Should Dick Cheney run in 2012?
Short answer; no. His well known heart problems would kill any chances of success. I seriously doubt questions about his health could ever be put to rest no matter how many doctors swore he was fit. Beyond that, there is no doubt that Cheney would make a great president. He would be the "Anti-Obama," possessing qualities exactly the opposite of our current president while outshining him in wisdom and fortitude.Leaving the health issue aside, could he win the nomination? Jon Meacham of Newsweek takes a serious look at why Cheney would be a good candidate:Why? Because Cheney is a man of conviction, has a record on which he can be judged, and whatever the result, there could be no ambiguity about the will of the people. The best way to settle arguments is by having what we used to call full and frank exchanges about the issues, and then voting.
A contest between Dick Cheney and Barack Obama would offer us a bracing referendum on competing visions. One of the problems with governance since the election of Bill Clinton has been the resolute refusal of the opposition party (the GOP from 1993 to 2001, the Democrats from 2001 to 2009, and now the GOP again in the Obama years) to concede that the president, by virtue of his victory, has a mandate to take the country in a given direction. A Cheney victory would mean that America preferred a vigorous unilateralism to President Obama's unapologetic multilateralism, and vice versa.
Three years out, the GOP field does not offer a putative nominee. When Gallup polled on the Republican race for 2012, it asked about Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and Haley Barbour (Huckabee won, with Romney and Palin tying for second among Republicans who were asked whom they would consider voting for). Cheney covers all the ground these folks do, and then some. (After Liz Cheney's remark on Fox News, a flood of subsequent e-mails asked her, "Where do I sign up?")
Meacham doesn't mention the health issue, and he makes some backhanded points about why Cheney should run. But there is little doubt that a Cheney trial balloon would set the GOP to talking and serious people would consider contributing time and money to his campaign.I don't think it likely at all. But who knows what condition the country will be in come 2012 and what kind of a president the American people will be looking for?You just never know in politics.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
“This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.”
-- The great climate change science scandal
Climategate: 'The stones cry out'
The extraordinary revelation of Climategate through the alternative media the world over raises provocative questions about the health of Western notions of truth, science, and intellectual freedom . Jonathan Leake, writing in the UK's Times Online, offers a balanced overview of the scandal and this fascinating point regarding the chronology of the "breaking" of the story:
It was a powerful and controversial mix - far too powerful for some. Real Climate is a website designed for scientists who share Jones's belief in man-made climate change.
Within hours the file had been stripped from the site.Several hours later, however, it reappeared - this time on an obscure Russian server. Soon it had been copied to a host of other servers, first in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and then Europe and America.
What's more, the anonymous poster was determined not to be stymied again. He or she posted comments on climate-sceptic blogs, detailing a dozen of the best emails and offering web links to the rest. Jones's statistical tricks were now public property.
Note carefully the fact that this modern shot heard round the world first found a point of entry through Russia, then Saudi Arabia, and then Turkey - next Europe, and lastly the United States. In other words, the traditionally supposed intellectual freedom and free speech climate of the West was "stoney ground" in comparison to the accessibility of outlets under the more repressive regimes of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Perhaps the greater story is the truth itself - and its indomitable will to reveal itself through even the most unlikely of conduits and efforts of even one individual arrayed against a worldwide apparatus of dishonesty. Jesus, in Luke 19:40, when admonished to silence the truth, made a startling claim about the geological record that collided with accepted scientific notions in His day:
And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
It would appear that the repression of truth in the scientic community and the MSM in the west has indeed caused "the stones to cry out."
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Last August a report was issued by the Southern Policy Law Center, “Return of the Militias,” warning of an alarming resurgence of the militia groups of the 1990s. “All it's lacking is a spark,” reported one law enforcement agency. “I think it's only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”
Back in August the SPLC supplemented its report with an article calling right-wing militias the number-one domestic threat. According to the SPLC, the militia movement “is steeped in paranoia and infused with a boiling rage against President Obama”:
“The Department of Homeland Security has recently warned that right-wing extremists such as these militias currently pose the No. 1 threat of domestic terrorism.” (“Right-Wing Militias Currently the #1 Domestic Terror Threat”).Except there haven’t been any threats and violence from militia groups that I’ve heard, or nothing that’s big enough to surface to national attention. (Nothing, say, comparable to Fort Hood, or even comparable to the shootout with Imam Abdullah).
And Janet Napolitano ended up having to apologize to military veterans for the unfortunate wording in her Homeland Security report that the SPLC relied so much on.
Then last summer the media tried, tried hard, to portray millions of tea-party goers as unhinged homicidal mobs, except all that video of chipper church groups picking up their own litter kept clashing with the Jaws soundtrack.
And yet here it is late November and the AP is tossing the militia story out there again, with no additional material to explain what makes it news again. (“Militia movements rise up nationwide”).
Today's AP story repeats that, since Obama's election, there’s been a resurgence of militia activity by white guys who can’t process having a black man in charge.
At least 50 new right-wing militia groups have been identified by the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization.And you know what shocking details we end up with to illustrate this? A where-is-he-now story about an over-the-hill Norm Olson, the former Michigan Militia guy who's now moved to Alaska, He doesn't come across sounding like the center of any "Perfect Storm" of militia violence. He gets along with his new neighbors. His property isn't a "compound." Olson says he's 63 and too old for grunting through the woods. "I'm a flag waver. That's really all I am today."
There is a violent edge to this movement. Lone wolves and small groups who are "embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center report.
Is Olson supposed to scare us? If I lived in his town I'd call him up and see if he minded bringing in our mail while we're away.
I ask you: Is this story really being re-launched now, with all the recycled, discredited exaggerations abouting boiling-hot racist right-wing extremist gun nuts, just to divert readers from the real threat of domestic Islamic terrorism?
Do they think we're that stupid? Really?
This captures perfectly the failure to tell any difference between jihadist terrorism as a war against us, or terrorism as a criminal act, like mortgage fraud or burglary or assault.
His headline is wrong. We don’t win when terrorists get equal justice--we win when they die, or give up. (And these guys don’t give up). We win when they lose. That’s how wars work.
Dickerson thinks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is entitled to Bill of Rights protections for criminal defendants just for being one of God’s children.
Except he isn’t entitled. KSM isn’t an American, for one thing, nor was he arrested on U.S. soil. And until a week ago Friday he was generally recognized as a foreign enemy combatant captured making war on us in violation of the laws of war. As far as the laws of war are concerned, we can detain him indefinitely until the war is over.
But Dickerson’s fighting the good fight, along with Obama and Holder, protecting our civil liberties from us, from the “masses,” especially from “critics, mostly on the right,” who would probably vote against the Bill of Rights if anyone was dumb enough to give us the chance.
Why is KSM coming to New York? For your own good.
Take, for instance, the notion that any person, no matter how heinous the crime he or she is accused of, should enjoy certain fundamental legal protections, such as the right to a public trial by a jury of ordinary Americans, or the right to cross-examine hostile witnesses.Is that why they’re under attack, for defending the proposition that “any person” is entitled to a public jury trial? And here I thought most of us were upset because Holder and Obama are trying to fight a war as if it's a criminal investigation.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his boss, President Barack Obama, are currently under attack for defending this very proposition.
As to those “fundamental legal protections,” I don't get why Dickerson isn’t defending that proposition on behalf of the other detainees, the ones who aren’t getting civil trials, but instead are being sent, by Holder, to military commissions, the same ones Dickerson sneers at as “secret military tribunals.” Don’t these terrorists qualify as “any person,” too?
Aren’t the bombers of the U.S.S. Cole entitled to their “fundamental legal protections,” too?
Didn’t Washington and his men freeze at Valley Forge to ensure all of our most deadly enemies get all of their rights, too?
Holder told the Senate hearing Wednesday that “those who attacked a civilian target on U.S. soil were being sent to a civilian federal court and those who attacked or plotted against military targets abroad were going before tribunals.”
Good luck making sense of that. Regardless, the fact of Holder and his boss endorsing the military tribunals for anyone ought to shut down for good the argument that, compared with criminal courtrooms, they’re little better than legal “black holes.” Dickerson recognizes only the false choice between KSM getting a jury trial in a civilian court, or being denied his Constitutional rights while America abandons her highest principles. The simple solution that he could stay, (or better yet, could have been allowed to complete his plea of guilty and gone off to execution), is never credited to us. Liberals prefer false choices. That way, if you don't support KSM’s “I’ll Take Manhattan” trial, you’re as good as saying you don’t want justice done at all.
Why can’t Dickerson recognize the contradicition of the other detainees going to military courts?
Because he doesn’t know there’s a war. In his mind KSM is a criminal. What has the armed forces got to do with it? Those military tribunals are just something Bush thought up to deprive criminal defendants of their rights.
Dickerson has no clue.
Dickerson is a smart guy who’s commented well on legal issues in the past. I almost never agree with him, but I used to be able to see his point. Lately, he’s drifted over the horizon. I wonder if this isn’t how “cognitive dissonance” affects your thinking after a while?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
You remember that she was convicted for acting as the Sheikh’s message-bearer to his jihadist colleagues in Egypt--a rather blatant violation of both the law, and her solemn oath as a lawyer that she would abide by the special measures that applied to her client on account of his high-security status.
You can read the background on it at (“When ‘Zealous Advocacy’ Crosses the Line”).
One of the judges on the three-judge Court of Appeals panel wrote an opinion concurring in part, and dissenting in part. Circuit Judge Walker disagreed with the majority for still being too easy on Stewart, even though they upheld her conviction and remanded her case for a sentence that actually reflects the seriousness of what she did. Walker's opinion includes this summary of her actions:
For two years, defendant Lynne Stewart, through artifice and deception, and despite sworn commitments to the contrary made to the government, carried out a criminal plan to transmit instructions from her imprisoned client, a terrorist leader, to his jihadist followers in the Middle East, including, ominously, his withdrawal of support for a fragile cease-fire in Egypt, an action that effectively sanctioned renewed terrorist attacks and indiscriminate loss of human life. The district court termed these deliberate and horrific crimes of terrorism, for which the Sentencing Guidelines recommended 30 years imprisonment, “extraordinarily severe criminal conduct.” And yet the district court imposed a breathtakingly low sentence of 2 1/3 years.Needless to say, the fact that Stewart’s representation of Rahman forced into concrete action her own contempt for her country, her profession, and (I’ll wager) herself, doesn’t reflect on all lawyers. In particular, I’m sure it doesn’t reflect on all those high-minded lawyers even now making their way to New York to try out for the KSM dream team. All of them, I’m sure, motivated only by reverence for America’s “highest ideals.”
And all of them way too smart to be manipulated by as purely evil a critter as any of them has ever encountered.
I’ll bet KSM can’t wait to meet them.
Speaking of Eric Holder, there's no one better qualified to discuss the administration's disastrous decision to bring KSM to New York than Andrew McCarthy. McCarthy was the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who put the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman in jail for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. McCarthy is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).
He wrote the following for National Review Online. I enjoyed hearing Senator John Kyl read from it at length to AG Holder at the senate hearing on Wednesday.
Holder’s friends in the al-Qaeda bar caused the trial delays he now criticizes.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Of all the infuriating aspects of the decision to transfer five 9/11 war criminals to civilian federal court, the one that grates most is the contention that the Obama administration is finally moving forward after “eight years of delay” — as Attorney General Eric Holder put it at his Friday press conference — during which the Bush administration managed to complete only three military-commission trials.
This is chutzpah writ large. The principal reason there were so few military trials is the tireless campaign conducted by leftist lawyers to derail military tribunals by challenging them in the courts. Many of those lawyers are now working for the Obama Justice Department. That includes Holder, whose firm, Covington & Burling, volunteered its services to at least 18 of America’s enemies in lawsuits they brought against the American people. (During 2007 alone, Covington contributed more than 3,000 hours of free, top-flight legal assistance to our enemy detainees.)
Almost from the moment President Bush authorized military commissions in 2001, this legion of litigators flooded the courts with habeas corpus petitions, contending that military detention and trials violated the Constitution, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the Geneva Conventions. In 2004, the al-Qaeda bar induced the Supreme Court, in Rasul v. Bush, to grant enemies a statutory habeas corpus right to challenge their military detention in civilian court. Congress tried to stop them by amending the habeas statute to divest the lower federal courts of jurisdiction in these lawsuits, but the al-Qaeda bar later persuaded the liberal bloc on the Court to ignore that amendment.
In 2006, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, our enemies’ lawyers persuaded the Court’s liberal bloc to invalidate the military commissions on the ground that they had been prescribed by the president rather than by Congress. This rationale was (a) disingenuous, because Congress had implicitly approved military tribunals in the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, (b) legally untenable, inasmuch as presidentially authorized commissions have a long history in the United States, and (c) practically pointless: Since Congress already had implicitly approved the commissions, it was no surprise when it then explicitly approved the commissions in the 2006 Military Commissions Act. In terms of delay, however, the damage was done. The military commissions that had been convened up to that point — and delayed by continuous litigation — had to be started all over again under the new congressionally authorized system.
As night follows day, the al-Qaeda bar immediately went to work attacking the new commission system. Simultaneously, the terrorists’ volunteer lawyers worked to undermine Congress’s narrowing of their statutory habeas corpus rights by claiming the combatants had a constitutional right to seek civilian federal court review of their military detention. In the disastrous 2008 Boumediene v. Bush decision, the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc again went along with the leftist lawyers for the enemy. Armed with that victory, the lawyers redoubled their efforts, using the new Boumediene ruling (which only applied to detention, not to commission trials) as a basis to argue, again, that the military-commission system was invalid.
It was well into 2008 when the lower courts finally ruled that Boumediene did not invalidate the commissions. At that point, in the eleventh hour of its second term, the Bush administration was able to push ahead and get some commissions done. In the interim, however, Boumediene meant that more than 200 detainee cases were dumped on the lower federal courts with no guidance about how to proceed.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey pleaded with Congress to enact rules to make the process more orderly, but Democrats turned a deaf ear. Like the al-Qaeda bar, they wanted to maximize due-process rights for the enemy but didn’t want to be held politically responsible for doing so. What better way to thread that needle than to sit on their hands while federal judges — who are insulated from voters — made up procedural rules as they went along? At the urging of the enemies’ lawyers, those judges are treating combatant-detention hearings as if they were full-blown trials and ordering the release of trained terrorists who should be detained.
It is mind-boggling that the delay in completing commission trials would be derided by Eric Holder, a lawyer whose firm is among those responsible for the litigation-driven delay that became a lawfare triumph for al-Qaeda. Holder and his comrades did everything they could do to undermine the commission system, both in legal motions and in public appearances accusing the Bush administration of torture, war crimes, and disregard for the legal rights of terrorists.
And exactly when would Holder have had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be tried? We did not gain custody of him until his capture by the Pakstanis in 2003. After that, years were taken to break him in our attempt to extract the full breadth of his knowledge of al-Qaeda’s players and plans, and to exploit that intelligence to save lives. KSM was submitted to a military commission in 2006 — shortly after Holder’s colleagues in the al-Qaeda bar got the commission system invalidated in Hamdan.
Yet, within two years (i.e., in less time than most civilian terrorism cases), KSM and four fellow war criminals stood ready to plead guilty and proceed to execution. But then the Obama administration blew into Washington. Want to talk about delay? Obama shut down the commission despite the jihadists’ efforts to conclude it by pleading guilty. Obama’s team permitted no movement on the case for eleven months and now has torpedoed a perfectly valid commission case — despite keeping the commission system for other cases — so that we can instead endure an incredibly expensive and burdensome civilian trial that will take years to complete.
How many years? Terrorists bombed the U.S. embassies in 1998. It took three years to bring four of them to trial. (There would have been a fifth, but the civilian system failed to detain him securely: He maimed a prison guard during an escape attempt and was never brought to trial for the bombings.) The embassy-bombing trial took seven months to complete and failed to result in death sentences for the two capital defendants. Guess when the appeal was decided? Just a few months ago — eleven years after the attacks and eight years after the trial. The convictions were upheld by the appellate court, so now we move on to the Supreme Court. Once that’s done, they’ll have a couple of years to relitigate their trial and sentences by filing habeas corpus motions.
But it’s good to hear we’re finally ending all this unseemly delay.
I see that while I was playing hooky, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi popped up in The Detroit News urging all of us not to “jump to conclusions” about Nidal Hasan. (“Faith and Policy: Don't jump to conclusions on Fort Hood shootings”).
Well, really he wants more than that we don’t jump to conclusions. He doesn’t want us to run, walk, Big Wheel, crawl, or glacially creep to conclusions, either. He doesn’t want us to reach any conclusion at all—especially the obvious one. When you get to the part of the problem where you’ve figured out 2 + 2 = X, you need to erase X, put down your chalk, go back to your seat and put your head down on your desk.
Elahi’s op-ed columns follow no traceable logic, just gurgling brooklike things running with non sequiturs and, frankly, bald-faced lies. This tactic makes counterargument impossible. For instance, things like this:
If reports about Hasan performing poorly, behaving strangely and doubting his interest in the job were true, then instead of blaming 1.5 billion Muslims and asking them all to apologize for what Hasan did, it is better to learn from this experience and give the right job to the right people and stop discriminating against the thousands of Muslim men and women in the military.
There simply is no response to a sentence like that, other than to put the paper down and go have a nice dinner.
Still, I can’t pass up remarking on a couple of his other nougaty observations.
Like when Elahi says that, proportional to Fort Hood’s total record of war deaths, Hasan’s jihad death-list is so small, it’s a wonder anyone even cares about it at all, let alone why Hasan killed them.
“Although 13 lives are a huge loss,” writes Elahi, “remember that the same base has already lost at least 545 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Okay, let’s all remember that, and we’ll even take his word for it on the number of Ft. Hood soldiers killed in battle. I don’t see how this puts us farther from the conclusion that Muslim violence is a deadly threat.
How many of the killers of those 545 Ft. Hood soldiers shouted “Allahu Akhbar!” while they were pulling the trigger or setting off the IED? Yelled it just like Hasan did, and for the same reasons.
You can’t minimize the tragic irony of how 13 soldiers were killed returning from a combat zone, to what should have been a safe, stateside army base. But they still died as soldiers killed in the same war we’re fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the same enemy.
Elahi also thinks he can strip Hasan of his jihad good-conduct medal by tut-tutting his last-minute lapse into unchastity: “Obviously he couldn't be both a devout Muslim and a frequenter of a local strip joint. Just saying God is great is not enough to make someone a perfect Muslim or Christian.”
To which I can only say, first, I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly that, obviously, shouting “Allahu Akhbar!” does not make one a perfect Christian. Not that there aren't some perfectly silly ecumenical types who are going to try it, anyway.
But this is just more of Elahi’s unlogic. Does someone have to prove Hasan was a “perfect Muslim” before we’re allowed to conclude that Hasan’s massacre was an act of jihad?
The question of whether or not a devout Muslim can get lap dances I leave to Islamic experts, and to the strip-club owners in east Dearborn.
The better question is whether or not there are mediocre, underachieving Muslims being told by their spiritual leaders that they might still qualify for those 72 wide-eyed lap dancers in Paradise, or, in the alternative, escape “the torments of the grave” in punishment for their sins, if they will only commit a single sanctifying act of homicidal jihad?
I was one of the few who watched the original Patrick McGoohan series when it first aired in the US way back when, before I even knew I was joining a “cult.” I still consider it the best television series I ever saw. (And before you ask, no I haven’t seen season three of Dog, The Bounty Hunter, so that didn’t factor in).
I still don’t know what I think about the new version. It did have some outstanding moments. Some stories require sinking in. When I first watched Blade Runner I hated it, but it eventually became one of my favorite movies.
I was disappointed in the ending of the new The Prisoner, but less disappointed the second time through, as the script was extremely subtle and I missed a lot the first time. I was also disappointed in the ending of the original series, for that matter, though it did depict Number 6's triumph over the Village.
It’s too easy to say that the new Prisoner is symbolic of this or that, or the writer had this or that in mind. But there was a notable scene where Number 6 asks a classroom of Village youngsters who is Number 1? He gets this memorized reply from an earnest pupil:
“There is no number 1, there never has been, and there never will be. The concept of the number 2 is an act of humility. The title reminds us all that we are all public servants.”I’m not saying that the writers of The Prisoner had our current events specifically in mind. Fiction doesn't work that way, or not good fiction. But if that answer doesn’t sound like President Obama all over.
Friday, November 20, 2009
“We are committed to protecting the rights of all Americans, including Muslims,” Holder told a crowd of hundreds at the Detroit Marriot in the Renaissance Center. “This is not blind adherence to political correctness. It is devotion to our founding documents.” (“Holder: Protect rights of all Americans, including Muslims”).Context wasn’t offered, but I assume that this was a reference to the Ft. Hood shootings, which were brought to you and 13 army families by blind PC, and which the government has been stalwartly refusing to recognize as being an Islamic initiative.
Because Holder couldn’t deny the role political correctness played in Hasan’s attack without getting laughed into oblivion by the national press, he instead sanctified it by giving “blind adherence to political correctness” the new baptismal name of “devotion to our founding documents.” The bottom line is, “Damn the critics! Full blind adherence to PC ahead!”
I haven’t got any inside info on whether or not Holder, before he had to dress up for the Big Ball, had a sit down with Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, or Arena’s bosses at the FBI, about the Abdullah take-down. Even though Arena has made some supremely stupid statements about Islam, he has consistently defended his agents for their actions in shooting down homicidal jihadist soldier Abdullah. We’ll keep our ears open for that unmistakable grinding sound of federal law-enforcement backpedaling, at least as it applies to the Abdullah case.
It’s patently obvious that Holder’s purpose last night was to re-assure Muslim leaders (CAIR included) that on his watch federal law enforcement is going to be as hands-off the Muslim community as he can manage to get away with. You see, as dictated by politics of Islamophobia and current race theory, the only way we can ever prove that we aren’t practicing anti-Muslim profiling is with statistics that show no Muslims anywhere in America are being “unfairly” charged, detained, arrested, or even questioned. And, as CAIR keeps telling us, the only statistic that will satisfy them is--0.
I’ll tell you what disgusts me about all this. It’s got to be Holder’s shameless lying about the record of the Bush Justice Department.
Holder describes the Obama age as a moment of moral enlightenment following a mythical post 9/11 era when Muslims in America were routinely deprived of their civil rights by executive decree. This is the undying lie that we at DU have to correct time and again. (Painfully correct, as it requires proving a negative—that there was no backlash). The DOJ under Bush tread SO carefully that many of us thought the federal footprint was too light. That’s why the six imams doing a recon mission on U.S. Air were not charged when they should have been: instead they were allowed to file and win a lucrative lawsuit for discrimination. More significant is when the squeamish DOJ blew up their own, and Dearborn’s, one-and-only significant terrorist prosecution.
After 9/11, Muslims in America were bequeathed additional civil rights, not officially, but by tacit lack of enforcement as dictated by politically correct guidelines. The result was that Muslims—especially young, Muslim males--were treated unequally by being less likely than nonMuslim counterparts to face secondary airport screening, deportation in the case of immigration violations, or interrogation by federal law enforcement.
During this awful period CAIR, the ADC, ACCESS, and the rest weren’t demanding equality, but special treatment. And they got it. Unsurprising, under the new and weaker Obama regime, the demands of CAIR and the rest have only increased.
Such is the way of bullies, and such the way of their terrified prey. Listen to Imad Hamad pronounce last night how the United States Department of Justice is on probation with the ADC until they say so:
Hamad said while Holder was "on target" with his speech, the real test of how the Justice Department will protect the civil liberties of Arab-Americans and Muslims is yet to come.DU has been unable to confirm reports that Holder bowed 95 degrees to the imams last night, facing either towards them, as some report, or presenting to them backwards, as better sources suggest.
"He is setting the tone for the nation and all law enforcement, and that is very important," Hamad said. "He managed to define the line between the new administration and the Bush administration.
"The ultimate test ... is the future." (“Holder targets racial profiling in Detroit speech”).
As Ann Coulter wrote today, “In a liberal's reckoning, diversity is good when we have both Muslim jihadists and patriotic Americans serving in the U.S. military.”
Just so, federal antiterrorism efforts apparently require a healthy mix of both anti- and pro-terrorist viewpoints. Hence, CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, are permanent members of the federal antiterrorism team.
Feel safer now?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I’m happy to say DU doesn’t have to eat any crow over this as we’ve always known there were patriotic Muslims serving. We even posted on this very thing last month. ("Soldier mom home from Iraq").
In spite of the widespread warnings from the usual folks that the Ft. Hood attack was going to result in unfair criticism from “right-wing bloggers” of Muslim soldiers who weren’t acting like Major Hasan, I never believed that kind of wide-brush criticism was going to happen, nor advocated it. Nor did it happen. The focus has been on Hasan, who was doing everything he could think of to communicate, “I’m getting ready to do some jihad.” This has nothing to do with profiling Muslim soldiers.
What I found most interesting in today’s article is that the real flak these Muslim soldiers face is from their own community. It also comes through that these servicemen view themselves as Americans, and they view America as “us,” while their detractors in the Muslim community view America as “them.”
Marine 1st Sgt. Jamal Baadani, originally from Dearborn, and who fought in Fallujah, says:
"We're getting so much criticism from our own community for serving," Baadani said. "The No. 1 question I used to get was, 'Why do you want to serve a government that's going to kill your own kind?' "Baadani also says many Muslim families are “reluctant to have their children serve in the U.S. armed forces, partly because they would have to fight fellow Muslims.” When Baadani was visiting home a few years ago and tried to play with his 5-year old nephew, the boy didn’t want to play as he always had before.
Baadani's response was:
"The U.S. military did not go over there to kill your kind. They went over there to attack a threat that came to this country to attack us."
Part of the problem with the Muslim community is a perceived unwillingness that Muslims don’t want to assimilate into our country. That combines with polls that indicate sizeable numbers of Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia law. Then there are those who are OK with Sharia replacing the U.S. Constitution, (like CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper, who told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”).
"What's the matter?" Baadani said he remembers asking him.
"You kill Arabs," replied the boy, apparently repeating what he heard adults around him utter.
Warikoo makes an extremely obscure reference to some “director with a conservative Christian group [who] says Muslims should be banned from serving.” That’s a stretch, whoever said it.
After all, it was Nidal Hasan who said in his Powerpoint presentation that American Muslims shouldn’t serve in the military. And his chosen Imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, who says that “Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier.”
According to Warikoo’s article, the real dirty looks against Muslims in uniform seem to be coming from their fellow Muslims.
Begg was also present for a damage-control press conference the same day. He asked an interesting question:
When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan took innocent lives in Fort Hood, Texas, last week, Muslim Americans, like most Americans, felt shock, hurt and outrage. But for most Muslims, there is an added dimension of pain. Muslims face the fear of backlash, embarrassment and the constant question of how to prevent future attacks.
Muslim-American leadership must go through a ritual of condemning these acts of violence while speaking out in defense of their faith. (“Muslims shouldn't let rogue gunman silence efforts to educate Americans about their faith”)
"Muslims find themselves in a defensive position whenever a person related to the Muslim faith commits an act of violence.To which I would reply, yes, I would defend my faith. Which brings up the question for me to Begg and his colleagues, Why aren’t you doing that? To paraphrase Churchill, you’re not doing a very good job defending an indefensible position.
"These sick people go out and shoot people down. When it happens and a Muslim is involved, the focus is on Islam. We have to defend our faith. Wouldn't you?" Begg said.
All we hear by way of defense are complaints that Muslims are backlash victims, and charges that negative remarks about Islam come only from from bigots and liars, and increasingly hollowed-out repetitions that Islam is a peaceful religion that nowhere teaches killing.
These are attacks, not defenses. They may win points in the mosques and “the community.” They certainly provide quotes to nonMuslim “Islam-means-peace” advocates who’ve had their head in the sand for years.
But these attacks avoid all the questions that troubled Americans have about Muslims and their religion. Questions that people know aren’t being answered by just being handed a lollipop with “Islam means peace” painted on it. Or watching “Muslim-American leadership...go through a ritual of condemning these acts of violence.” Or, hearing things like what ISNA’s Imam Steve Elturk told the press conference Friday morning, "Islam opposes such actions as committed by Maj. (Nidal Malik) Hasan. The Qur'an considers human life sacred."
Islam does oppose that? The Qur'an does say that about human life?
But why are we seeing so many people being killed in the name of Islam every single day? We can see for ourselves the intolerance of Muslims towards those they consider infidels. We can see that, in majority-Muslim regions, societies are savage and totalitarian; in countries where Muslims are a sizeable minority, their communities are violent, restive, and ungovernable. In many places in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, Muslim women are little better than slaves. In some “Islamic Republics,” men, women, and children are slaves.
And here, in this country, we’ve seen for ourselves that there are many devout, mosque-attending, soldiers of Allah whose religion has them busy working out plans, well or poorly, to kill as many people as they can just because those people are Americans, or because they’re infidels, or because they’re Jews, or because they’re “too Westernized.”
They can’t all be hijackers of Islam, can they?
That’s what needs explaining, and none of these guys is trying to explain it. Instead, they call people like us names, or fret that anti-Muslim pogroms will result if we don’t just drop it about how devoted Hasan was to the Qur'an.
If my faith were under attack, (and it has been), I would answer historical fables with documented facts, and I'd correct misstatements of my beliefs by meticulous reference to my religion’s scriptures and its creeds. I would confound falsifiers who accuse my Church of teaching "X" that she in fact teaches, and has always taught "not X." Then I would sleep peacefully at night, secure that I know what I believe, and why, and its foundation. Then to hell with the bigots who don't want to know, anyway.
My own belief is that the Muslim leaders don’t explain these contradictions between the Islam of peace and the Islam of jihad because they can’t. They’ve gone too far speaking falsely about Islam and what beats at its heart.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
CAIR’s Dawud Walid complained thus last week: “This (Fort Hood) crime was heinous,” said Walid, “but there are heinous crimes committed all the time and the assailants’ religions aren't brought into play. That seems to be the case for American Muslims.”
Not exactly. In Dearborn and southwest Detroit we see our share of Arab or Muslim characters involved in criminal activity that, once in a while, actually doesn’t manage to send a tithe of its proceeds to Hezbollah.
Take Khalil Chahine, the young gangster son of Hezbollah supporter and fugitive Talil Chahine, who was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting to death the fiancé of his former girlfriend.
More recently, there’s been the most odious Ihab Maslamani, the murdering, carjacking, bank-robbing, hostage-taking, kidnapping, Lebanese Arab illegal alien who is standing trial for murdering Matthew Landry, for nothing, after carjacking him at an Eastpointe Quiznos.
Here is Maslamani trying to take a hostage at a Flagstar Bank in Harrison Township the next day.
No one criticized Maslamani’s Muslim religion or his ethnicity for his evil actions. In fact, the press has completely ignored his religion. He appears to be a garden-variety (I’m sorry, Lord) low-life piece of shit. It’s true that every religion and culture has its share of these. Which proves exactly nothing as to the issue of Islamic jihadism.
Walid is all wet when he tries to tell us that American Muslims (Maslamani isn't an American anyway) who commit crimes routinely have their religion dragged into it. They don't.
Nidal Hasan dragged his religion into it himself when he identified himself as a “soldier of Allah,” and dedicated his murder spree to Allah’s greatness.
Money to be cut off to mosques, schools in U.S. investigation
New York -- The organization that federal investigators say is a front for the Iranian government has spent millions of dollars over the years on philanthropy: buying property for four U.S. mosques, funding religious schools and language classes, and translating books on Islam.
The move to seize assets held by the New York-based Alavi Foundation will cripple the charity's work and put the government in the awkward position of potentially shutting down the houses of worship, which occupy buildings and land that Alavi owns.
There are no claims of wrongdoing at the mosques. And they will stay open as prosecutors try to take hold of the hundreds of millions of dollars in Alavi money and property. The mosques were not mentioned by name, only listed by street address.
Still, the mosques and schools could be collateral damage in the case. On Friday, the government moved to cut off Alavi's direct access to its money, according to court records.
As Michael Ledeen feels the need to keep reminding us, “Iran has been waging war on us since 1979.”
Sabukta Chowdhury, a parent at the Razi School, a K-12 school that is part of the Imam Ali Mosque in Queens, said her child would be upset if the school closed.
"The school is very good," Chowdhury said outside the building Friday. "My child very sad. They do not want to go to another school."
Abdulaziz Sachedina, a University of Virginia professor and expert on Shiite Islam, predicted the four Islamic centers in New York, Maryland, Texas and California would shut down without Alavi money.
Alavi was one of the few central sources of funding for American Shiite communities, which have far fewer resources than U.S. Sunnis. Often, the Islamic day schools the centers run are among the few available.
"Muslims aren't used to membership fees," said Sachedina, who has spoken several times at the mosque in Maryland. "In Muslim countries, most services are free, provided by rich people. Here, for the first time, Muslims are required to pay donations. It's very hard to collect money from the people."
I haven't seen reports yet telling us if these mosques and schools were being used by Tehran to spread the same anti-American Shia jihadism spread every day by the Ayatollahs in Iran . It's almost impossible to believe they aren't. That aside, the foundation was a front group controlled by a nation that's been at war with us for thirty years. It was set up to avoid paying any taxes on multi-million dollars of annual rental incomes.
But the AP’s message is that we need to be ashamed of one of America's precious few domestic counter-terrorist successes since 9/11. That's because taking away the Ayatollah’s illegal foundation property will unfairly impact New York-area Shias. If the schools aren’t going to be funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran, then who will fund them? Shias in their native lands expect all that for free. “Here, for the first time, Muslims are required to pay donations. It's very hard to collect money from the people."
If you're a Catholic, or a Jew, or a Baptist who takes it for granted that you're going to have to cough up to support your church and your private schools, you're probably too small-minded to get this.
One solution that might redeem the federal government from making Sabukta Chowdhury's child sad, is for the U.S. taxpayers to just fund the Shia mosques ourselves. Or we could just give the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad their rent receipts back and apologize.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Officers offended and embarrassed Muslim families during arrests
Windsor, Ont.'s chief of police has publicly apologized to the city's Islamic community after officers who arrested two Muslim men suspected of involvement in a radical Islamist group offended and embarrassed the men's families in the process.
"We're looking at what we can do differently, what we would do differently here, and that's going to take us a little while longer," Chief Gary Smith told a news conference on Thursday.
His comments relate to an incident on Oct. 30 during which Windsor police assisted the RCMP in arresting Yassir Ali Khan, 30, and Mohammad Al-Sahli, 33. The two were wanted by the the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
During that arrest, the wife of one of the suspects was patted down by a male officer.
"One of the things we'll be looking at is: how do we bring female officers that aren't tactically trained inside a centre of a perimeter, and should we have done it this time, could we have done it better?" Smith said.
Reading from a statement, Smith said it "was never the intention for Windsor police to offend or embarrass the families or our Islamic community."
"The actions taken did cause embarrassment and did offend their religious beliefs," Smith added. "I sincerely apologize to the families and the Islamic community."
Khan and Al-Sahli were co-operative during their arrests, as were their families, Smith said.
But according to their lawyer, Patrick Ducharme, officers showed up with guns drawn in the presence of "terrified children" outside at least one of the homes where the men were arrested.
"In the course of the arrest, officers on the scene had interaction with the families of both men," Smith said. "It is this interaction that raised concerns among the family members and the Islamic community about the cultural sensitivity of Windsor police officers."
Officers had received sensitivity training in 2007 in the form of about 12 panel discussions involving representatives of different cultural backgrounds, according to spokesman Sgt. Brett Corey. But the training "was too generic and a more thorough presentation" to officers is needed, Smith said.
New training is being scheduled, Smith said, and will be given by Murad Aktas of the Windsor Islamic Association, which represents about 25,000 Muslims in Windsor and Essex County.
Aktas could not be reached for comment.
Ed Parent, president of the Windsor Police Association, objected to Smith's apology, saying that proper procedures were followed during the arrests.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This year alone, three terrorist plots have been foiled.
Najibullah Zazi was indicted for plans to set off a bomb in New York on the anniversary of 9/11.
Daniel Patrick Boyd and Hysen Sherifi were charged with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel at the Quantico, Va., military base.
Hosam Maher Husein Smadi — a 19-year-old Jordanian in the U.S. illegally — was arrested after being accused of placing what he thought were explosives near a 60-story office tower in Dallas.
In all these cases, the plotter (or plotters) either had ties to terrorists or voiced Islamic-fueled anger at the U.S.
More than 20 other domestic terrorist plots have been stopped by law enforcement agencies since 9/11. On average, in the 98 months since the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, a radical Islamic-inspired terrorist plot has been uncovered every four months.
There have also been “lone wolf” mass murders in which angry radical Muslims sought to channel their frustrations and failures into violence against their perceived enemies of Islam.
Since September 11, several Muslim men have run over innocent bystanders or shot random people at or near military bases, synagogues, and shopping malls.
After the initial hysteria died down, we were usually told that such acts were isolated incidents, involving personal “issues” rather than radical Islamic hatred of the U.S. Yet a few examples show that was not quite the case.
The just-executed sniper John Allan Muhammad, who, along with an accomplice, killed ten, voiced approval of Osama bin Laden and radical Islamic violence.
Naveed Afzal Haq is currently on trial for going on a murderous rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building. A survivor said Haq stated his attack was a “personal statement against Jews.”
Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar ran over nine students at the University of North Carolina. Officers said he told them afterward he wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide.
Omeed Aziz Popal struck 18 pedestrians with his car near a Jewish center in San Francisco. Witnesses say he said, “I am a terrorist,” at the scene.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/9/09) The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today repudiated online remarks by a former Virginia imam praising Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 29 others in a shooting spree last week at Fort Hood in Texas.Convinced? Nah, me neither.
The posting on the web site of Anwar al-Awlaki called Hasan a “hero” and said American Muslim groups, like CAIR, that condemned the Fort Hood attack are “hypocrites” and traitors to Islam.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“As American Muslims said with one voice when this cowardly attack first occurred, no ideology could ever justify or excuse such violence. To call the alleged killer a ‘hero’ makes a mockery of every Islamic principle of justice. The twisted and misguided views in Anwar al-Awlaki’s posting are not those of American Muslims and do not reflect mainstream Islamic beliefs or sentiments.”
Immediately following the attack at Fort Hood, CAIR issued a strong condemnation of the deadly shootings and urged the nation to remain calm and unified.
Whenever it becomes public-image suicide to do otherwise, America’s self-appointed (or should that be Muslim Brotherhood appointed?) Muslim spokesgroups run out and condemn terrorism on behalf of every living Muslim in America in the most absolute terms. Absolute, and always non-specific. Cliff May mentioned today how “The Times quotes the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s condemnation of the killings, declaring that the organization is “’speaking for much of the Muslim community in the United States.’” (“Media Mush”).
Now Nihad Awad creeps out and, also speaking for the Muslim community in the United States, tries to plant the false collective memory that, some time last week, the entire Muslim community cried out “with one voice” against the Ft. Hood attack.
Except that never happened. If it had, Big Media would have covered that, instead of grumpily reporting the mounting evidence of Nidal Hasan’s Allah-centric motive for murder. And, if anything like that had happened, CAIR would not have to pretend to be the “one voice” of the Muslim community telling the lie they think will undo the damage.
If American Muslims really condemned jihadist attacks “with one voice,” as Awad’s magnificent fable suggests, then there would be no problem at all between America’s Muslim population and the larger nonMuslim population. But Muslims, by and large, are not heard condemning jihadist violence, or suicide attacks, or calls for the genocide of Israeli Jews, or the imposition of Sharia law by force. That silence does not necessarily mean endorsement of these evils by every Muslim, nor that “every Muslim is a terrorist.” But it sure as hell doesn’t sound like opposition.
So CAIR wants to pretend they consider the views of Anwar al-Awlaki as “twisted and misguided”?
But according to reports, Anwar al-Awlaki:
has more than 5,100 fans on a Facebook fan page. “For every person who hates Anwar al Awlaki,” said one fan in London on the page's discussion board Tuesday. “I can promise you that there are at least a hundred or so people who love him, respect him and admire him.”
Before he left for Yemen, many in America's Muslim community saw him as a mainstream, moderate whose youth, storytelling ability and articulate presentations made him popular. (“From Yemen, Anwar Awlaki Helped Inspire Fort Dix, Toronto Plots”).
Al Awlaki’s 5,100 Facebook fans isn’t Earth-shattering, no. But it’s a lot more fans than, I have, or, say, Dawud Walid has.
The truth is that last Friday Dawud Walid and CAIR weren’t joining their voices to the “one voice” condemning the Ft. Hood killings--they were whining in the press about the effect the murders were having on American’s Muslim-Victim class:
“It’s sad we live in this type of environment,” he said. “This (Fort Hood) crime was heinous, but there are heinous crimes committed all the time and the assailants’ religions aren’t brought into play. That seems to be the case for American Muslims.”Well, as Ann Coulter would say, boo-hoo-hoo. CAIR and their friends were downtown last week in front of the FBI headquarters, voicing their support for Imam Luqman Abdullah. Abdullah was a criminal who preached jihadist violence, suicide attacks, hatred for Jews, Christians, and Kuffars, support for the Taliban, Hezbollah, and “Sheikh Bin Laden,” opposing the FBI and the American government, and the advance of Islam by force. If he’d lived longer and fulfilled his dream of killing a lot of cops, Abdullah may even have been called a “hero” by Anwar al-Awlaki. You know who else thinks he's a hero?
So why not Nidal Hasan, too, when the cameras aren't on?
Lying to us doesn’t help anything.
I’m betting there’s a U.S. Attorney in New York (U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara) who hasn’t checked this week’s emails from AG Eric Holder. I’m thinking of the one telling the troops to think “Diversity First” when conducting--or not conducting--counterterrorism right now.
Prosecutors say building owners illegally funneled money to Iran
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors Thursday took steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government.
In what could prove to be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets of the Alavi Foundation and an alleged front company.
The assets include Islamic centers in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston, more than 100 acres in Virginia, and a 36-story office tower in New York.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to give a keynote speech next week to a Michigan group which includes the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations even though the FBI has formally severed contacts with the controversial Muslim civil rights organization.AG Holder will be sharing a stage with ALPACT Co-Chair Nabih Ayad, who sued the U.S. Government in 2006 to stop the monitoring of international telephone traffic from suspected terrorists overseas. Ayad, a lawyer, told the court that he himself was providing legal advice to "individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects."
On Nov. 19, Holder is scheduled to speak in Detroit to the first annual awards banquet of Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust, a coalition of several dozen law enforcement and community groups. An online registration form for the event includes the Council on American Islamic Relations-Michigan on a list of “official & participating organizations.”
(“Despite ban, Holder to speak to CAIR-linked group”).
Now I’m more amazed than ever that the local FBI was ever involved in the takedown a couple weeks back of the late Imam Luqman Abdullah and his band of sharia merry men. Not only did the federal complaint against Abdullah fearlessly connect the dots between Abdullah’s religious beliefs and his violent criminal activity, but it pulled no punches when reciting details of the greater Islamic worldview justifying their violence, crimes, and hatred of Jews, infidels, police--Kuffirs.
For a second there after the raid, I thought the FBI’s decision to kick CAIR to the curb was bearing fruit. (As if. I know better now).
Ever since the Ft. Hood attack, it’s plain we’re still stuck with the same old FBI. Barely an hour after the attack, when things were still confused and every detail being reported was an error, including how many shooters were involved, I heard the FBI’s pronouncement on the radio that the attack was not terrorism. As Andy McCarthy writes, the FBI’s first message was, “Forget about Islamic (or at least Islamist) terrorism. This mass murder wasn’t even terrorism.”
Now federal counterterrorism is back to diversity as usual. Was the Abdullah raid just an anomaly? Was it just the work of some renegade agents determined to do their jobs, PC be damned?
I mean, what if the joint terrorism task force’s investigation led them to drop the hammer on Abdullah a few days later, on a date after Ft. Hood? Does anyone really believe that federal officials here or in Washington would ever authorize a raid like that--or the filing of a complaint like that--when Homeland Security has made it a priority to defend Muslims against all enemies, foreign and domestic?
And now I’m reading on Politico that CAIR and the local feds are closer than ever, in spite of disagreements over the Abdullah raid.
“Walid has been sharply critical of the FBI for using deadly force in the operation, but the CAIR official said that doesn’t mean the group is at loggerheads with the federal law enforcement agency.” Sharply critical? He’s been calling the FBI agents provocatuers, and sponsoring a video on his blog that frankly calls the killing of Abdullah an FBI “murder.” Now Walid brags that he and Andrew Arena have each other’s cell numbers on speed dial.
I’m sure it had been posted before anyone knew of the attacks, making its timeliness eerie. Here’s an excerpt:
The negative spiritual and intellectual consequence of believing two mutually exclusive concepts is "cognitive dissonance." Our interaction as a society with Islam is a direct cause of "cognitive dissonance" for us as individuals and as a culture.
Resolution of the contradiction requires the rejection of one of the concepts as false. If we continue to ignore our cognitive dissonance about Islam the consequences are dire: we will lose our civilization.
Islam is much more than a religion; it is a complete civilization that includes politics (caliphate), jurisprudence (Sharia law), war (jihad), and a deliberately misleading "religion of peace." The doctrine of Islam is found in three books: Koran (the literal word of Allah as "revealed" to Mohammed), Sira (Mohammad's biography), and Hadith (stories about and sayings of Mohammed by contemporaries). The definitive text of Sharia law is "Reliance of the Traveller." Allah and Mohammed are to be obeyed, not questioned. "Islam" means submission;" a Muslim is "one who submits." "Islam" does not mean "peace."
The entire article is worth reading.
The Ft. Hood attack, combined as it was with the astounding initial reactions of the Army, the FBI, and some (not all) in the media to bury Hasan’s Muslim identity and motivations, have brought this cognitive dissonance to the forefront. That’s a good place for it.
By now, those of us who already know “Islam” doesn’t mean peace are weary of the countless interviews and commentators beating the dead horse about how PC thinking got these soldiers killed. The truth of that is so obvious now that I can’t imagine anything useful being added to it.
But even if nothing new is added, the monotonous repetitions of how PC rules have given Islam a protected status against criticism are useful. It’s useful that it’s being discussed at all. We Americans, apparently, require lots of repetition before things sink in. At least, that’s what the guys trying to get me to buy gold and Cialis seem to think.
Besides, the majority of America really did need a remedial class in the ABCs of Islam.
Just before Hasan launched his jihad our national “situational awareness” had degraded all the way back to where it was on 9/10/01. And now, at least for a little while, we’ve got some of that 9/12/01 freedom back: freedom to hold Islam at least slightly accountable to our free and peace-loving civilization, instead of vice versa.
I don’t expect it to last. Hasan is alive and talking, but he’s lawyered up now, and I have little confidence that government agencies sworn to protect and serve Diversity will do a proper job of investigation. That Congress had to request the CIA to “preserve” documents related to Hasan (translation: don’t shred them) didn’t inspire my confidence. And of course, those opinionmakers who, remedial lessons notwithstanding, will never relinquish their fantasies about Islam as a peaceful, misunderstood, victim group, will begin revising the history of Ft. Hood so that the true victims are Muslims caught in the backlash.
But for now, after an eight-year summer vacation, America is back in school again. As Adams has written, our cognitive dissonance about Islam “will be resolved only with honesty and knowledge.” Upsetting as the Ft. Hood attack has been, it has provided us an opportunity for that now.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Linus does what he does every year because he’s sincere in his beliefs. He has to be: the Great Pumpkin will only show up at a pumpkin patch that is completely sincere.
Which is one big difference between the myth of the Great Pumpkin and the myth of America’s Great Backlashes against Muslims. No one who talks about the backlashes as if they really happen has an ounce of sincerity.
Not the imams, not the community organizers, not the CAIR spokesmen, not the reporters, not the editors, not the government officials. There was a moment after 9/11 when America held its breath wondering if there was going to be a backlash against the people who practiced the religion that did this to us. But it didn’t happen after 9/11. (You will research in vain for actual victims of the Great Anti-Muslim Backlash of September 2001. But I invite you to try. The most you'll find are some quotes from mopey UM coeds who thought somebody looked at them funny for wearing a hijab, or heard about a guy who heard about a girl who got yelled at from a car. Kristallnacht it ain’t. ).
But even though the backlash was a myth, you'll still hear “the anti-Muslim backlash after 9/11” cited uncritically as an historical fact, like the Battle of Gettysburg.
Nor has a backlash happened since. If 9/11 didn’t cause a backlash, nothing that’s happened since was going to do it.
We Americans, apparently, just don’t go in for backlash.
Yet, every time there’s a domestic act of violence or a plot uncovered involving self-identified Muslims who’ve been documented citing the Koran as a license to kill, we’re scolded that we’d better not get angry, or “jump to conclusions,” or think that “every Muslim is a terrorist.” We should just drop the whole subject and be quiet. Anything less will only make the “backlash” against innocent Muslims worse.
After bona fide racist Sunni and jihadist hater Imam Luqman Abdullah got himself martyred by the FBI, CAIR’s Dawud Walid and the ADC’s Imad Hamad both told WDET “the emphasis on Islam could trigger a backlash against other Muslims and contribute to Islamophobia.”
Then, after the Fort Hood murders by self-identified jihadist Malik Hasan, we’re lectured about how “Metro Detroit Muslims [are struggling] with . . . fears that a backlash will dismantle years of progress toward better understanding of Islam.”
Even Army Chief of Staff General Casey said on CNN this morning “that he was concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan . . . could ‘cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.’” He’s going to have his Army leaders “be on the lookout for that.”
American soldiers don’t deserve to be blamed for future backlashes, let alone nonexistent ones in the present. Right now, Major Hasan is receiving the best medical care in the world, after having his wounds treated almost as soon as he fell by Army medics. That’s how the Army handles backlash. If he had been an Egyptian officer, or an Iranian, or a Syrian, and he had done that to his fellow soldiers, he would have been torn limb from limb on the spot. And more than likely, those limbs would have been paraded around by his killers to chants of “Allahu Akhbar!”
And wasn’t it officers’ fear of Army leaders looking out for “Islamophobia” that kept them from reporting Hasan’s jihadist leanings? That kind of PC nonsense is a big part of why there will be thirteen military funerals this week.
The thing that drives me craziest about all this backlash talk is that no one, I mean NO ONE, Muslim, non Muslim, Arab, Christian, anyone, believes these threats about backlashes are serious. I can assure you that no local press, no police department, nor the Islamic community activists are doing one thing any different tonight out of genuine expectancy there’s going to be a “backlash” against Dearborn’s Muslims.
If there were such a backlash, no one would be more surprised than Dawud Walid.
When Islamic spokesmen fret publicly about “backlash,” what they mean is their job convincing us that Islam is a peaceful religion just got harder thanks to the violent actions of some unmistakeably Muslim bad guy. The actions of Muslims like Major Hasan or Imam Abdullah or the Fort Dix Six throws a floodlight on the contradiction between Islam as understood in the Ummah, and the Potemkin Islam that’s being peddled for domestic consumption.
The constant carping about “backlash,” like the constant carping about “Islamophobia,” is intended to accomplish one thing: to silence critical analysis of Islam.
This morning, it’s reported that the (Christian) Army chaplain praying with soldiers at a memorial for those who died from Hasan’s jihad, asked God to "teach us to love and pray for those who rise up against us and pray for those who do us harm. We pray for Maj. Hasan. Asking that you do the work that only you can do in his life." (“Army chaplain seeks prayers for meaning in rampage”).
And how does General George Casey Jr. react on national television to what he knows about America’s fighting men and women?
By insulting them and warning them that there’d better not be any backlash against Muslim soldiers.
General George Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said on Sunday that he was concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of killing 12 fellow soldiers and one civilian and wounding dozens of others in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.”Do the soldiers under Casey’s command really deserve that? Do they deserve him?
“I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that,” General Casey said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union. “It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was — it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” (“Army Chief of Staff Concerned for Muslim Troops”).
Saturday, November 07, 2009
The gunman in the Fort Hood massacre hollered "Allahu Akbar!" before embarking on a bloody rampage that left more than a dozen dead, an onlooker told investigators.
"We do have a witness who reported that," Col. John Rossi said Friday morning.(“Gunman in Fort Hood shooting, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, shouted 'Allahu Akbar' before deadly attack”).
Several witnesses reported the same thing, actually. This much was known early yesterday.
Today’s Detroit News article (“Islamic community voices outrage over mass killings”) this morning started out this way:
Dearborn -- Metro Detroit Muslims struggled with dual angst Friday after the deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood -- outrage over the attack and fears that a backlash will dismantle years of progress toward better understanding of Islam.
(The print edition headline of this article followed the national media memo of “Local Muslims brace for backlash.”)
But the article nowhere describes any “outrage over the attack.” I guess that’s the difference between reporting and journalistic suggestion: reporting tells you what the facts are and gives you the details, and journalistic suggestion tells you what they want you think the facts are, and counts on you not to notice there aren't any details.
No, there are no examples of outrage, unless you count official pronouncements (and I don’t count them) from the usual Muslim groups that scrambled “to denounce the shootings and to reiterate that their religion stresses peace, not violence.”
What we get instead of voicings of outrage at the shootings are the rationalizations from Islamic spokesmen that have left so many of America’s nonMuslims completely skeptical of Islam’s motives.
Victor Begg, of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, didn’t sound too outraged at Maj. Hasan. He saw the real tragedy here that yet another example of cold Islamic brutality toward nonMuslims sets back “all the hard work we do” to convince the rest of us that Islam is not a religion of cold brutality toward unbelievers.
Osama Siblani, as editor of The Arab-American News was in a prime position to express “the Islamic community’s outrage” over the Ft. Hood shootings, but instead he only complained that “he’s getting threatening e-mails.” The lesson of Ft. Hood, apparently, is that Muslims aren’t safe.
Siblani also stressed that, “We need to focus on the cause of all of this and not the ethnic background of this person.”
Except no one cares about Hasan’s ethnic background, except where it's been a clue to his possible religious affiliation, for, let's face it, obvious reasons. As for Siblani’s suggestion we should focus on the cause, I couldn’t agree more. I say “Allahu Akhbar!” is an important clue.
Then Dawud Walid, whose weekend of rallies against the FBI over Imam Abdullah's death was spoiled by all this, also forgot to voice the outrage of the Islamic community.
"This (Fort Hood) crime was heinous,” said Walid, “but there are heinous crimes committed all the time and the assailants' religions aren't brought into play. That seems to be the case for American Muslims."
Good point, as usual. When suicidal nihilists, unemployed divorced guys, or sexual maniacs commit mass murders, the murderers’ religions aren’t brought into play, because the murderers generally leave religion out of it.
But when an assailant hollers “Allahu Akhbar!” before he begins his mass killing, he’s sort of making his religious motivation unavoidable. Unavoidable, that is, unless you’re the Army brass or the FBI, who spent all night Thursday trying, unsuccessfully, to get Hasan’s Muslim religion back out of play.
Tarek Baydoun, third-year law student and Dearborn Islamic spokesman-in-waiting, managed a few words about how the Ft. Hood attack was “horrendous.” But then he weakened it by assuming, as the lawyers like to say, facts not in evidence. The shooting, while "outrageous," he said, “has nothing to do with religion. It was strictly criminal.”
To exclude religion so forcefully at this stage seems a bit premature. Or delusional. Based on what limited, but undisputed, facts we know as of now, Baydoun may as well claim the Ft. Hood shooting had nothing to do with firearms. Witnesses and victims didn't only hear shooting, you see--they also heard Hasan yell “Allahu Akhbar!”
But then Baydoun isn’t trying to defend handguns. He’s trying to defend the religion of peace.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Obama is effectively supporting the regime in Iran.
By Mona Charen
President Obama likes to preen himself on his supposed moral superiority to his predecessor. He announced the closing of Guantanamo in his first week on the job (though, ten months on, it remains open) to advertise the new administration’s disdain for George Bush’s war-fighting tactics. And at every opportunity since, he has stressed that his policies — on taxes, on the Middle East, on health care, on “man-caused disasters,” and on “climate change” — reflect a more refined and elevated morality than has ever before held sway in Washington, D.C.
So you have to wonder how the president slept last Wednesday night.
He has known that critics in the United States regarded his posture toward the Iranian regime as weak. But on Wednesday, he heard this critique from a different quarter — one that will be more difficult to dismiss.
Every year, on November 4, the anniversary of the day in 1979 when Iranian thugs took American diplomats hostage in Tehran, the government has organized a street demonstration outside the former American embassy. In the early days, the rallies may have engaged a certain number of spontaneous participants, but they have long since become utterly stage-managed government shows. The only people the regime could muster this year to chant “Death to America! Death to Israel!” were non-Iranian members of Hezbollah and students bused in from the provinces for that purpose.
But that wasn’t the only demonstration in Tehran that day. Displaying awe-inspiring courage in light of the brutal tactics (including murder) the regime has used to quell opposition, tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets again. Instead of “Death to America,” they shouted “Death to the Dictator,” referring to Ahmadinejad. And they trampled on photos of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Michael Ledeen, of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, reports that demonstrations also erupted in Shiraz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Zahedan, Arak, Mazandaran, Tabriz, and Rasht. As before, the regime used paramilitary goons on motorcycles to beat, tear-gas, and bludgeon protestors. And again the regime disrupted cell-phone service, text messaging, and the Internet to prevent demonstrators from coordinating their activities.
But this is what should awaken Obama’s conscience: The protestors chanted something new this time. As they dodged the blows of the militia they chorused: “Obama! Obama! Either you’re with them or you’re with us.”
This exquisitely moral White House was unmoved. Incredibly, President Obama released a statement that very day commemorating (!) the 30-year anniversary of the kidnapping of America’s diplomats, taking the opportunity once again to abase himself and us. “Thirty years ago today,” the president recalled, “the American embassy was seized” — he did not say by whom. But because some anonymous agent seized the embassy, it “set the United States and Iran on a path of sustained suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation” that Obama is determined to reverse. He wants to move beyond the past and seek “a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect.”
By ostentatiously using the term “Islamic Republic,” Obama tips his hand. He could have expressed his hopes for good relations with the people of Iran. That would have left the door open to a new Iranian regime that might not be politically Islamic. Instead he has signaled his eagerness to placate and, yes, appease the current malevolent Iranian leaders. “We do not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs,” he assured them. Asked about the demonstrations flaring around Iran, the president’s spokesman Robert Gibbs hoped that “the violence will not spread,” which sounds like something you’d say about rioters. In Iran, the violence is coming exclusively from the government, which is firing upon unarmed demonstrators.
Though the Obama administration has tripled the deficit in just ten months in office, it has found one program to cut — the $3 million to support the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. The tiny research organization, which kept records of the disappearances, murders, and other human-rights abuses in Iran, was abruptly defunded last month, sending a clear message of contempt to the Iranians who are putting their lives on the line to resist this vicious regime.
A successful overthrow of the nearly nuclear mullahs in Iran would be the greatest boon to world peace and stability since the fall of the Berlin Wall. After this week’s events, it can no longer be said that the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to support the opposition. The people on Tehran’s streets know the truth — he’s effectively supporting the regime.