javadi Amoli.
Ahmadinejad said that someone present at the UN told him that a light surrounded him while he was delivering his speech to the General Assembly. The Iranian president added that he also sensed it.
"He said when you began with the words 'in the name of God,' I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end [of the speech]," Ahmadinejad appears to say in the video. "I felt it myself, too. I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink."
Ahmadinejad adds that he is not exaggerating.
"I am not exaggerating when I say they did not blink; it's not an exaggeration, because I was looking," he says. "They were astonished as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."
Baztab.com reported that during the meeting, Ayatollah Amoli said that "carrying out promises and restraining from fooling people" is the most important duty, presumably of officials . However, it is unclear whether that comment is made in reaction to the claim made by Ahmadinejad.
Critics And Skeptics
Iranian legislator Akbar Alami has questioned Ahmadinejad's apparent claims, saying that even Islam's holiest figures have never made such claims.
Alami told ILNA news agency that it is hard to imagine that someone who is delivering a speech can at the same time focus his attention on the eyelashes of all the people sitting at a distance from him and categorically tell a leading Qom cleric that they did not blink.
Alami said he hopes the film of Ahmadinejad’s comments has not been distributed by people close to the president to make criticizing him "taboo among ordinary people."
However, FardaNews.com, a conservative website, reported that the meeting between Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Javadi Amoli was private. [Editor's note: FardaNews.com has no relation to RFE/RL's Radio Farda.] The website accused unspecified Ahmadinejad opponents of distributing the CD of the meeting to insult him.
Hossein Bastani, an Iranian journalist based in France, told RFE/RL that Ahmadinejad's comments can be interpreted in two ways.
"One analysis is that this government believes that it came to power with the votes of the so-called lowest class of the Iranian society and these are classes that believe more in such supernatural tales," Bastani said. "Therefore, this government tries, by propagating such rumors, to gain a dogmatic, charismatic, and holy status among those whom they think support them. The second view is that despite the fact that they are trying to fool people, maybe they also believe in these things that are being repeatedly published about them and said by them. This is more dangerous.”
Since the presidential elections in Iran, many bizarre stories and rumors have circulated about Ahmadinejad. Many of them are related to his devotion to the 12th Imam, also known as Imam Mahdi, who according to Muslims has disappeared and will return at the end of time to lead an era of Islamic justice.
During his September speech at the UN, Ahmadinejad called for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.
In mid-November, during a speech to Friday prayers leaders from across Iran, Ahmadinejad said that the main mission of the revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.
In recent weeks, the president's aides have denied a rumor that he ordered his cabinet to write a pact of loyalty with the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, where some believe the Imam is hiding.
Ahmadinejad's supporters said such rumors are being circulated about the president by opponents in efforts to defame him.
But journalist Bastani said that many of the reported stories are based on comments made by Ahmadinejad and his cabinet members.
"Inside Iran, no one in a news [organization] takes the risk of publishing incorrect information about the president, who also controls the Information Ministry, [so] spreading lies about him has serious consequences," Bastani said. "In recent weeks and months, there has been much news similar to the meeting between Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Amoli. These [reports] include the allocation in at least two cases of heavy budgets for the Jamkaran mosque [at the well where some believe that Imam Mahdi is hiding] or comments by the president that have been quoted by the Iranian media in which he had said in an official meeting that the Hidden Imam will appear in two years."
There has been no reaction from President Ahmadinejad to the distribution and publication of his claim that a light surrounded him while he was addressing world leaders at the UN.
Mohammad Ali Abtahi, an adviser to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, has warned against the misuse of religious sanctities and written on his website that it is natural that, at a time when the world is expecting a plan to end the deadlock over Iran's nuclear issue, attention is paid to the comments by the country's president.
Ahmadinejad has been criticized inside the country for his seeming lack of tact and his confrontational style on the international stage. His comments about his mystical experience at the UN could well lead to further criticism.
You know, maybe liberals ought to take a long, hard look at Ahmadinejad. That's the face of a real religious madman. Liberals have been so set on calling Bush a Hitler, and insinuating that he takes orders from God, that they probably won't be able to see the real thing staring them in the face.
That's the problem with redefining things. Once you're redefined a word or an idea, then, when the real thing comes along, you no longer have a classification for it. When humans do not have a classification for a thing or idea, they tend to have a very hard time seeing it.
I say this having considered it carefully, Ahmadinejad is showing signs of being a having some sort of Paranoid Personality Disorder.
Check out the list of delusions that can go along with such a syndromd:
Delusions: One the cardinal symptoms of paranoia and other disorders, most notably schizophrenia. Delusions are faulty interpretation of reality that cannot be shaken despite clear evidence to the contrary. Delusions can be classified as:
Bizarre -- belief that others can hear your thoughts, others are inserting thoughts, or your thoughts, feelings, and impulses are controlled by an external force
Referential -- belief that certain gestures, comments, song lyrics, or passages in printed material are specifically intended for you or reference you in some way
Grandiose -- belief that you are an extremely important person, an invaluable member of society, and possess or make some special unrecognized talent or contribution
Persecution -- belief that others are out to get you, are plotting against you, foiling your every move, or making you feel guilty or ashamed
Bodily -- belief in some kind of undiagnosed deteriorative medical condition such as dissolving of spinal cord, rotting or deterioration of skin, organs, or brain
Religious -- belief that you are an important religious figure, in contact with dieties, or serving some special theological purpose in the world
Now, of course, we don't know that Ahamdinejad does suffer from delusions, but if he does, it could be very bad for the world. Why do I say that? Well, read (from al-Islam.org) about the mission of the Mahdi:
A figure more legendary than that of the Mahdi, the Awaited Saviour, has not been seen in the history of mankind. The threads of the world events have woven many a fine design in human life but the pattern of the Mahdi stands high above every other pattern. He has been the vision of the visionaries in history. He has been the dream of all the dreamers of the world. For the ultimate salvation of mankind he is the Pole Star of hope on which the gaze of humanity is fixed.
The Qur'anic prophecy of the inevitable victory of Islam will be realized following the advent of the Mahdi who will fight the wrong, remedy the evils and establish a world order based on the Islamic teachings of justice and virtue. Thereafter there will be only one religion and one government in the world.
Got that? Those evil ones? Them's us, methinks. And that stuff about there being only only religion, and on government? That would be Islam, and Sharia.
Now, should we take Ahmadinejad at his word? If we do, he must be taken out of power.
Here's the orginal link:
A couple days ago I put a new blog on my blogroll, called News of Eurabia (Spanish). The proprieter of the blog, Blueslord, has started translating his posts into English, so I'm dumping the Spanish language blog - as I would imagine, most of my readers probably do not read Spanish. I, myself, can barely understand it - and adding the English version.
Anyway, go check it out, along with No Pasaran, Justify This and the Drunken Blogger. All these guys are blogging about the Jihad in Europe. And, they are all worthwhile reads.
From Breitbart comes the news that the Miamim Police are gong to do surprise ID sweeps:
Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.
Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.
"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there," Fernandez said.
The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.
Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific, credible threat of an imminent terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target.
Timoney also noted that 14 of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks lived in South Florida at various times and that other alleged terror cells have operated in the area.
Both uniformed and plainclothes police will ride buses and trains, while others will conduct longer-term surveillance operations.
"People are definitely going to notice it," Fernandez said. "We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don't want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears."
Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people's rights are not violated.
"What we're dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution," Simon said. "We'll have to see how it is implemented."
Mary Ann Viverette, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said the Miami program is similar to those used for years during the holiday season to deter criminals at busy places such as shopping malls.
"You want to make your presence known and that's a great way to do it," said Viverette, police chief in Gaithersburg, Md. "We want people to feel they can go about their normal course of business, but we want them to be aware."
Well, jeez, even the ACLU approves.
My email provider cut off my email account and told me to register for a new account. I did so. And, now neither account is working. I am not receiving email at all now, so, that will explain why I am not replying to any emails you may be sending.
I'll let you know when I have got the problem resolved. Until then, I guess we'll have to communicate via comments.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Today has been a travel day for me. I don't really like flying, so I was rather stressed out, and thus, I am very, very tired.
Another thing I need to note is, my email account was shut down. I started a new Yahoo email account, but it will take a few days for me to get my new email address out to all of you.
And yet another thing to note. I have to use a laptop which does not allow me to post photos, or bold headlines, or color, or anything. So, the blog is going to look pretty boring for a few days.
Bear with me.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
At the Only Country in the Middle East
Whose Civilisation Resembles Yours?
Charles Moore challenges European officials on their the odd vitriol they have for Israel, as compared to the diplomacy they reserve for the Arab World:
If you had followed the British media, particularly the BBC, with average attention over the past 25 years, you would have concluded that Sharon was an intransigent, murderous, semi-fascist. So you would have been perplexed by his sudden announcement this week that he is to leave the "Right-wing" (favoured Western terminology) Likud party and form a "centrist" party of his own. Suddenly, Sharon becomes visionary, peace-seeking. Little would have prepared you for it.
And that is the trouble. Little prepares the post-Christian European audience to understand Israel. By "understand", I partly mean sympathise with, and partly, just comprehend.
Sharon's career is a good place to start, because it spans the history of the Jewish state. He was 20 when it began in 1948, and had been serving in the Jewish Haganah militia since the age of 14. He fought in the War of Independence, and in 1956, and in the Six-Day War of 1967, and in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when he crossed the Suez Canal and, effectively disobeying orders, advanced to cut the supply lines of the Egyptian Third Army. He became a popular hero.
Then Sharon entered full-time politics. As defence minister, he masterminded the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which succeeded in breaking up the PLO infrastructure there. On his watch, Lebanese Christian Falangists entered the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps. There they massacred several hundred people: Sharon was officially condemned for this, and forced to resign.
He bounced back, however. As housing minister, he built settlements. Later he was foreign minister, then leader of Likud. In 2001, he became prime minister, swept to power by fear of the new intifada. He ordered the assassination of many Palestinian terrorists. He began the security wall that divides Israel from much of the West Bank. He also ordered Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip, the first unilateral withdrawal it has ever made. And soon he will contest elections as leader of a party he has just invented.
Israeli politics for the past dozen years has been the attempt to reconcile extrication from territory with security. That is what Sharon thinks about all the time, as did his Labour predecessors, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.
In the history of the West, such a narrative used to command fascination and respect. Many could apply it to their own people. British people whose convict cousins had built Australia out of their barren exile could understand; so could Americans, who had overcome hostile terrain and hostile inhabitants, and forged a mighty nation. So could any country formed in adversity, particularly, perhaps, a Protestant one - with its idea of divinely supported national destiny and its natural sympathy for the people first chosen by God. The sympathy was made stronger by the fact that the new state was robust in its legal and political institutions, free in its press and universities - a noisy democracy.
Anti-imperialists and the Left also found much to admire. They admired people whose pioneer spirit kept them equal, who often lived communally, who fled the persecution of old societies to build simpler, better ones. If you read Bernard Donoughue's diaries, just published, of his life as an adviser to Harold Wilson in the 1970s (a much better picture of what prime ministers are like than Sir Christopher Meyer's self-regarding effort), one difference between then and now that hits you hard is Donoughue's (and Wilson's) firm belief that the cause of Israel is the cause of people who wish to be free, and that its enemies are the old, repressive establishments.
As a boy, I loved this narrative. I cheered as Israeli courage swept away the outnumbering Arabs who tried to destroy it again and again. I bought books about the Six-Day War, many of which carried pictures of glamorous female Israeli soldiers.
But then a different narrative supervened. People called "the Palestinians" began to be mentioned. Once upon a time, the word "Palestinian" had no national meaning; it was simply the description on any passport of a person living in British-mandated Palestine. During the 19 years to 1967 when Jordan governed the West Bank, the people there had no self-rule, and no real name. UN Resolution 242, which calls for Israel to leave territories it occupied in 1967, does not mention Palestinians; it speaks only of "Arab refugees". Palestinian nationality came along, as it were, after the fact, a nationality largely based on grievance.
Since then, the story has grown and grown. Israel, which was attacked, has come to be seen as the aggressor. Israel, which has elections that throw governments out and independent commissions that investigate people like Sharon and condemn him, became regarded as the oppressive monster.
In a rhetoric that tried to play back upon Jews their own experience of suffering, supporters of the Palestinian cause began to call Israelis Nazis. Holocaust Memorial Day is disapproved of by many Muslims because it ignores the supposedly comparable "genocide" of the Palestinians.
Western children of the Sixties like this sort of talk. They look for a narrative based on the American civil rights movement or the struggle against apartheid. They care little for economic achievement or political pluralism. They are suspicious of any society with a Western appearance, and in any contest between people with differing skin colours, they prefer the darker. They buy into the idea, now promoted by all Arab regimes and by Muslim firebrands with a permanent interest in deflecting attention from their own societies' problems, that Israel is the greatest problem of all.
Well, some will say, that is the way it is: Israel has abused power, and is reaping the whirlwind. I don't want to argue today about the rights and wrongs of Israel's actions, though I think, given its difficulties, it stands up better than most before the bar of history.
All I want to ask my fellow Europeans is this: are you happy to help direct the world's fury at the only country in the Middle East whose civilisation even remotely resembles yours? And are you sure that the fate of Israel has no bearing on your own? In Iran, the new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes the link. The battle over Palestine, he says, is "the prelude of the battle of Islam with the world of arrogance", the world of the West. He is busy building his country's nuclear bomb.
A Muslim group plans to build a mega-Mosque in the heart of London, next to the Olympic Complex:
A MASSIVE mosque that will hold 40,000 worshippers is being proposed beside the Olympic complex in London to be opened in time for the 2012 Games. The project’s backers hope the mosque and its surrounding buildings would hold a total of 70,000 people, only 10,000 fewer than the Olympic stadium.
Its futuristic design features wind turbines instead of the traditional minarets, while a translucent latticed roof would replace the domes seen on most mosques. The complex is designed to become the “Muslim quarter” for the Games, acting as a hub for Islamic competitors and spectators.
“It will be something never seen before in this country. It is a mosque for the future as part of the British landscape,” said Abdul Khalique, a senior member of Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide Islamic missionary group that is proposing the mosque as its new UK headquarters.
Tablighi Jamaat has come under scrutiny from western security agencies since 9/11. Two years ago, according to The New York Times, a senior FBI anti-terrorism official claimed it was a recruiting ground for Al-Qaeda. British police investigated a report that Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the July 7 London bombers, had attended its present headquarters in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
In August, Bavaria expelled three members of the organisation on the grounds that it promoted Islamic extremism.
The east London complex would have by far the largest capacity of any religious building in Britain. The biggest at present is the Baitul Futuh in Morden, Surrey, which holds about 10,000 worshippers. Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, the largest Christian place of worship, has a capacity of 3,000.
Mangera (the architectural firm) and Tablighi Jamaat are in negotiations with Newham council, the Greater London Authority and the Thames Gateway Development Corporation for planning permission.Sunil Sahadevan, a planning officer at Newham council, said:
“We are working towards the mosque application with the organisers and discussions are ongoing. The application will be finalised over the next year.”It is estimated that the project would cost more than £100m and donations are being sought from Britain and abroad.
"Cut and Run" Strategy Hurts Troops
The Democrats have really screwed themselves up this time, haven't they?
Democrats fumed last week at Vice President Cheney’s suggestion that criticism of the administration’s war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. But a new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Cheney’s point.
Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale — with 44 percent saying morale is hurt “a lot,” according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.
The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic and supportive of the troops to call attention to what they believe are deep flaws in President Bush’s Iraq strategy. But the survey itself cannot be dismissed as a partisan attack. The RTs in RT Strategies are Thomas Riehle, a Democrat, and Lance Tarrance, a veteran GOP pollster.
Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.”
The Democrats have exposed themselves, and it hasn't been an impressive sight, to say the least.
Ben Stein asks the appropriate question; "Do the Democrats really want Al Qaeda to win?"
I see a frightening pattern here: the Democrats wanted us out of Vietnam, and never mind the genocide that followed. The Democrats want us out of Iraq and never mind that the Baathists will fill the vacuum and all Iraq will be screaming in pain except the murderers, who will exult — especially Osama bin Laden.
Can it be that the Democrats really want to surrender to the same man who killed 3,000 civilians on 9/11 and laughed about it? Are we so weak that in only four years, after a war smaller in casualties than many unknown battles of the Civil War, we are already eager to surrender to the man who murdered women and children and made terrified couples hold hands and leap to their deaths from the World Trade Center? If so, there really is little hope for us as a people.
My prayer is that careful reflection will convince the Democrats that while we are all unhappy about the war, war is hell, and surrender is far worse. Maybe the Copperheads in the Democrat party, like those who wanted appeasement of the slave owners one hundred and forty years ago, will be a minority, and those who want to keep up the fight for human decency will prevail even as the Neville Chamberlains speak of peace at any price.
Bruce Willis is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore:
ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.
It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.
Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.
The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”.
Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about £583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaeda’s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.
“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.
He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.
Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on www.michaelyon.blogspot.com. “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”
I predict a HUGE box office success.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
A statue of the Virgin Mary appears to have begun crying tears of blood, and believers are flocking from far and wide:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Carrying rosary beads and cameras, the faithful have been coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary they say has begun crying a substance that looks like blood.
It was first noticed more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance near the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner.
Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night, so emotional he can't even work. He believes the tears are a sign.
"There's a big event in the future — earthquake, flood, a disease," Truong said. "We're very sad."
The Rev. James Murphy, deacon of the diocese's mother church, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said church leaders are always skeptical at first.
"For people individually seeing things through the eyes of faith, something like this can be meaningful. As for whether it is supernatural or a miracle, normally these incidences are not. Miracles are possible, of course," Murphy said. "The bishop is just waiting and seeing what happens. They will be moving very slowly."
But seeing the statue in person left no doubt for Martin Operario, 60, who drove about 100 miles from Hayward. He took photos to show to family and friends.
"I don't know how to express what I'm feeling," Operario said. "Since religion is the mother of believing, then I believe."
Nuns Anna Bui and Rosa Hoang, members of the Salesian Sisters of San Francisco, also made the trek Saturday. Whether the weeping statue is declared a miracle or not, they said, it is already doing good by awakening people to the faith and reminding them to pray.
"It's a call for us to change ourselves, to love one another," Hoang said.
Ain't much wrong with superstitious, or fundamentalist, belief, when it's message is, "Love one another."
Funny how in the Islamic world, the messages from Allah always seem to tell people to kill the infidel, while in the Christian world, the messages from God always seem to tell people to love one another.
Make My Day
An Iranian government-run body, allied with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, have called for him to attack U.S. forces in Iraq:
Tehran, Iran, Nov. 25 – Radical Islamists allied with hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called this week for Iran to confront United States forces in Iraq.
Ansar-e Hezbollah, an ultra-conservative government-run body fiercely loyal to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wrote in the latest edition of its weekly paper Yatharat al-Hossein that Iran had a religious duty to defend the “occupied lands of Iraq”.
“Our strategy in the occupied lands of Iraq, taking into consideration the efforts by America to take complete control of the country with the second largest oil reserves of the world, make our duties for the region clear in the present circumstances”, the group wrote in its weekly publication.
The group said that the U.S. was introducing “American Islam” in Iraq in place of theocratic Islam, citing recent remarks by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani who visited Iran earlier this week, as a “negative example” of the effects of moderate Islam.
“Based on the teachings of pure Islam and without any moderate posturing, we must oppose deviant currents in this arena and fight off the aggressors in Islamic lands following the teachings of the Quran. Of course, we are ready to carry out the orders of the Supreme Leader as a priority”.
Do it, please. Pretty please, with sugar on top.
New Blogventure for Pastorius
I have started a new blog called the Infidel Blog Alliance, with No Dhimmitude, Justify This, and the Drunken Blogger. The idea is to build this site into a hub for blogging which seeks to defend Western Civilization in our War against Islamofascism.
I would like to involve more bloggers who think of this defense as their mission. The goal is to put up posts everyday that will include short teasers and links to the 10 to 15 most important stories of the day. Ultimately, I would like to have seven to ten other people involved, so that we can trade off duties.
I don't want to do this everyday. It takes time. But, I think it could be an important way to draw attention to various articles, in a concise easy read. Kind of like Instapundit, but focused entirely on the defense of Western Civilization.
I got a little wordy in my first post. I couldn't help myself.
If any other bloggers are interested in joining, please leave a comment. J, at Justify This, is in charge of the blog, so it will be up to him who we involve.
Quick, Balance The Checkbook
I love Baron and Dymphna at the Gates of Vienna, but I must say, I think they are way, way off in the new discussion they are enabling over at their blog.
The question put forth is, how do we push the Bush Administration, and the Republican Party to advance a more conservative agenda. Some of the issues they would like to see dealt with include:
- Making the Bush tax cuts permanent
- Death tax repeal
- Cutting and limiting government spending
- Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts
- Expanding free trade
- Legal reform to end abusive lawsuits
- Replacing the current tax code
- School choice
- Regulatory reform and deregulation
Contemplating the craven and profligate behavior of Republicans in Congress, the ordinary grassroots conservative is disgusted ... there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties. I have argued previously that the only way to effect change in the national GOP is to hit them where it hurts: create a hemorrhage in their beloved supply of cash.
One commenter offered the following:
Baron, you nailed this one. Thanks for posting this. Can we get an honest to goodness 3rd party going next time up? I don't think the two parties of choice can give us any choices that would be any different that what's going on presently.
Ah, lemmings over the cliff.
A third party will be the death of conservatism.I think you guys need to figure out what is most important to you right now. We are in the middle of a war, guys.
... if you think you are going to turn "The Gates of Vienna" into a metaphor meaning the defense of conservatism itself, then you are, simply, amusing yourselves to death. We can not afford the luxury of metaphor in time of war.
That I was one of only two dissenting voice shows what the problem is with Bush's second term. Bush is being assailed from the right, as well as the left. He is under fierce, almost treasonous attack from the MSM. It has become hard enough, if not downright impossible for him to push his agenda.
What the poll numbers for President Bush don’t tell you is how much of the decline in his approval ratings comes from people to his right. Those of us who thought that Mr. Bush might really change the political culture of Washington D.C., who thought he might rein in spending, who thought he might limit the intrusiveness of government in ordinary peoples’ lives — well, we had another think coming.
Yes, exactly. And, that's exactly why this discussion is so off.
You know, it's almost as if Republicans think we have the war in the bag. Are people so deluded as to think Iraq is the end of it? We have to end the regimes of Syria and Iran as well. If we don't, then the war will be for nought.
That a blog called Gates of Vienna would lose sight of these simple facts is frightening. The lack of support Bush is receiving from the right is a large part of the reason this war is grinding on at such a glacial and dangerous pace.
Take a lesson from the great Charles Johnson, who on September 13th, 2001, in a post entitled "Patriotism," wrote the following:
I preface this by saying that I may be the least patriotic person I know.
But I am going to refrain from posting any more criticism of our President for the duration of whatever is about to happen. (Unless he does something really dumb.) Some visitors have apparently been seeing my criticism of President Bush as an invitation to post comments implying... no, saying outright that America deserves what happened on September 11th.
Don't tell me the children in those planes deserved what happened to them. Don't tell me America deserved this. If you're able to say that with such disgusting and self-important glibness, you are putting yourself on the same moral level with the monsters who did this crime, and we don't want you here.
Make no mistake. I never thought I would say this, but the President has my full support now, in whatever he chooses to do. I pray he somehow finds the correct course through this labyrinth of hate and darkness.
I pray that we all find our way through this labyrinth. And, the way to do so is fierce resolve.
UPDATE: To be fair, Baron has articulated his reasoning in believing this is the right course of action vis a vis, the War on Terror. But, I don't agree. Go read his thoughts. He is a very intelligent man. Probably one that I am a fool to go up against. But, never let it be said that I am not willing to make a fool of myself.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Yesterday, I posted a Debka report that the United States were locked in battle with Syrian forces. I noted that one needs to take Debka with a grain of salt. But, somehow, I believed the report.
Apparently, it is true:
Syria has accused the United States of launching lethal military raids into its territory from Iraq, escalating the diplomatic crisis between the two countries as the Bush administration seeks to step up pressure on President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Major General Amid Suleiman, a Syrian officer, said that American cross-border attacks into Syria had killed at least two border guards, wounded several more and prompted an official complaint to the American embassy in Damascus.
He made the allegations during an official press tour of Syrian security forces on the Iraqi border, which the US claims is a barely guarded passage into Iraq for hardcore foreign jihadis.
While showing off what he said were beefed-up Syrian border measures designed to blunt those criticisms, including new police stations and checkpoints, Maj Gen Suleiman alleged that his own border forces had come under repeated American attack.
“Incidents have taken place with casualties on my surveillance troops,” he said, near the Euphrates river border crossing between Syria and Iraq. “Many US projectiles have landed here. In this area alone, two soldiers and two civilians have been killed by the American attacks.”
Let's hope we are deposing the Syrian regime in early 2006. And then ... And then ... Onward to Iran.
Thanks to Axis of Islam, over at the excellent blog, Pedestrian Infidel:
Arson attacks in the Paris region spread across France The wave of arson attacks against cars and schools in impoverished areas of France has subsided for the most part. But the anger among young people of ethnic minority backgrounds has not died down.
On a rundown housing estate in Aulnay-sous-Bois, on the outskirts of Paris, six or seven youths hang around the entrance to a towering block of flats, apparently oblivious to the cold. About 300 metres away is a burned-out garage. A little further is a nursery school building gutted by fire.
The youths are suspicious, but they agree to talk to me. I ask them who is behind the arson attacks.
"It's everyone, all of us together," says one youth, who declines to give his name. "We talk, we talk and if we agree, we do what we have to do." I ask if anyone's organising the violence.
"I live in Sevrans, he lives in Aulnay," he explains, gesturing to a third youth. "Others live in Blanc Mesnil, La Courneuve, Clichy. We have a little meeting. We talk about what we have to do. Afterwards we each go our separate ways."
The immediate reason they give for the violence is the tough policing policy of France's Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Many teenagers here have already spent time in jail. They say the police are always harassing them, particularly if they leave their neighbourhood.
They say it has got worse under Mr Sarkozy. His name is scrawled on the walls of the suburbs, with insults and obscenities. He called youths like these "rabble" and they want him forced from office. But that's not their only demand.
He brings out a tattered photograph. It shows him holding a gun - not a revolver but a 12-bore shotgun. "We're armed," says Mohamed. "We're well armed and in 2007, if Sarkozy becomes president, we'll have a real war. That's why they didn't want to attack Iraq, because they know if they attack Iraq, there'll be big trouble in France."
"We're going to screw France, and England after that. You know the London attacks? There's one that failed.
"We're with al-Qaeda, you know," says Mohamed.
Thanks for telling us, Mohamed. You just gotta love your enemy when he tells you the truth.
The Danish Film Institute says they are not afraid to produce Hirsi Ali's film about Mohammed:
Neither The Danish Film Institute nor the film producer Zentropa [which is behind many notable films such as the ones directed by Lars von Trier] would have any problems supporting or producing a controversial film about the prophet Muhammed based on a manuscript by the Dutch politician and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The Somalian-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali has told the Internet magazine Sappho that she is prepared to produce an Islamic version of the famous Monty Python film "The Life of Brian" -- with Muhammed as the main character instead of Jesus -- in Denmark, and that she could finish a script very quickly.....
The Director of The Danish Film Institute, Henning Camre, does not anticipate any problems allocating public money for a film with this content."I have only read about it in Jyllands-Posten, but if she writes a manuscript and finds a Danish producer, we will treat her application just like any other. We have no limitations on freedom of speech in Denmark. ...
So far, however, it appears to be rather offhand and unspecified. For example, what language would be used? And would it be interesting from a Danish perspective if it was not made in Danish? This raises some questions, but as a starting point we would have no problems investing money in it from a free speech point of view," says Henning Camre.
Nor is Peter Aalbæk Jensen, CEO of Zentropa, frightened by the thought of producing a critical film about the prophet Muhammed."We make all kinds of films from the far left to the far right. It is our film directors who decide the contents, and we have no other position than that there is room for everything. If a director wants to make a film that praises Osama bin Laden, we will make that too," says Peter Aalbæk Jensen.--
If Hirsi Ali comes to you with a manuscript for a controversial Muhammed film, would you make it?
"Yes, if we could find a willing director. ..."
Screen writer and teacher at The Danish Film School, Mogens Rukov [the man behind many internationally successful Danish films], thinks that the film ought to be made."...
My position is that there is nothing that cannot be done because some people feel offended. The entire middle class is obsessed with fear and polite deference to all kinds of fascism, but we should not let ourselves be influenced by that. ..."
From British writer, Carol Gould:
The poppy is a symbol of the terrible loss of life in World War I in the fields of Flanders, where these blood-red flowers sprouted above the acres of corpses of fallen soldiers. As the decades have passed, the poppy has been worn to show one’s respect for the millions who have died in successive conflicts as recent as Iraq and Afghanistan. On British television, every presenter and anchor wears a poppy. In keeping with the motto of the British Legion—“Wear your poppy with pride”—every shopkeeper, publican, hotel manager and cabbie wears a poppy. This year I proudly bought mine at my local doctor’s office.
It was therefore all the more astonishing last week when I took a long walk along Edgware Road, the most densely Muslim section of London, and discovered that not one person was wearing a poppy. This all started because I was accosted on my corner, a few yards form where I have lived for twenty-eight years, by a young Arab man who began to get very aggressive with me. Was I, he demanded to know, “from the Jewish”?
He also wanted to know why I was wearing a poppy. I tried to explain the concept of the Cenotaph and Armistice Day. But he seemed determined to establish that I was a Jewess above all else. No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake him off. I began to get very alarmed.
I hailed a taxi and, thankfully, my pursuer, who was by this time shouting, did not get into the taxi. The driver was enormously sympathetic but told me that I had been “asking for it” by walking in what he called “Little Beirut.” He then told me that we were in World War III. His white, working class anger at what he perceived as “the Islamic takeover” of Britain was palpable. He was not the first London cabbie who has told me he would gladly join the far-right British National Party if pushed.
The driver dropped me at Marble Arch. I decided to walk back slowly should my scary have made his way in my direction. As I walked, I realized that not one of the hundreds of Middle Eastern and British-born Muslims who run all of the establishments along Edgware Road was wearing a poppy. Before shouting “Racist!” the reader must understand the nationwide atmosphere of devotion every November to the memory of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who died—often agonizing circumstances and with some in their teens—so that we might live out our lives in splendor. The fact is that most everyone wears a poppy across a grateful nation.
As I walked along Edgware Road, crossing over from side to side of the long thoroughfare I began to get angry. If one lived in Damascus and there was an annual tradition of some sort similar to Poppy Day, one would show respect for the day and join in.
I went in to a greengrocer and asked the young man at the cash register why he was not wearing a poppy. His accent indicated he was English-born. He said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” He turned to an older man sitting with him -- perhaps his father -- and asked him my question in Urdu. The man looked cross and I repeated, “Why do you British Asians (those from Pakistan) not wear a poppy?” he shrugged. “Are you not taught about the World Wars?” I asked.
I walked and walked that evening, stopping in to every hookah café, every electrical shop and every hijab boutique. Not one person was wearing a poppy.
The British government has brought in a new questionnaire for new citizens. It is full of obscure and at times outlandish questions about British culture. Frankly, I would fail on most of them. What immigrants and their kin need to be taught is that basic pride in being British with which immigrants to the United States glow with such radiance. If a whole portion of the British population does not care a toss about participating in one of the nation’s most sacred traditions, how can we ever “integrate”?
Yes, I am angry and offended that along the miles of pavement I trawled I saw not one poppy on the apparel of any Middle Eastern resident and merchant of Edgware Road.
When I attended the mobbed Cenotaph ceremony the next day I did not see one Middle Eastern person in the throng.
When I told my local grocer, a Muslim born in the UK, where I had been that day, he looked at me with a blank stare. I said “Cenotaph” and he changed the subject.
Why is wearing a poppy such a big deal to me? It is a tradition started in Canada and the United States that spread to Britain and to the Commonwealth nations, who had also suffered great losses in the Wars. As a Briton born in the USA I feel honored to be a citizen of two great democracies. Another point Madeleine Bunting made in her article was that the young Muslims in a studio audience had endless complaints about life in Britain. They want to change foreign policy. Perhaps learning about how we got here, with our concert halls and opera houses and theatre and art galleries -- not to mention war memorials -- might be a start.
Now think of this: I am mortally afraid to wear my American flag pin in London. What does this say about the direction Europe is going? Bat Ye’or’s “Eurabia” is already erupting in France. Politically correct Britons scream at me if I defend the right of a cabbie to have the Union Jack on his London taxi. Others lament the “appalling custom” of Americans hanging flags outside their houses.
But all I want right now is to see British Muslims wearing their poppy with pride.
Not one? Well, you can't participate, if you don't know what's going on. But, you would think they would have at least a little bit of curiosity about why their fellow citizens are going around wearing poppies, woudn't you?
Saddam Hussein reveals his defense strategy:
The honorable Senate Democrats in the United States are doing an honorable investigation to find out exactly what happened to cause me to lose my country, and until these honorable Senate Democrats in the United States get every one of their questions answered about the manipulation and the distortion of the intelligence — and of course all of the lies about my having weapons of mass destruction, I can’t get a fair trial….
I never had any weapons of mass destruction, and whatever bad intelligence was generated by a cowboy, fratboy president and his indicted staff, who have poisoned world opinion about me…
I, Saddam Hussein….say that the Senate Democrats are on the way to proving that President Bush has led a false war… My country is Muslim. We are very different from western countries, and that scares stupid, evangelical cowboys like George Bush….
[W]hat does this cowboy Bush do when his oil baron buddies can’t have my oil for themselves? Well, they start a war on false pretenses because everybody knows that this war was about nothing but oil and that’s why all the intelligence was trumped up….You may not like me; I am Saddam Hussein. You may not agree with the ways of Muslim leaders in the Middle East, but does that give you the right to invade my country? No!
The United States Senate Democrats obviously agree with me. They are honorable people. The world should align behind the Democrats of the United States Senate who are trying to wrong one of the most terrible injustices in the history of the world.
It is George W. Bush who must be brought to justice by the brave and honorable members of the Democratic Party in the United States Senate. Because leaders of the world and people of the world, I, Saddam Hussein, say to you that it is the senators, the Democrat senators in the United States Senate are all that stand between peace and bloodthirsty imperialism by the United States. May Allah bless the good and decent truth-tellers in the Senate…..
I want to further point out that if my trial is not postponed — if I can’t get a postponement and if I can’t get a dismissal of the charges, and if I don’t get my country back — if there is a trial, I demand that I be brought to the US for trial, in a United States civilian court. I can’t get a fair trial in Iraq because it’s Bush cronies. I can only get a fair trial in the United States where liberal Democrats run the court system. They’re the ones doing the great work, the work of Allah….
He said it, not me.
Concerned with America's superior firepower, it looks like Canada is preparing to advance a military buildup:
(PRWEB) - OTTAWA, CANADA (PRWEB) November 24, 2005 — A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics — relations with “ETs.”
By “ETs,” Mr. Hellyer and these organizations mean ethical, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that may now be visiting Earth.
On September 25, 2005, in a startling speech at the University of Toronto that caught the attention of mainstream newspapers and magazines, Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: “UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head.”
Mr. Hellyer went on to say, “I’m so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something.”
Hellyer warned, “The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning.”
He stated, “The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide.”
Charles, at Little Green Footballs, asks:
"The audience laughed, and booed, and walked out, right? Right?
Hellyer’s speech ended with a standing ovation.
Ack, ack! Ack, ack, ack!
Click here for video.
And don't laugh. It's not funny.
King Abdullah declare "all-out war":
AMMAN (AFP) - King Abdullah II named his security chief as prime minister to launch "all-out war" on Islamist militants while bringing in reforms, two weeks after the deadly hotel bombings that rocked Jordan.
Maaruf Bakhit, 58, a former ambassador to Israel who was appointed just last week as national security chief, has been named to replace Adnan Badran, prime minister for only seven months.
The revamp, announced by a high-ranking official, comes after the triple bombings in Amman on November 9 that killed 60 people and were followed by a number of changes in top security and palace staff.
King Abdullah said the new cabinet's mission would be "to wage all-out war against extremist groups and their ideology," in a message to Bakhit. "This requires the urgent introduction of an anti-terrorist law."
Make the National News
From Little Green Footballs (verbatim):
Twelve people show up in Crawford, Texas, and the Associated Press considers it national news:
Protesters Arrested Near Bush’s Ranch. CRAWFORD, Texas - A dozen war protesters including Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested Wednesday for setting up camp near President Bush’s ranch in defiance of new local bans on roadside camping and parking.
About four hours after the group pitched six tents and huddled in sleeping bags and blankets, McLennan County sheriff’s deputies arrested them for criminal trespassing. Many in the group held up signs, including one that said “Give me liberty or give me a ditch.”
Imagine, if the Republican Party announced they were going to set up a Pro-War Event and only twelve people showed up.
Would it be national news?
Twelve frickin' people?
More, from The Astute Blogger:
According to this report from nearby WACO media, the Leftie anti-Bush protestors have demonstrated "resolve" and "bravery" and will continue "combat":
"War protesters' resolve firm after arrests -- Braving a chilly predawn breeze, protesters began gathering before 6 a.m. along the roadside... Through the day, war protesters vowed to keep up efforts to combat continued U.S. involvement in Iraq. At one point, Ellsberg, whose release of the Pentagon Papers helped erode public support for the Vietnam War, said the fight against war in Iraq may take a long time to win. "(Vietnam) was a hard war to end and this is going to be harder," he said. "Nothing worked very quickly then and this is going to be a long road ahead."
Sheesh, let's look at that again: These folks have the resolve to protest a war which has liberated 27 MILLION people - a liberation which means that the nation which has SO FAR discovered 400 mass graves which contain 1000 bodies or more, will not suffer any more genocide at the hands of theire own government. They're brave enough to face cold weather, and have taken solemn oaths to combat the foreign polcies of their own duly elected government.
Well, gee, if we are in the middle of a war, and they are "troops" "combatting" the war policy of the duly elected government, maybe we should unload some unranium-tipped projectiles on dey ass.
(That is a joke, for anyone who attempts to construe it as something other.)
But seriously folks, those "troops" sure are brave to stand up against Democracy and Freedom like that, aren't they? We ought to call them the Pacifist Minutemen.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Could it be? Could it be that on the same day we learn that the insurgents are asking for terms of surrender, that we are at this moment locked in battle with Syrian troops?:
November 25, 2005, 12:27 AM (GMT 02:00)
Both sides have suffered casualties. US soldiers crossed over after Damascus was given an ultimatum Thursday, Nov. 24, to hand over a group of senior commanders belonging to Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda force. According to US intelligence, the group had fled to Syria to escape an American attack in Mosul. Syrian border guards opened fire on the American force.
That's from Debka, so take it with a grain of salt. But, on the other hand, it is the logical next step. In fact, oddly enough, I was just about to write that in a post this morning, "On to Syria by Christmas," but I didn't want to bum anyone's trip on Thanksgiving.
Well, well, well.
Lay Down Arms
From the San Francisco Chronicle, via YARGB:
Several insurgents groups have contacted President Jalal Talabani's office in the past few days, with some saying they are ready to lay down their arms and join the political process, the presidential security adviser said Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Wafiq al-Samaraei told The Associated Press that "the calls we received were different. The calls were also from different groups."
"Many groups have called and some of them clearly expressed the readiness to join the political process," al-Samaraei said. This shows that "the initiative was welcomed by Iraqis."
In the western province of Anbar, members of some militant groups told the AP that they had been in talks with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi for about two weeks but would not say how they were going.
On Monday, al-Samaraei told Al-Jazeera television that he received a call from a person who claimed to be a senior official of the resistance who was interested in talks. He would not elaborate.
During remarks last Sunday in Cairo, Talabani said his offer to talk with insurgents did not extend to members of Saddam's Baath Party unless they agreed to lay down their weapons.
The Iraq War is winding to a close. What a great Thanksgiving Day.
Hizb 'ut Tahrir
Riots In France
Apparently, I was right.
As usual, The Astute Blogger brings the best info:
All indicators point to the involvement of some Pakistani, Algerian and Moroccan members of the London-based Hizbut Tehrir (HT) in the violence by sections of angry Muslim youth, which has rocked the suburbs of Paris and some other towns of France since October 27,2005.
The outbreak initially was spontaneous following the electrocution of two Muslim youth as they were fleeing away from a random identity papers check by the Police. The violence continued to be spontaneous, with no external instigation, for three days.
In the meanwhile, it is reported by reliable sources, the headquarters of the HT in London saw the agitprop potential of the developments in Paris and sent some of their experts, who had participated in instigating the violence earlier this year in Afghanistan over the alleged desecration of the Holy Koran by the US guards at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba and in Uzbekistan over the allegedly autocratic ways of the local Government, to Paris to stoke the anger of the youth and exploit it for their purpose. ...
With the help of the sleeper cells, which the HT has already established in Paris and other parts of France for some months, they drew up plans for keeping the violence sustained in order to further radicalise and mobilise the youth against the French Government. ...
While there is no evidence of its involvement so far in any act of jihadi terrorism anywhere in the world, it has been involved in many instances of political agitation in the streets in some countries and in attempts at subverting the armed forces and the intelligence agencies in Pakistan and other Islamic countries. ...
It is reported by reliable sources in Pakistan that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in Pakistan has instructed its cells in France to assist the HT clandestinely as best as they can. Similarly, the Jamat-ul-Furqa (JUF), which has some followers in the community of Caribbean origin in France, has also asked its followers to assist the HT. Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, was suspected to be a member of the JUF.
Of course, I don't believe even the initial violence was "spontaneous," and I've been saying that since the very beginning. The reason I don't is because there were four almost simultaneous Muslim riots, which all began right after Ramadan ended.
(As it says in the Koran, Sura 9:5, "And when the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods with God wherever you shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush.")
The "spokesmen for the riots in Denmark admitted to a reporter that the riot had been planned "three weeks" before.
Now, of course, this article is not final confirmation that my hunch is correct, but I'm taking it as a small dose of vindication.
The Astute Blogger says:
I feel that this connection is likely and that the intel analysis is also likely accurate. It seems reasonable to me to assume that HT would seek to exploit any chance they could to destabilize any and all USA allies, and at least exacerbate pre-conditions for further islamization in nations that seem ripe for dhimmitude.
France is both an ally of the USA (in Afghanistan) and ripe for dhimmitude. France should get the NATO nations to (attack) ... HT and their allies.
Yes, they should. This must be taken VERY seriously.
Riots are among the most dangerous weapons the Islamists have. It was a human presence in the streets of Eastern Europe which brought down the Wall, and collapsed Soviet Communism in countries like Poland and Hungary. It was a human presence in the streets (along with the close proximity of the U.S. military in neighboring Iraq) which caused Assad to pull his troops out of Lebanon.
When that human presence doubles up their power by rioting, they can be even more effective. Governments can end, folks. France can go bye bye. I'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow, or next year. But, it can happen, and it will, eventually, happen, if we don't take these riots seriously.
If the EU allows Turkey to become a member nation, the gates will be thrown open for Islamofascists to migrate to France, to Germany, to Holland, Denmark, and England. Should this happen, such Muslim riots will have lethal consequences. Europe itself could topple.
Am I an alarmist? Well, hell yeah, I am.
Osama Bin Laden's goal is to establish a worldwide Islamic Caliphate (nation). He is a very intelligent man. We do ourselves an extreme disservice if we do not take him seriously. We know that Bin Laden's Al Qaeda training manual includes Psy-ops and Special Operations of all forms. So, why would we not believe that he would be smart enough to have added crowd control and riot instigation to his arsenal?
Since we live in a Western media-dominated culture, I will reference something we are all familiar with. Do you think Bono, or Zack de la Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine) could not start a riot, given the right circumstances?
The answer is, they could, and they know it.
Crowd control is a technique for which they both have natural gifts. However, it is a technique. Many black American Christian ministers also have the technique of crowd control down to a science. As I have mentioned here before, there was a man who went around the United States back in the 80's-90's who was able to induce people to believe they could walk across burning coals.
And they did.
That is crowd control. And, it can be learned. And, if it can be learned, then we need to consider the possibility that Al Qaeda will use it. And, that they do. And, when riots occur, we need to understand that they could very well have been instigated, and that they very likely are being controlled and prolonged by Islaic Jihadi special forces.
When riots occur, we need to put all government resources (internet and wire-tapping, spying in Mosques and in the homes of known Islamic Jihadis, etc.) into finding these special forces. And, we need to remove them from the population.
So, there's the CUANAS sermon of the day. Pass the hat around, Fu2rman.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Who Gave Us
To Wipe Away
The Entire Horizon?
--- Friedrich Nietzsche
"God is dead ... and we have killed him, you and I! We are all his murderers!'
"But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns?
Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? God is dead! And we have killed him! "
Of course, God beat us. He resurrected Himself. He destroyed death. For that we can all be very Thankful.
But, Nietzsche was speaking of what we have done to God's place in our culture. He wasn't speaking of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If we do not resurrect our Judeo-Christian Heritage to it's rightful place within our culture, we will spin out of control, through the infinite nothingness of our minds, while the Islamofascists stick the sword in our throats.
If Selma Hayek Is
In The News
... you just have to post about it. Why? Just look at the picture. Lord have mercy. Can I get an Amen?
Anyway, so why is Selma in the news? It seems she will be presenting Mohammed El-Baradei with his Nobel Peace Prize.
I don't know whether to say that's quite a Peace, or quite a Prize.
Ok, since this is CUANAS, I guess I have to say one serious thing in this post. So, here goes. Guys, think. Would you want to see this babe wrapped in a Burqa? Hell no. So, support the War On Islamofascist Terror. In America, we are free to look at Selma Hayek dressed like that. In most of the Islamic World, they are not.
In a recent interview with the Danish publication, Sappho, Ayaan Hirsi Ali revealed that it is her goal to make the Muslim Life of Brian:
Disturbing questions about the massive muslim presence in Europe are becoming more urgent by the day: It it possible to integrate muslims to become part of Europe? Will we have a liberal version of islam? And if not, what is there to look forward to? Civil war? Dissolution? An islamic take-over?
If your head is full of such nagging thoughts, it is a solace to meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the liberal Dutch politician and originally muslim immigrant from Somalia. Since the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, for whose strongly islam-critical film "Submission I" Ms. Ali wrote the script, Hirsi Ali has been under constant police protection. That was also the case when Sappho.dk interviewed her during her recent visit to Copenhagen.
But in spite of death threats and constant vilification the slender woman has by no means lost heart. She still waxes eloquent when she talks about the issue that concerns her the most: The defence of European civil rights and particularly freedom of expression.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali comes across as a genuinely European intellectual of the kind that is becoming increasingly rare as our home-grown cultural personalities and opinion leaders are buzily discarding our intellectual heritage.-
You have said that you would like to make a muslim "Life of Brian".
"Yes, Muhammed is a much more colourful personality than Jesus. Such a film could be a learning instrument for muslims. There are some islamic films but they don't show the image of Muhammed and they are not really about him. They are more about how islam was established.
I would really like to make a critical film about him. I could write a script very quickly."-
Would you make it in Denmark? We have a Film Institute financed by the state which would probably be prepared to fund an exciting and controversial film.
"All they have to do is to give me ring, and I'll come."
(Hat tip; Fjordman.)