Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dearborn Gets Spontaneous

I took some time off over Christmas.

It seems there was a demonstration here on Warren in East Dearborn Tuesday, protestors denouncing Israel and demanding that Hamas in Gaza be left alone.

I wasn’t there myself, and reports on actual numbers are unreliable, but the AP says there were about 1,000, and one of our eyewitness contacts estimates 1,200.

Osama Siblani’s Arab American News report of the demonstration, (Thousands gather in Dearborn to protest Israeli airstrikes), takes me right back to the bad old days of August 2006, when local reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah war was so uniformly horrible that we had to launch this blog to get our voices heard somewhere.

Which reminds me, the local paper here, the Dearborn Press & Guide, has so far been very quiet about the Gaza airstrikes. Back in August and September 2006, the Press & Guide’s strictly pro-Hezbollah reporting, and strictly pro-Hezbollah opinion columns, forced us to drive over to see for ourselves just how big the giant yellow Hezbollah flag was flapping from the flagstaff above Park Street. (Big.)

From what we can find out about Tuesday’s demonstration, it was a convergence of angry Palestinians, neighborhood women, anti-Israel Jews, race hustlers, Trotskyites, Ann Arbor peaceniks, Socialists, and poorly-informed college students (or is that last one redundant?).

“This isn’t just an Arab issue. It’s a human rights issue,” said Suhaib Al-Hanooti, a student activist who helped organize the gathering.
Or did you know that launching rockets at the civilians across your neighbor’s border was a human right?

Then there were the opportunists, like State Rep Martha Scott, and this guy from Michigan’s most lawsuit-happy civil-rights exploiting racket, By Any Means Necessary:

“We’re out here supporting the Arab American community. We believe in what they’re fighting for… What Israel is doing is racist. We have to put a stop to this,” said BAMN organizer Xavier Carr, of Detroit. “. . . .Just the fact that we’re out here shows that we give a damn.”

And the fact that he was out there also shows Carr doesn’t have a real job. The clunky chant Carr tried to get going:

Black, Latino, Asian, Arab and white, by any means necessary we will fight!”

explains why Xavier is out trying to bogart any cause he can find rather than sinking any more effort into his hip-hop career. See from the photo how the crowd doesn’t seem to give much of a bamn about this rank opportunist.

The Communists were excited, too, sending two reporters to cover what they called “a spontaneous outpouring of anger against the Israeli onslaught” for the World Socialists, and pass out some tracts Washington bears guilt for Gaza war crimes amongst the “workers” while they were at it. Those Socialists, they just love the workers:

The crowd included many young workers, as well as college and high school students. In addition there were workers of all ages and families with small children. (“Protest in Dearborn, Michigan denounces Israeli attack on Gaza”).

I’m thinking there were a lot of nonworkers there, too. The Reds were thrilled to meet “Abe,” a UM-Dearborn student, who denounced the Arab governments as “puppets.” “He expressed interest in Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution, which explains that even the most basic democratic demands of the masses cannot be carried forward by bourgeois or nationalist movements.” Abe has a real future in the Ivy League somewhere.

Siblani’s newspaper is announcing another go-around on Friday at 5 pm outside City Hall, if you’re inclined to see for yourself.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

'You're a Better Man Than I Am, Rod Blago?'

Here's an entertaining Kipling spoof my brother sent me from the Athens & Jerusalem blog, drawn from Blagojevich's quotation of Kipling during his protestation of innocence to the press. It's heavy on the profanity, (not that we're strangers to that here). But just the same, I'll refer to it by link. I think it's hilarious.

Blagojevich Statement to the Press

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How Else Not To Fight Terrorism

On December 11, Michigan’s Democratic Senator-for-Life, Carl Levin, released yet one more report styled an “Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody.”

Last Friday’s Detroit News summarized it as follows:

Officials at the top of the Bush administration bear the blame for use of interrogation tactics on military detainees that were designed to help U.S. troops endure torture at enemy hands, says a report released Thursday by a Senate panel chaired by Sen. Carl Levin.

The report, the product of a two-year investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee, means the Obama administration “needs to look for ways in which people can be held accountable for their actions,’ Levin said in an interview Thursday.

(“Report pins detainee abuse on Rumsfeld”).

When Levin calls on the incoming administration to work for “ways in which people can be held accountable,” he means people like U.S. military interrogators, intelligence officers, and political officials charged with protecting the American people. That jihadist detainees may face consequences for their efforts, some of them successful, to kill us is completely absent from the analysis.

Read the News article, or Levin’s report, and you’ll never known that the captured jihadists, whom he refers to only as “detainees in U.S. custody,” are anything more than victims of American civil-rights violations. For all we can learn from Levin’s 19-page lecture, we don’t know why or how these men became “detainees in U.S. custody,” or if they share any more culpability in their situation than orphans trapped in a corrupt and inefficient foster-care system.

For example, here is how Levin’s Executive Summary disposes of the phenomenon of Islamic jihadist terrorism: “Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are taught to expect Americans to abuse them. They are recruited based on false propaganda that says the United States is out to destroy Islam. Treating detainees harshly only reinforces that distorted view, increases resistance to cooperation, and creates new enemies.”

The editors at National Review had a swift and potent response to Levin’s report, (“Torturing the Evidence”), that skewers Levin’s report as “flawed in its fundamental assumptions and fictional in its sweeping conclusions.”

The document, the editors write, is only “the latest chapter in the Democrats’ torture narrative — a warped tale that trivializes true torture by confounding it with less extreme forms of interrogation. The committee thoroughly misrepresents the legal standards that govern detainee treatment and ignores non-partisan investigations that have found no evidence of a systematic program of abuse.”

Moreover, Levin’s report falsifies the history of our detainee and interrogation policies, in order to blame any possible wrongdoing exclusively on Rumsfeld, Bush, and Republicans:

In September 2002, senior leaders on the Senate and House intelligence committees — Democrats and Republicans — began receiving briefings on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program,” including the use of waterboarding on top al-Qaeda operatives. Among the leaders briefed was Nancy Pelosi, now speaker of the House.

The lawmakers raised no objections. According to Porter Goss, a congressman at that time and later head of the CIA, their chief concern was whether “the methods were tough enough.” But Carl Levin, the Democrat who runs the Senate Armed Services Committee, managed to suppress any mention of Speaker Pelosi and her congressional colleagues last week when his committee released its misleading and relentlessly partisan report, titled “Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody

I find Levin’s action all the more odious as this kind of incendiary propaganda isn’t even timed to help Obama get elected. The object, as suggested in the News headline, was to "pin abuse on Rumsfeld." It is intended only to further slander the Bush administration, and to handcuff Obama so that he will lighten the pressure on Islamic radicals.

I believe there ought to be reasonable debate about what constitutes torture, and the levels to which those on the front lines--commanders primarily concerned with protecting their soldiers, and intelligence officials with a duty to protect innocent people from attacks--can go to obtain information from captured jihadists.

But Democrats are no more capable of discussing that subject reasonably than they’ve been able to discuss America’s military strategy in response to 9/11. (“Quagmire!”--“Blood for oil!”--“Imperialism!”-- “Bush lied!!!”). For some reason Democrats just have to boil everything down to a simplistic invective meant to demonize Republicans in power, or to silence opposition from the minority when it is them in power.

Rather than foster a national discussion about the complex moral and political problem--and a never before encountered problem--of detaining and interrogating stateless, lawless, homicidal fanatics who think nothing of losing their own lives if it means killing infidels for Allah--the Left simply began screaming that we had no right to detain them at all if we’re not going to extend full protections to them as criminal defendants under the Bill of Rights. This is a profoundly stupid idea, and even Obama has been backpedaling away from it since it's his turn to tackle the problem now. This either/or approach always ends the discussion before it has a chance to begin.

Dearborn's Specialty Wal-Mart Paid Back With $12M Bias Lawsuit

What is this mystical connection between Muslims and Wal-Mart? We just saw how the University of South Florida terrorists used Wal-Mart as a place to buy remote-control toy cars to turn into detonators, and Wal-Mart again as an excuse (shopping for cheap gas) to hang around US military installations. ("U of South Florida Jihadist Sentenced").

Now we see where a Dearborn man is suing Wal-Mart for $12 million for anti-Arab, anti-Muslim bias. ("Dearborn man alleges bias in Wal-Mart suit'). The man, Louay N. Kezy, worked in the stock department at the Dearborn Wal-Mart on Ford Road. The Wal-Mart that caters, oddly enough, to Dearborn's Middle Eastern community. ('Round-Up in Aisle 3').

Kezy, who describes himself in his complaint as a "Muslim Arab American," claims that he was being tormented by his fellow non-Muslim Arab American stock coworkers, causing him a hostile work environment. When he complained to management, he was first mistreated, and then fired.

This is one of those stories that will be followed up several months from now, (that is, if there's any room left by then in Detroit's much-reduced newspapers), with a 25-word news brief stating that the case was dismissed. I don't know what Wal-Mart pays their stock employees, but loss of a stock department career at Wal-Mart doesn't add up to $12 million in lost wages.

I spent several years working in employment-related discrimination law, and if there was one thing I learned it's that for every 100 people convinced they're suffering workplace discrimination, there is one genuine cases of employment discrimination. And unless you're earning a Fortune 500 salary, your prospective wage losses aren't going to be anywhere near $12 million.

I imagine Kezy's lawyer, Nabih Ayad, is just going for the big splash, and the quick touch, à la Geoff Fieger. But these days corporations are fighting back against frivolous lawsuits, and I don't think Ayad will find this so easy.

But then no less of an authority than Dawud Walid, executive director of The Council on American-Islamic Relations, phoned this in about the Wal-Mart case:
"Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not as rare as the general public might think. There is quite a bit of discrimination against Arabs and Muslims in Dearborn, even though there is a large population there."

U of South Florida Jihadist Sentenced

One of the two Egyptian students of University of South Florida, arrested in Charleston, SC in August 2007 after being pulled over with explosives in the trunk, has been sentenced by a federal judge to 15 years on Thursday, "for making a YouTube video showing would-be terrorists how to turn a remote-control toy into a bomb detonator."
U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday said the public needed to be protected from 27-year-old Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, who made the video "to empower others through his teaching to deliver death, destruction and, at the very least, panic." ("Egyptian student gets 15 years in Fla. terror case").
During the senencing hearing Prosecutor Robert Monk described the Egyptian, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed "as a radical Muslim who hates America and 'embraces a violent and extreme ideology.'"

In the YouTube video,

Mohamed demonstrates how to convert a remote-controlled car from Wal-Mart into a bomb detonator. He speaks in Arabic, saying he wants to teach "martyrdoms" and "suiciders" how to save themselves so they can continue to fight invaders, including U.S. soldiers.

"Instead of the brethren going to, to carry out martyrdom operations, no, may God bless him, he can use the explosion tools from a distance and preserve his life ... for the real battles," he says, according to a translation in the plea agreement.

Mohamed's co-jihadist, Egyptian student Youssef Samir Megahed is awaiting trial on charges of transporting explosives and possessing a destructive device. During the traffic stop Megahed tried to explain the explosives as homemade "fireworks," and their proximity to a naval weapons station as "looking for cheap gas at a Wal-Mart station." Deputies also found the laptop containing Mohamed's video "and other files containing videos of rockets and exploding American military vehicles."

The arrests perpetuated the University of South Florida's reputation as "Jihad U," a nickname coined after an Egyptian professor, Sami Al-Arian, was charged with raising money for terrorist attacks by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He ended up pleading guilty to one count of aiding terrorists and agreed to deportation.

Credit to Islam in Action for the story.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Daring Daylight Robbery

The intense scrutiny of "voter intent" resumed this morning by a five-member board charged with directing Minnesota's recount in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic rival Al Franken, and the first rush of ballot rulings has unofficially put the challenger in the lead. (“Franken passes Coleman in recount, but ...”)

This really is what was intended by Al Gore and his army in the Florida recount. Between favorable rule changes and discovery of voter “intent” by Democrat election volunteers, Gore would eventually have overtaken Bush, and today we would remember 9/11 as only the first of an unanswered series of attacks on US soil by Al Qaeda, with a dithering Gore serving his first and only term as leader of the Paper Tiger of North America.

The theft was foiled, and the guy who won the majority of votes in Florida in 2000 won the state, and with it, became President. Democrats, beaten out of what they believed was rightfully theirs to steal, created the myth that Al Gore had won the election he had just lost, a myth perpetrated with the Democrats' signature contempt for the Constitutional system or fair elections. Devout believers in this myth shuffle amongst us even now--you can hear their indignant ramblings on C-SPAN every morning when they call in to Washington Journal.

I believed at the time that the 2000 Florida recount scam was as close to a perfect model, complete in every detail, of Democratic Party political theory, strategy, philosophy, and values as we would ever see. Had it succeed, and it very nearly did, at least three Hollywood scripts were in development telling the story as a fantastic "caper" genre--sort of a The Thomas Crowne Affair without the style--and Warren Beatty as the mastermind candidate. But it didn't succeed, that time.

But if you understand how Democrats handled that election, you understand the Democratic Party. Like Rommel's book on tank warfare that Patton supposedly read before beating him, a thorough book (had one ever been written, though Chapter Five of Ann Coulter's Slander comes close) about how Gore, the press, and the Democrats almost stole the election in 2000 would now be a roadmap to exactly how Democrats fool the public, deploy the media, game the system, govern, and win elections. Since that book wasn't written, people can study the same model Gore used in Florida as it was used again in Washington state in 2006 , when Democrat Chris Gregoire stole the gubernatorial election from Republican Dino Rossi.

Or, we can look at how Al Franken, right now, is stealing the election that he knows he lost on November 4.

Saddam and the Shoe Thrower

From the Daily Beast blog:

Saddam and the Shoe Thrower

by Salameh Nematt

Did Saddam's daughter, who looted millions from Iraq, secretly fund both the shoe thrower and the bungled coup attempt?

New revelations in Iraq point to a possible link between the shoe thrower and the Iraqi Baathists who just made a botched attempt to topple the government of Nouri al-Maliki and return Saddam’s party to power.

Reports in the Arab media indicate that the Iraqi shoe thrower, Muntather al-Zaidi may have been planning his assault on President Bush for more than a year, helped by Iraqi Baathists seeking to overthrow the U.S,-backed government. One leading Arab website said the al-Zaidi’s handlers may have been funded by Raghad, the eldest daughter of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Raghad, who currently lives in self-exile in Jordan, is wanted in Iraq for funding terrorism and for looting billions from state funds on the eve of the 2003 war that toppled her father.

Dia’ al-Kanani, the judge investigating the shoe-throwing incident, said Thursday he turned down a request to release al-Zaidi on bail for security reasons, including fear for the suspect’s own security. He said there was a real threat he may be attacked.

An Iraqi government spokesman said al-Zaidi sent a letter to al-Maliki on Thursday asking for a pardon. The journalist described his own behavior as “an ugly act” and asked to be pardoned. There was no comment from the Iraqi government.

Al-Zeidi is a correspondent for al-Baghdadia, a pro-Baathist television station based in Cairo, Egypt, that some suspect is funded by Raghad. He could face two years imprisonment for the assault and for insulting Bush and al-Maliki.

Al-Zaidi’s brother, Uday, appealed to Iraq’s prominent Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani to convince the Iraqi government to release his brother. Uday said in a televised message that if his brother made a mistake, “I would be the first to admit it.” But he did not apologize.

The Iraqi government is still investigating this week’s failed coup attempt, in which 35 Iraqis, including four generals, were arrested, the New York Times reported.

Contrary to reports in the American and Arab media, readers’ comments on showed that eight out of 10 Arabs who responded on that site condemned the shoe attack as a shameful and unprofessional act.

The Arab world’s leading political columnist, Hazem Saghia, writing in the London-based Al-Hayat daily newspaper, said Thursday it was “ironic that after living nearly a third of a century under Saddam Hussein’s boots, an Iraqi decides to throw his shoes at the person who removed Saddam from power.”

Saghia said that after all is said and done, “Bush came to Iraq, signed the security agreement he wanted, and left after casually taking note of al-Zaidi’s show size. Thus, we’re even. He got what he wanted, and we’re left with shoes that missed their target. Perhaps we deserve to be ruled by someone like Saddam Hussein.”

Earlier piece on shoe-gate by the author.

Salameh Nematt is the international editor of The Daily Beast. He is the former Washington bureau chief for the international Arab daily Al Hayat, where he reported on US foreign policy, the war in Iraq, and the US drive for democratization in the broader Middle East. He has also written extensively on regional and global energy issues and their political implications.

Iraqi Tosser Planned for a Year

There is a report that the shoe attacker may have been financed by Saddam’s daughter, and that he was in with the Baathists planning the coup recently rolled up by the Maliki government. There did seem something staged about that whole press-conference attack.

The report says Al-Zaidi planned his attack for a year, and had handlers who “may have been funded by Raghad, the eldest daughter of former dictator Saddam Hussein.”

Planned for a year? Handlers? Financing? To take your shoes off and throw them at a target ten feet away? And he still missed his target.

If the connection with resurging Baathists is true, it’s all the more reason to be grateful (thanks to you-know-who) that the Iraqi Baathists were reduced from having Scuds and other deadly missiles to lob at their enemies to now just having shoes.

President's Moves Draw Kudos from Hollywood Legend

Retired Hanna-Barbera star, Top Cat, reached at his room in the Old Actors Home in Woodland Hills, California, said recently he was deeply impressed at how well the President handled having shoes thrown at him in Baghdad.

“Many was the time a thrown shoe knocked me clean off a wooden fence,” recalled Cat, 79. “Benny, Choo-Choo, we’d all get nailed now and then. It was usually after dark, and if we were talking loud we didn’t always hear it coming. But we ducked our share, too. We’re cats, we do have reflexes.”

Which was one of the things that impressed him and his gang most about the President’s reactions in Baghdad. Cat, whose close friends call him “T.C.”, said “that guy dodged those brogans like a pro. He was cool about it, see. We all agreed we'd hang out with him in an alley any time.”

Bush Press Secretary: 'You Should See the Other Guy'

According to the AP, the Iraqi/Baathist journalist who threw his shoes at President (“Iraq’s Liberator”) Bush was beaten up afterward “and had bruises on his face and around his eyes, a judge said Friday.” (“Iraqi judge: Shoe-tossing reporter was beaten”).

DU has been unable to confirm rumors that the person who beat up Muntather al-Zaidi, (whom the world’s Muslim spokesmen hail universally as a “courageous, heroic, tyrant-killer”), was none other than White House press secretary Dana Perino, who got a black eye herself as a result of al-Zaida's stunt.

It's reported the diminutive Ms. Perino reacted instinctively after seeing her boss attacked, saying she couldn’t “feature” not being able to take down a guy so puny he would attack his own nation's savior to stick up for a murdering shit like Saddam Hussein.

“I started out just bitch-slapping him,” Ms. Perino explained to reporters, once Al-Zaida had been hustled away to protective custody. “But when it dawned on me what the world press would do with the footage of those shoes being thrown, I switched to knuckles. It felt right, and didn’t even hurt! It was like punching a bad cantaloupe.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Season of Wonders

TIME magazine has named Obama its Person of the Year.

Now I know none of you were expecting that.

Still, we understand TIME's editors are kicking themselves now that, because of a strict deadline and lack of a camera-ready socialist-realism portrait to put on the cover, they were unable to change their votes at the last minute to pick Muntadhar al-Zeidi instead.

Maybe next year, if it isn't Obama again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ask Not at Whom They Throw Soles--They Throw Soles at Thee

Around the Arab world, if you want to escalate a situation, by saying for example "I'm going to thump you", add the words "with a shoe" and you're literally adding insult to injury, at least the threat of injury.

It's that cultural significance that has added real sting to assault by an Iraqi journalist against US President George W Bush at a Baghdad news conference.

In Arab culture it's considered rude even to display the sole of one's shoe to a fellow human being.

Certainly, crossing one's legs ankle-on-knee style should never be done in a public place for fear of offending the person next to you.

The sensitivity is related to the fact shoes are considered ritually unclean in the Muslim faith. In addition to ritual ablutions before prayer, Muslims must take off their shoes to pray, and wearing shoes inside a mosque is forbidden.

Shoes should either be left at the door of the mosque, or carried (preferably in the left hand with the soles pressed together).

But beyond the Islamic significance, the dirty and degrading implication of the sole of a shoe crosses all religious boundaries in the Middle East.
(“Bush shoe-ing worst Arab insult”).
See how much we can learn from the BBC?

Read any of the thousands of articles published today explaining the Islamic significance of throwing your shoes at someone, and you would think the Western media had a mission to educate kuffars on the fine points of Muslim antagonism towards infidels.

Far from it. The AP, The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, and the rest are only piling on because they imagine they’re on the same side as Muntadar al-Zaidi. They have passively-aggressively denominated this ungrateful son of a bitch a hero by unanimous republication of Arab press propaganda calling him a hero. These media people are the journalistic equivalent of those white guys in the audience at Def Jam, laughing their asses off every time some comic in Timberlands starts off, “you ever notice how white people always…?”

As we well know around here, those same news organizations have made it their solemn duty to mention as little as possible about what they know about the worldview and motivations of Islam. Mumbai terrorists shouting “Allahu Akhbar” are “gunmen”, or even “alleged gunmen.” The mission and motivations of jihadist murderers are passed over in delicate silence by the media, the way Victorians are supposed to have refused uttering even the politer names for female body parts.

Reuters banned the word “terrorist” years ago. And read mainstream reports of suicide bombings, massacres, and beheadings and we learn only that they’re committed by a variety of “militants”, “insurgents”, and “freedom fighters” sharing no ideology in common except their apparent hatred of the Republican Party platform.

Had the BBC spent this much time explaining to their audience the Islamic significance of

--cutting off Daniel Pearl’s head, (he was a Jew)

--or the meaning in the Muslim world of the 9/11 attacks, (bin Laden: “Jihad against the Kuffar in every part of the world, is absolutely essential” )

--or the Islamic significance of the Khomeinist revolution, (“Death to America”)

--or how the Koran invited the cartoon riots, (because insults against Allah must be avenged)

--or the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood and its kind (submission of the whole world to Islam by force)

--or the Islamic mission of Hamas (no solution to Palestinian question except the obliteration of Israel through jihad)

--or what the Saudi-funded Wahhabist madrasses teach kids (militant jihad against infidels is the summit of Islam)

--or the Qu’ran’s teaching about freedom of religion (apostates must be killed)

--or the Prophet’s opinions of unbelievers, (infidel lives are of no value)

--or the imams’ religious theories about Jews (they are the offspring of apes and pigs),

who knows how much better of we'd all be now.

There are many things that the audience of the BBC and CNN, and the readers of the New York Times don’t know about Muslims, things far more important than what a good job ungrateful Arabs are doing right now insulting George W. Bush. As it is, Times readers and NPR listeners are still foggily mistaken that what’s been going on the past seven years has been Bush’s war, rather than Our War.

They carelessly credit Muntadar al-Zaidi with hating George W. Bush for the same reasons they all hate him: for being an evangelical, for cutting taxes, for being pro-life, for being the anti-Clinton, for not giving a flying bleep what the Europeans or the editorial board at The New Republic think of him.

But that's not who al-Zaidi was throwing shoes at, or why. He will think no more highly of Obama when his time comes. And even if Obama bows and scrapes to the Muslim world, as some of us fear he will, the al-Zaidis will hate him all the more for being weak, as bin Laden despised America under Clinton. They've hated every American president since at least Jefferson. I clearly remember them burning Carter in effigy in Tehran, too. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

But these fools in the media think that because Muslims also hate George W. Bush, that they share a common brotherhood of peace and progressive values.

The fools.

Meanwhile, I am disgusted at the thought of how long the footage of George W. Bush ducking shoes will be replayed deathlessly in our childish media.

But regardless, no one can take this away from Bush: he at least had the sound instinct to duck, and did duck, in fact, without a trace of shock or flinching, smiling all the while.

While these boobs at the Times and BBC don't even know they have shoeprints all over their faces.

A Shoe Story Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Goes Marching On

The world media has leapt on the story of the shoe-throwing in Baghdad, parched after months of watching victory being snatched from their own declarations of defeat, leaving them with nothing to say about Iraq. This story has already had more coverage in 24 hours than the American victory in Iraq has had all year.

Here’s the BBC pretending to see both sides of this journalist’s disgraceful behavior:

“But others have called Mr Zaidi a hero, for striking a symbolic blow against someone they hold responsible for devastating wars in the Muslim world that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

“And they celebrate its occurrence at the very heart of American power in Iraq, the massively fortified Green Zone where US forces shelter Iraq's political leaders, American and UK diplomats, and visiting dignitaries, from the anger of Baghdad's streets.”
(“Bush shoe-ing worst Arab insult”).

A misprint, certainly, since I'm sure they meant "we celebrate its occurence." Eh, Beeb?

And the New York Times, reporting on the reporting of the story:
“A thinly veiled glee could be discerned in much of the reporting, especially in the places where anti-American sentiment runs deepest.” (“Shoe-Hurling Iraqi Becomes a Folk Hero”).
Thinly-veiled is right. And it's pretty thin at the New York Times and the BBC.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Setback for Bush?

From the New York Times:

In Setback for Bush, Korea Nuclear Talks Collapse

WASHINGTON — A final push by President Bush to complete an agreement to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons program collapsed Thursday, leaving the confrontation with one of the world’s most isolated and intractable nations to the administration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Personally, I’d say this qualifies as a setback for all of us.

Dearborn Hezbo Supporter Get Jail, Stern Talking To

Here’s another lesson on how not to fight terrorism.

A Ford Motor Company engineer who was caught trying to smuggle $120,000 worth of high-tech equipment to Hezbollah was sentenced Friday to 10 years by a federal judge in Detroit.

According to the Department of Justice, Fawzi Mustapha Assi was the first person ever charged under the 1996 federal antiterrorism law that makes it illegal to provide material support to terrorist organizations.

Assi was first arrested at Metro Airport as he was headed for Lebanon on a one-way ticket on July 13, 1998, with luggage packed with high-tech military-use equipment.

Yes, that was 1998. More than ten years ago. He admitted to agents he was smuggling, described his Hezbollah contacts, and was indicted and headed for trial soon after when a federal judge, (Denise Page Hood), decided to release him on bond, with an electronic tether.

According to Debbie Schlussel, Judge Hood made this decision over objections from federal prosecutors.

Assi, who is after all an engineer, slipped his tether. And, reportedly, (he is after all a Hezbollah supporter) dressed up in a niqab, and made it to Canada and escaped to Lebanon.

In 2004, under extremely suspicious circumstances, Assi “voluntarily” decided to return to the U.S. to face trial. Still, he didn’t plead guilty until November 2007, at which time he admitted he was trying to supply Hezbollah.

For reasons unclear to us at DU, Assi was not charged with violating his bond, fleeing U.S jurisdiction, or with any other crime related to his absconding. Detroit News reporter Paul Egan steps gingerly around all this in his article, saying Assi “was charged with providing support to terrorists in 1998 and pleaded guilty last year, [and] has been in custody since May 2004 and will receive credit for the time he has served.”

Under his original charge, Assi faced up to 30 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

Instead, U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen sentenced him to only ten years, including time served, and, apparently, no fine.

But, for the admitted terror supporter, smuggler, and fugitive, who as recently as June was telling Rosen he couldn’t give him a fair sentence because the judge (who is Jewish) is a “Zionist,” Rosen made this blistering statement (warning to delicate sensibilities: “You allowed the depth of your feeling for what was happening in your homeland to overcome your judgment. These were serious misjudgments.”

I’ve had traffic cops speak to me more harshly than that.

“Serious misjudgments”? How about, “these were serious crimes”??

Anyway, the fact that Assi was the first person charged under our antiterror statute, we let him run off, and then after all this time he only gets the minimum sentence--and practically an apology from the court--says something about some serious misjudgments about terrorism.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We'd Know It If We Heard It

(A correspondent from Kabobfest has posted a rebuttal in the comment section of our yesterday's posting of the Mark Steyn article,Silence = Acceptance.” The rebuttal, written by Sama Adnan, takes Thomas Friedman to task for complaining in a recent column that everyday Pakistanis are not showing sufficient outrage over the Mumbai attacks, in effect, as Adnan accuses him, " raising the bar for. . . Muslims in general in how loud they must condemn their own extremists until the western intelligentsia is satisfied." ("Friedman Watch: Thomas Friedman Gone Wild").

Some of you may recall Friedman is a liberal who went his own way and supported the liberation of Iraq, in total defiance of his less free brethren amongst the commentariat. He's much more sanguine than I am about what the average Pakistani can reasonably be expected to do. But he makes some good points in his article nonetheless. And as Adnan's article makes clear, Left or Right, if we criticize Islam, we're all the same.

Anyway, following are thoughts on the rebuttal that I didn't want to cram into the comments section.--T.R.)

The rebuttal misses Steyn’s point, and Friedman’s, both of whom have commented on the failure of large numbers of Muslims to protest the Mumbai attacks, all the more telling when, as Friedman put it, “We know from the Danish cartoons affair that Pakistanis and other Muslims know how to mobilize quickly to express their heartfelt feelings, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective.”

Exactly. Large street gatherings of Muslims summoned out by their leaders--whether in massed demonstrations, or as rioting mobs--have become such a commonplace, and we’ve been watching them in action more or less continually ever since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, that the absence of large Muslim protests under these circumstances can't help but signify--what? Acceptance? Indifference? Support?

I found this quotation of interest in Adnan's article:

“Perhaps what is most interesting is that Friedman gave no examples of other people who marched in outrage of their fringes committing terrorism. Did the Irish or the Basques march out in protest every time a bomb blew up in Belfast or Madrid?”

The comparison with the Irish and the Basques isn’t helpful, because it compares genuine fringe groups that operate in extremely limited, local, geographic regions, with the truly worldwide phenomenon of Islamic jihadist attacks that take place with depressing regularity on every continent on Earth, and against citizens of every nation.

Moreover, the individual jihadist attacks, and the leaders who ordered them, like al Qaeda, like Hezbollah, like Hamas, like the PLO, like the Mahdi Army or the Quds Force, have consistently received widespread praise and support from a significant percentage of the world Muslim population, such that even the lowest estimates realistically have these numbers of sympathizers with radical Islam reaching into the tens of millions. It doesn't matter if these same numbers show that the statement every Muslim supports terrorism is manifestly false; what matters is that no one can truthfully say 100% of Muslims renounce terrorism--(even though we're being told that constantly)--look, we're just not that stupid, and it just isn't true. Tens of millions is no fringe.

When the IRA was at its most violent in the 70s and 80s, you’d look in vain for Irish Catholics in Boston, New York, or Sydney turning out to wave the Irish tri-color while shouting that “Gerry Adams is our leader!”, as Lebanese Muslims right here in Dearborn have done towards Nasrallah to show solidarity with the terror group Hezbollah. I was born into a farflung Irish-Catholic clan that spans the entire political, religious, and cultural, spectrum, but I've never heard anyone breathe a word of support for the Irish Republican Army.

Also, the Irish have been marching out in protest, since the very beginning of these troubles in the late 1960s. From the onset of the troubles Catholic and Protestant churchmen, the Vatican, national and international western leaders, and the Irish citizens themselves have complained and denounced the IRA so consistently that the IRA is reduced to a minimal, spent force on the verge of being disarmed and extinguished.

Then from a comparison with the IRA and the Basques, who are at least terrorists, Adnan's rebuttal then takes this illogical turn:

“Did Israelis and American Jews come out in protest every time a new settlement was built in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank?”

But this makes a tortured comparison between Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and jihadist terror attacks on population centers hoping to maximize fatalities. (Even given that there may be legitimate differences amongst peace-loving people whether or not Jewish settlements in Israel’s biblical capital of Jerusalem are the best idea, or just, it still remains only a territorial dispute: so it's beyond ludicrous to make the Jewish settlements the equivalent of deliberately-planned, internationally funded, religiously justified mass murder operations in a foreign capital carried out as an act of praise to the Muslim deity. The Mumbai attacks weren’t a settlement construction operation. The Mumbai jihadist murderers trained for a year for the sole purpose of killing as many innocent people as possible, including specially targeted Jews, with cold deliberation.

And then Adnan presses the same argument further:

“Did Americans go out in mass protest when it was published that as many as a million Iraqis and perhaps many more have died since the invasion of Iraq by the ‘coalition of the willing?’”

If Americans like me didn’t go out in mass protest over publication that a million Iraqis died during the liberation of Iraq, it’s because Americans like me never believed those wild numbers were true, (which they most certainly are not. See (“Truth and myth on the death toll in Iraq”) and (“Data Bomb”). The death toll in Mumbai is true.

Second, this writer makes a false comparison between, on one hand, deliberate terrorist murders and, on the other, Iraqi deaths that, while incidental to the Iraq war, were NEVER intended by the coalition. (Not to mention how many coalition lives were lost trying to save innocent lives, because of coalition rules of engagement designed to limit harm to innocents.)

And it’s extremely unfair to blame coalition forces for every violent death in Iraq: like deaths by murder of Sunnis by the Sadrists on the Shia side, and the murders of Shias and Sunnis by al Qaeda in Iraq, policemen and police recruits murdered by car bombers, the murders of Chaldeans by Islamist radicals, or the bombings, terror attacks, or just plain murders committed by Islamic insurgents, Iranian agents, Syrian agents, Baathists, and other assorted bad guys seeking to regain power or revenge.

None of the deaths in Mumbai, or on 9/11, or in Bali, Madrid, London, and on and on, were accidental or incidental or, yes, even collateral damage from the jihadists’ point of view, including their own, nor were any lives spared because the jihadists had concerns for sparing the innocent.

You see, it just isn’t the same thing.

The point, again, isn’t why Americans don’t storm out and protest things Adnan doesn't like or support, but why Muslims don’t storm out and protest things he wants us to believe they don’t like or support, like terror attacks on Westerners, or the imposition of sharia law.

If the majority of a billion Muslims were condemning these things, we’d hear it, there'd be nothing to argue about. If the Muslim protests Adnan claims are so universal are going unheard, then wouldn't it make more sense, (as Friedman and Steyn are demanding) that Muslims protest louder, longer, and in a more convincing fashion?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

From 'Enough Already' to 'Not Enough'

Mark Steyn always has such a great way of putting things. This week at NRO he's talking about lots of the same things I've been crabbing about. Only he does it much better.


Rabbi Holtzberg was not murdered because of a territorial dispute over Kashmir or because of Bush’s foreign policy.

By Mark Steyn

Shortly after the London Tube bombings in 2005, a reader of Tim Blair, the Sydney Daily Telegraph’s columnar wag, sent him a note-perfect parody of a typical newspaper headline: “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing.”

Indeed. And so it goes. This time round — Bombay — it was the Associated Press that filed a story about how Muslims “found themselves on the defensive once again about bloodshed linked to their religion.”

Oh, I don’t know about that. In fact, you’d be hard pressed from most news reports to figure out the bloodshed was “linked” to any religion, least of all one beginning with “I-“ and ending in “-slam.” In the three years since those British bombings, the media have more or less entirely abandoned the offending formulations — “Islamic terrorists,” “Muslim extremists” — and by the time of the assault on Bombay found it easier just to call the alleged perpetrators “militants” or “gunmen” or “teenage gunmen,” as in the opening line of this report in the Australian: “An Adelaide woman in India for her wedding is lucky to be alive after teenage gunmen ran amok…”

Kids today, eh? Always running amok in an aimless fashion.

The veteran British TV anchor Jon Snow, on the other hand, opted for the more cryptic locution “practitioners.” “Practitioners” of what, exactly?

Hard to say. And getting harder. Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New York Times a serene befuddlement: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

Hmm. Greater Bombay forms one of the world’s five biggest cities. It has a population of nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An “accidental hostage scene” that one of the “practitioners” just happened to stumble upon? “I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?”

Meanwhile, the New Age guru Deepak Chopra laid all the blame on American foreign policy for “going after the wrong people” and inflaming moderates, and “that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay.”

Really? The inflammation just “appears”? Like a bad pimple? The “fairer” we get to the, ah, inflamed militant practitioners, the unfairer we get to everyone else. At the Chabad House, the murdered Jews were described in almost all the Western media as “ultra-Orthodox,” “ultra-” in this instance being less a term of theological precision than a generalized code for “strange, weird people, nothing against them personally, but they probably shouldn’t have been over there in the first place.” Are they stranger or weirder than their killers? Two “inflamed moderates” entered the Chabad House, shouted “Allahu Akbar!,” tortured the Jews and murdered them, including the young Rabbi’s pregnant wife. Their two-year-old child escaped because of a quick-witted (non-Jewish) nanny who hid in a closet and then, risking being mown down by machine-gun fire, ran with him to safety.

The Times was being silly in suggesting this was just an “accidental” hostage opportunity — and not just because, when Muslim terrorists capture Jews, it’s not a hostage situation, it’s a mass murder-in-waiting. The sole surviving “militant” revealed that the Jewish center had been targeted a year in advance. The 28-year-old rabbi was Gavriel Holtzberg. His pregnant wife was Rivka Holtzberg. Their orphaned son is Moshe Holtzberg, and his brave nanny is Sandra Samuels. Remember their names, not because they’re any more important than the Indians, Britons, and Americans targeted in the attack on Bombay, but because they are an especially revealing glimpse into the pathologies of the perpetrators.

In a well-planned attack on iconic Bombay landmarks symbolizing great power and wealth, the “militants” nevertheless found time to divert 20 percent of their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the city’s poor in a nondescript building. If they were just “teenage gunmen” or “militants” in the cause of Kashmir, engaged in a more or less conventional territorial dispute with India, why kill the only rabbi in Bombay? Dennis Prager got to the absurdity of it when he invited his readers to imagine Basque separatists attacking Madrid: “Would the terrorists take time out to murder all those in the Madrid Chabad House? The idea is ludicrous.”

And yet we take it for granted that Pakistani “militants” in a long-running border dispute with India would take time out of their hectic schedule to kill Jews. In going to ever more baroque lengths to avoid saying “Islamic” or “Muslim” or “terrorist,” we have somehow managed to internalize the pathologies of these men.

We are enjoined to be “understanding,” and we’re doing our best. A Minnesotan suicide bomber (now there’s a phrase) originally from Somalia returned to the old country and blew up himself and 29 other people last October. His family prevailed upon your government to have his parts (or as many of them as could be sifted from the debris) returned to the United States at taxpayer expense and buried in Burnsville Cemetery. Well, hey, in the current climate, what’s the big deal about a federal bailout of jihad operational expenses? If that’s not “too big to fail,” what is?

Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that Muslims feel “vulnerable.” Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural confidence, as well they might: They’re the world’s fastest-growing population. A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia identifying them as infidels. If he’s feeling “vulnerable,” he’s doing a terrific job of covering it up.

We are told that the “vast majority” of the 1.6-1.8 billion Muslims (in Deepak Chopra’s estimate) are “moderate.” Maybe so, but they’re also quiet. And, as the AIDs activists used to say, “Silence=Acceptance.” It equals acceptance of the things done in the name of their faith. Rabbi Holtzberg was not murdered because of a territorial dispute over Kashmir or because of Bush’s foreign policy. He was murdered in the name of Islam — “Allahu Akbar.”

I wrote in my book, America Alone, that “reforming” Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there’ll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there’ll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that’s just business as usual. And, if it is somehow “understandable” that for the first time in history it’s no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline informs us, “worry about image.” Not enough.

Let's Drop the Birth Certificate Campaign

I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but I haven’t felt very comfortable with those who’ve been trying to make an issue of Obama’s birth certificate, implying he wasn’t born an American citizen, and therefore isn’t eligible to be President.

After eight years of being deeply disgusted with the behavior of Democrats who first dug their heels in and refused to admit they’d lost the 2000 election, and then followed that stubborn myth down into ever-lower depths of bad citizenship, I just don’t want to see that kind of thing on our side.

If sane people are ever going to regain the reins of government, it won't be enough that Democrats just make their usual hash of things. The opposing party also has to represent the higher ground. Whatever else Democrats do after just a few years in charge, they invariably leave Americans longing for honest adult leadership. As I recall it, that is exactly how Bush won in 2000. After eight years of Clinton, Americans understood Bush's emphasis on restoring honor to the presidency--a mission he accomplished. We don't need to emulate the desperate crackpottery of the Left.

David Horowitz has a similar view regarding this birth-certificate controversy and the problems it can create, which he sums up nicely in an article on NRO:
This tempest over whether Obama, the child of an American citizen, was born on American soil is tantamount to the Democrats’ seditious claim that Bush “stole” the election in Florida and hence was not the legitimate president. This delusion helped to create the Democrats’ Bush derangement syndrome and encouraged Democratic leaders to lie about the origins of the Iraq war, and regard it as illegitimate as Bush himself. It became “Bush’s War” rather than an American War — with destructive consequences for our troops and our cause. ("Obama Derangement Syndrome").

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Muslim Leaders Still Expect the Mountain to Come to Them

Mohammed’s followers of today must not have got the point of the old legend about Mohammed having to go to the mountain if the mountain wasn’t coming to him. If they had, they wouldn’t be so insistent that any hope of improved relations between Islam and the rest of the world depends on the rest of the world coming to them admitting we’ve been wrong.

I’m referring in part to the the excitement of the area’s Muslims that President-elect Barack Obama will deliver a speech in a major Muslim city. When asked to comment, Islamic leaders respond consistently reflect that such a speech given by Obama will represent the U.S.A. offering either a.) an apology or b.) peace terms.

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa quotes Chuck Khalil Alawan of the Islamic Center of America as being “euphoric” at the thought. (“Obama report excites Muslims”). “If that in fact does happen, it would be a very significant occasion because the Islamic world, long before 9/11, has viewed the United States more as an antagonist than a friend.”

Am I wrong or does this sound as if Alawi regards 9/11 as a symbol of American antagonism towards Islam? Anyway, Alawi wants to clarify that, even if his brother Muslims were to overlook the wrong we did to them on 9/11, we’ve been antagonizing Islam since long before we let those 19 Middle Eastern jihadists murder 3,000 Americans. Take for instance the time Tripoli was forced to declare war on the United States because President Thomas Jefferson cut off tribute payments!

Then Krupa quotes Asim Khan of the Taweed Center in Farmington Hills, who says that if it’s really true that Obama’s going to speak in a Muslim capital, “then I appreciate the sense of him going out of the way to get things back to normal.”

Back to normal? Like before 9/11? Or before the U.S.S. Cole? Or before Beirut? Or before Tripoli? As Alawi said, long before 9/11 the Islamic world viewed us as antagonists. Viewing nonMuslims as antagonists is normal, if you're a Muslim.

Khan favors this Obama approach because it will “encourage peace-loving people to come forward and basically not let a few people, who the vast majority of Muslims criticize with the strongest possible language, take this religion hostage.”

Even if Khan’s boilerplate about a few people hijacking the religion of peace weren’t worn as thin as off-brand Kleenex, why does it have to be up to the American president, any American president, to do something about Islam’s allegedly hijacked image? Even if it were true that, as Khan says, the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims criticize with the strongest possible language the hijacking of a “few” terrorists, (oh, please) then why not have one--or better yet, all--of the Islamic state and religious leaders give speeches in their capitals denouncing Islamic terror attacks?

But for chutzpah Krupa knows he can always turn to the Islamic House of Wisdom’s Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi. Elahi views Obama’s Muslim apology tour as an “opportunity to set things right. . . . to really correct some of the things that have been wrong in the last decade, which has brought war-mongering and problems that harm international relations.”

Don’t worry, Elahi isn’t about to admit that any of the things that are wrong or need setting right or correcting are on the Islamic side--no, it’s still all America’s fault.

An opinion seconded by Imad Hamad of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee:

It is our American image, and anything we can do to advance it and contribute to a decrease in the anti-American sentiment that has been building over the last several years would be definitely a step in the right direction.

I don't agree that this speech at this time is a step in the right direction. But even if it were, why are we in America the only ones who can take steps to close this gap? The attacks in Mumbai were almost as shocking to the international conscience as those of 9/11, and may do as much as the 9/11 attacks, or even more, to awaken negligent world governments to the dangers of radical Islam, and that taking a soft view on terrorism, as India did, will not protect you.

Probably at no point since 9/11 have more Westerners been less likely to be taken in by that "religion of peace"crap. Of all moments, do Elahi, Hamad, and the rest of these guys seriously believe that this is the time to strike the attitude of, “We're waiting, America. Where's our apology?”

And does Obama think this is the moment to endorse that disastrous symbolism?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Obama Plans Presidential Apology to Islam

Helene Cooper at the New York Times is doing her best to come up with the bestest venue for incoming President Obama to make “a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office.” (“Looking for the Ideal Spot to Make a Speech”). According to Obama aides, the purpose of the speech is to “mend rifts between the United States and the broader Muslim world.”

Some local people got excited that Obama might even select the Islamic capital of Dearborn, (“Dearborn cited as possible site for Obama speech”). But the Times says that suggestion only came from “some wise guys,” and Ms. Cooper herself thought Dearborn was unsuitable: “Clearly it would be cheating for Mr. Obama to fly to Detroit, talk to Dearborn’s 30,000 Arab residents and call it a day.”

(Oh, thanks. Have we even got a minority group left in this town that can command any respect?)

After examining all the major Muslim capitals and applying a process of elimination, Ms. Cooper decided that Cairo was the best. She gives some insight into her elimination process:

“I called Ziad Asali, the president of the American Task Force on Palestine, to gauge his thoughts. “Damascus would be cool, except it would look as if he was rewarding the Syrians and it’s too soon for that,” Mr. Asali said.”
(Yeah, cool! Let’s wait and reward Syria later!)

And, continues Ms. Cooper,

“What about Ramallah, I asked Mr. Asali, thinking it would show solidarity with the Palestinians.

‘I would object to that on so many levels,’ he shot back, irate. ‘Are you forgetting that Palestinians seek Jerusalem as their capital?’”

Now, I’m no expert, but I don’t think it’s a good sign when one of the people you’re groveling to becomes irate at your suggestions. In any case, Ms. Cooper dutifully corrected her atlas to reflect that “Jerusalem = Capital of Palestine.”

And then, continues Ms. Cooper, what about: “Baghdad? Definitely out-of-the-box, but it could appear to validate the Iraq war, which Mr. Obama opposed.”

By all means we definitely want to stay off Baghdad. For one thing, they just approved a Status of Forces Agreement requesting that we stay there to guarantee their safety from, well, other Muslims. And we sure don't want to spoil the effect of the intended speech by reminding the planet how President-in-Waiting Obama was against getting Saddam’s boot off 25 million Muslims. Not to mention that liberating all those Muslims clashes with the whole American-sins-against-the-Muslim-world theme we’re going for.

Same problem with the Gulf capitals, especially Kuwait City and Riyadh, because the Apologizer-in-Chief could hardly avoid mentioning the American liberation of (Muslim) Kuwait, the American saving of the (Muslim) Saudis from Saddam, the years of American no-fly missions to save the lives of the Shiite (Muslims) in southern Iraq and the Kurdish (Muslims) in northern Iraq.

Focus, people! This speech isn’t about hitting what we’ve done for Muslims, only what we’ve done to them.

Thus, as Ms. Cooper tersely records, a foreign policy adviser for Mr. Obama said, ‘I don’t think it will be in the Gulf.’” And that’s all she wrote about that. Literally.

But eventually Ms. Cooper arrives at the the obvious:

See? It’s got to be Cairo. Egypt is perfect. It’s certainly Muslim enough, populous enough and relevant enough. It’s an American ally, but here are enough tensions in the relationship that the choice will feel bold. The country has plenty of democracy problems, so Mr. Obama can speak directly to the need for a better democratic model there.
And best of all, bubbles Ms. Cooper, Cairo

has got the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that has been embraced by a wide spectrum of the Islamic world, including the disenfranchised and the disaffected.

Oh, yes! Perfect! What better message to send to the world than to have the President of the United States select Cairo for his notra culpa speech to the Umma: not because of Egypt’s historic alliance with the U.S., but as a sign of esteem for being the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood, that noble refuge for the “disenfranchised and disaffected” and “embraced by a wide spectrum of the Islamic world?”

Apparently Ms. Cooper isn’t aware that, along with being an “Islamist organization,” the Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist group long associated with terror and violence, (banned in Egypt, technically), whose “true agenda of the international Muslim Brotherhood and its organizations in the United States – the abolition of the United States government as we know it and support for a designated terrorist organization.” (“Holy Land Foundation defendants guilty on all counts”).

Much of the facts of which were brought to light during the Holy Land Foundation trial in Texas (which even rated mention in the Times). This Muslim Brotherhood mission to overthrow democracy and replace it with Sharia is in keeping with the teaching of its founder, Hassan al Banna, who said, "It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet."

And, as reported in IPT, and well-documented in many places, when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood,

[T]here is the issue of terrorism. Hamas was founded as the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri began his Islamist career as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Almost every single Sunni terrorist organization can be traced back to the Muslim Brotherhood. And this isn't limited to the Middle East. As former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke told the Senate Banking and Finance Committee in 2003:

“The issue of terrorist financing in the United States is a fundamental example of the shared infrastructure levered by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda, all of which enjoy a significant degree of cooperation and coordination within our borders. The common link here is the extremist Muslim Brotherhood – all of these organizations are descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.”
Brotherhood: Friend or Foe
Terrorism expert Douglas Farah says that the Holy Land "trial provides an invaluable forum for publicly showing the true agenda of the international Muslim Brotherhood and its organizations in the United States – the abolition of the United States government as we know it and support for a designated terrorist organization."

It’s bad enough that Obama, or at least his aides, think it's a great idea--even while the hotels in Bombay are smoldering from what was only the latest of thousands of Islamic atrocities against the civilized world--for the United States to go hat-in-hand to a symbolic seat of Islamic power to apologize for what we’ve been doing wrong.

When is a major Islamic leader who dictates in a major Islamic capital going to give a speech in a major Western capital to help mend rifts between the United States and the broader Muslim world?

This gets my Irish up. Feh!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Enough Already

Every once in a while I hear or read something that makes me realize it isn't only a small handful of us who realize how serious all this is. Bad as this past year has been, the consciousness level of radical Islam is going up. Today, for example, columnist Ben Shapiro seriously throws down on radical Islam in fitting response to the Mumbai massacres.

Enough of Radical Islam

Ben Shapiro
Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Enough with the pseudonyms. Western civilization isn’t at war with terrorism any more than it is at war with grenades. Western civilization is at war with militant Islam, which dominates Muslim communities all over the world. Militant Islam isn’t a tiny minority of otherwise goodhearted Muslims. Its a dominant strain of evil that runs rampant in a population of well over 1 billion.

Enough with the psychoanalysis. They don’t hate us because of Israel. They don’t hate us because of Kashmir. They don’t hate us because we have troops in Saudi Arabia or because we deposed Saddam Hussein. They don’t hate us because of Britney Spears. They hate us because we are infidels, and because we don’t plan on surrendering or providing them material aid in their war of aggressive expansion.

Enough with the niceties. We don’t lose our souls when we treat our enemies as enemies. We don’t undermine our principles when we post more police officers in vulnerable areas, or when we send Marines to kill bad guys, or when we torture terrorists for information. And we don’t redeem ourselves when we close Guantanamo Bay or try terrorists in civilian courts or censor anti-Islam comics. When it comes to war, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Enough with the words. Talking with Iran without wielding the threat of force, either economic or military, won’t help. Appealing to the United Nations, run by thugs and dictators ranging from Putin to Chavez to Ahmadinejad, is an exercise in pathetic futility. Evil countries don’t suddenly decide to abandon their evil goals -- they are forced to do so by pressure and circumstance.

Enough with the faux allies. We don’t gain anything by pretending that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are true allies. They aren’t. At best, they are playing both sides of the table. We ought to be drilling now in order to break OPEC. Building windmills isn’t going to cut it. We should also be backing India to the hilt in its current conflict with Pakistan -- unless Pakistan can destroy its terrorist element, India should be given full leeway to do what it needs to do. Russia and China, meanwhile, are facilitating anti-Western terrorism. Treating them as friends in this global war is simply begging for a backstabbing.

Enough with the myths. Not everyone on earth is crying out for freedom. There are plenty of people who are happy in their misery, believing that their suffering is part and parcel of a correct religious system. Those people direct their anger outward, targeting unbelievers. We cannot simply knock off dictators and expect indoctrinated populations to rise to the liberal democratic challenge. The election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip is more a rule than an exception in the Islamic world.

Enough with the lies. Stop telling us that Islam is a religion of peace. If it is, prove it through action. Stop telling us that President-elect Barack Obama will fix our broken relationship with the Muslim world. They hate Obama just as much as they hated President George W. Bush, although they think Obama is more of a patsy than Bush was. Stop telling us that we shouldn’t worry about the Islamic infiltration of our economy. If the Saudis own a large chunk of our banking institutions and control the oil market, they can certainly leverage their influence in dangerous ways.

Enough. After the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the plane downed in Pennsylvania, the endless suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks in Israel, the Bali bombings, the synagogue bombing in Tunisia, the LAX shootings, the Kenyan hotel bombing, the Casablanca attacks, the Turkey synagogue attacks, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings, and the repeated attacks in India culminating in the Mumbai massacres -- among literally thousands of others -- its about time that the West got the point: we're in a war. Our enemies are determined. They will not quit just because we offer them Big Macs, Christina Aguilera CDs, or even the freedom to vote. They will not quit just because we ensure that they have Korans in their Guantanamo cells, or because we offer to ban The Satanic Verses (as India did). They will only quit when they are dead. It is our job to make them so, and to eliminate every obstacle to their destruction.

So enough. No more empty talk. No more idle promises. No more happy ignorance, half measures, or appeasement-minded platitudes. The time for hard-nosed, uncompromising action hasn’t merely come -- its been overdue by seven years. The voice of our brothers' blood cries out from the ground.

Heroism in Bombay

This firsthand account of one American’s experience at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai when the terrorist attack began was published as commentary in Forbes. Michael Pollack is a general partner of Glenhill Capital, a firm he co-founded in 2001.

Heroes At The Taj

Michael Pollack 12.01.08, 7:40 PM ET

My story begins innocuously, with a dinner reservation in a world-class hotel. It ends 12 hours later after the Indian army freed us.

My point is not to sensationalize events. It is to express my gratitude and pay tribute to the staff of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, who sacrificed their lives so that we could survive. They, along with the Indian army, are the true heroes that emerged from this tragedy.

My wife, Anjali, and I were married in the Taj's Crystal Ballroom. Her parents were married there, too, and so were Shiv and Reshma, the couple with whom we had dinner plans. In fact, my wife and Reshma, both Bombay girls, grew up hanging out and partying the night away there and at the Oberoi Hotel, another terrorist target.

The four of us arrived at the Taj around 9:30 p.m. for dinner at the Golden Dragon, one of the better Chinese restaurants in Mumbai. We were a little early, and our table wasn't ready. So we walked next door to the Harbour Bar and had barely begun to enjoy our beers when the host told us our table was ready. We decided to stay and finish our drinks.

Thirty seconds later, we heard what sounded like a heavy tray smashing to the ground. This was followed by 20 or 30 similar sounds and then absolute silence. We crouched behind a table just feet away from what we now knew were gunmen. Terrorists had stormed the lobby and were firing indiscriminately.

We tried to break the glass window in front of us with a chair, but it wouldn't budge. The Harbour Bar's hostess, who had remained at her post, motioned to us that it was safe to make a run for the stairwell. She mentioned, in passing, that there was a dead body right outside in the corridor. We believe this courageous woman was murdered after we ran away.

(We later learned that minutes after we climbed the stairs, terrorists came into the Harbour Bar, shot everyone who was there and executed those next door at the Golden Dragon. The staff there was equally brave, locking their patrons into a basement wine cellar to protect them. But the terrorists managed to break through and lob in grenades that killed everyone in the basement.)

Read the rest of this story here.


When he introduced his new national security team the other day, the team that includes prospective Attorney General Eric Holder, President-elect Obama said he values the different opinions from team members. It turns out he’d still get different opinions even if he were introducing Holder by himself.

As we noted the other day, Holder blasted the current administration in June in a speech to the American Constitution Society. The AP provides some more details on what he said:
"We must close our detention center in Guantanamo Bay," Holder told the American Constitution Society this summer. "A great nation should not detain people, military or civilian, in dark places beyond the reach of law. Guantanamo Bay is an international embarrassment."

Holder added that he never thought he'd see the day where the "Supreme Court would have to order the President of the United States to treat detainees in accordance with the Geneva Convention."
(“Obama AG pick defended Guantanamo policy”).
But in January 2002 he said this in a CNN interview when asked
whether terrorism suspects could be held forever, Holder
responded: "It seems to me you can think of these people as combatants and we are in the middle of a war," Holder said in a CNN interview in January 2002. "And it seems to me that you could probably say, looking at precedent, that you are going to detain these people until war is over, if that is ultimately what
we wanted to do."

Just weeks later, Holder told CNN he didn't believe al-Qaida suspects qualified as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

"One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located," said Holder, the former deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. "Under the Geneva Convention, you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people."

Holder said it was important to treat detainees humanely. But he said they "are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war." He also downplayed criticism that prisoners were being mistreated.
How to explain the difference? Probably by noting that Holder had no partisan advantage at stake in January 2002, and was giving his honest opinion, informed by common sense, his sound legal judgment, and his knowledge of history. The anti-Bush, lose-your-mind, "Close Gitmo!" bandwagon hadn’t gotten rolling yet. Once it did, the people piling on were soon ditching unneeed baggage like common sense, history, and, in the case of anti-Bush lawyers, their legal judgment.

Last June, after years of the Left brainwashing themselves about the war-crime status of detaining some of the the world's most dangerous human beings, Holder simply told the ACS what he thought they wanted to hear. He never imagined, back then, that he might face nomination as AG in an Obama administration, where he then would have to explain his two opposing points of view. (This hardly says much for his ability to hold principled positions).

Now, I expect Holder will swing back closer to the Bush position, with which his 2002 views are identical.

Craven pandering to friendly audiences during speeches at the high tide of Bush Derangement Syndrome is one thing. But when you’re boss is the President and you know he’ll be blamed for any boneheaded stunts you pull, stunts like recommending setting bloodthirsty jihadists loose on U.S. soil, you might be more likely to try getting your feet back on the ground.

This is like that joke that goes, "the older I get, the smarter my parents seem." Faced with the gravity of a struggle they minimized and ridiculed—and made worse--when they were in the opposition (disloyal opposition), the Democrats now realize their political success—even their survival—depends on not being the party that expeditiously loses the terror war on every front. What formerly they ridiculed as patently stupid because Bush wanted to do it, and he’s patently stupid, is now obvious and sensible to Democrats. That's because they’re the ones now who have to make the hard choices.

The strange thing is that common sense may actually be returning to Washington, whence it’s been banished throughout the long, universal Democrat tantrum that erupted in 2002-2003 in response to Bush’s early successes. Bush never lost his cool, but his sensible policies were sabotaged and damaged—as they were meant to be—by having to be implemented and defended in the teeth of a howling gale of insults, spittle, and treason. That’s the best idea the Dems had for beating him—the political equivalent of staving off defeat in checkers by flipping over the board and all the pieces.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another Brick Out of the Wall

On this Monday, December 1st, the FBI began operating under a new set of Department of Justice Guidelines, that give the agency tougher, more rational, and more effective methods to investigate and fight terrorism.

Seven years after the attacks of 9/11, which succeeded in part because our intelligence agencies were deliberately hobbled by Carter-era regulations made worse by Clintonite Jamie Gorelick in 1995, the updated Guidelines are long, long overdue.

But welcome as they should be to all Americans, the defenders of jihad in Dearborn are denouncing them as an invitation to “profiling.” (Surprise! I'll bet you never saw that coming!)

According to Detroit Free Press Jihad Affairs Correspondent Niraj Warikoo,

critics say the plan will allow for abuses by agents, including more racial and religious profiling and intrusive investigations into political and religious groups. . . .Some say they worry there will be more undercover agents and informants infiltrating mosques, attending events like Palestinian conferences, and snooping into the private lives of ordinary residents. (“FBI power in terror cases grows/Metro Detroiters worry it'll open door to profiling”).

Aside from that gratuitous crack about snooping into private lives, what’s not to like about undercover agents infiltrating mosques and attending Palestinian conferences?

"Well," someone may object, "how would you like it if government agents targeted your church?"

And I would answer: If my church and co-religionists were being featured, day in and day out for years, in headlines and breaking news stories mounting into the thousands, for perpetrating deliberate murders on every continent, I’d not only understand why government agents were dogging my church, but I’d have to ask myself why I still attend this church.

But as this is not the case, I say this: If I spotted that telltale trenchcoat on an individual muttering into his collar at Mass on Sunday, I personally wouldn’t feel threatened. The worst he’ll be able to report is that the old priest is an unrepentant pro-Sandinista and that Catholics sing as if we’ve been given these hymns as a penance. The only evidence he’ll ever uncover of support for terrorism is that some of our mission contributions are leached to ACORN without our knowledge.

Shine all the light you want; you'll soon grow bored. The Muslim community, unfortunately, shuns the light, which makes the rest of us wonder, what's so interesting?

The truth is, the Arab-American complaints about profiling are getting stale. There’s nothing in the new guidelines that makes profiling any more likely than before. And as we have noted numerous times, the charges of profiling are vastly exaggerated; in fact, they're pure fiction. The usual suspects trot out the term every time they want to scare the Feds into backing off.

As Attorney General Mukasey explains in his memo about the Guidelines, these changes reflect that the FBI is “a full-fledged intelligence agency,” and needs “more comprehensive and adequate treatment of the FBI’s intelligence collection and analysis functions.” That means gathering more information proactively, rather than just waiting until a bomb goes off and then offering your fingerprint lab to identify victims.

This is national security, folks, not an excuse to burn up federal resources just to hassle people with Middle Eastern names.

I think what has some of these guys worried, especially the people who cater all those Hezbollah fundraisers at the Bint Jubail Cultural Center, is the “Enterprise Investigations” section of the Guidelines, which allows full investigations of groups or organizations if there is “an articulable factual basis” that reasonably indicates the group may be involved in things like racketeering, or international or domestic terrorism.

The kind of investigation the FBI can conduct under that section includes “a general examination of the structure, scope, and nature of the group or organization including: its relationship, if any, to a foreign power; the identity and relationship of its members. . . . its finances and resources; its geographical dimensions; and its past and future activities and goals.”

This paragraph alone must send shivers down the spines of Imams Hassan al-Qazwini and Mohammed Ali Elahi, or any other Islamic leader whose group has been allowed to masquerade as a charity while actually pipelining cash to foreign groups or nations, such as Hezbollah and Iran, at the same time those foreign groups are fostering terrorism and attacks on Americans. Charity contributions, I might add that go on openly in Dearborn, and are illegal. (See U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation).

Why should the only undercover work that gets done in Dearborn be handled by Debbie Schlussel?

I would love it if local FBI looked into the Imams Qazwini’s and Elahi’s “relationship. . .to a foreign power” [Iran], who finances their mosques, or the Saudi-funded Sunni mosques, or the Hamas-front, CAIR, or the glaring relationship between the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and the MSA. Why not examine these groups’ “past and future goals” based on their actual documented charters (Hamas’s past and future goal is to destroy Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood’s past and future goal is to destroy western civilization), rather than on the bullshit spoon-fed to the press by the likes of Walid, Hamad, and Elahi? What if undercover agents sat in on and recorded some of the Bint Jubail Hezbollah fundraisers?

(And will they now? It would sure help, too, if the government put an end to its cozy relationship with Dearborn’s most outspoken radicals).

Then there is that unmistakeable connection between criminal activity and money sent to Hezbollah to kill Jews. Whether it’s Talal Chahine’s tax cheating, Kalil Khalil's mortgage fraud, or Imad Majed Hamadeh's cigarette smuggling, the most prolific crooks in town always manage to find it in their criminal hearts to donate lots of their illegal proceeds to Sheikh Nasrallah. The government has had some success busting these guys criminally, but the dots remain unconnected when it comes to their contributions to international terrorism.

For too long after 2001 the FBI seal has been marred by a new motto, ‘THERE IS NO CONNECTION WITH TERRORISM.”

They need to go back to the old one, “FIDELITY BRAVERY INTEGRITY.”