Monday, January 31, 2005
January 31st, 2005
Remember September 11, 2001? I do. Many seem to have forgotten.
We live in a post 9/11 world so let’s be direct. The grave reality is that right now thousands of radical Islamic terrorists fully intend, and are very specifically preparing to kill you, your spouse, your children, and everyone that you know and love.
It’s a grim certainty that if left unchallenged, these same terrorists will gain possession of the materials necessary to manufacture a dirty bomb, and/or – God forbid – a nuclear weapon – either of which they will joyfully, and most certainly deploy against American men, women and children.
Alarmist scare-tactics, right?
You should be alarmed, and you should be scared. Fear rooted in fact, stemming from danger is not only healthy – it’s central to survival.
However, we mustn’t let fear be the precursor to paralysis. We can’t let the evil ones dictate how we live our lives. Rather, we must take whatever action is necessary to ensure that these murderous cowards who live to kill, and long to die, achieve the latter before the former.
Thank God we have a president with both courage of heart and clarity of mind to answer the call to action. He’s shown that he will take any step required to destroy those who would do us harm. Notice I said destroy – not appease – not negotiate with – not try to understand – but very plainly and simply…destroy. Our government – our military – our Commander-in-Chief has no greater calling than to protect our citizens – even those who foolishly bawl that they don’t desire protection.
Here’s a fact that seems to have been forgotten by many on the left – namely, liberal Democrats. Let’s refresh their recollection: On September 11, 2001 Muslim fundamentalist terrorists declared war on America when they murdered over three thousand of our innocent men, women and children.
We were rocked by a spineless sucker-punch to be sure. But, now we’re taking the fight to them. With nearly two-thirds of Al Qaeda’s leadership dead or captured, we’ve got-em on the run.
Make no mistake; the war in Iraq is just one battle in the larger war on terror. America has defined the terms. We have determined the where and the when. We have seized the initiative and taken the fight to our enemies, a matter which impresses itself deeply on the minds of other tyrants contemplating their future. Iraq is the rattler’s nest – the front-line against Al Qaeda and her many terrorist cousins. Like roaches to a roach-motel, those who seek to kill you and your children are drawn by blind hatred for freedom. We kill them there, so that they can’t kill us here.
Yet no campaign is foolproof, including this one, and will it be without gut-wrenching sacrifice. Still, our very survival depends upon victory.
Of course even now our homeland continues to be at risk. As our President has made perfectly clear, the war on terror will take decades. Nonetheless, as nearly four years without a homeland attack have proven, we’re safer today than we were yesterday, or the day before.
The majority of Americans are grateful beyond words for the brave men and women who defend us. Likewise, most Iraqis are thankful for having been liberated from the tyrant Saddam Hussein – the terrorist monster who victimized them for decades.
But regrettably, there are those in our midst, even within the halls of Congress, who seek to undermine the war on terror – who selfishly, for love of power lost, fire munitions of disingenuous rhetoric at the very troops who defend them – and furthermore, who transparently seek to undercut the momentous and overwhelming success of Iraq’s free elections.
And that success was indeed mind-boggling. The tremendous yearning of the human spirit for freedom was inspiring to behold. Under threat of brutal murder, 60 percent of Iraqis sent a resounding message to both the terrorists, and to liberal Democrats when they boldly, and for the first time, wholly exercised their God-given right of self-determination. They’ve decided who will create the government to lead a free and sovereign Iraq.
At least 44 innocent Iraqis were murdered in cold blood by the very terrorists responsible for 9/11. They truly became “martyrs” for liberty, in the genuine sense of the word. May God bless their precious souls.
There were two principal bodies hostile to President Bush that lost big on Iraq’s Election Day: Terrorists, and nay-saying liberal Democrats. The elections are already sowing the seeds of democracy throughout the Arab world. The liberal Democrats have clumsily arranged it to be bad news for them when the elections are good news for our nation, for democracy, for the Iraqis, and for our President. That just doesn’t smell very good to a solid majority of Americans. Iraqis dance in the streets while Democrat talking heads look depressed, evasive, petty, and mean.
Already, the senior Senator from Massachusetts is looking pretty stupid. He ramped up his attempts to undermine the war effort just three days prior to Iraq’s free elections. He compared the battle for Iraq to a Vietnam “quagmire” and declared: “The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.” Drunk with bitterness over Democrats’ sound trouncing in our own recent elections, Kennedy has lead the call for America to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq – to drive off freedom’s bridge, capsize the vehicle of progress, and cowardly abandon our Iraqi passengers to drown, as it were, in three feet of hostile waters.
This is technically known as snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
In recent months, Kennedy has called the war on terror “George Bush’s Vietnam,” and a “fraud made up in Texas.” Of course his self-serving anti-American words fill the airwaves, delighting the terrorists, Al-Jazeera, and other enemy media outlets, making for marvelous and very useful propaganda.
So, keep it up Democrats, if you must. Continue to sully the brave men and women of the armed forces who risk it all while you endeavor to beg, borrow and steal your way back into a position of power – continue, and the natural consequences of your actions will be a foregone conclusion.
J. Matt Barber is a non-practicing attorney, an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer (Matt “Bam Bam” Barber), and a jazz drummer in Chicago. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Matt Barber
The American Thinker
Sunday, January 30, 2005
"Everywhere in Iraq, citizens proudly displayed their ink-stained fingers to show that they had voted:
It is hard to imagine a more complete repudiation of the terrorists and their allies among western leftists who denounced the elections as a sham."
Release Number: 05-01-117
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TASK FORCE BAGHDAD TROOPS CAPTURE SEVEN INSURGENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR EMBASSY ROCKET ATTACK
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Seven insurgents responsible for the Jan. 29 rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy were captured by Task Force Baghdad troops approximately one hour after launching their attack.
Following the 8 p.m. attack on the embassy, the men fled the scene of the rocket launch, but were tracked to a residence in southeastern Baghdad. Task Force Baghdad ground troops descended on the home, detaining all seven suspects.
“This was a great example of quick reaction on the part of some superb cavalry troopers,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Jones, assistant division commander for the 1st Cavalry Division and Task Force Baghdad. “It’s one more example to the insurgents that Iraqi and Multi-National Forces will hunt down those responsible for these acts of terrorism.”
Leading up to the election, Jones said the troops in his task force and the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad are prepared to meet the challenge of security a free election in the Iraqi capital.
“We’re doing all we can, as are all the Iraqi security forces, to make Baghdad as safe as possible so its citizens can vote in this historic election,” Jones said.
The seven captured suspects are being held for further questioning.
I wanted to share with you this morning (your time) as you head to church, something that you can give thanks for. The first free elections have occurred in Iraq. All the naysayers were wrong and the Iraqi people stood up for their rights and thumbed their noses at Zarqawi and his evil band of terrorists.
The polls closed at 1700 (5PM) our time and 8AM CST but the initial reports are that 72% of the Iraqis voted. Folks we should be ashamed. We can’t get that many people to vote in the US and no one is trying to kill us.
The day was not totally violence free, as currently the death toll across the country is 31. Considering all that was forecasted and what a normal day is like, that is not bad. Also what the media will not tell you is that many of the terrorists that did conduct acts of violence, won’t do it anymore. It appears from all the reports across the region that they were left to use the third string team of terrorist. We have either killed or captured 85% of the terrorists who committed acts today. US forces have suffered no fatalities thus far and only minor injuries across the division.
It has been a good day, a Day the Lord has made! He has protected us and with His protection and blessings, we have been able to ensure that those how who have been injured and those who have died, have not done so in vain.
We have a long way to go before Iraq is able to stand on her own, but today, a very large step was taken.
Thank you for your continued prayers from my men and me.
God Bless You &God Bless America,
Mikelgf: sunbathing in the van allen belt
Monday, January 24, 2005
In March of 2000, with the help of a Web-savvy West Point classmate and their own savings, they put up a site on the civilian Internet called Companycommand.com. It didnt occur to them to ask the Army for permission or support. Companycommand was an affront to protocol. The Army way was to monitor and vet every posting to prevent secrets from being revealed, but Allen and Burgess figured that captains were smart enough to police themselves and not
compromise security. Soon after the site went up, a lieutenant colonel phoned one of the Web sites operators and advised them to get a lawyer, because he didnt want to see good officers crash and burn. A year later, Allen and Burgess started a second Web site, for lieutenants, Platoonleader.org.
The sites, which are accessible to captains and lieutenants with a password, are windows onto the job of commanding soldiers and onto the unfathomable complexities of fighting urban guerrillas. Companycommand is divided into twelve areas, including Training, Warfighting, and Soldiers and Families, each of which is broken into discussion threads on everything from mortar attacks to grief counselling and dishonest sergeants. Some discussions are quite raw. Captains post comments on coping with fear, on motivating soldiers to break the taboo against killing, and on counselling suicidal soldiers. They advise each other on how to kick in doors and how to handle pregnant subordinates. Most captains now have access to the Internet at even the most remote bases in Iraq, and many say theyll find at least ten or fifteen minutes every day to check the site. They post tricks theyve learned or ask questions like this, which set off months of responses: What has anyone tried to do to alleviate the mortar attacks on their forward operating bases? Here are snippets of conversations posted on Companycommand and Platoonleader in the past year:
Never travel in a convoy of less than four vehicles. Do not let a casualty take your focus away from a combat engagement. Give your driver your 9mm, and carry their M16/M4. Tootsie Rolls are quite nice; Jolly Ranchers will get all nasty and sticky though. If a person is responsible for the death of an individual, they do not attend during the three days of mourning; that is why if we kill an individual in sector, we are not welcome during the mourning period. Soldiers need reflexive and quick-fire training, using burst fire. If theyre shooting five to seven mortar rounds into your forward operating base, whatever youre doing needs to be readjusted. The more aggressive you look and the faster you are, the less likely the enemy will mess with you. It is okay to tell your soldiers what the regulation is; but as a commander, you should make the effort to get the soldier home for the birth. A single wall of sandbags will not stop any significant munitions. Take pictures of everything and even, maybe more importantly, everyone. The right photo in the right hands can absolutely make the difference. Its not always easy to reach the pistol when in the thigh holster, especially in an up-armored humvee
The New Yorker: Fact
...it is scandalous that so many years after President Bush announced that you're either with the terrorists or with us, the United States still counts as friends and allies — or at least recipients of its largesse — so many states where jihadist activity is widespread.
A State Department that really had America's interests at heart would immediately terminate all aid to Egypt, Indonesia, the Palestinians, Jordan, Somalia, Algeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Albania — and even Iraq and Afghanistan, and any other state — until each demonstrably ends all support — material, educational, religious — for jihad warfare, and grants full equality of rights to any non-Muslim citizens.
To be a friend of the United States, each must renounce entirely any intention to make good on the Islamic goals and responsibilities enunciated by the Pakistani Islamic leader Syed Abul Ala Maududi, who declared that non-Muslims have "absolutely no right to seize the reins of power in any part of God's earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines." If they do, "the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life."
His comments were in full accord with Islamic theology and history, as well as with the Koran as it has been read and understood by Muslims for centuries. This is the goal of the jihadists today; it should be the fundamental defining point of U.S. alliances with Muslim states. (For example, the Saudi's are investing 35 million in ...... "plans to construct 4,500 madrasas in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka to promote “modern and liberal education with Islamic values”, and the Saudi embassy in New Delhi is pushing this somewhat tentatively with the Union HRD ministry and Minorities Commission....)
The United States should also immediately initiate a full-scale Manhattan Project to find new energy sources, so that the needed reconfiguration of our alliances can be more than just words.
But does anyone in the State Department have the will to advocate these and other measures? Or is it only regimes like the bloody mullahocracy in Tehran that are allowed to speak openly about their principles and goals, and take all the necessary measures for their own defense?"
Taking jihad seriously - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - January 24, 2005
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Jihad Watch: Fitzgerald: The greatest Intelligence Failure of the Iraq War :Lt. Gen. John H. Vines reading list for assignment to Iraq
What is good about the Reading List is that it is so bad, so truly bad, that eyebrows should be raised all over Washington. Who compiled this list? Who carefully allowed in, as the single sop, the Naipaul, but left out the Lewis, the Kedourie, the Kelly? Who left out any serious essays on the nature of Islam, on Jihad? How are the Infidel soldiers supposed to comprehend the hostility that is felt towards them, even though they are only there to "rebuild" Iraq? For if they cannot understand that hostility -- which is in every textbook, every mosque, every madrassa, every Arab satellite channel, every Qur'an and volume of the Hadith and every life of Muhammad, they will be eternally confused. And confusion and incomprehension, or miscomprehension, leads to demoralization.
Supposedly, the "faculty at Yale" and people at the "Foreign Service Institute" were responsible for this list. Let's find out something more about precisely who was involved in the selection of the final group of eight books. What are their names? What are their own interests?
Note to Hollywood: it is time for movies and television stories, not about Muslim terrorists, but about those who are apologists for Islam, and who are determined to keep certain truths from getting out, in very high places indeed. One need not be of a conspiratorial frame of mind to see that with such a Reading List, something is very amiss -- and very high up.
This has to be thoroughly investigated.
Jihad Watch: Fitzgerald: The greatest Intelligence Failure of the Iraq War was not about WMD
Saturday, January 22, 2005
|1st Lt. Neil Prakash from Syracuse, New York, a tank platoon leader from 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment is congratulated by Soldiers from his battalion after being awarded the Silver Star Medal - one of the military’s highest decorations - by 1st Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste for his actions under fire in Ba'qubah June 24. (Photo by Sgt. Kimberly Snow, 196th MPAD)|
1st Infantry Division News
Friday, January 21, 2005
On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed.
At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire.
We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.
So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.
This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.
The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.
My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people against further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and have found it firm.
We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.
Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.
Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.
Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.
The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."
The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.
And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.
Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:
From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.
A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause - in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy ... the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments ... the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives - and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.
All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.
America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.
In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance - preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal.
In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before - ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?
These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.
We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.
When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength - tested, but not weary - we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.
May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.
Transcript of the president's speech -- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
" excerpts from the televised confessions of Muayed Al-Nasseri, who commanded Saddam Hussein's "the Army of Muhammad" throughout 2004. The confessions were aired by the Iraqi TV channel that operates from the UAE, Al-Fayhaa TV, on January 14, 2005.
The Case of the Moonlighting Journalists.
Via Honest Reporting: One of the cardinal rules of responsible journalism is the independent status of the journalist ― while journalists may belong to political parties, they cannot actively work for a party relevant to the sphere they cover, lest their independence and neutrality be jeopardized.
The Jerusalem Post reported that two of the largest wire services ― Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Associated Press (AP) ― have employed journalists with inappropriately close ties to the Palestinian Authority. Majida al-Batsh was a Palestinian affairs correspondent for AFP for many years, while simultaneously being on the payroll of the Palestinian Authority as a reporter for the PA's official organ, Al-Ayyam.
This is the equivalent of a network's Washington correspondent getting paid on the side by the Democrats or Republicans. Imagine the scandal that would produce. Yet with their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, AFP and AP don't seem to have a problem with it.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Belmont Club: "One of the strangest consequences of the development of Internet was the reimposition of the need for each individual to learn things for themselves. It is a task most would gladly do without, but it is the burden of sentience and the price of freedom."
...... there is literally no more front line. It therefore came as no surprise that the media -- that is to say the newsrooms, editorial desks and reportorial -- proved but one more foxhole in the conflict. The Jerusalem Post (hat tip: The Counterterrorism Blog) describes how some representatives of major wire services and news agencies were in the paid service of terrorist organizations. A small sampler of dubious connections is given below:
Meanwhile, the Associated Press and Reuters, which have their own TV production services, rely almost entirely on footage provided to them by Palestinian crews covering events in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The material, distributed to thousands of subscribers worldwide, mostly focuses on Palestinians as victims of IDF operations; the cameramen decide from which angle to film and which material to send at the end of the day to their employers in Jerusalem. The Associated Press also has a journalist -- Muhammad Daraghmeh -- who works for the PA's Al-Ayyam. "It's like employing someone from the [Israeli] Government Press Office or one of the Israeli political parties to work as a journalist," comments a veteran foreign journalist based in Israel.
The Counterterrorism Blog asks: "Well, excuse me, but how about the 'journalists' in the Arab world who were either on Saddam's or Arafat's payroll? Why hasn't the media seen fit to pursue those secret arrangements and admit that perhaps those payments twisted the coverage of those two thugs by Western media?" This can only be a rhetorical question. It is entirely probable that there is no, and possibly was never any collectively responsible, self-policing, ethically consistent 'media' able to act as single organism. Saddam and Arafat discovered this long ago and its audience is only belatedly realizing it now.
This process of corruption has pulled a curtain of suspicion over all information products. No longer is it possible to rely on the assurance of a brand name. Each item of news must now be sniffed, examined, poked and weighed to determine its authenticity. Collateral confirmation, once the staple of skeptical intelligence analysts, is now the task of every sophisticated newsreader -- at least those who want to avoid being taken for a ride. Once the media itself became an informational battleground the most natural greeting in the dark became 'who goes there?' That skepticism has in part, empowered the blogosphere, which provides some filtering for readers too busy to do it themselves. Yet the blogosphere is not in principle immune from any of the corroding influences of fear, money or influence, as the readers of Armstrong Williams and the Daily Kos discovered to their disillusionment. We are, in James Jesus Angleton's famous phrase, in a 'Wilderness of Mirrors', though he himself had the idea from T. S. Eliot.
I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch:
How should I use it for your closer contact?
These with a thousand small deliberations
Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,
Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,
With pungent sauces, multiply variety
In a wilderness of mirrors.
Fortunately for most there is the salvation of the common senses: the ability to observe the real through the packaging, and to learn from the airplane crashing into the tower facts we could not read in the newspapers. One of the strangest consequences of the development of Internet was the reimposition of the need for each individual to learn things for themselves. It is a task most would gladly do without, but it is the burden of sentience and the price of freedom.
Monday, January 17, 2005
from the not-your-father's-style-of-journalism dept.
Matthew asks: "Now that the Internet has become an integral part of many people's lives, it has also become the place where many of us get our daily news reports (think Slashdot, New York Times, etc). The decentralization of the Internet offers many advantages over traditional media such as newspapers and television, as the user has more control over what to view and when to view it. But how does the future of this utopia look? With the uprise of ad blockers, are we going to be able to get our news for free? Will the Internet become a place for the "selected few" with money to spend? How do DRM and Trusted Computing play into the role? What does Darwin say will happen to newspapers, radio, television?"
Slashdot | Future of Internet News?
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Report: U.S. Conducting Secret Missions Inside Iran
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The United States has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets, The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday.
The article, by award-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, said the secret missions have been going on at least since last summer with the goal of identifying target information for three dozen or more suspected sites.
Gen. Michael W. Hagee, the Marine Corps Commandant, said he still is an ardent proponent of embedding journalists with combat troops.
How many American people know what we do, know what you and I do for a living, what you and I do for this country? Hagee asked cadets and officer candidates Monday night at the Coast Guard Academy. We should not be afraid to show the American people what we do.
Hagee recalled a reporter hyperventilating as he reported from a battlefield with bullets whizzing overhead. The reporter experienced the kind of personal peril that soldiers take for granted, and told the American people about it.
The embedded reporter process has informed the American public. ... I think it's absolutely the right thing to do, Hagee said. They may not always agree with how we see the battlefield, but that's OK.
Unfortunately, Hagee added, I don't think (the coverage) is very balanced.
The national media, he said, has been slow to report on things that have been handled correctly.
If you really want to know how most Iraqis feel about terrorists, check out this photo. (Hat Tip: Iraq The Model).
I've been meaning to mention Iraq the Model for awhile because it represents mainstream thought in Iraq. However, the views found there are mostly ignored by American media because they are generally pro-American.
At the risk of getting off topic, too many U.S. journalists believe their war-reporting should be mainly about scrutinizing our own government instead of focusing on exactly who is attempting to thwart our effort to bring liberty to the citizens of Iraq.
In the past, journalists saw themselves as being on the side of human rights, celebrating the spread of freedom. Sadly, most mainstream media practitioners in America have chosen to turn away from this proud heritage at the risk of painting the current administration in a positive light. Too bad. Lance In Iraq: Sweet justice
Saturday, January 15, 2005
"On the whole, I think Col. Ryan is too kind to the American press. I think that the press's undermining of our war effort is, in many instances, deliberate. It appears to me that many, if not most, American reporters, editors and news executives want to make it impossible for America ever to fight a war. To further this goal, I think they use their reporting to undermine our effort in Iraq. The idea is that if we are defeated in Iraq, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for us to fight another war anywhere for a generation. Is this assessment too harsh? I don't think so."
BLACKFIVE: Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: "
What about the media's portrayal of the enemy? Why do these ruthless murderers, kidnappers and thieves get a pass when it comes to their actions? What did the media not show or tell us about Margaret Hassoon, the director of C.A.R.E. in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left disemboweled in streets of Fallujah? Did anyone in the press show these images over and over to emphasize the moral failings of the enemy as they did with the soldiers at Abu Ghuraib? Did anyone show the world how this enemy had huge stockpiles of weapons in schools and mosques, or how he used these protected places as sanctuaries for planning and fighting in Fallujah and the rest of Iraq? Are people of the world getting the complete story? The answer again is no! What the world got instead were repeated images of a battle-weary Marine who made a quick decision to use lethal force and who now is being tried in the world press. Is this one act really illustrative of the overall action in Fallujah? No, but the Marine video clip was shown an average of four times each hour on just about every major TV news channel for a week. This is how the world views our efforts over here and stories like this without a counter continually serve as propaganda victories for the enemy. Al Jazeera isn't showing the film of the CARE worker, but is showing the clip of the Marine. Earlier this year, the Iraqi government banned Al Jazeera from the country for its inaccurate reporting. Wonder where they get their information now? Well, if you go to the Internet, you'll find a web link from the Al Jazeera home page to CNN's home page. Very interesting."
....."In Fallujah, the enemy death toll has already exceeded 1,500 and still is climbing. Put one in the win column for the good guys, right? Wrong. As soon as there was nothing negative to report about Fallujah, the media shifted its focus to other parts of the country. Just yesterday, a major news agency's website lead read: "Suicide Bomber Kills Six in Baghdad" and "Seven Marines Die in Iraq Clashes." True, yes. Comprehensive, no. Did the author of this article bother to mention that Coalition troops killed 50 or so terrorists while incurring those seven losses? Of course not. Nor was there any mention about the substantial progress these offensive operations continue to achieve in defeating the insurgents. Unfortunately, this sort of incomplete reporting has become the norm for the media, whose poor job of presenting a complete picture of what is going on in Iraq borders on being criminal.
....This war is not without its tragedies; none ever are. The key to the enemy's success is use of his limited assets to gain the greatest influence over the masses. The media serves as the glass through which a relatively small event can be magnified to international proportions, and the enemy is exploiting this with incredible ease. There is no good news to counteract the bad, so the enemy scores a victory almost every day. In its zeal to get to the hot spots and report the latest bombing, the media is missing the reality of a greater good going on in Iraq. We seldom are seen doing anything right or positive in the news. People believe what they see, and what people of the world see almost on a daily basis is negative. How could they see it any other way? These images and stories, out of scale and context to the greater good going on over here, are just the sort of thing the terrorists are looking for. This focus on the enemy's successes strengthens his resolve and aids and abets his cause. It's the American image abroad that suffers in the end.
Friday, January 14, 2005
Whalen, a Wayne resident and Malvern Prep graduate, was with the 1st Marine Division that seized Saddam Hussein's palace in Tikrit in 2003. His division shared the field with 'ABC World News Tonight' reporter Bob Woodruff; while Whalen grew to enjoy his company, even speaking with him after the soldier returned from Iraq, he does have a bone to pick with the media.
Whalen's contention is that news anchors have spent too little time on the armed forces' accomplishments in the war-torn country.
'Twelve people getting killed by a bomb sells more than building a water-pumping station in Iraq,' Whalen said.
The military's accomplishments were the backbone of his speech. Marines in the 1st Division, Whalen said, helped rebuild five schools and a community center, four water-pumping stations, five regional hospitals and two dams.
'When I left Iraq I felt very good about what we had done,' he told a crowd that included a group of students from Octorara High School's Model UN team, 'knowing that Saddam Hussein was gone.'"
Thursday, January 13, 2005
In months of travels with the American military, I have learned that the smaller the American footprint and the less notice it draws from the international media, the more effective is the operation. One good soldier-diplomat in a place like Mongolia can accomplish miracles. A few hundred Green Berets in Colombia and the Philippines can be adequate force multipliers. Ten thousand troops, as in Afghanistan, can tread water. And 130,000, as in Iraq, constitutes a mess that nobody wants to repeat--regardless of one's position on the war.
....... The American military now has the most thankless task of any military in the history of warfare: to provide the security armature for an emerging global civilization that, the more it matures--with its own mass media and governing structures--the less credit and sympathy it will grant to the very troops who have risked and, indeed, given their lives for it. And as the thunderous roar of a global cosmopolitan press corps gets louder--demanding the application of abstract principles of universal justice that, sadly, are often neither practical nor necessarily synonymous with American national interest--the smaller and more low-key our deployments will become. In the future, military glory will come down to shadowy, page-three skirmishes around the globe, which the armed services will quietly celebrate among their own subculture.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
K-k-r-r-BOOM. An explosion went off right where they had all been gathering. It was dead center of where the guys had disappeared.
“Ramrod 18, Red 6. That shit was right on. Fire for effect. Fire for effect!”
“Roger. 20 rounds. Observe effects.”
“Holy shit. 20 rounds? That’s gonna be bigger than the barrage.”
K-k-r-r-BOOM. K-k-r-r-BOOM. K-k-r-r-BOOM.
“Oh SHIT! Look at that! No WAY that just happened.” I was in shock.
Explosions went up 5 to 10 stories. Huge grey clouds shot upwards. It looked like volcanoes were erupting. But that wasn't what shocked me. On top of the explosions, bodies were thrown straight up into the sky. It wasn’t like the movies at all, where the explosion goes off and the guy is airborne, flailing his arms and legs. It looked like a child threw some action figures straight up in the sky. They didn’t flail at all. They just went straight up end over end and bloomed outwards like the petals of a flower blooming in fast-forward on the Discovery Channel. It was unreal. Each explosion sent up 3, 4, or 5 terrorists up into the sky.
K-k-r-r-BOOM. K-k-r-r-BOOM. K-k-r-r-BOOM. It was the funniest thing we had ever seen. It was also unreal. You never expect to see bodies do that. So when you see it, it feels surreal
Monday, January 10, 2005
Missed Opportunities? The December 1994 Air France Hijacking
Missed Opportunities? The December 1994 Air France Hijackingtime info by CT experts. A must read site for your continuing education.The Counterterrorism Blog
Today's News & Columns
- Why Syria Backs Iraqi Terrorists (column)
- Insurgents Using Bigger Bombs; Zarqawi Group Claims Killing of Deputy Baghdad Police Chief
- Internal U.N. Audits Ignite Debate Over U.N. Oversight of Program to Alleviate Sanctions on Iraqis
- U.S.: Bin Laden Could Be in Afghanistan
- Circle Squared - Iran, Iraq, Syria (column)
"' Our (company commander) told us to go find where the mortars were coming from and take them out so we went back out,' remembered Hancock. 'We moved south some more and linked up with the rear elements of our first platoon. Then we got up on a building and scanned across the river. We looked out of the spot scope and saw about three to five insurgents manning a 120mm mortar tube. We got the coordinates for their position and set up a fire mission. We decided that when the rounds came in that I would engage them with the sniper rifle. We got the splash and there were two standing up looking right at us. One had a black (outfit) on. I shot and he dropped. Right in front of him another got up on his knees looking to try and find out where we were so I dropped him too. After that our mortars just hammered the position, so we moved around in on them.'
The subsequent fire for effect landed right on the insurgent mortar position.
'We adjusted right about fifty yards where there were two other insurgents in a small house on the other side of the position,' said Flowers. 'There was some brush between them and the next nearest building about 400 yards south of where they were at and we were about 1,000 yards from them so I guess they thought we could not spot them. Some grunts were nearby with binoculars but they could not see them, plus they are not trained in detailed observation the way we are. We know what to look for such as target indicators and things that are not easy to see.'
Hancock and Flowers then scanned several areas that they expected fire from, but the enemy mortars had silenced.
'After we had called in indirect fire and after all the adjustments from our mortars, I got the final 8-digit grid coordinates for the enemy mortar position, looked at our own position using GPS and figured out the distance to the targets we dropped to be 1,050 yards,' said Flowers with a grin. 'This time we were killing terrorism from more than 1,000 yards.'
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Iraqi boy assists Soldiers as an interpreter and a friend
MOSUL, Iraq – If the Army had an adopt-a-child program, Logan would be the poster child. For more than a year, the 13-year-old boy, who contends he’s 13 and a half, has lived and worked with Coalition forces at a forward operating base in Mosul. The boy speaks four languages and his official title at the FOB is translator and supervisor, but he is a Soldier at heart.
“I love American Soldiers. I want to help them in every way possible, because without them we (Iraqis) would have nothing,” said Logan, who also speaks Turkish, Arabic and Kurdish and is currently learning Spanish. “When Saddam ruled Iraq, he would kill somebody for speaking English or Kurdish. Things were very bad, but now we are much happier and I can speak all my languages freely.”
Not a day goes by that Logan doesn’t use his four languages. At the FOB, he helps Soldiers with more than 50 workers, who maintain buildings, electricity and plumbing.
“It would be very difficult to do my job without Logan. Some of the workers only speak Kurdish, Turkish or Arabic. Rather than having a translator for each group, Logan can talk to all of them,” said Staff Sgt. Phillip Powers, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the contracted workers on the FOB. “We tell him what we need done and then he supervises the workers on the project. Sometimes you forget he’s just a kid because he’s telling grown men what to do.”
In Iraq for 365: Logan, Iraqi Boy Wonder
Saturday, January 08, 2005
From The Convoginators
Today I played Taps for another memorial service for a great young soldier who lost his life serving his country and making Iraq a better place for it's people. I did not know the soldier, but his commander and platoon leader gave a very good glimpse of this commendable young man. He was simple, short on words, always ready for a mission, not known to gripe, and when attacked by the enemy had the reputation of being first to lay down suppressive fire and maintain a calm demeanor in danger. Not unlike many other great soldiers in our nation's history, he will be sorely missed by those who knew him, and he will be missed in a society that desperately needs more people that have such an unselfish attitude towards serving a greater good.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Called The Art in War, the show of 40 color photographs reveals not only the chaos and upheaval of a country at war but also the intensely personal responses of a Marine who observes the grim profession of war with the eye of an artist.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
January 4th, 2005
I am not writing to quarrel with your judgment about the war in Iraq. Rather, I am writing to protest your attitude toward the war. And the point I want to make is this: sometimes, you have to choose between proving yourself to have been right, or helping make a project succeed despite your opposition to it.
Since all our tempers are running hot, it might be best to illustrate my point with a non-political example: Imagine that a husband and wife are planning their vacation. One wants to spend it on the beach at Puerto Vallarta, and the other wants to go traipsing around Europe’s battlefields. They cannot do both, and it makes no sense to try and split the difference geographically by spending two weeks in, say, Baltimore. So one spouse wins, and the other loses. If you are the winner, it’s a good idea to avoid gloating. But if you are the loser, you have a very difficult choice to make. You can prove yourself to have been right by making the vacation as miserable as possible – by whining about the food, the weather, the lack of a DSL line in your hotel room, and by generally being a pill. Or, you can recognize that the vacation isn’t nearly as important as the marriage itself – in which case you swallow your defeat gracefully, look cheerful even if you aren’t, and do whatever you can to make the vacation a success. If it’s a disaster anyway – well, next time your spouse may take your advice. But if you give it your best shot despite your misgivings, you will at least preserve the marriage. And – I speak from experience – it’s even possible the vacation itself will turn out better than you had expected.
It’s the same in politics. When a policy is adopted that you don’t like, sometimes – not always, but sometimes -- you must choose between fighting it in hopes of proving you were right, or pitching in to make it work, despite your misgivings, for the good of the country.
Now, let’s talk about the war in Iraq.
Jolting Islam Forward
Simply put, Iraq has become the focal point of the entire war on terrorism. That’s because President Bush’s strategy for winning the war, in addition to fighting al Qaeda terrorists wherever we can find them, is to spread democracy itself throughout the Middle East. More precisely, his strategy is to create conditions in that part of the world that will trigger an Islamic revolution whose objective is to jolt Islam itself from the Seventh Century into the Twenty-first Century. In other words, we want Islam to do what Judaism and Christianity did centuries ago: namely, to reconcile with the modern world. If this actually happens in Iraq, the President believes, it will crack political ice throughout the region and trigger a chain reaction that will spread to other countries. And as the President sees it, only if democracy takes root in the Middle East will the threat of terrorism subside and will it be possible to finally end the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Now, you may be among those who believe that the President’s strategy is absurd – that there isn’t the slightest possibility of Islam reconciling with the modern world and of democracy taking root in the Middle East. Or, you may believe that the strategy is plausible, but that the President has made an historic mistake by choosing Iraq as the first Mideast country in which to make it work. Or, you may believe that it can be done in Iraq, but that we have gone about it badly, for instance by not putting enough troops on the ground in that country to overcome the Baathists and the non-Iraqi terrorists who are fighting now to prevent the upcoming elections from succeeding.
In the end, history will prove you right – or wrong. But as of today, we simply don’t know how things will turn out in Iraq. Read the last sentence again, slowly, because it really is the heart of the issue. We are in the middle of a war and no one – absolutely no one – knows whether we will win or lose it.
What we do know for sure is this: our chances for success in Iraq will be greater if we all pull together to make it work. But if we fail in Iraq, the catastrophe of our defeat will spread beyond the Middle East and around the world. It will be taken as a huge victory for al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and all those who support them, including Iran and North Korea, and the result will be a barrage of terrorist acts the likes of which the world has never seen, and which will place us all in mortal danger.
The Last Freedom
And this means you must choose. Is it more important to you that you be proven to have been right, or that our country survives? And yes, the choice really is this simple. The fact is, we have gone to war in Iraq and the President who set this course has just been re-elected. That’s why it isn’t your judgment now that matters – history will settle that in its own time – but your attitude. And I mean this in the deepest, most personal sense. In his great memoir of survival in a Nazi concentration camp, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote that
“everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
To put it bluntly, your attitude stinks. You are so determined to be proven right that you are unhelpful at best, and at worst you are actively working to insure our defeat.
I am not suggesting that all politics be stopped, or that our democracy be suspended for the duration. Rather, I am suggesting that you recognize how much we are all at risk, and that right now you focus your energy, your experience, and your expertise on helping us to win. So, if you are a Washington big-shot, instead of complaining about the Army’s shortage of truck armor, get on the phone to the Pentagon’s bureaucrats or to the manufacturers and push them to boost production however they can. Instead of prattling on and on about the insufficient number of US troops in Iraq, call your colleagues and counterparts in governments around the world and urge them to send as many soldiers as they can. Instead of whining that the upcoming elections in Iraq will be flawed – which is obvious, for crying out loud -- do whatever you can to make these elections a visible success. And if you are just an ordinary American who believes the President has made a terrible mistake, keep in mind that while you have every right to demonstrate against the war these demonstrations play directly into our enemies’ hands.
Demoralizing Our Enemies
Your help, or your behavior, could make all the difference, not just in terms of practical assistance but in broader terms of showing our adversaries around the world that right now, despite our different judgments, Americans are united. This by itself would almost do as much to demoralize our enemies as the accomplishments of our wonderful Soldiers and Marines in the back alleys of Mosul or Falluja.
Don’t tell me that you cannot change your attitude, or that it’s your right and solemn duty as the loyal opposition to oppose the President however you can. The War on Terrorism isn’t just another Bush Administration initiative, like the No Child Left Behind program or his proposal to reform the structure of Social Security. In this war, our very existence hangs in the balance, and national unity is more important than political advantage -- or personal ambition. We are all in this together, as Americans, and we must all do whatever we can to help make the President’s policy work, whether we like that policy or not.
And if you think that asking you to change your attitude is asking too much, give a moment’s thought to what we are asking of the Iraqi people. After all, the President’s entire policy rests on a change of attitude within the world of Islam itself. We are asking the Iraqis, and others in the Middle East, to abandon their tribal, if-you-win-then-I-must-lose way of thinking; to shift from oppressing other ethnic groups to co-operating with them; to move from totalitarianism to democracy. In short, we are asking them to make a mental leap from the Middle Ages to the modern world – fast.
That’s a huge change in attitude to ask for, and the very least that you can do would be to set a good example.
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. His DVD on The Siege of Western Civilization (www.siegeofwesternciv.com) has become an international best-seller.
Herbert E. Meyer
The American Thinker
Monday, January 03, 2005
"Thompson called out to the solitary figure: "We are Americans. We are Marines." He announced the Marines' presence because rules of engagement barred firing on unarmed civilians.Tallahassee Democrat | 01/02/2005 | Local Marine honored with Bronze Star
A split-second after Thompson spoke, he heard a distinct, metallic "click."
"The man on the boulder racked (cocked) an AK-47," Spangler said, "and opened fire."
Thompson put a shotgun blast in the man's chest before being struck in the thigh and groin by a ricocheting round. Spangler also fired and hit the suspected Taliban member. The man fell, blood-spattered and lifeless.
The ridge above them erupted in gunfire. The distinctive chatter of AK-47s and the boom of rocket-propelled grenades split the night air.
Thompson, who was knocked backward behind Spangler, cried out, "I've been hit." He told the Marines to "get the enemy."
Spangler remembers the flashes and the explosions and the smell of gunpowder. His sense of time was distorted by violence and adrenaline.
Payne jumped out and opened fire, trying to protect Thompson. "A minute later, I heard Payne say 'Ow ... I've been hit,'" Spangler said.
Spejcher rushed out, grabbed Payne's radio microphone and shouted "received contact, two casualties." He grabbed Payne under the arms and dragged him toward cover.
That frantic message got through. Eight miles away, other members of their platoon jumped into the vehicles and headed toward their embattled comrades.
But Spangler and the other scouts did not realize the call for help had been heard.
Spangler also didn't know that a heartbeat after the message was sent, a rocket-propelled grenade struck Payne in the chest and exploded, killing him and wounding the medic.
Spangler saw enemy combatants moving down the hill toward his left. With Thompson wounded and Payne silent, Spangler took charge of the scout squad.
As the Marines returned fire, things went from bad to worse. Rounds from the grenade launcher being fired by the medic took their toll, but it was apparent the machine gun was useless.
"It probably was damaged in the fall, and we didn't know it," Thompson said later.
Then one of the M-16s jammed.
"So here I am in this firefight, down to about 70 rounds and the only Marine left with a working weapon," Spangler said.
He returned fire carefully, remembering the deadly mantra: "One shot, one kill."
Two enemy combatants appeared on the same rock where the first man had been moments earlier. Spangler tossed a grenade. The ground shook, the explosion deafened him momentarily. That was the second time in his life he had thrown a grenade."
Naseer Flayih Hasan
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 3, 2005
We did believe, however, that democracy and human rights were important factors in Western civilization. So it came as a shock to us when millions of people began demonstrating across the world against
s build-up to the invasion of our country. We supposed the protests were by people who had no idea about the terrible atrocities that the regime had inflicted upon us for decades. We assumed that once they learned what had happened in America , they would change their minds, or modify their opposition to the war. Iraq
My first clue that this would not happen was a few weeks after
fell. I had befriended a French reporter who had begun to realize that the situation in Baghdad was not how the international media or the so-called peace camp described it. I noticed, however, that whenever he tried to voice his doubts to colleagues, they argued that he was wrong. Soon afterwards, I met a Dutch woman on Iraq Mutinabi Street, where booksellers lay out their wares on Friday morning. I asked her how long shed been in and, through a translator, she answered, Three months. Iraq
So you were here during the war?
Yes! she said. To see the crimes of the Americans!
I was stunned. After a moment, I replied, What about the crimes of the regime? It killed millions of Iraqis. Do you know that if the regime was still in power, the conversation were having now would result in our torture or death?
Her face turned red and she angrily responded, Soon will come the day that the Americans will do worse. She then went on to accuse me of not knowing what the true facts were in
and that she could see the situation better than me! Iraq
She was not the only humanitarian who expressed such outrageous opinions. One afternoon, I was speaking to some members of the American anti-war group Voices in the Wilderness. One of the groups members declared that the Iraqi Governing Council (then in power at the time) were traitors. I was shocked. Most of the Council were people whom we Iraqis knew had suffered and sacrificed in a long struggle against the regime. Some represented opposition parties who had lost ten of thousand of members in that struggle. Others came from families who had lost up to 30 loved ones to the Baathists.
After those, and many other, experiences, we finally comprehended how little we had in common with these peace activists who constantly decried American crimes, and hated to listen to us talk about the terrible long nightmare that ended with the collapse of the regime. We came to understand how these humanitarians experienced a sort of pleasure when terrorists or former remnants of the regime created destruction in Iraqjust so they could feel that they were right, and the Americans wrong!
Worse, we realized it was hopeless to make them grasp our feelings. We believedand still believe--that
s removal of the regime opened a new way for democracy. America
This was very disappointing for someone like me, who thought for decades that the Left was generally the progressive power in the world. You can imagine how aghast I was when my French reporter friend told me that the Communist Party in his country actually considers the insurgents to be the equivalent of the French Gaullists!
Or "Michael Moore's Minute Men" continue on to Front Page website the entire article needs to be read....
Sunday, January 02, 2005
Must these Muslim communities adapt to fit into Europe?
The question, indeed the challenge, is not so much one of adapting Islam to our European society but of adapting our society to Islam. Discriminatory attitudes against the Muslim community increase Muslim frustration and harden the resolve of certain groups who turn to radicalism. The challenge for us is to create a framework in which Muslims may be integrated into our society as fairly as possible. Most European states use public money to fund religious groups yet Islamic groups very rarely actually receives such money. European mentalities and bureaucracies need to change. In Belgium, for example, Muslim groups cannot receive public funds because the authorities do not acknowledge them as representative bodies.
caf� babel, European current affairs magazine : comment and analysis from Europe
"CAIR's role in the events of September 11, 2001, from the second amended class action complaint, filed today:
86. Council on American Islamic Relations and CAIR Canada (collectively, CAIR), have aided, abetted, and materially sponsored and al Qaeda and international terrorism. CAIR is an outgrowth of the Hamas front group the Islamic Association of Palestine. The FBI's former associate director in charge of Investigative and Counter-Intelligence Operations described the Islamic Association of Palestine as an organization that has directly supported Hamas military goals and is a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants. It has produced videotapes that are very hate-filled, full of vehement propaganda. It is an organization that has supported direct confrontation.
87. CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism. These organizations play a unique role in the terrorist network. They emanate from the notorious HAMAS terrorist organization and like so many of the terrorism facilitating charities named and indicted by the United States government they are engaged in fund raising under the guise of assisting humanitarian causes they are, in reality, a key player in international terrorism. The unique role played by CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to manipulate the legal systems of the United States and Canada in a manner that allows them to silence critics, analysts, commentators, media organizations, and government officials by leveling false charges of discrimination, libel, slander and defamation. In addition, both organizations have actively sought to hamper governmental anti-terrorism efforts by direct propaganda activities aimed at police, first-responders, and intelligence agencies through so-called sensitivity training. Their goal is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities.
88. The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Whabbi-based [Wahhabi-based, DP] Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual "shock troops" of Islamic terrorism. In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb, and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States. The role played by these entities is an absolutely essential part of the mix of forces arrayed against the United States as they help soften-up targeted countries so as to facilitate and enhance the likelihood for a successful attack."
CAIR Named as a Defendant in 9/11 Terror Lawsuit [Weblog] - Daniel Pipes
Saturday, January 01, 2005
FrontPage magazine.com :: Love, Poverty and War by Jamie Glazov: