Monday, January 29, 2007

"Terrorism: The World's Greatest Threat,"

 WHO:    Three Former Terrorists
 WHERE:    University of Michigan
                   Rackham Auditorium
                   915 East Washington Street 
                   Ann Arbor, Michigan
  WHEN:   Tuesday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m.
    Zachariah Anani, a former terrorist-militant and refugee from Lebanon,
will join two other former terrorists, Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem for
"Terrorism: The World's Greatest Threat," a presentation at the University
of Michigan on Tuesday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m.
All three former terrorists risk their lives daily to relay their
important message. See: Recently, Anani has been
targeted by Islamist groups because he lives near the event. These groups
have mounted a public witch hunt against him.

Prior to the highly publicized controversy surrounding his recent talk
at the Campbell Church in Windsor, Ontario, (across the border from
Detroit), Anani received death threats warning him against speaking at the
The controversy at the church in Windsor is a reaction to billboards
placed in the Detroit Metro area, which advertise his participation in the
university event.
Walid Shoebat believes that the extremists who are trying to stop
Anani's freedom of speech are also seeking to stifle the important
education Anani and his colleagues have to offer on terrorism.

"In order to understand the negative affects of narcotics, reformed
drug addicts are often called upon to talk about their experiences," says
Shoebat. "It is the same situation here. Three former terrorists are
educating the world on the phenomenon of terrorism, so that people can
The event is free and open to the public.
For directions go to:
Walid Shoebat is the author of "Why I left Jihad." His new book, "Why
We Want To Kill You!" will be released in February. See:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Antiwar Movement, Spread Too Thin, Forced to Consider Draft

WASHINGTON – After a bare few thousand protesters showed up in Washington on Saturday for an antiwar rally promising a turnout of hundreds of thousands, the movement’s leaders are being forced to admit that its aging personnel are spread too thin, not gaining new recruits, and are being sent into demonstrations inadequately equipped with outdated slogans and incoherent political concepts. Sources close to antiwar leaders confirm discussions with key Congressional Democrats about restoring the movement to Vietnam-era levels by instituting an antiwar draft.

The low turnout on Saturday is a dramatic reminder that today’s activists, kept busy demonstrating for Palestinian rights, homosexual rights, partial-birth abortion, the Kyoto treaty, and military intervention in Darfur, have completely failed to win over the hearts and minds of young, protest-age Americans, who view them as a nuisance and would rather watch American Idol.

“How can we have a self-respecting Vietnam-style antiwar movement if the nation isn’t prepared for sacrifices?” complained one peace-movement strategist. “Is it too much to ask that more of the nation’s young people be forced to serve on the front lines of the peace movement? If they’re in college they’re already used to being pushed around by their professors, and if they aren’t in college they’re probably too stupid to get real jobs anyway—even the Army won’t take them—so they may as well be forced to join us. I think that’s a small price to pay for being born into a nation that’s the world’s worst terrorist state, and an international pariah.”

Representative Charlie Rangel, who stayed away from the rally, responded to questions at his office about a possible antiwar draft, saying that the new Congress would not rush into any decisions, but would not take it off the table. He agrees in principle that the country needs greater sacrifices wrung from it in addition to higher taxes, and being drafted into the ranks of the antiwar movement would be one solution.

“We all know that only poor people without any other choices join the Army,” Rangel explained, “so it makes sense that the privileged, educated brats who are getting the world handed to them on a platter need to have their choices taken away, too. If the American people think they're going to see one of their own kids on TV walking around dressed up like Uncle Sam on stilts, they'll think twice about going to war."

Critics of the antiwar movement’s strategy have long contended that its leaders rushed into opposition to the war in Iraq with faulty intelligence, and with too few committed protesters. Even while coalition forces in Iraq stubbornly continue to kill and capture terrorist insurgents, the number of news-grabbing antiwar publicity stunts has fallen to all-time lows. At one point, Cindy Sheehan was the lone representative of the movement, yet the monthly number of her ejections from public events has dropped nearly 50% from ejections of only one year ago.

Actor Tim Robbins admitted that the antiwar movement has been straining to meet its commitments. “Susan and I (referring to wife, Susan Sarandon) do as much as we can, but our busy schedules as Hollywood actors mean we have to appear only at those events where the amount of press attention, quality of cameras, and proper lighting are guaranteed to show the best possible side of our message.”

Sean Penn agrees with Robbins, pointing out that celebrities have been required to return repeatedly to the spotlight since the invasion of Iraq to solve difficult problems of war, famine, and injustice, including Penn’s recent heroic intervention in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Penn's wife was at the rally, brandished a sign that said “Send My Husband Home."

Even if the antiwar movement weren’t failing to meet projected recruitment goals, leaders would still be leery of a surge of new, untested protesters out on the streets, where they become easy targets for pro-war TV commentators who ridicule them for their shallow reasoning and overall lack of seriousness.

Critics have also noted how protesters lack training, and are sent out with only poor-quality equipment.

Protester Seagull Spoonerman, 59, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, felt that this rally was the least effective one he has attended in his long, antiwar career. “Just look at this sign they gave me,” he said, indicating where he had flung it onto the pavement. “It’s talking about ’Hey, Hey, LBJ!’ I mean, c’mon, we all know this is Nixon’s war!”

But organizer Julia Wungtott thought that criticism of the signs was unfair. Says Wungtott, “We couldn’t know that all our ‘Saddam Was Innocent!’ signs would become obsolete before we could get enough ‘Saddam Was Murdered!’ signs printed. You go to war protests with the equipment you’ve got.”

Schuyler Van Potz, 22, a student at Brown University, and a veteran of at least three violent rallies protesting the World Trade Organization, also was unimpressed by Saturday’s turnout. “I’ve been here since, like, last night, and I’ve only had like, maybe two, or maybe three chances to hook up, and like one of these totally old ladies keeps texting me. She’s like a hundred year old! It’s like, Jane! Dude! Lose the helmet and maybe find some guy your own age.”

Even local police were unimpressed, encountering only one act of suspected civil disobedience, when 300 protesters trespassed on the grounds of the US Capitol, shouting “Our Congress,” and, “We want a tour,” and trying to force their way into a side door. Subsequent investigations indicated the gang—consisting mostly of AARP members—really did just want a tour, thinking they may return with their grandchildren during summer vacation. Others reportedly just wanted to use the rest rooms.

Longtime peace activist Melody Cowsill resists calls to draft more and younger protesters into the movement. “The all-volunteer peace movement we have right now includes some of the smartest, best-educated, and most ideologically committed protesters we’ve ever had,” she said. “More than half of them have PhDs, and almost 90% of them have defaulted on multiple student loans.”

With such a diverse and often contradictory set of issues to protest, the peace movement is stretched to the breaking point. Organizers such as Wungtott and Cowsill are stung by accusations that they never should have started protesting the war in Iraq at all, as it only shifted focus off the movements’ protests of the war in Afghanistan.

But Cowsill takes heart when she thinks of how the Baathist insurgents and Al Qaeda in Iraq have stepped up to push the democracy in Saddam’s former dictatorship to the brink of failure.

As she gazes out over the lines of people on the Capitol Mall waiting to use the Porta-Potties, she says, “America has elected us to take the country in a new direction, and with any luck, what we did for the poor country of Vietnam, we will do next for the poor country of Iraq.”

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Minneapolis Dog Fight

It may not be a well-know fact about Muslims that they believe dogs make MUslim men religiously unclean, or at least their saliva, but as every dog owner knows, if you’ve got a dog, you’ve got the saliva. As a result, Muslims aren't crazy about dogs. Here in Dearborn the lack of barking dogs doesn’t make Muslim neighborhoods noticeably quieter, as there are still plenty of tricked out SUVs going up and down with their bass boosters thumping, and lots of tooting horns in the streets by way of saying howdy do.

The recently-discovered initiative by Muslim cabbies at the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport who've been refusing passengers carrying alcohol (also disliked intensely by the Prophet) also includes cabbies saying no to passengers with dogs.

And not just little foo-foos in leopard-skin purses, but service dogs, the kind that blind folks and some other disabled people depend on to get around.

The problem with refusing to let Leader Dogs ride is that refusing to reasonably accommodate disabled persons is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and perhaps state law in Minnesota as well—and reasonable accommodations have always been understood to include allowing service dogs into banks, restaurants, buses, cabs, and onto elevators, Even before the ADA or other disabilities-rights laws, the accommodation of service dogs was widely recognized by Americans just as a commonsense mandate of decency.

So, in the spirit of having pushed the envelope on this one as far as its going to stretch, CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper, (whose vision for America includes the eventual imposition of sharia law), has issued a fatwa pronouncing that, “In the case of guide dogs, the need to accommodate handicapped individuals should outweigh the discomfort Muslims might feel in having dogs in their vehicles.”

Hooper’s fatwa was a counter-fatwa to the 2006 one from Muslim American Society of Minnesota putting the Metropolitan Airport Commission on notice that Muslim taxi drivers are forbidden from carrying passengers with alcohol so as to avoid “cooperating in sin according to Islam.” (And speaking of separation of church and state, what do you want to bet there was no Christmas crèche on airport property last year?)

As it is, the Muslim cabbies have been getting away with this discrimination for several years, it taking national publicity to get the airport commissioners to bestir themsleves. All this time airport authorities could have investigated passenger complaints and suspended the licenses of cabbies known to be breaking the law, but I’m sure they hated the thought of tangling with Muslim leaders over it. It's just easier to ignore the rights of passengers complaining about being refused cab service on airport property.

Hooper says there can be a compromise. But if by “compromise,” he means that Muslim cabbies will continue to be allowed to disobey the ADA and refuse passengers with guide dogs, I don’t think that will happen. Nor will the Muslim cabbies get themselves a class-dispensation from the ADA based upon their religious prejudices against dog saliva and wine bottles.

Being a cab driver is a licensed privilege, and cab drivers have a duty not to refuse passengers for discriminatory reasons. If you can’t hack that (pun intended), find another line of work. The airport commission has the licensing authority, and will be liable for damages in discrimination lawsuits from disabilities-rights groups if they continue licensing cabbies who intentionally discriminate. Who knows, maybe even the duty-free shops may want in on those suits, too, since they’re the ones selling the packaged spirits.

CAIR’s rare willingness to “compromise” is a sign that Hooper knows he’s on the losing side on this one. Yes, the commissioners have turned a blind eye (no pun intended) to the abuse before now, but I think what’s really driving this are the commission's risk managers screaming about the municipality's lawsuit exposure.

But isn't the real lesson here that this flagrant abuse of the law tolerated for years by the airport authorities would never have been addressed if the issue hadn’t attracted national press attention?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

‘Senator, You Are No Jack Kennedy.’

Ted Kennedy was on Meet the Press on Sunday, balancing, (maybe overbalancing) John McCain’s segment explaining his support of the President’s strategy for fighting the war in Iraq.

The following are excerpts from Kennedy’s remarks, defending his party’s near-unanimous decision to slouch eventually to Vietnam-style de-funding of the Iraq war.

“And I must say, if we have a president that is going to effectively defy the American people, going to defy the generals, defy the majority of the Congress of the United States in Republicans and Democrats, then we, I think, have a responsibility to, to end the funding for that—for the war.”….

“If that is going to be the case. I hope that that is not the case. But if that is going to be the case, if the president is going to defy the military leaders, the American public, and a bipartisan is going to be contemptuous of those actions, I think we have a constitutional duty, a constitutional duty to take those steps.”….

“As I mentioned before, you’re going to have the generals, the American people and others that are going to be opposed. But at the end of the day, we can—we are a constitutional democracy. All power is not just with the executive. We have a power in the Congress as well. And if this president’s going to defy the military, the public and a bipartisan majority in the Congress, then we have a responsibility….”

At which point I must apologize for the truncated quotation, but Senator Kennedy hopelessly digressed mid-sentence to another talking point entirely.

To sum up Senator Kennedy’s reasoning, the President of the United States has to do whatever the generals, “the American people,” and “the majority of the Congress” tell him he has to do. If he doesn’t, Congress has a “constitutional duty” to cut off funding for the war.

Senator Kennedy surely understands that, under our Constitution, civilian control of the military is a mandate, and the President is the civilian Commander in Chief, and owes no duty to obey the directions of any generals or any other military leaders. As a Constitutional entity, a general doesn’t even exist, except to take orders from the Commander in Chief. One would expect, and I myself prefer, an executive who understands leadership as making decisions based upon principles, and not hiding behind the second-guessing of his generals.

Of course, when Kennedy refers—as we see he did repeatedly—to the “generals”—he is referring to the generals and military leaders who agree with the Democratic party view of the Iraq war, and wants to create the image of a unanimous body of military experts who are chanting “Get out now”. By no means are the majority of the generals saying this, and most of what Congressional leaders have quoted actual generals as having said about the war, have consistently been almost the opposite of what those generals have actually said.

Senator Kennedy also ought to understand that, when he protests that we are a “constitutional democracy,” (whereas he must mean we are a constitutional republic), that does not mean that “the American people” are a Constitutional entity whose instructions to the executive branch can be discerned through opinion polls or, God forbid, presumptuous press-conference summaries by the likes of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi about what “the American people want.”

Rather, the people speak through their elected representative, which, in this context, does indeed mean the US Congress.

But that said, people need to bear in mind that, as of today, every time Congress has spoken on the Iraq war before now, it has agreed with the President and voted its approval that he should go to war in Iraq, continue fighting the war in Iraq, and finish the war in Iraq. The President has never defied Congress. Just because he doesn’t collapse when the opinions of the American people collapse, or when his craven political enemies do a 180 on their own former votes and speeches, doesn't make him defiant of the Congress. It only makes him a leader worthy of his office. (For a leader not worthy of the office, see Jimmy Carter).

On the other hand, the nation has now saddled itself with a new Congress solemnly committed to defying the Executive branch on the Iraq war. Democratic senators and representatives who voted to authorize the war are renouncing their votes, as if that makes any difference to the historical existence of what they voted for and why. Comparison of the pre- and post-war rhetoric of all of these folks is among the best-documented examples of hypocrisy in recorded history. Even Republicans are getting diarrhea and trotting along from fear of their misinformed constituencies. (This is one reason we don’t want a President who takes his orders directly from Congress and the "American public").

No matter. The President is standing firm, as are many of his generals, and the vast majority of the fighting men and women who are actually doing the fighting in Iraq.

That will leave the Democratic Congress no choice than either to temper their opposition to the war, or try to cut off funding. It is unimaginable that they could muster the courage, or the wisdom, to do the former. Out of unmitigated hatred for George W. Bush they have created the anti-war monster, and now must feed it with something or face being gobbled up in its maws themselves.

Ted Kennedy’s older brother, on ascending to the presidency, famously declared, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Compare that with Ted Kennedy’s policy towards the struggling democracy in Iraq, (or as it is known to staffers by its pet name, “Kennedy to Iraq: Drop Dead!”) For that matter, compare it with JFK's ability to speak:

“We should help them. And the best way to help them is to de-escalate. I’ve listened to my friend and colleague, Senator McCain, say “Well, we don’t—the Democrats don’t have a policy.” We haven’t tried a policy of de-escalation. They all say, “Look, let’s just have escalation, let’s have surge, let’s increase. Because if we don’t, we haven’t got a policy.” The fact remains, as we heard from General Abizaid before the Armed Services Committee, after consultation with the General Dempsey and military officials, that they didn’t believe that they had any additional troops. They thought that this would increase the cycle of violence. They point out that we’re a further crutch for the Iraqi government. Let’s have a—the policy that we haven’t tried, which is de-escalation. That’s a policy which I believe then will require the Iraqi government to assume responsibility for their security, rather than now sending additional troops which will be an additional crutch for the Iraqi government in delaying their judgment decision in order to take the security.”

Alas. So much for bearing any burden, paying any price, and supporting any friend for the survival of liberty. Vive le de-escalation!

All President Bush needs for his spot in history is to stick by his principles. On this issue, he has never once wavered. This doesn’t mean he’ll win in the end. Nor that we’ll win in Iraq. Congress can simply vote to ruin it all, as they did once before in Vietnam, with Ted Kennedy’s substantial contributions.

But no matter what happens now, these Democrats were doomed to lose from the day they made their compact together to set sail on this foolish course--set sail in a ship without any rudder.

Nasrallah: We Always Thought He Was a Tool

If Hezbollah is the Party of God, Allah must really hate Lebanon.

As noted earlier here, Hezbollah has been staging a public camp-in near the Lebanese Parliament as part of its strategy to topple the Saniora government. When that didn’t work after nearly two months, Hezbollah called for its supporters to engage in a “general strike.” A strike implies public workers withholding their labor to illustrate to the general public what important jobs they do, and how much they would miss the buses, or the taxis, or the subways. The Lebanese learned about general strikes from their one-time colonizers, the French, who engage in general strikes whenever some segment of the French workforce has reached a breaking-point of ill-treatment--say, about every two weeks.

In this case, Hezbollah’s minions are mostly unemployed and don’t provide Lebanon any services, unless you consider having someone firing RPGs at Israeli gunships from your driveway a service. So because the would-be strikers weren’t doing anything but increasing Beirut’s sanitation problems, the next nearest thing to striking would be to burn tires, block roads into and out of the city, fight with police, and make sure there were a lot of injuries and some fatalities, which there were. Unlike its European counterpart, this sort of “general strike” is designed to make the public realize how much they miss streets that aren’t blocked by violent mobs, and air that isn’t choked with the stench of burning rubber. Like all undemocratic initiatives in the Middle East, success isn't meant to be gained by persuasion or even direct violence, but by slow, steady, unrelenting annoyance of the dominant population. The nicer media coverage always refers to Hezbollah in this situation as “the opposition” to the Saniora government, as if mob violence is just one more form of parliamentary procedure. The harsher coverage goes so far as to call it a “protest.” It is neither. It is a slow-motion coup.

Whether Nasrallah actually has a plan that involves months of Hezbollah squatting in Beirut, intermixed with gradually more violent outbursts, or whether he’s making it all up as he goes along, really doesn’t matter. All that matters is his object, which is the installation of a Hezbollah government that will reduce Lebanon to an Iranian satellite. It is likely his Iranian handlers have restrained him from a traditional armed coup because it will make Iran—whose hand up Nasrallah’s backside goes unnoticed by only the most doctrinaire Israel-haters—look worse when they’re trying to dodge out from under international sanctions for their crash bomb-building program.

Nasrallah’s pattern in his Beirut campaign has been to engage in some low-level violence, (that is, low-level for the Middle East), and then threaten the legitimate government with something worse if his demands aren’t met. First the Hezbollah members of Parliament boycotted the government. Then Nasrallah ordered mass street protests. Then someone came up with the bright idea of throwing up a tent city in downtown Beirut. Nasrallah’s plan was to stay there (or make his supporters stay there), “more or less until we eventually impose by our peaceful, civilized and democratic means the toppling of an illegitimate and unconstitutional government."

Could Nasrallah really be so oblivious to the inner conflict between “peaceful, civilized, and democratic means,” and mass street demonstrations, toppling governments and imposing one’s own by means of progressively more violent means? Or is he just paying the lip-service to “democracy” that the media and European intellectuals need so they can later rationalize a coup as an unlooked-for popular eruption climaxing Hezbollah’s patient requests for a seat at the table? Did I mention that the Hezbollah MPs already walked out of Parliament?

So far Saniora has met every one of Nasrallah’s threats with defiance, including the phony general strike on Tuesday. Late on Tuesday Hezbollah “lifted country-wide roadblocks but threatened ‘more effective’ measures if the government refused to meet its demands.”

(One bright spot is that Hezbollah's threatened "general strike" didn't deter Saniora from traveling to Paris, whereas heads of state who feel a coup is imminent usually would not dare leaving the country).

The Lebanese government is limited right now in its ability to respond with force to the mob in Beirut because so much of it army is tied up in southern Lebanon making sure Hezbollah down there doesn’t provoke another war with Israel.

The media, ever-helpful, reports many of the facts of what's happening, then draws completely unrelated conclusions, such as that Tuesday's street violence was a “glimpse of how quickly the confrontation between Saniora’s government and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies could spiral out of control, enflame tensions among Sunnis, Shiites and Christians and throw Lebanon into deeper turmoil.” Except tracing the causes of all this back to tensions among Sunnis, Shiites and Christians makes no sense, when it is clearly a staged challenge by Hezbollah of Lebanon’s elected government. Yes, there are tensions among all Lebanon’s numerous religious groups, but that has nothing to do with Tuesday's unrest. As soon as Hezbollah’s goon squads took their burning tires back to their tents, everybody immediately went back to their normal activities, i.e., back to work and school. Does that sound as if ordinary Lebanese are enflamed over religious differences?

When the war with Israel ended, it was with no thanks to Hezbollah. The Party of God was prepared to fight to the last civilian life, and conducted its operations to bring down maximum destruction on the Lebanese population just so it could make Israel look bad. Only Israel’s agreement to withdraw and abide by a cease-fire ended the war, a cease-fire by which Hezbollah very publicly refused to be bound. Once the IDF was safely over the border, up from his hole like a prairie dog popped Nasrallah, barking about how many Qassam rockets he still had left, and how he’d beaten Israel after all.

Even Hezbollah’s former secretary-general Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufeili isn’t buying that, complaining bitterly that Hezbollah’s abduction of the Israeli soldiers was “an unsuccessful adventure,” and a pretty stupid one at that. He also said that Hezbollah these days is nothing more than a “tool” of Iran leading Lebanon into a civil war for no higher purpose than to accomplish Tehran’s regional goals at Lebanon’s expense. (Well, that was always the case. But this is Hezbollah’s own secretary-general saying it now.)

Lebanon is now in need of money and stability to rebuild and recover from the war damage brought on by Hezbollah’s unprovoked war against Israel. Still, it has to commit military and other resources just to hedge against trouble-making in both the south and in Beirut caused not by Israel, nor by warring religious sectarians, nor any other internal or external enemy, but by Hezbollah. No one, even those who are most virulently propagating it, buys the lie that Lebanon’s biggest threat is Israel. No one seriously claims that the ancient “tensions” between Lebanon’s numerous religious sects are a significant threat to political stability right now, except where those tensions are being enflamed deliberately by Hezbollah.

Right now, Lebanon’s biggest threat is Hezbollah, a “tool” in the hands of Iran and Syria.

Why are so many of Dearborn’s Lebanese committed to this organization?

Monday, January 22, 2007

La Shish Owner Sought as Deadbeat Dad

Detroit News columnist Laura Berman, who has been wringing her hands on behalf of women’s issues at that once-great newspaper as far back as I can remember, is chagrined that federal fugitive and Hezbollah money-launderer Talal Chahine is not being made to pay child-support on behalf of his illegitimate daughter, Aliyah.

Ms. Berman writes that Chahine dated the child’s mother, Wendy Whitelaw, while he “was between two marriages,” and the result was Aliyah, now 7. When Chahine absconded last year in advance of arrest for tax evasion and fraud, he apparently failed to make provisions to continue the $1800 monthly support and additional condo payments he agreed to pay his baby mama in lieu of court-ordered child support. Now that he’s no longer sending checks, she is now living back with her parents in St. Clair Shores, struggling along on food stamps and Medicaid.

Ms. Berman frames the story of Ms. Whitelaw as that of a single mother victimized by yet one more deadbeat dad. Ms. Berman is particularly displeased that Chahine left owing “$20 million in back taxes,” while the restaurant chain he had to abandon is still making scads of money, and yet “no government entity has tried to help Whitelaw get help for her daughter -- not the Macomb County Friend of the Court, not the state attorney general and not the U.S. Attorney's Office.” Ms. Berman stopped short of blaming President Bush, but we all know that goes without saying.

(By the strangest coincidence, $20 million was the amount of the bond ordered when another of Chanine’s offspring, Khalil Chahine, (this one produced “between divorces”), was being held in the Wayne County Jail on charges he had murdered romantic rival Paul Hallis in Dearborn in May 2004. Dad didn’t pony up his son's bond, either, and he hadn’t even fled to southern Lebanon at the time. It turned out not to matter, as Khalil was convicted of second degree murder and sent to prison.)

Anyway, Ms. Berman manages to look past the whole Hezbollah money-laundering angle at work in the Chahine saga to the real story of a single mother struggling somewhere whom society needs to feel collectively responsible for. As she sizes things up, there simply must be “a way to get Chahine to pay for shoes, books and a place for a 7-year-old girl to live out of $20 million, and leave plenty for taxes. If anyone cares to try.”

Ms. Berman seems to have misunderstood that $20 million wasn’t the amount of taxes Chahine owed, but the amount of profits he funneled to Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to the federal indictment that caused Chahine to take to his heels last year.

She also seems to have missed, even though the facts are contained right there within her own column, that, as long as Chahine remains in Lebanon beyond the reach of the law, there is no way to make him do anything, even if you’re the Macomb County Friend of the Court.

Without a doubt the whole situation is unfair to Aliyah and her mother. But is it more unfair than the countless other cases where single mothers and their children face reduced circumstances and struggle because fathers are dead, in prison, absconded, disabled, drunk, or run off with their gay lovers to be consecrated as bishops of the Episcopal Church?

And, considering how son Khalil and Chahine’s second wife turned out, (she’s his ex-wife now, and in the joint, too), the young girl may be better off growing up away from the old man and the unseemly influence of La Shish.

Still, if Ms. Berman really feels she has to challenge “anyone who cares to try” about helping mother and daughter, she should forget about the IRS and the feds—who don’t have Chahine’s money, anyway--and start calling around Dearborn to some of the local Hezbollah supporters. They may even be holding a Hezbollah fundraiser this weekend on some pretext or other at the Bint Jubail Center.

Who knows if they may not arrange to get Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (known locally here in Dearborn as “Our Leader” ), to send a generous chunk of that $20 million back to help out the mother and child of one of their devoted soldiers?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dinesh D’Souza on ‘The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11’

“The Islamic radicals and the American left are polar opposites in the kind of society they want. One wants sharia and the other wants a libertine society with abortion on demand and gay marriage. And yet, the two have a common interest in defeating Bush’s war on terror…. Basically the left hates Bush more than it hates Bin Laden. Bin Laden is a foreign threat, but Bush is a domestic threat. In the last couple of decades the left-wing agenda has become increasingly dominated by social and sexual concerns. So who threatens abortion rights in America? Not Bin Laden, Bush. Who is blocking gay marriage? Not Al Qaeda, Bush’s court appointees. While Bin Laden wants sharia in Baghdad, Bush and the religious right are, in the leftist view, trying to impose sharia in Boston. Consequently the left is quite willing to ally with the lesser evil, the Islamic radicals, in order to defeat the greater evil, Bush and the conservatives.”

Read the rest of the interview at

D'Souza also took part in a Q&A with NRO, which you can read here.

I expect D’Souza is going to get some criticism from other opponents of Jihad, (on Friday I heard Robert Spencer express great displeasure with the book), because D’Souza says he believes the majority of Muslims would be open to making common cause with social conservatives. D’Souza suggests to the NRO that “they’re not asking us to live like them. They’re asking us not to attack their religion, which conservatives do with depressing regularity.”

Personally, I think they do want us to live like them, though it is true they are not asking us to live like them.

But I could not agree more with D’Souza’s statement quoted above, that the left has made common cause with Islamic radicals because “the left hates Bush more than it hates Bin Laden” As a matter of fact, I was working on a similar idea myself, in a slightly altered version, before I ran across the interviews with D’Souza.

In my version of the hypothesis, the left hates Bush--not more than they hate Bin Laden--but more than they love their country. This enables them to defend, or even engage in, objectively treacherous activities without running afoul of their undoubtedly genuine affection for the land of their birth. They are in no way guilty of treason, because the object of their activities is not bringing harm to country, but bringing harm to the Bush administration. And, as almost every Democrat and virtually every member of the media on 7 continents will tell you, George W. Bush is the focus of evil in the modern world. You can provide al the examples you want of the ruthlessness of Islamic Jihadists: Bush is so much worse!

Commenting last summer on Peter Beinart’s [former editor of New Republic] book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, had this related observation on how the “McGovern revolution” in the Democratic party still has not yet run its course, and was still energizing the destructive partisan hatred that prevents liberals from being able to govern:

“If anything, the intensity of partisan anger against the person and the policies of the president seems to grow and grow. To speak of “our president” or of “our foreign policy” or even of “our troops” is to invite outraged reaction. What Peter Beinart knows, and yet, perhaps admirably, refuses to accept is that many of those whom he is trying to persuade have somewhere along the way decided that this is not their country. Which is not to say that they are not patriotic, but they are patriots of another America – an America of their preferences, an America at peace, an America without enemies.”

Will 'Walid' End Up Saving Jack Bauer?

Here's an interesting point of view on what in past seasons has been a great show, from our sister blog, Right Truth:

"24" Silences CAIR

The television series "24" is loved by viewers because the plots are realistic and could actually happen here in the United States. I've often wondered why Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has not come out against "24". Now my friend Glen Reinsford, editor of The Religion of Peace website and author of the book Age of Tolerance tells all in an article at Family Security Matters (emphasis mine):

Two years ago, CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) threw an infamous tantrum over the Fox television drama, “24”, even before the season began, describing the portrayal of Muslims as terrorists to be “shocking”, “insensitive”, “offensive”, “heart-sinking” and “hurtful.” The so-called civil rights organization (which feels no need to denounce the Islamic Republic of Sudan for sponsoring the real-life genocide of hundreds of thousands of black Africans in the name of Jihad) organized protests over the television show and asked its members to watch “24” solely for the purpose of pressuring Fox afterwards.

On Thursday (three days after the second episode of the new season aired), CAIR posted an article from the Boston Herald which constituted its first public remarks on the current “24” script. The article describes the show as “exciting television”, and even quotes CAIR spokesperson, Rabiah Ahmed implying that it is “a good show and good drama”, although he does go on to say that he has “concerns,” given that Muslims are still being portrayed as terrorists.

The contrast between the two reactions is all the more striking considering that CAIR’s original complaint two seasons ago concerned a terrorist sleeper cell disguised as a normal Muslim family. The Washington-based organization apparently feared that Americans - only three years removed at the time from the mass murder of 3,000 innocent citizens by real Muslims - would suddenly devolve into raging bigots if they saw a Muslim terrorist portrayed in a fictional television series. (Either that, or CAIR just wanted to feel relevant… you decide.)

Yet, the first four hours of the new season have delved even deeper into the theme of typical Muslim neighbors concealing dark intentions. In the new plot, a progressive American family goes to bat for their Muslim neighbors, who are being harassed by stereotypical bigots (the kind that everyone is sure exists, but no one seems to know personally). In a surprising plot twist, one of the Muslim neighbors actually does turn out to be a terrorist, and the non-Muslim family pays dearly for their generosity by being held hostage so that the father will be forced into delivering a nuclear device component (he is eventually killed).

So why isn’t CAIR in volcanic eruption mode again this year? Did the lead character in the series, Jack Bauer, convert to Islam, or did the “24” producers find some other way of CAIR-proofing their product?

For now, it’s the latter.

In what will probably become the model for future dramas looking to sprinkle a small dose of reality in amidst all the neo-Nazis, East European villains, and lethal corporate CEOs that dominate prime time and the box office, Fox has realized that keeping CAIR relatively quiet means balancing Islamic terror with Islamic fiction.

In this case, the writers injected into the plot an imaginary organization called IAA - Islamic-American Alliance - a self-described civil rights advocacy group dedicated to the narrow interests of Muslim-Americans. Now that has a familiar ring to it, eh?
Yes, but then things go Hollywood in a big way.

In the script, the head of CAIR… pardon… the head of IAA is an upstanding, patriotic Muslim named "Walid" who is hounded and even physically assaulted by federal agents, yet never wavers in his remarkable loyalty to "American values.” Inevitably, he winds up incarcerated along with fellow Muslims ...

Yet, so honorable is Walid that when he overhears fellow Muslims plotting to harm Americans, he elects to stay incarcerated in order to learn more about the plot and perhaps stop the extremists from doing harm to his beloved United States. (Unlike his real-life counterparts, Walid's rhetoric of religious tolerance is something other than a self-serving tool of convenience.) As an added bonus, the writers have also given Walid a hot, young American girlfriend (although, to be fair, she is also a lawyer). The unexpected kiss between the two probably has Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director of CAIR, rubbing a dab of Rogaine into his scalp while winking at the mirror and saying, "You old devil, you!"

Obviously, this over-the-top fantasy is what the network feels is necessary to keep CAIR from busting another hemorrhoid, but at this rate CAIR may need to trade in that Preparation H for a case of Chap Stick. How long before Fox starts referring to Ahmed Bedier as 'His Excellency' and replaces Brit Hume with Steve "no god but Allah" Centanni?

Back in the real world, despite all of those curious ties to terror supporters, there doesn't seem to be an actual case of CAIR preventing a terror attack or even providing authorities with a single security tip. In fact, the organization declines to acknowledge and denounce over 99 percent of deadly Islamic violence, and its contribution to the War on Terror thus far has been effectively to fuel anti-American passion on the part of Muslims while making it harder for security officials to do their jobs.

Certainly, there are decent and loyal Muslim citizens in Western countries who would tip off authorities in a heartbeat if they knew of a plot to kill in the name of their religion. And, of course, there have also been many in the Muslim world who paid the ultimate price battling Islamic extremism long before America got involved in the fight. Honoring these patriots in the media and in fiction is perfectly appropriate, even if it does mean digging up John Galt on occasion and draping him in a galabeya….

But please don’t slap a CAIR sticker on the collar on this invention. Self-consumed peddlers of grievance and group identity deserve neither honor nor appeasement – even if it does buy their silence for the time being.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

CAIR - 40, Northwest Airlines - 0

As discussed here yesterday, CAIR-Michigan's Dawud Walid and Imam al Qazwini have taken a principled stand that, when Pilgrims returning from the Hajj show up late for an international flight, hadn't checked in, and lack boarding passes, it is anti-Muslim profiling to refuse to hold up a planeload of passengers while getting it all sorted out. CAIR and Qazwini demanded compensation and an apology.

Northwest Airlines, which 24 hours ago had taken the perfectly correct stance of denying any wrongdoing, has today collapsed, apologized, and made an open-ended offer of compensation, thus restoring my low opinion of that organization. More important, it snatched a defeat for the airline industry, (and airline security), from the jaws of victory already won by USAir when they stood up to the 6 imams in Minnesota.

Northwest spokesman Dean Breest continues to state that Northwest did nothing wrong, but unfortunately that statement comes attached to the airline's sincerely apologizing for any inconvenience. Only the apology matters now. That, and the offer of compensation. Only $150 a piece for the transfer fees for catching late flights home, but the amount doesn't matter.

According to the Detroit News, because the 40 passengers were late, allowing them to board would have meant delaying the flight, and "the complications encountered were so significant that the flight would have been delayed for too long -- complicating scheduled departures as well as other connecting flights at Detroit Metropolitan Airport." This is only common sense.

Rather than inconvenience hundreds if not thousands of other passengers on connecting flights, (many of them other Muslims trying to get home from the Hajj, including all the Muslims already on the Frankfurt plane), it's better to require the 40 tardy passengers to catch a later flight. Andrea Newman, a senior VP at Northwest, is hoping that CAIR will be more understanding. "We try very hard to make sure that everyone is treated the same, and this is an important community to Northwest, as are all communities." She must not be familiar with CAIR. This isn't about being treated the same. It's about being treated better.

One of the world's largest airlines has just signaled CAIR and every other aggressive opportunist Islamic organization that reverse profiling--special disregard of the rules for Middle-Eastern looking passengers--is now company policy, enforceable at the cost of apologies and financial compensation.

No one really believes this has anything to do with profiling, starting with Imam Qazwini. It has to do with successfully winning special rights for Muslims.

It is one of the smaller injustices of life: you find yourself strapped into your seat, after obediently arriving at the airport 2 hours early, and only finally allowed to board your plane after an unexplained delay, now to find yourself and your fellow passengers sitting on the runway going nowhere for 45 minutes. You probably are all waiting for the arrival of an extremely late passenger, who somehow was granted a flight delay. Next time that happens to you, try to get a look when the straggler finally comes aboard. If he is dressed in Islamic clerical robes and wearing a satisfied smile, say hello to Imam Qazwini.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Imam Qazwini speaks on behalf of 40 Dearborn Pilgrims (sounds much nicer than Muslim doesn’t it?) requesting apologies and compensation from Northwest Airlines. The Pilgrims returning from their Hajj, failed to arrive at the gate at the required 60 minutes prior to departure.

They called for Northwest to apologize, compensate them, and discipline the employees they said profiled them. "Otherwise," Al-Qazwini said, "if Northwest will not do that, then probably we have to call all Muslim organizations to encourage Muslims from not flying on Northwest.” With tens of thousands of Muslim customers, Northwest could be hurt financially by such a boycott, Al-Qazwini suggested, adding that "I hope Northwest will be wiser."

Michigan CAIR leader, Dawud Walid wants to offer us education about Islam and says he prefers education over litigation. Well done Mr. Walid, I am sure I am learning my lessons.

Apparently now, any enforcement of safety rules for those of the Islamic faith is considered profiling. And profiling we all know, is racism.

This is what I have learned:

* When Muslims fail to obey safety rules and regulations it is because those who are enforcing
the rules are racist? No, that doesn’t make sense.

* OK, when Muslims break a rule or fail to show up at the airport gate within the required
time it is because of a language barrier. They are exempt from the consequences of their
failure to follow rules and be on time. Because somehow, if we enforce the consequence on a Muslims it is profiling and that is racism.

So they can’t suffer any consequence of their own mistakes. We will have to suffer the
consequence for them. Gee, that’s pretty twisted.

* If we don’t compensate them and promise never to do it again – we are racist? I ’m sorry
but, these lessons are just too tricky. I don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept – so sue me!

* I have added the word “Pilgrim” to my lexicon of Islam propaganda. If they repeat the word often enough (it is quoted 5 times) its purpose will take affect and g arner sympathy from us for their cause – which now sounds very patriotic.

I will remember next Thanksgiving to be especially thankful the Mayflower pilgrims arrived on time for their special voyage and did not have to suffer the same bad treatment. This saved them the time and money of having to sue the Virginia Company – whew!

I ’m sorry but, these lessons are just too tricky. I don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept and I find myself humming the tune “Another Brick In The Wall” from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” 1979.

“We don't need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom”
The Wall, Pink Floyd 1979

Check out this link from Debbie Schlussel regarding the Dearborn Pilgrims.

Hometown Boys

Debbie Schlussel has this link (here) with some background information on Dearborn’s ESL (English Second Language classes) truants. While the MSM has dismissed the incident calling it a miscommunication, Debbie Schlussel dug a little deeper into their backgrounds. The youths said they were treated horribly just because of their Arab names. They provide no explanation regarding why they lied to the port guard about the two men hiding in the cab. They also don’t mention the apparent lack of required documents to enter the port. Nope, only reason was because of their Arab names. They have obviously been too busy to attend ESL (English as Second Language) classes. Debbie gives us some ideas on how they might have been spending their time.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

CAIR Exploits Dearborn Vandalism

We at Dearborn Underground send our warmest congratulations to all of Dearborn’s and Detroit’s Iraqis on the recent dispatch of Saddam Hussein.

According to some recent press accounts, there was some vandalism along Warren Avenue in Detroit last week, probably related to the street celebrations by some Iraqi Shias:

“Sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone vandalized at least nine businesses and three mosques, all but one Shi'ite, according to Ali Zwen, manager of the Kufa Cultural Forum, a mosque at Warren and Archdale that sustained $4,000 in damage.

“Detroit police have not made an arrest for the vandalism that occurred between Greenfield and a few blocks west of the Southfield Freeway. Most of the area's businesses with Arabic script on their signs were undamaged.

“Many of the spared businesses are owned by Iraqi-American Christians, Lebanese Americans and others with Middle Eastern roots. The evidence is largely circumstantial that Shi'ites were targeted, but some of the victims say it is too coincidental.”

Immediately, Dearborn’s own CAIR spokesman, Dawud Walid, commenced a shuttle diplomacy tour up and down Warren, meeting with Sunni and Shi’ite leaders to urge unity and calm. A follow-up report next day in the Detroit Free Press said,

“As Iraqi-American Shi'ites seethed over the trashing of several of their businesses and mosques in Detroit over the weekend, leaders in the Shi'ite and Sunni sects of Islam worked Tuesday to try to defuse animosity between the two sides that has existed for years but was amplified with the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in December.”

It seems elementary enough. Dearborn is home to many Iraqis, and some of the Sunni Iraqis were upset enough about the Shi’ite celebration of Saddam’s hanging that a tiny group made some threats and committed some vandalism. Though I harbor no sympathy for any of the late dictator’s supporters, (in fact, Mrs. Clancy and I were eyewitness participants in some of the local celebrations), I understand the emotions of seeing one’s enemies getting the upper hand. For instance, last November Mrs. Clancy had to intervene forcefully to keep me from breaking out the windows of the nearest Starbuck’s, an institution I identify closely with the politics of Nancy Pelosi. Regardless, the situation between the Sunnis and Shia never escalated beyond vandalism, and no one was injured.

But where CAIR and the usual Muslim spokesmen are concerned, even Muslim-on-Muslim violence is best explained as persecution of Arabs by non-Muslims. Dawud Walid used the press attention over this vandalism to repeat his unending demands for government investigations and hate-crime prosecutions.

"’We're going to call on the federal authorities to investigate this because this is pure hate to attack a house of worship,’ Walid said. ‘Our community has been under siege since 9/11.’”

Walid has a capacity for non sequiturs that a Wellesley co-ed would kill for. That’s what enables him to connect up what were almost certainly acts of Sunni vandalism of a Shi’ite mosque as but one more example of the “siege” against the Arab community by America’s non-Muslims. In his view, even vandalism should be a federal case. “’No matter where the road leads, there should be prosecution,’ he said.” No matter where? Isn’t this how Mike Nifong got into so much trouble?

Similarly, Osama Siblani, the publisher of the Arab-American News, was quoted as saying, “I don't believe it's the Arab community that has done this.” The article doesn’t say why he doesn’t believe it, nor whom he believes really did do it, if not other Muslims.

Imad Hamad, director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee's regional office, also wondered how the vandalism could be an example of Muslim-on-Muslim vandalism, when “we’ve never witnessed a retaliation” in Detroit’s Middle East community before. I’m not sure if that statement is completely accurate, but then again, there have been so damned few executions of Middle Eastern dictators it’s hard to make a comparison. Maybe we can hang al Sadr and give the Sunnis a chance to pass out some candy.

I don’t think it really matters to Hamad or Walid who broke those windows last week. Whether it was intra-Muslim retaliation or not, they aren’t going to let it shake their focus on the big picture, which is that Arab Muslims are “under siege” and victims of daily persecution by—me!, that is, any non-Muslim, non-Arab American. That's right, we're all potential persecutors these days! What else would possess Hamad to say something as ludicrous as, “’During a time like this, people are likely to target Iraqi Americans, who should report all threats to police.’”

The viciousness of a statement like that is beyond telling, though its lack of logic is self-evident enough.

By way of targeting Iraqi Americans in response to Saddam's execution, Mrs. Clancy and I drove over to east Dearborn that night and stood around for a while amidst a throng of some very happy Arabs. Mrs. Clancy even took a few photos, but that was the extent of our aiming anything at Iraqi Americans, that, and our sincerest best wishes. If anyone reported us to the police for targeting Iraqi Americans, we weren’t aware of it, and there were certainly plenty of Detroit and Dearborn cops around, mostly directing traffic, and all wearing their relaxed, Tigers-won-the-pennant faces.

It isn’t that Hamad, Walid, and Siblani are always crying wolf just to get attention. It’s that the Muslim-as-victim scheme they require to give them something to be in charge of requires a scheme to create victimizers, too, even if the accused victimizers are innocent.

How prosaic and ineffective it feels to write, simply, that there is no “siege” against the Arab community in Dearborn, not since 9/11, nor ever. The very suggestion is an insult to every resident of the area, Arab, Muslim, or non-Muslim.

And this kind of inflammatory rhetoric isn't helping anybody.

CAIR's Got Friends in High Places

Andrew C. McCarthy of NRO Online has something quite interesting to report on the cozy relationship between the TSA and CAIR:

"As if snuggling up to CAIR, coercing our law-enforcement and intelligence professionals to endure CAIR’s Islamic 'sensitivity training,' and inviting CAIR to weigh in on our nation’s foreign policy were not enough, we now have a Bush-administration agency publishing an unedited CAIR press release on publicly subsidized, official government Internet space.

"In this instance, right under TSA’s emblem and a memorial banner depicting the late President Gerald R. Ford, Americans were treated to a news announcement beneath the big blue headline, 'CAIR Welcomes TSA Hajj Sensitivity Training.' If you have the stomach for it, compare this TSA posting to the official CAIR press release from which it cribbed. They are identical."

Read about it here.

It Must all Depend on Whose Theocracy Is Being Gored

Credit to Standfast at One Eternal Day for the following example of separation of church and state, Democratic style:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Theocracy looming

Is this sort of thing only OK when it's about Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama, or Harold Ford, or, in this case, Jennifer Granholm, the governor of Michigan? How would the press report the story if the religious service were celebrating the election of a conservative? Surely this is clear evidence of an impending theocracy:

GRAND RAPIDS -- In a rousing three-hour gospel service, 1,400 worshippers praised Gov. Jennifer Granholm as a leader anointed by God to lead the state into a new era of justice and prosperity.

At an inaugural prayer service, preachers compared her to the biblical heroine Esther, a Persian queen who saved her fellow Jews from slaughter.

Granholm may be God's instrument to help save the state from unemployment, poorly funded schools and other evils, ministers said in the packed service at Renaissance Church of God in Christ, 1001 33rd St. SE.

"Governor, I don't believe it was an accident. I believe it was the providence of God that you as a modern-day Esther were called to the throne at a time like this," said Bishop Nathaniel Wells II, head of the Church of God in Christ denomination in West Michigan.

The Rev. William Wyne, of Battle Creek, said she may even be a "modern-day Mary of Nazareth, who will give birth to a fresh vision, a fresh hope, a fresh renewal for all people in Michigan."

Read the rest here.