Everywhere there is on display evidence of the rogues taking the Obama administration's measure, and of America's vulnerable allies scurrying for cover. A fortnight ago, Lebanon's young prime minister made his way from Beirut to Damascus: Saad Hariri had come to pay tribute to the Syrian ruler.Read the entire article here.
Nearly five years earlier, Saad Hariri had insisted on the truth about the identity of his father's killers. It had been a tumultuous time. Rafik Hariri, a tycoon and former prime minister caught up in a challenge to Syria's hegemony in Lebanon, had been struck down by a massive bomb on Beirut's beachfront. It's obvious, isn't it, the mourners proclaimed, the trail led to Damascus.
In the aftermath of that brazen political murder, a Syrian tyranny in Lebanon that had all but erased the border between the two countries was brought to a swift end with what would come to be known as the Cedar Revolution. The Pax Americana that had laid waste to the despotism of Saddam Hussein frightened the Syrian rulers, and held out the prospect that a similar fate could yet befall them.
We're now worlds away from that moment in history. The man who demolished the Iraqi tyranny, George. W. Bush, is no longer in power, and a different sentiment drives America's conduct abroad. Saad Hariri had no choice but to make peace with his father's sworn enemies—that short voyage he made to Damascus was his adjustment to the retreat of American power.
In headier moments, Mr. Hariri and the leaders of the Cedar Revolution had been emboldened by American protection. It was not only U.S. military power that had given them heart.
There was that "diplomacy of freedom," the proclamation that the Pax Americana had had its fill with the autocracies and the rogues of the Greater Middle East. There but for the grace of God go we, the autocrats whispered to themselves as they pondered the fall of the Iraqi despot. To be sure, there was mayhem in the new Iraq—the Arab and Iranian rulers, and the jihadists they winked at and aided, had made sure of that. But there was the promise of freedom, meaningful elections, a new dignity for men and women claiming their own country.
What a difference three or four years make. The despots have waited out that burst of American power and optimism. No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue. To be sure, it was in the past understood that we can't bear all burdens abroad, or come to the defense of everyone braving tyranny. But there was always that American assertion that when things are in the balance we would always be on freedom's side.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Former Gitmo detainees help al-Qaida grow in YemenRead the rest.
By MIKE MELIA and SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writers Mike Melia And Sarah El Deeb
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – As a prisoner at Guantanamo, Said Ali al-Shihri said he wanted freedom so he could go home to Saudi Arabia and work at his family's furniture store.
Instead, al-Shihri, who was released in 2007 under the Bush administration, is now deputy leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attempted bomb attack on a Detroit-bound airliner.
His potential involvement in the terrorist plot has raised new opposition to releasing Guantanamo Bay inmates, complicating President Barack Obama's pledge to close the military prison in Cuba. It also highlights the challenge of identifying the hard-core militants as the administration decides what to do with the remaining 198 prisoners.
Like other former Guantanamo detainees who have rejoined al-Qaida in Yemen, al-Shihri, 36, won his release despite jihadist credentials such as, in his case, urban warfare training in Afghanistan.
He later goaded the United States, saying Guantanamo only strengthened his anti-American convictions.
"By God, our imprisonment has only increased our persistence and adherence to our principles," he said in a speech when al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula formed in Yemen in January 2009. It was included in a propaganda film for the group.
Al-Shihri and another Saudi released from Guantanamo in 2006, Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, appear to have played significant roles in al-Qaida's expanding offshoot in Yemen. While the extent of any involvement in the airliner plot is unclear, al-Rubaish, 30, is a theological adviser to the group and his writings and sermons are prominent in the group's literature.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Whenever something like Fort Hood happens you say, ‘This is not Islam.’ I believe that. But you keep telling us what Islam isn’t. You need to tell us what it is and show us how its positive interpretations are being promoted in your schools and mosques. If this is not Islam, then why is it that a million Muslims will pour into the streets to protest Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, but not one will take to the streets to protest Muslim suicide bombers who blow up other Muslims, real people, created in the image of God? You need to explain that to us — and to yourselves.I don’t think I can go along with Friedman/Imaginary Obama in believing that Fort Hood categorically “is not Islam.” A couple years ago a Pew Research Center poll of American Muslims showed that 26% of young American Muslims polled say suicide bombings in defense of Islam can be justified. Is that Islam?
But I do agree that the contradiction between what the whole world sees of aggressive Islamic actions the last few decades, and what Islamic leaders keep telling us about how true Islam means peace--needs a lot more explaining.
The Facebook Muslims, for example, have decided to demonstrate against terrorism at Detroit’s U.S. District Courthouse when Farouk Abdullamutallab is brought down from Milan Prison for arraignment in January. The group apparently wants to point its protest at Abdullamutallab himself, and what they consider his unIslamic actions in trying to blow up 300 people on Christmas Day. I guess that makes some sense: the TV crews will already be there, so there’s some guaranteed publicity.
In view of the gargantuan task of convincing Americans that the world’s champion violence-producing religion is all about peace, I think a bit more imagination might have gone into the site selection for the protest. Let’s face it, we can argue about whether or not Abdullamutallab was speaking for Islam when he set his own pants on fire this Christmas in hopes of murdering 300+ people. But as a criminal defendant with a Constitutional right to remain silent (how in hell did that happen?), his jihadi spokesman days are probably over.
Which is why I think a more effective protest might involve demonstrating at UM-Dearborn, where the Muslim Students Association has a local branch. The MSA is “seeking to create a single Muslim voice on U.S. campuses—a voice espousing Wahhabism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism, agitating aggressively against U.S. Middle East policy, and expressing solidarity with militant Islamist ideologies, sometimes with criminal results.” Is that Islam?
Or perhaps they could picket the Islamic House of Wisdom, where Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi presides. Elahi is an Iranian agent who first came to the U.S. on an inspection tour of Hezbollah cells, and to strengthen Tehran’s grip on America’s Shia communities. Elahi openly advocates on behalf of the violent Islamists, including Hamas and Hezbollah, both avid practitioners of suicide bombing and targeting of civilians for mass killings. Elahi also defends the anti-Israel, nuke-hungry, regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the one that has promised to “wipe Israel off the map.” Is that Islam?
Or the Facebook Muslims may want to picket The Arab American News, where publisher Osama Siblani advocates Hamas’s anti-semitic murder regime at every opportunity.
Then there’s a group known as the Congress of Arab American Organizations (CAAO). They’re pro-Hamas/Hezbollah and anti-Israel. During the Israel-Lebanon war in 2006, they showed us in Dearborn exactly where they stood:
Daily protests occur in Dearborn. At one recent demonstration, organized by the Congress of Arab-Americans, about 1,000 people attended. College-age men asked, in call and response fashion, "Who is your army?" Protestors responded: "Hezbollah." "Who is your leader?" they were asked. "Nasrallah," the chanters responded. Many carried placards of the Hezbollah leader. A few days earlier at an even larger demonstration, more than 15,000 turned out, about half of Dearborn's Arab community.Let’s not forget Imam Hassan Qazwini, who presides at the Islamic Center of North America. He’s publicly embraced Louis Farrakhan and his anti-semitic, anti-white hatred. According to Debbie Schlussel, he “is very open about his support for Palestinian homicide bombings.”
Or maybe they could demonstrate outside The Muslim Center in Detroit, where they held the funeral for Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the radical Islamist felon killed in an FBI raid in October. Abdullah and his followers considered themselves soldiers at war with the American government and with non-Muslims, and he encouraged his followers to remember that “revenge is Islamic.” He was killed after a Task Force with an arrest warrant demanded his surrender, and he responded by opening fire, killing an FBI K-9. He preached war on non-Muslims, the Kuffar, saying:
that Muslims need to stop fighting each other and start fighting the Kuffar. Abdullah stated:Contrary to your own [unintelligible], we should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar.Muslim leaders like Elahai, and Imam Talib Abdul-Rashid, showed up at Abdullah's funeral to praise him to the skies for his righteous life, and pronounce him a “martyr.” Nothing was reported of any of these "mainstream" leaders saying of Abdullah’s violence and hatred, “This is not Islam.”
Then you may see on Facebook where mover and shaker Tarek Baydoun promises to show up for the protest. A couple years ago Baydoun, Elahi, and some other prominent Dearborn Muslims held a “unity” rally “to let the American people know” that the borderless, Islamic ummah was “united.” What they meant was they were united against the interest of the U.S. and the West, and united with Iranian fighters trying to ruin things in Iraq, with Hezbollah's terror army trying to take over Lebanon, and Hamas savages pushing Palestinians into endless war with Israel. More support for Islamic violence. Is that Islam?
Now I'm running out of room, but I can't leave out CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood front group managed locally by Dawud Walid, and implicated nationally as an unidicted co-conspirator in supporting terrorism. The Brotherhood intends, in simplest terms, to overthrow Western civilization by means of “civilizational jihad” and replace it with Islam, by force, naturally. Is this Islam?
To many of us, it is. No one can fairly say we've reached that conclusion by failing to pay attention.
To those of you who, in good faith, intend to show us otherwise, we leave you to your proofs.
And then there was this in this morning’s Detroit News: “Yeminis, Muslims fear backlash.”
Today is now December 30, five days after the attempted slaughter of 290 people by Muslim soldier, Umar Farouk Abdullamutalab. Even if one takes into account how many of us have been busy with after-Christmas bargain-hunting, don’t you think we could pull a backlash together faster than that?
Now, reporter Catherine Jun is taking up the cause, writing, “The terrorist attempt on Christmas Day is the latest incident making American Muslims cringe, fearing that one errant individual will again cast suspicion on the whole religious community.”
One errant individual? Does she mean just the one errant individual on Flight 253 on Christmas Day? If 2009 has underlined any reality, (other than the reality we all warned you about if you elected Barack Obama), it’s that Islamic jihadists all over the world are even more numerous and determined to make religious war on us today than they were on 9/11.
On the 23rd, two days before Farouk’s bomb attempt, TIME reported there were “more terrorist threats were uncovered in the U.S. during 2009 than in any year since 2001”—12 of them (now 13) in 2009. It may look like one person to someone. But to me it looks like a horde trying to breach our weak defenses.
Jun’s article continues:
One person? The guy who killed the arch-abortionist Tiller was one person. Islamic jihadists are estimated in the millions.
"He's ruining our reputation," said Moad Taleb, a Yemeni Muslim living in Dearborn, referring to the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of trying to detonate a bomb on a trans-Atlantic flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands.
"It's a sad thing that we're being pointed at because of one person."
But anyway, who’s pointing at Yemenis in America? Our blog, like many others, has been quite outspoken about the Christmas Day attacker. We don’t have much patience, (or tolerance, if you insist,) on defenders of Islamist jihadism, nor rationalizations about its root causes and list of grievances. I am pretty disgusted at the security failures, and at CAIR’s craven efforts to twist yet one more Islamist attack on innocent Americans into an attack by Americans on innocent Muslims.
But outspoken as we are, I have not once pointed at the Yemeni community in Dearborn. Like the fabled targeting of Arabs since 9/11 for “discrimination and hate crimes,” and the “backlash” that Muslims are forever bracing for and insisting they suffered in the undocumented past, the persecution of Yemeni Muslims in Dearborn is a fantasy.
Not that that stops the press from reporting on it.
Yet Dawud Walid of CAIR Michigan continues to suggest that “misinformation about Islam abounds after such incidents. Walid said that the vast majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world do not support al-Qaida.”
Oh, yeah? Actually, information about Islam always surfaces after these incidents, as more and more Americans are forced to face facts about these determined enemies, and what they believe. That’s what bugs Walid.
Nor is Walid right about the “vast majority” of Muslims not supporting Al Qaeda. Support is mixed, at best, but significant. According to one poll from earlier this year, large majorities of the world's Muslims agree with al Qaeda's goal of pushing the United States to remove its military forces from all Muslim countries and substantial numbers, in some cases majorities, approve of attacks on US troops in Muslim countries.
Walid has seized on the almost too-hard-to believe coincidence of a second young Nigerian male drawing attention to himself on Flight 253 on December 26 by locking himself in the bathroom for an hour and refusing to come out. “The man was cleared after authorities confirmed he had been sick.” What happened to him doesn’t really sound so bad, considering, but now we’re being lectured now that Yemenis are afraid to fly:
Here’s a question for you, Mr. Ali, father of four. You say you’re terrified of being detained for a short time and released?
Mahdi Ali of Detroit says he travels to Yemen every few years to visit cousins, aunts and uncles.
The engineer at General Motors now shudders at what could happen to him on a plane.
"I'd be afraid to go to the bathroom," said Ali, a father of four. "I'd be afraid to move."
Would you be more, or less, afraid to bring your family on a plane with Umar Farouk Abdullamutalab?
As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.Reporter Mike Allen tried to draw the sting from Cheney's remarks by writing thus:
He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.
Although Cheney and other Republicans have accused Obama of a muted response to the attack, President George W. Bush was quieter for much longer about the attack by shoe bomber Richard Reid in December 2001.Except shoe bomber Reid's attack was on December 22, 2001, barely three months after 9/11, and right after the battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. At that stage of America's response to the attack on the World Trade Center, no one on Earth had any doubts about the determination of George W. Bush to confront Islamic terrorism head on.
Obama went before cameras on Monday, the third day after the fizzled bomb attempt.
It was six days after Reid's attempted attack that Bush finally discussed the incident, saying as part of a response to a question at his ranch in Crawford, Texas: “[W]e’ve got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly."
That still isn't true of Barack Hussein Obama.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Protest planned to tell world: Islam is peaceful
BY ERIC D. LAWRENCE
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
The organizers of a Dearborn-area group on Facebook are calling for Muslims to protest against the actions of a Nigerian man accused of trying to attack a Northwest Airlines flight en route to Detroit Metro Airport on Friday.
Majed Moughni, a Dearborn attorney, said Sunday afternoon that Muslims need to let the world know that those who would commit terrorism do not represent Islam.
"It's very frustrating to know that these guys are using Islam and committing terror," he said. "Islam stands for peace."
His Facebook group, Dearborn Area Community Members, is calling for local Muslims to hold a protest during the scheduled Jan. 8 hearing in U.S. District Court in Detroit for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The 23-year-old was charged Saturday with trying to detonate an explosive device on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Friday. He told federal authorities he was acting on orders from Al Qaeda.
Information about the protest is being posted on the group's Facebook page: "Please bring your signs, and American flags: theme: 'NOT IN THE NAME OF ISLAM,' " according to one post.
Fatme Nemer, 24, a Dearborn resident and member of the Facebook group, agreed that the time had come to protest against terrorism.
She said that the group wants to use the international attention to send a message that metro Detroit's Muslim community is opposed to terrorism.
"This is not something that we condone," she said.
It will take some doing to persuade many of us that Islamist terrorists don’t represent Islam.
For a long time we’ve complained that the Dearborn Muslim community has reacted to countless instances of their religion being “hijacked” either with silence or prickly charges that they’re being persecuted.
I wish the best of success to these protesters.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The suspect was reportedly cleared after being reckoned “legitimately ill” by authorities. And, as I understand it, the new rule since Christmas is you can't leave your seat one hour before landing, which could leave many passengers caught short when needing the facilities.
Everything was the same: airline, flight number, departure airport, arrival airport.
And a similar suspect: a Nigerian man who was using the bathroom for a long period of time, just as authorities said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did before he detonated an explosive on the flight Friday.
I would never go so far as to say there are no coincidences, but there is still information that hasn’t been reported, like whether this suspect was on a watch list himself, or had been in Yemen recently. And there is still the fact that they went over the plane with a fine-tooth comb after, and I don’t think they were looking for evidence of digestive upset. Not every question has been answered.
Rep. Peter King said on Fox News this morning that even the Congressional committees on which he sits must depend on the White House for intelligence information, and the White House refuses to disclose quite a bit. King said the White House still hasn’t disclosed everything about Fort Hood. The Department of Homeland Security doesn’t tell us everything.
All that aside, and assuming the complete innocence of yesterday’s Nigerian passenger, it's clear the airline crew, airline authorities, and law enforcement officials were completely correct in their response. In view of what almost happened on Christmas, it would have been beneath despicable for anyone responsible for passenger safety to have given yesterday’s passenger a pass from fear of profiling.
Not that those charges aren’t already flying. According to today’s Detroit Free Press:
Who said yesterday’s passenger was profiled based on ethnicity and religion? He was a disruptive passenger, locked in the bathroom for an hour, and refusing to respond to flight crew. That is behavior, not ethnic nor religious profiling.
The detainment raised some concerns within the Nigerian and Muslim communities."We're concerned about any security threats," Dawud Walid, head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Sunday, though he's also concerned about profiling innocent people based on ethnicity and religion, such as in Sunday's incident.
And Walid, of course, doesn’t mean it when he tells Free Press readers that CAIR is "concerned about any security threats." No sooner had the report of the Flight 253 déjà vu gone out than Walid was on his blog, describing yesterday’s incident as an example of “Flying while Nigerian?”.
I guess Farouk Mutallab isn’t the only one whose pants are on fire.
When Walid’s addressing the “community,” he will never acknowledge there are legitimate concerns about security threats. On his blog, for example, Walid condemns heightened security measures after the failed Christmas attack as “hysteria.” The closer look officials took at yesterday's disruptive passenger was “profiling.”
When flight crews and security officials are on alert that’s “hysteria.” When Al Qaeda manages its most successful attempt to attack us on our own soil since 9/11 , that’s an “unfortunate incident” that should not call forth increased vigilance.
Makes you wonder what CAIR’s priorities are.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Dearborn Police Department, which did not participate in the raid, but is investigating the shooting because it took place in Dearborn, has requested the report not be released until they’ve completed their investigation.
Today’s unsigned editorial, which the Freep ran alongside Abdullah’s prom photo, (“Don't delay release of autopsy truths”), is most likely from the pen of Freep blogger, Jeff Gerritt, whose December 22 post resembles today’s editorial almost word-for-word. (“Release Abdullah's autopsy now”).
The theme of the opinion pieces is that withholding the report from the public (i.e., from impatient trial lawyers champing to file a wrongful-death suit against the USA on behalf of Abdullah’s family), only raises “further questions in the community about a government cover up.” “Further,” that is, beyond those questions being planted all over “the community” by CAIR-MI’s Dawud Walid.
Walid has been suggesting since the morning after the raid that Abdullah was targeted for assassination by the FBI as part of their sinister “neo-COINTELPRO”--the same one they used against the brothers in the Black Panther Party back in the day.
(The way Dawud has been talking up the glorious history of the Panthers and the Nation of Islam lately, I almost wonder if he isn’t trolling for a job with the NOI. It’s not as if CAIR has a bright future nowadays. If he starts giving interviews wearing a bow tie, remember you heard it here first.)
The current brouhaha arose from an early report that a morgue employee told a family member that Abdullah’s corpse had eighteen bullet wounds. This hearsay factoid is then combined with reports that Abdullah’s corpse was handcuffed, suggesting he was still alive after being shot at the scene, which is all then mixed with the well-reported efforts by the task force to medi-vac the mortally wounded K-9 to a veterinary hospital, while Abdullah wasn’t medi-vacced anywhere.
In spite of the Freep’s editorial headline, “Don't delay release of autopsy truths,” I don’t know what “truths” are likely to emerge that will make Abdullah a martyr, and the FBI his assassins. Even if the report does document that Abdullah was shot 18 times, it’s already well known that Abdullah was shot to death by the task force, and why he was shot: Because he opened fire after refusing to surrender. Would CAIR stop complaining if he was killed with a single shot? Or do people really believe that when an armed task force has to resort to returning fire against an armed suspect, they take turns firing slowly, one bullet at a time, so as not to overdo it? (I loved Ron Scott's analogy that the episode was analagous to a Christian minister being shot while "in his pulpit.")
And even if the autopsy report shows Abdullah’s corpse arrived in handcuffs, I don’t see why that proves that his “civil rights” were violated. If his condition wasn't known by agents immediately after he was shot, I would expect agents to restrain him. The object of the raid was to arrest Abdullah and his band, and prudence would require treating him as alive until it was certain that he wasn’t. And if for some reason he was handcuffed after he was dead, what would that prove? I don’t know which Amendment that violates.
It’s obvious that Gerritt, and the Free Press, are taking their talking points on this directly from Dawud Walid. A week ago, Gerritt’s blog sounded like a composite of all Walid’s recent interviews, like the one he gives above.
Today the Free Press writes:
Federal agents sought to arrest Abdullah on suspicions that he dealt with stolen goods, but his death has raised questions not only about the shooting itself but also about the use of government informants to infiltrate Muslim groups and mosques. The death of Abdullah, who was African American and Muslim, has racial and religious overtones, especially among a people who have faced excessive police force throughout their history. Fueling the skepticism: a recent report that the federal government improperly gathered intelligence on the Nation of Islam in 2007.Gerritt went so far in his blog last week to say, “Abdullah’s killing has blown up far beyond metro Detroit and threatens relations between the Muslim community and government, and even between Muslim nations and the United States.”
Yikes! No wonder Iran won’t give up their nukes, and Yemen has the Welcome mat out for Al Qaeda.
Actually, what’s fueling any skepticism locally is Walid and the other Muslim leaders who are doing everything they can to portray Abdullah--who was a violent, hate-filled radical--as a martyr, while portraying any counterterrorism efforts by US law enforcement as illegitimate.
As for the NOI “intelligence” report, that didn’t even come to light until it was disclosed by the by the DHS only a couple weeks ago. By then, CAIR had been fueling skepticism about Abdullah’s death for weeks. And the NOI story is a major red herring, anyhow, but one Walid has fastened onto because, as I said above, he’s been sounding more and more like a Black Muslim these days, and the NOI has chosen to feature this non-story heavily.
The autopsy report is going to come out. Maybe it will prove that a harmless and wounded Abdullah was set upon by outraged cops and shot to death in cold blood. Police murders do happen. If that turns out to be the case, I'll be the first to denounce it. But I think that’s unlikely in this case. For the time being, that's not the point. Here is the point:
Even the Freep has to admit that it’s the Dearborn police, not the FBI, who requested the report not be released, and no one is accusing the DPD of any wrongdoing. So where is the DPD’s motive? And the FBI, who would be the logical puppeteers behind any alleged “cover-up,” haven’t asked the coroner to sit on the report. So where is the FBI’s motive?
The only ones here with transparent motives are Walid and the Freep, who are using this delay to stir up skepticism and mistrust in an already alienated Muslim community. Walid’s motive is to deflect attention from problems with radical Islamists--whose actual existence he has never admitted--and to further his career as a professional Muslim rabble-rouser.
The Freep’s motive is to pursue its ancient Democrat commitment to the destruction of western civilization By Any Means Necessary.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
As Dawud Walid told the AP today, “the suspect is unknown in Detroit’s Nigerian Muslim community. I’ve been in contact with its most prominent leader in Detroit, who said, ‘I don’t know this man; he’s not a part of our community.’”
Walid admits only that the suspect is a “Nigerian, who attempted to set off a powder & liquid mixture on a Northwest flight over Detroit yesterday”, but beyond that thinks this has nothing do with Muslims, Islam, or Nigerians.
You will notice that Walid likes to strike a simplistic theme in his publicity and stick with it. Remember the O.J. trial, when Johnny Cochran told the jury “If it doesn’t quit, you must acquit”? It’s like that: simple, memorable, and misleading.
In this case, Walid’s theme is that the Nigerian jihadist was “potentially deranged.” (“Potentially deranged Nigerian fumbles plans over Detroit”).
Walid is hoping we’ll all accept that, if Mutallab is deranged, his Islamist beliefs just can’t be responsible for his attempted terror attack.
Derangement is an interesting possibility. It’s just that no one close to the investigation has suggested Mutallab was showing signs of being mentally disturbed. I suppose Mutallab eventually could be discovered to be deranged, just as he eventually could be discovered to be a female in disguise, or eventually even a robot planted by the MIT engineering department as a hoax. But it’s unlikely. And I don’t know how, in the absence of all evidence, Walid can headline his remarks by emphasizing the potential that the attacker was deranged.
Walid also likes the explanation that Mutallab might be just a “lone wolf who was motivated by some sort of grievance.” You know, like inadequate health care, global warming, or Israel’s mistreatment of Hamas suicide bombers. Maybe, Walid comments on his blog, he’s “a deranged person like the lady who jumped on the Pope at mass.”
Fair enough, as long as we keep in mind that the Pope’s attacker, Susanna Maiolo, was unarmed and told doctors afterward she didn’t want to hurt the Pope. By contrast, Mutallab was strapped with a sophisticated high explosive (PETN), was trained by Al Qaeda, and wanted to kill everybody on Flight 283 and a lot of people on the ground, including, potentially, those who lived in the flight path, like me, and lots of people in Dearborn’s burgeoning hookah lounges.
Since Mutallab stopped in Yemen to get the bomb, and get the AQ training--all from somebody else--that kind of poops Walid’s lone-wolf theory. And since Mutallab says he’s with Al Qaeda, whether officially or as a wannabe mule, I think it’s fair to say that his grievances are Al Qaeda's grievances--which in shorthand can be summed up by the term “jihad.”
The fact is, Walid takes a mighty dim view of all anti-terrorist investigations. He explains them to the “community” either as “entrapment”or plots facilitated by Islamophobic “agent provocateurs.” He explains the May 2009 arrest of 4 Newburg, New York terrorists this way: “In Newburg, NY, one of the dudes entrapped by the FBI informant this year was a diagnosed schizo.”
Entrapped? I guess the FBI should have left them alone with their innocent plans to blow up Jews and shoot down military planes.
And I don’t know if one of the “dudes” was schizo or not, but I do know that one schizo out of four still leaves three “dudes” who knew exactly what they were up to. As Walid himself admits, “Sometimes, deranged persons can be dupes for other people’s interests.” Exactly. That’s why people like us don’t focus on one “dude,” but want to know everything we can about the “other people” behind him, and their interests.
You may find the details interesting. Saleem Shariff, and three of his coworkers, Ali Alward, Abdul Mohamed, and Saleh Mohamed Omar, were all working as temp employees at the Ford Woodhaven plant on the morning of 9/11. When news of the World Trade Center attack reached their work area, the four exhibited “signs of celebration . . .laughing and exchanging high-fives after learning of the deadly terrorist attack.”
Shariff’s behavior was brought to the attention of a labor relations employee, Dave Allen. The opinion doesn’t say so, but it’s safe to assume that outraged UAW members made their feelings clear that Shareef and his jubilant friends weren’t welcome on the shop floor. Allen and union reps agreed that decided that Shariff would be allowed to finish his temporary assignment, but would only be considered for future assignments at other locations. Presumably, this meant at locations where no one knew about them or their asshole behavior.
As it happened, Shareef received no more assignments. He and his pals filed a lawsuit alleging they were denied employment because of their national origin. The plaintiffs claimed that labor relations rep Dave Allen had it in for them not because of how they behaved on 9/11, which they didn't deny, but because they were Arab. The Wayne County Circuit Court threw the lawsuit out, finding that any animus Allen may have had against Shareer had nothing to do with his national origin, but was because of the way he had acted on 9/11.
Shareef appealed, and in this opinion the Court of Appeals agrees with the trial court. Shareef makes the unreasonable, but somehow familiar, claim that, while, yes, he may have rejoiced with pro-Islamist sympathy for terrorist attacks killing Americans while on the shop floor of a UAW auto plant, but that’s only being held against him now because he’s an Arab.
The Court of Appeals puts this theory’s flawed logic to death with succinct dryness: “This constitutes speculation whether laughing and exchanging high-fives after learning of the deadly terrorist attack would have been deemed acceptable if he had belonged to another ethnicity.”
Consider this a small victory against the hollowed-out fiction known as “Islamophobia.”
Political correctness has distorted the legitimate purpose of America’s anti-discrimination laws. Instead of protection from prejudice against race, religion, or sex, a sensible goal most Americans instinctively embrace, PC demands a blanket of immunity over bad behavior because the bad actors’ race, religion, or sex places them beyond consequences. Major Malik Hasan was acting bad when he did a Powerpoint presentation advertising Islamic jihadism, but nobody said a thing from fear of being called an Islamophobe.
In this case, Michigan judges recognized that displaying sympathy for jihadist terrorism has consequences no matter who you are, and you can't just grab the umbrella of "discrimination" to keep those consequences off your head. Kudos.
This is a story certain to have saturation news coverage, which is a good thing since the airlines, transportation authorities, and the media have all resisted recognizing a pattern of dry runs testing air crew reactions to organized disruptive behavior. Like the Ft. Hood attack, this story was out before the media had a chance to quash it.
A Nigerian engineering student at a British university, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, tried to blow up a transatlantic aircraft in a suspected al-Qaeda plot, it is claimed.
The 23-year-old attempted to ignite an explosive device strapped to his leg as a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew came in to land in Detroit, according to US security officials.
He suffered second degree burns before being overpowered by other passengers including one who jumped on him and was also burned.
Mutallab, whom US security sources said was a student at University College London, claimed to have picked up his device in Yemen and to be an agent of al-Qaeda.
The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism. ("Detroit: British student in al-Qaeda airline bomb attempt").
This doesn’t appear to be a dry run. But who knows if Mutallab wasn’t just a guinea pig intended to provide one more puzzle piece in al Qaeda’s longer-range strategy to penetrate airline security. Mutallab’s attempt bears similarities to both Richard Reid’s shoe-bomb attempt, and to the 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic flights headed here from the UK with chemicals smuggled aboard planes. And that plan was first attempted by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Yousef in 1995 when they tried mixing “chemicals they planned to smuggle onto 12 planes headed to Seoul and Hong Kong and then to the United States.”
I can conceive of a future combined attack where a lone Mutallab figure mixes his chemicals unnoticed because the entire plane is preoccupied with six imams doing Chinese fire drills and blocking the aisles.
We’re grateful that quick action by passengers and crew spared Flight 253, and the communities in the airliner’s flight path, what could have been a devastating attack.
But the important thing now is the big picture of how al Qaeda are still determined to attack us. They don’t seem to hate us any less for electing Obama. And they don’t seem to be respecting our narrow martial aim to engage them only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was a Yemen-connected plot.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Terror test runs on airlines?
After my article on the bizarre incident on Airtran Flight 297 was published, one reader going by the initials VHG said something that immediately caught my attention. The comment referred to an apparently similar occurrence that happened on United Airlines flight #227 in Denver on December 9th, only two days before my article appeared.
While the story of that flight continues to unfold, I believe it is time again to update American Thinkers with the current state of the developments surrounding these stories.
Chris Vanderveen from 9News.com in Colorado interviewed passengers from the plane that was reportedly delayed because of the suspicious behavior by a group of men during preflight preparations. Although the one passenger from the flight with whom I spoke that agreed to be quoted on condition of anonymity described the incident from his vantage point as "not that big of a deal", the fact passengers were removed from the plane and not allowed to re-board, plus bomb sniffing dogs checked the luggage before the plane was allowed to depart from the gate, simply suggests the action that caused the flight delay occurred outside his line of sight.
Bad behavior causing flight disruptions are not uniquely limited to groups of ethnic individuals. Flights have been rerouted or delayed by the actions of drunken or stupid travelers of practically every nationality. The most famous security breach at Hartsfield airport in Atlanta involved a 32 year old Caucasian man who forced temporary closure of the entire airport while trying to evade security in order to make his flight in time to attend a football game. However, those incidents tend to be isolated, not repeated.
Given the differences between the official AirTran account of the incident and those of multiple passengers allegedly on the flight, I contacted Christopher White of AirTran hoping to resolve those discrepancies. Specifically I asked Mr. White if AirTran planned to revise its official statement describing the incident as simply a customer service issue that occurred due to a relatively minor miscommunication involving a single passenger. I referred Mr. White to the interview of a passenger named Brown by WSB TV. In that interview Mr. Brown indicated multiple passengers were engaged in behavior significantly more disconcerting than that described by the rather innocuous account given by AirTran.
Mr. White's response to the questions I posed regarding Mr. Brown's version of what happened was confusing to say the least. Mr. White had no problem reiterating the point the story originated from an email attributed to one specific passenger that AirTran took great pains to discredit but refused to be engaged in a discussion of comments made by other passengers of a somewhat similar nature but without the most sensational details.
When asked to reconcile the difference between Mr. Brown's statement that his experience was one of the most alarming he'd undergone in twenty years of frequent flying against the "customer service" issue characterization by AirTran and the TSA, Mr. White responded:
I believe Mr. Brown is accurately portraying his perception of what happened. His perspective is limited to the cabin. For example. He suggested we contact the police and "expected blue lights to meet the plane. [email 12/16/09 2:46 pm from Christopher White from AirTran to me]
On the other hand, when I wrote
I'm not trying to accuse AirTran of any wrongdoing, but I am saying it appears your official report appears to have some serious factual discrepancies with the accounts already out there, from Mr. Brown in particular. Have you spoken to Mr. Brown or are you familiar with his account? [same email]
Mr. White's answer was simply "No".
No what? No, he wasn't familiar with Brown's account or no, he hadn't spoken with him? His answers to the remainder of my questions were equally blunt: No, I may not speak with the flight crew. No, AirTran won't revise its story no matter what people actually on the plane have said. In other words, that's our story and we're sticking to it.
Saying Mr. White provided more information than United Airlines' spokeswoman regarding flight 227 to this point isn't saying much. United says they are still investigating the incident a week after it happened. Their spokeswoman wrote back
[W]e have not publicly reported what may or may not have happened onboard. As part of our commitment to safety, any conversation we have with another airline about security is a private matter.
Her last sentence responded to my question whether any common denominators between the incidents on Flight #297 and Flight #227 had been discussed either with TSA officials or AirTran.
In Vanderveen's article on flight #227, he reported bomb sniffing dogs were brought on board the plane, information confirmed by the passenger with whom I spoke. The men forced to deplane were described as "attempting to change seats with other passengers" and another said "the men were trying to move luggage around while the plane was getting ready to push back".
In both cases the planes were delayed, passengers were inconvenienced and unduly alarmed, and by most accounts the flight crews on both planes were frightened out of their wits.
The situation that allegedly occurred on United flight #227 seems to have a few common denominators with what apparently happened on AirTran. In both cases a group of ethnic men apparently of Middle Eastern descent exhibited enough strange behavior that proved sufficient to concern the pilots, flight crew and other passengers enough to delay the flight, resulting in inconvenience to the passengers and unnecessary expense for the airlines.
Chronology of Pattern Behavior
Once the point had been reached where additional information is no longer forthcoming about these two flights in the foreseeable future, I didn't know where to look for more information. An experienced reporter working on these stories suggested I turn my attention backwards to seeing whether any dots could be connected to incidents on flights in the past.
America West Flight 90, Nov 19, 1999. - In this pre-September 11th incident, two passengers speaking Arabic roamed the plane without permission and attempted to enter the cockpit in what has been described by the 9/11 commission in their report as a dry run. "Students" Muhammed Al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan Al-Shalawi were placed in custody and removed from the flight. Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought to search the plane. The airline was sued for discrimination but the case was dismissed.
Northwest Flight 327 - Jun 29, 2004. Described by flight marshals as a terrorist dry run, thirteen men of Syrian descent changed seats, congregated in the aisles, used the bathrooms excessively, appeared nervous and behaved in a strange manner long enough to draw attention and concern from fellow passengers. Air marshals on the plane instructed the flight crew to radio ahead for law enforcement to meet the plane when it landed in Los Angeles.
US Airways Flight 300 - November 20, 2006. The infamous case of the flying imams who allegedly changed seats in order to take control of every entry and exit route from the plane, ignored their assigned seats, requested unnecessary seatbelt extensions, and disrupted the flight. The unused seat belt extenders were left lying on the airplane floor. Hmmm. Webbed strap belts with metal heads attached - why would anyone be concerned about that? Who worries about customers acting strangely who make obviously unnecessary and unusual special requests?
The imams were removed from the plane but cried discrimination after the fact. They sued the airline and received an undisclosed settlement. CAIR and the imams declared victory.
AirTran Flight 175 - Jan 1, 2009, According to an article published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, nine Muslims traveling to an Islamic conference were removed from the plane after two members of the group allegedly engaged in a debate about the safest location to sit in the event of a bombing on the plane. The conversation alarmed other passengers, who alerted the flight crew and caused the plane to be diverted. According to Doug Hagmann in the Canada Free Press:
[N]one of the remaining 95 passengers made it to their ultimate destinations on time, AirTran refunded some tickets and made other booking arrangements due to the incident, which cost the airline dearly in time, money, and passenger goodwill.
A press release from AirTran found at EuroInvestor.co.uk incredibly reported that AirTran actually rewarded the nine Muslims who disrupted the flight, saying:
"The airline has refunded the air fares of the nine passengers detained for questioning, has agreed to reimburse the passengers for expenses incurred by taking another airline and has also offered to transport the passengers home to Washington, DC, free of charge."
So let me get this straight: the nine Muslims who caused the flight delay and scared other passengers profited from their misconduct? Their airfare was refunded AND they got a free flight home? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me...is this a great country, or what?
United flight 22 - September 28, 2009. According to the KTLA.com, two men of apparent Middle Eastern descent were removed from a flight at LAX and the flight delayed while the bomb squad searched the plane. An article in the LA Times reported the incident as follows:
A law enforcement source said at least one of the men ran into a restroom on the plane and appeared to hide while the New York-bound jet was taxiing on the runway, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.
AirTran 297 - Nov 17, 2009. A group of ethnic passengers used electronic devices on tarmac preparing for takeoff, changed seats, moved around, ignored flight attendants instructions, caused plane to return to terminal and flight delay.
UA 227 - Dec 9, 2009. A group of passengers believed to be of Middle Eastern descent changed seats and allegedly moved other passenger's luggage at the gate while the plane prepared for departure, prompting their removal from the flight and bomb sniffing dogs to check the baggage.
Two possibilities that come immediately to mind are either these incidents are orchestrated as a ploy to create a scenario to litigate for profit like the imams from US Airways Flight 300, or something more sinister is in the works. In the aftermath of Fort Hood, can we afford to ignore warning signs of abnormal or pattern behavior any longer?
Yes, Jim Crow lives under the microscopes of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology. (“Stem cell diversity must be assured”).
You have to read this one for yourself:
One of the more shameful American truths is the racial health care gap, including the disparate rates at which African Americans and other ethnic minorities find their doctors following standard care procedures for common ailments.What the Freep defines as “the problem” is “the dearth of non-European stem cell lines”--from fertility clinics employed mostly by white people. What the Freep wants, without coming out and saying so, is the expansion of stem-cell lines from “discardable” mostly-white fertility-clinic embryos to fertilized eggs purchased from minority women.
If you're black and you've got heart disease, chances are your doctor will order tests to find it later than he or she would have for a white patient, according to studies done by researchers at Harvard's school of public health. Same goes for tests for high cholesterol, blood sugar or a host of other issues.
The gap is narrowing, which is the good news. But it may also be extending into areas in which medicine is taking great leaps forward to help cure disease, which is a little alarming.
Sean Morrison, who heads the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology, said last week that he's concerned too many of the stem cell lines he and others at the university are researching come from a narrow ethnic background. They're mostly northern and western European, he said, to the exclusion of African and other ethnicities.
The problem may lie with the source of most stem cell lines. They come from unused embryos at fertility clinics. And since fertility treatments are very much the province of people with money, the wealth gap that exists in this country may now be playing out in stem cell lines that become available for research.
Down the road, this threatens the viability of cures and treatments that might be discovered using the stem cell lines. Maybe they'll work fine for people of some ethnic backgrounds, but not as well for others.
The solution, for now, is for researchers to focus specifically on developing stem cell lines from ethnic groups that are underrepresented. They'll have to do that by homing in on the ones available, mostly from fertility clinics.
But long term, this makes Congress' continuing restrictions on the development of stem cell lines look silly. Stem cell research is important and has life-saving implications for millions of people. Lawmakers are standing in the way of its full potential, and also its fairness, as the dearth of non-European stem cell lines demonstrates. It's hard to see how extending America's historically shameful racial health care gap into the future of medicine serves anyone's interests.
Just think of it as affirmative action for doomed black embryos.
The Free Press is impatient for the miracle cures promised by John Edwards. To clear up any misinformaiton, they editorial helpfully reminds its 3,000 readers:
“Embryos, or spheres containing about 100 undifferentiated cells, are used.”
Now, one of the hollowest of leftist charges is that anyone daring to be skeptical of the man-made global warming theory, or who believes the material world is the result of an intelligent creator, is anti-science. The really smart people, they tell us, are not only pro-science, but are especially scientific in the way they reach their opinions. That’s why they should be ruling over the rest of us.
But how has their record been, really? The same side is adamant that anyone who still suggests that human biology recognizes only two complementary sexes, male and female, is a gibbering bigot. The same team that congratulates itself for being pro-science recognizes no fewer, at last count, than 5 distinct “genders,” and probably more yet to be discovered, or at least, acted out. The same brainiacs who are keening that the planet has a fever, swore to us thirty years ago that overpopulation would reduce us to cannibals by 2000, if the Ice Age didn’t kill us first.
Yet the Left’s most glaring instance of anti-science has been the utter refusal to recognize the thoroughly uncontroversial scientific consensus over when human life begins. As far as I’m concerned, no one who expresses agnosticism over whether or not life begins at conception has any right to lecture me about empirical science.
Certainly a lot if it is simple dishonesty by people who know better, but aren’t going to have their agendas sidetracked by any inconvenient truths. But we shouldn’t be too quick to rule out genuine anti-science ignorance. One would expect a generation educated in schools where science had to become secular leftism’s handmaid to lack the needed for close observation and drawing conclusions from evidence without reference to ideological preconceptions. It was the American public school system, I believe, that spoon-fed baby-boomers on the myth of the “population explosion.”
I don’t know how else to explain how the former living President most widely recognized by Americans for his braininess, Bill Clinton, could have made the following remarks on stem-cell research earlier this year:
“Clinton: I think – the answer is I think that we’ll work it through. If – particularly if it’s done right. If it’s obvious that we’re not taking embryos that can – that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilized and become little babies, and I think if it’s obvious that we’re not talking about some science fiction cloning of human beings, then I think the American people will support this….”In the 1970s, abortion proponents dismissed the fetus as a “blob of tissue,” the better to persuade mothers to dispose of them as waste products. Denoting a human embryo as a “blob” wasn’t science, of course. It still isn’t. It’s only a cynical trick to reduce the value of the unborn to zero.
Apparently, the embryo that was only a “blob” in pro-abortion orthodoxy is getting elevated, at least at the Free Press, to a “sphere” for purposes of supporting embryonic-destructive scientific research. That’s somewhat of a promotion, since a blob sounds like an accident, whereas a sphere almost sounds like some design hours went into it. Not that anyone’s suggesting design was involved, you gibbering bigot! But we have to describe what is unique about it so you’ll understand why it’s so valuable to scientists.
My point is that the Free Press needs to suggest that destroying embryonic “spheres” is as morally harmless as popping a balloon. But this isn't science. Nor does this kind of thing fairly convey the potential and complexity of the thing. (In fact, the “blastocyst,” as the little thing is known in its spherical stage, is actually not yet an embryo.)
But to return to my point, the Free Press is hardly being scientific trying to fake us out that all that’s at stake is the equivalent of a period-sized meatball. There are spheres, and then there are spheres. An ophthalmologist could tell you that your own eyeball’s just a sphere containing viscous fluid, and then ask if he can gouge it out to further his research on mirror-coated contact lenses. You wouldn’t think that was a fair description of your baby blue.
As a middle-aged former blob and current sphere-in-process boasting millions of cells, I speak out for spheroid- and other-shaped humanity when I say that no scientist worth his Z-Coil shoes would ever think he was finished with a description of a human blastocyst by just saying it was a sphere containing about 100 undifferentiated cells. Science would describe the origin of this entity, and what it was likely to turn into if allowed to follow its proper course, among other fascinating things--maybe like we all started out that way, even Free Press editorialists. If science were truly allowed to speak without the interference of agenda-driven advocates, it would say we were looking at a human being in its earliest stages.
If these little spheres were so unremarkable, people wouldn’t be fighting so hard, and willing to pay so much, to procure an endless supply of them.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Financial columnist Diane Francis at Canada's Financial Post sees the real problem as just too damned many people. As she writes in her article below, "Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it." Watch how she lives up to that failure here:
Oh, those darned big fundamentalist religions and their preachments in favor of procreation!
The real inconvenient truth
The whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy
Diane Francis, Financial Post
The "inconvenient truth" overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.
A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.
The world's other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity's soaring reproduction rate.
Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.
The intelligence behind this is the following:
-If only one child per female was born as of now, the world's population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.
-By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world's forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.
-Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.
Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it. Medical and other scientific advances have benefited by delivering lower infant mortality rates as well as longevity. Both are welcome, but humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that the world can only accommodate so many people, especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars.
The fix is simple. It's dramatic. And yet the world's leaders don't even have this on their agenda in Copenhagen. Instead there will be photo ops, posturing, optics, blah-blah-blah about climate science and climate fraud, announcements of giant wind farms, then cap-and-trade subsidies.
None will work unless a China one-child policy is imposed. Unfortunately, there are powerful opponents. Leaders of the world's big fundamentalist religions preach in favor of procreation and fiercely oppose birth control. And most political leaders in emerging economies perpetuate a disastrous Catch-22: Many children (i. e. sons) stave off hardship in the absence of a social safety net or economic development, which, in turn, prevents protections or development.
China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.
For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.
The point is that Copenhagen's talking points are beside the point.
The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.
Francis spends her entire article explaining why the only simple, dramatic fix she can recommend is “right-sizing” the population, but then in her last sentence betrays another layer of drama:
“The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.”
Ah, ha. So she doesn’t really think fewer humans will do the trick. We also need those few remaining humans to bear government-imposed limits on what they can use, grow, drive, eat, make, sell, and play with. What she really wants, is planetary law, and less people.
The planet doesn’t deserve her.
Obama is starting to lose to a former president? And one legendary, at least amongst his enemies, as the most unpopular president of all time? This serves Obama right for running against Bush in the first place. I wasn’t asked my opinion for this poll, but it wouldn’t be Bush I’d rather see back on the job rather see Bush back on the job at this stage. Bush has earned his rest. And things are so mucked up at this point no one less than Dick Cheney could fix things.
Bush closes the gap
Public Policy Polling:
Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama's declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they'd rather have his predecessor. Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that's somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country's difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.
(via Political Wire)
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Or so sermonizes Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) founder, Salam Al-Marayati in today’s Wall Street Journal. (“Major Hasan and the Quran”). Al-Marayati denounces Hasan as thoroughly as imaginable, calling on him to consider “repentance” as an option, in addition to possibly entering an insanity defense:
He should take responsibility for his horrific act of violence. He should beg for forgiveness from God for murdering 13 people and injuring 31 more. He should apologize to the families of the victims. He should ask for forgiveness from his fellow members of the military, and from the American people, as he betrayed our entire nation—including Muslim-Americans who are paying the price for his shameful and un-Islamic actions.There now. That should make all of us feel better. Now we know that Hasan’s acts weren’t terrorist-related at all, and especially not related to Islam. No less a spokesman than the executive director of MPAC is giving it to Hasan--who is paralyzed, hated, and forsaken by almost every fellow Muslim in America--giving it to him with both barrels.
Al-Marayati’s display of moral courage would be exemplary, if it weren’t so sickening.
I wouldn’t try to lessen Hasan’s jihadist murder one speck. But just looking at it on a global scale, and as it ranks in the ever-growing catalogue of Islamist mass murders in the 21st century, Hasan’s attack would not make the top 100. If Al-Marayati wants to vent his spleen at Islamists who aren’t being true to “Islam's goal of peacemaking,”(!) can't he find bigger, more far-reaching, and less spent, targets to pretend to scream at?
Why only Tuesday, Islamists murdered more than 121 people murdered in Iraq and wounded 400, and Islamists have killed 100 people in Pakistan in a series of bombings just in the past 5 days.
But why aren’t we hearing Al-Marayati, or MPAC, condemn the truly deadly terror groups: Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Lashkar-e-Taiba, or bin Laden, or al-Zarqawi, or Anwar al-Alawki--the death-dealing ones who inspired Hasan in the first place, and continue to inspire thousands more? Hasan is finished, facing either a life in prison or execution. He’s harmless now. It doesn’t cost MPAC a thing to call him a bad Muslim.
Or are we really supposed to believe that Al-Marayati is only concerned for Hasan’s soul?
MPAC is well-known for its two-faced condemnations of terrorism even while working to get the U.S. government to remove Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from its list of terrorist organizations. Or blaming Israel for 9/11. (“Salam Al-Marayati: The Anti-Anti-Terrorist”). Or comparing Islamist terrorists to the Freedom Fighters in the American Revolution. (“CAMERA ALERT: LA Times Mum on Al-Marayati's Record”).
MPAC members have a history of abject dishonesty about their true sentiments, as documented, in part by Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes. (“MPAC, CAIR, and Praising Osama bin Laden”). In short, I’m not buying it. You shouldn’t, either.
In a week that’s already featured Obama visiting Congress only to talk to Democrats, Harry Reid tattling at America like the kid that used to report his classmates to the principal, and an ecstatic Lisa Jackson grinning triumphantly that she and the EPA own all the carbon dioxide in 50 states, Al-Marayati’s naked cynicism is leaving us a little cold.
Monday, December 07, 2009
NEW YORK, DECEMBER 5, 2009 — Several thousand protesters gathered at Foley Square in New York City to rally against Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and 4 other 9/11 co-conspirators as civilians in federal court. Despite bitter cold, strong winds and heavy rain the crowd stayed through the 2-hour rally. The event was organized by the 9/11 Coalition to Never Forget and featured speakers representing 9/11 family members, first responders and our troops.December 5 2009
The following statement, written by Judea and Ruth Pearl, the parents of Daniel Pearl, the journalist slaughtered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, was read by actor Brian Dennehy at the rally in New York City:
Friends,On behalf of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, we wish to join you today in a call to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try America’s new-type of enemies in New York Federal court.
We wish to add to your rally the perspective of our own personal tragedy which, in many ways, has come to symbolize the depth of inhumanity that has swept our planet in the 21st century, and the sense of urgency with which this planet is currently watching your rally, in New York City, a rally that may very well hold the key to the future of open society.
We, who witnessed the darkest side of hell, and have since spent every moment of our lives studying the anatomy of terror, we refuse to accept the strategy of normalization that Holder’s decision represents. Terror is a crime against society, and should not be tried in the same court as crimes against individuals or against a particular country.
Let us make it perfectly clear. We are not concerned about the safety issues that this trial poses to New York City — we trust our law enforcement officers. Nor are we concerned about the anguish of our children who will be seeing the memories and values of their loved ones mocked and ridiculed in the court room — they have known greater pains before. We are concerned about the millions of angry youngsters, among them potential terrorists, who will be watching this trial unfold on Al Jazeera TV and come to the realization that America has caved in to Al Qaeda’s demands for publicity. The atrocity of 9/11 and the brutal murder of Daniel Pearl are vivid reminders of terrorists’ craving to dramatize their perceived grievances against the West.
Today, America has given them an even lauder mega-phone — in the best theater in town — and thus signaled to thousands of would-be terrorists that joining Al Qaeda or other terror organizations is one way to obtain that craved-for mega-phone.
We who have studied the anatomy of terrorism cannot accept the logic that terror has no country therefore it cannot be defined, named and fought with the same determination and creativity that civilized society has fought other existential threats since the invention of gun powder. These include high-seas piracy, the introduction of poison gas and the threat of nuclear weapons; all were contained by creative changes in international law and the establishment of new legal categories. The invention of the suicide belt is of no lesser threat.
Terror is an ideology that elevates one’s grievances above the norms of civilized society and, like any epidemic of global dimension it must be fought by attending to the distinct mechanisms that transmit and propagate the disease.
In 2002, the international community has given America a moral mandate to fight the new epidemic with all the necessary instruments, including a new court system and new legal regimes. The decision to try the arch-symbols of terror in ordinary criminal court, using traditional legal instruments, constitutes a betrayal of that mandate.
Mr. Attorney General, our children and grand-children are imploring you today: Please reclaim America’s mandate to secure a brighter future for our troubled world!
Judea and Ruth Pearl
Los Angeles, California
Manager-mother IDs alleged robber with gun as her son
Saturday, December 5, 2009
By Sean Delaney, Press & Guide Newspapers
DEARBORN HEIGHTS -- A 27-year-old Lincoln Park man and his 22-year-old girlfriend will undergo a preliminary examination Dec. 9 after allegedly robbing the Wendy’s on Telegraph and Van Born Road, where the man’s mother worked as a manager.
Authorities say 27-year-old Jason Zacchi walked up to the restaurant’s drive-thru window about 9:30 p.m. Nov. 28 with a blue bandana around his face and a sawed off shotgun in his hand.“He threatened one employee, and reached in and started hitting the screens to open up the register,” said Dearborn Heights Police Detective Sgt. Stephen Gurka.
During the commotion, the restaurant manager came out to see what was going on and recognized her son’s face above the bandana.
“She proceeded to walk over and shouted, ‘What the hell are you doing?’” Gurka said.
She told investigators she attempted to take the drawer from her son, who fled with $150 cash in an unidentified vehicle allegedly driven by his 22-year-old girlfriend, Amanda Lee Yost of Lincoln Park.
Yost, a former Wendy’s employee, allegedly gave Zacchi her grandmother’s shotgun prior to the robbery. The couple was arrested at the home they share with Zacchi’s mother and the $150 was recovered by police.
Both were arraigned Monday in 20th District Court on armed robbery charges and are being house in Wayne County jail — Zacchi on a $100,000 cash bond and Yost on $50,000.
The couple has three young children — 18-month-old twins and a 2-year-old.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
This proves to Page that all those crazy right-wingers were wrong that Ayers and Obama “were joined at the hip.”
“Meanwhile,” Page continues, “what are the Glenn Becks, Sean Hannitys and Sarah Palins of the world going to talk about now that Ayers says Obama's a conservative war hawk? Hint: I'm sure they'll find something.”
I’m sure they will, too. They’ll probably go for something obvious like the fact that both Obama and Ayers are disciples of Saul Alinksy. (“Revolution you can believe in”). I know I would. As Alinskyites, both Obama and Ayers are free to claim support or opposition for any position necessary to achieving their ultimate aim, as Andrew McCarthy describes:
. . . Alinskyites are . . . sophisticated, patient, and practical. They bore in, hollowing out the system from within, appropriating the appearance and argot of mainstream society. Their single, animating ambition is to overthrow the capitalist social order, which they claim to see as racist, corrupt, exploitative, imperialist, etc. Apart from that goal, everything else — from the public option to Afghanistan — is negotiable: They reserve the right to take any position on any matter, to say anything at any time, based on the ebb and flow of popular opinion. That keeps them politically viable while they radically transform society. Transform it into what, they haven’t worked out in great detail — except that it will be perfect, communal, equal, and just. (“Alinsky Does Afghanistan”).
As another prominent Alinskyite, Hillary Clinton, wrote in her Wellesley College senior thesis, “There is only the fight”, that is, the radical fight to remake society.
Leftists needn’t fear that Afghanistan has become Obama’s fight. This changes nothing.