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friday, august 13, 2004
UK's Telegraph Edges Out US Media
The British press (at least, the Telegraph) is doing a better job of covering Kerry’s Credibility Problems than the New York Times or the Washington Post:
Critics launch four-pronged assault on Vietnam record.
Kerry ‘invented Christmas in Cambodia claim’
Kerry’s confusion over Cambodia
Because They Aren't Puppets
That sound you hear is the mainstream media’s cover-up of John F. Kerry’s many credibility issues beginning to fracture. From the San Francisco Examiner: Backlash of Kerry claims. (Thanks to all who emailed.)
John F. Kerry’s campaign for president is imploding. And he knows it.
The anti-war candidate went public as a pro-war candidate this week, and the members of his beloved “Band of Brothers” are exposing a whole book’s worth of ugly lies. And they’ve got details, evidence, footnotes, signed affidavits and witnesses who back up their claims.
Kerry himself bestowed immense credibility on his “Band of Brothers” when he used a picture of some of them in his campaign ad titled “Lifetime.”
Essentially, Kerry made Vietnam, and these men, the centerpiece of his campaign. Of course, that was when he thought they’d support his candidacy. No matter that he’d never bothered to ask their permission to use them to promote his political career.
Now, however, the Kerry campaign is on a search-and-destroy mission to attack the credibility of these same men — calling them liars, all 60 of them, and saying they didn’t serve in the military with him. Really? Then why’d Kerry use their pictures in his ad campaign?
These are the same men who Kerry hailed as his “Band of Brothers,” who he implied knew him well and could vouch for him as a wonderful soldier and man.
These men, who Kerry inferred that we, the American people, could trust to tell us that he would make a great president, are suddenly liars. And why? Because they aren’t saying what Kerry wants them to say. Because they aren’t puppets. Because they’re insisting on speaking the truth, a concept with which Kerry obviously isn’t familiar.
Could this attack on their credibility be related to the fact that they’ve announced that he’s unfit to serve as president? Looks to me like he wrote the wrong names down in the reference column of his resume.
Al-Sadr: "Journalists are Our Brothers"
Doug Harper points out a quote buried in a Knight Ridder wire story on the release of British journalist James Brandon by the Iraqi mujahideen—a frank acknowledgment of the relationship between the holy warriors and their comrades in the world media:
A kidnapped British journalist was released Friday with minor injuries less than 24 hours after gunmen seized him from a hotel in the southern port city of Basra. James Brandon, 23, on assignment for the Sunday Telegraph, was shown in a video on satellite television with kidnappers who threatened to kill him unless U.S. troops withdrew from Najaf, the holiest of southern Shiite cities. Brandon reportedly was released after al-Sadr aides intervened on his behalf.
“Journalists are our brothers, our friends,” said Sheik Salah al Ubaidi, an al-Sadr spokesman in Baghdad. “They reflect our opinions and convey our voices to all of the world.”
We Got Mail!
I just received the following email from a helpful visitor to LGF:
Sorry but you are wrong about what the Iraq war was.
It was wrong and not right. Just thought you should
And it was signed with a link to a blog that has really opened my eyes to the incredibul dissimulation happening on some web sights: The Iraq War Was Wrong Blog.
(“My Taxonomy” had me laughing so hard the neighbor’s dog started barking...)
On Loathing Bush
Victor Davis Hanson says the left hates George W. Bush for who he is, not what he does: On Loathing Bush.
Critics accuse Mr. Bush of Manichaeism — of tough, black-and-white talk about good and evil. They are right. He certainly sounds different from the usual suburban moralist, especially in an age of irony, skepticism, and cynicism. Our era is dominated by pundits, professors, and journalists to whom hip nuance is everything. The Time magazine style of reporting starts off with Theme A, then reverses course half-way through with counterargument B, only to conclude with Theme A lite.
I like David Letterman and Jon Stewart, but like most Americans I can never really tell when or whether they are ever sincere. Not long ago a Frenchman explained to me why he hates Bush, who “thinks linearly” and has no sense of the “problematique.” Face it: We are now an information society, with a premium on talk, not action. To suggest that one need not be 100 percent certain — but perhaps only 60 percent certain — to act is deeply disturbing. And when you add lingo like “bring ‘em on,” the caricature that Bush belongs on the main street of Gunsmoke rather than in Sex in the City or The West Wing is only strengthened.
Go back to the early 1960s and listen to the accents on shows like Have Gun Will Travel and GE Playhouse and contrast those characters’ speech with today’s television diction: The former are square, one-dimensional, blunt — almost flat and Midwestern in tone — the latter speak nasally, their speech drawn out and full of ironic, sarcastic under-the-breath asides, often striving to reflect sophisticated uncertainty, if not camp.
We not only have an evangelical Christian as president in the age or irony, but one who really makes it sound like we have the ability to make choices that are more right than wrong and then act on them. In a world in which our elites can give 1,000 reasons for inaction and not one for resolution, Mr. Bush seems precipitous, unnuanced, one-dimensional, and oh-so-retro.
In yesterday’s National Review, Mustafa Akyol condemned the obscene beheading videos that are being circulated around the Islamic world. This is good. We need to see more—much more—of this.
But unfortunately, as Andrew McCarthy convincingly demonstrates today, Aykol’s article rests on a bed of extreme denial: Abetting Beheadings.
The execution of captives, particularly by beheading, is not unusual in the history and scripture of Islam. This is not in any way to say that beheading is unique to the Muslim world — it was, for example, practiced in Europe for centuries. But, it is still practiced commonly in the Muslim world, and not just among jihadists but also in states, such as Saudi Arabia, in which Islamic law is, at least nominally, the regnant legal system.
I applaud Akyol for condemning the depravity of the militants who have savaged Johnson, Berg, il-Sun, Pearl, and others. But I don’t believe he has made a compelling case for the “Islamic condemnation of the al Qaeda killings.” Such a case would require taking these troubling verses and incidents head-on, and providing a cogent explanation of why they should not be interpreted as jihadists have interpreted them.
The Islamic Reformation?
Here’s a must-read symposium hosted by Jamie Glazov, featuring Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University, Kamal Nawash, the Founder and President of The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism, and Walid Shoebat, former PLO terrorist who has become an evangelical Christian: Symposium: The Islamic Reformation? Unfortunately, from Mohammed and Nawash there is a lot more energy devoted to denial and cover-up than to true reform; Khaleel Mohammed actually dismisses Bat Ye’or as an “Islamophobe,” and denies the entire concept of dhimmitude.
A Faulty Seared Memory
From the house of Allah.
Kerry: No Response to Nuclear Attack
As John F. Kerry’s record comes under increasing scrutiny, here’s a story that illustrates his true radical pacifist nature. As Michael Dukakis’ Lieutenant Governor, Kerry authored an executive order saying the state of Massachussetts would refuse to take part in any civil defense efforts in response to a nuclear attack on America: Kerry: No Response to Nuclear Attack. (Hat tip: American Infidel.)
Lt. Gov. Kerry’s executive order on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts read in part:
“Whereas the existing and potential strength of nuclear weapons is such that nuclear war can neither be won nor survived, it can only be prevented; and Whereas the only effective defense against the horrors of nuclear weapons lies in their elimination and in the prevention of nuclear war or attacks, [the Commonwealth of Massachusetts] shall seek to ensure the safety of its citizens by pursuit of policies reflecting a serious commitment to prevention of nuclear war.”
“Such policies,” the Kerry directive continued, “shall include education of citizens concerning the real nature of nuclear war and efforts to influence national policy towards negotiation of an end to the nuclear-arms race.”
The Kerry order stated emphatically, however: “No funds shall be expended by the Commonwealth for crisis relocation planning for nuclear war.”
Monica Conyngham, Lt. Gov. Kerry’s spokeswoman at the time, defended the controversial document, telling reporters, “We believe that [evacuation] plans are absolutely futile and that there are no safehavens from nuclear war.”
Gov. Dukakis signed Kerry’s “no nuclear defense” executive order into law on June 28, 1984.
AFP: Flipper's Consistent, Sort Of
Agence France Presse shills for John Kerry, doing their best to paint his ridiculous record of flipping in the political wind as “largely consistent.”
But with a couple of ... exceptions ... we can chalk up to nuance.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - While Republicans are trying to keep Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on the ropes for alleged flip-flops on Iraq, his position has in fact been largely consistent with a couple of exceptions.
The Massachusetts senator has been struggling to make his views clear after voting in 2002 to authorize military action in Iraq and then becoming a fierce critic of how President George W. Bush went about it.
The issue flared this week when Kerry said he would have voted the same way even without any sign of Saddam Hussein’s suspected weapons of mass destruction. “He now agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq,” Bush crowed.
But a study of Kerry’s speeches before and after the March 2003 invasion shows a strong degree of consistency, matching his desire to confront Saddam Hussein with caveats against going into battle impulsively and alone. ...
Kerry, who also caught flak for his protest vote against the administration’s request for 87 billion dollars in aid for Iraq and Afghanistan, rejects charges of playing politics, but admits his positions are often nuanced.
This editorial from AFP is filed under “US National News.”
British Journalist Thanks Mujahideen
As soon as the holy warriors in Basra discovered they had kidnapped a British journalist, they started treating him like what he was—a true friend: Kidnapped UK journalist released. (Hat tip: overwatch.)
He thanked Mr Sadr’s aides for working for his release and said once his kidnappers had known he was a journalist, he had been “treated well”.
Mr Brandon was kidnapped by 30 masked gunmen from his hotel room in the southern Iraqi city on Thursday night.
In a hastily arranged press conference after his release, Mr Brandon, from London, thanked his kidnappers.
He said: “Initially I was treated roughly, but once they knew I was a journalist I was treated well and I want to say thank you to the people who kidnapped me.”
Here’s a poem originally brought to my attention by LGF reader “canadian lady:”
The British Journalist
You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
Thank God! the British journalist.
But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s no occasion to.
Another Islamic Snuff Film
Islamic Web Site Has Pictures of Beheading.
CAIRO, Egypt - An Islamic Web site posted still pictures Friday that purportedly show Iraqi militants beheading an Egyptian man they claim was spying for the U.S. military.
There was no way to verify the authenticity of the images, and there was no record that the man, identified on the Web site as Mohammed Fawzi Abdaal Mutwalli, had been kidnapped. The pictures are apparently stills from a video on the site that could not be accessed.
A second Web site, an English-language site that does not appear to have political links, carried the video of the beheading. Neither site gave a date for the killing.
The pictures and video were not connected to a video that emerged Wednesday purporting to show Iraqi militants beheading a man they alleged was a CIA agent. The victim in Wednesday’s tape has not been identified.
Another Big Problem for Flipper
Captain Ed has details of another serious discrepancy in Kerry’s seared memory: Did David Alston Ever Serve On Kerry’s Swift Boat?
There is apparently considerable reason to doubt that the Reverend David Alston, who spoke at the Democratic Convention, was on Kerry’s Swift Boat at the time he claimed.
Kerry could put a stop to all of this digging and speculation, of course, simply by releasing his service records in full. Why hasn’t he?
Kerry's Memory Overcooked
According to Drudge Report, John Kerry’s historian, Doug Brinkley, is rushing out a piece for the New Yorker that will “clarify” Kerry’s statement that his 1968 Christmas in Cambodia was “seared” into his memory.
Apparently, Kerry searingly forgot that it wasn’t Christmas. Brinkley will claim that Kerry was in Cambodia in searing January.
But Kerry won’t come out and admit this himself.
While the Kerry camp keeps their mouths shut and lets their lawyers do the talking, mainstream media continues to pretend this story doesn’t exist.
A New York Times search for Cambodia: zero results related to John Kerry.
A Washington Post search for Cambodia: zero results.
Palestinians Lie to United Nations
On their latest list of “martyrs” killed by Israeli forces, presented to their friends at the United Nations, Palestinians included the name of a teenaged boy who was murdered by Hamas terrorists when he tried to stop them from using his property to fire Qassam missiles into Israel: Palestinians Mislead UN on Youth’s Death.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Israel accused the Palestinian Authority on Thursday of misleading the United Nations by including a youth gunned down by Palestinian militants on a list of people killed by Israeli forces.
Hassan Jamil el-Zaneen, a teenage resident of the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, was killed by Palestinian militants on July 22 after he tried to stop them from using his family’s yard to fire Qassam rockets into Israel.
Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the slaying but then issued a statement asserting that “Hassan Jamil el-Zaneen fell a martyr” during a clash between militants and Israeli soldiers.
An Aug. 9 letter to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Kofi Annan from Palestinian U.N. observer Nasser al-Kidwa listed the boy among 59 Palestinian “martyrs” who had been “killed by the Israeli occupying forces” between July 8 and Aug. 6.
His letter was made public on Thursday.
The allegation that el-Zaneen was among Palestinians killed by Israeli armed forces was “blatantly false,” Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said in a letter to Annan and the Security Council, a copy of which was given Reuters.
“The international community is very familiar with the perverse misrepresentations and outright fabrications in Palestinian statements,” Gillerman’s letter said.
The Holy Warrior Demands
He may be a murderous inbred moron, but one thing Muqtada al-Sadr does not lack is audacity: Sadr sets conditions for end to Najaf fighting: aide.
NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) - Shiite Muslim rebel leader Moqtada Sadr issued a list of conditions for an end to more than a week of deadly clashes between his militia and US troops and Iraqi forces, a spokesmen said.
The conditions were spelled out at a news conference at a hotel in the besieged holy city of Najaf by Sheikh Ali Sumeisim.
If all multinational forces, Iraqi police and soldiers leave Najaf and the Marjayia, or religious authority, agrees to take responsibility for the city, “the Mehdi Army would pull out from Najaf,” Sumeisim said.
All basic services must be restored, Sadr’s Mehdi Army recognised as an ideological movement and its members allowed to carry weapons for self-defence, Sumeisim continued.
Those jailed for supporting the resistance, all imprisoned clerics and women must also be released from prison, the spokesman added.
thursday, august 12, 2004
Oriana: Half a Million Copies in Four Hours
Italians are incredibly interested in what Oriana Fallaci has to say, even as she is reviled by Muslim and left wing groups worldwide. She published an interview with herself in the newspaper Corriere Della Sera—and it sold out of its first run of 500,000 copies within four hours. Here’s Google’s translation of the story: Fallaci sells half a million newspapers in 4 hours. (Hat tip: Mentat.)
Biased British Writer Denied
Finally, Israel is getting wise to the tricks of the International Solidarity Movement and their comrades, and denying entry to (or deporting) the worst of them—like Ewa Jasiewicz: Biased British writer denied entry. (Hat tip: zulubaby.)
According to the lawyer representing 26-year-old Ewa Jasiewicz, security officials barred her from entering the country Wednesday because they said she is biased in her reporting and likely to come in contact with violent Palestinian organizations.
Jasiewicz has written critically of Israeli policy and is affiliated with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
She told her lawyer, Yael Berda, that her interrogators said “she is not a journalist, but a journalist-activist” and that “they didn’t think she was a security threat but it was probable that she would meet violent Palestinians.”
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Tova Ellinson would say only that the detention was based on “security reasons” and declined to answer further questions on the basis that they were not within the scope of the ministry.
Jasiewicz has visited Israel and the territories twice previously and done activist work including observing checkpoints and riding in ambulances in Palestinian towns under curfew. She’s written about left-wing causes, including pieces critical of the American-led occupation in Iraq and in support of trade unions. Her stories have appeared in a variety of on-line and print publications, including the British Labour Party’s internal magazine and Red Pepper, which describes itself as an “independent magazine of the green and radical left” on its Web site.
Berda said that the fact that Jasiewicz legally changed her name to visit Israel last year and then changed back to her original name for this trip was also raised as an issue by security officials.
Here’s a Google search on Ewa Jasiewicz. Wow. Pretty deep. I advise hip boots (maybe even a full CBW suit) before wading in.
Shi'ites Seethe, Threaten Further Seething
According to the LA Times, the world’s Shi'ite Muslims are seething with rage over US military actions in Najaf, although they don’t seem very upset over the thugs and murderers who’ve defiled the Imam Ali Mosque by turning it into a storehouse for weapons and a staging area for attacks: World’s Shiites Warn That U.S. Is Treading on Sensitive Ground.
With U.S. military officials saying they have received permission from Najaf’s governor to strike the mosque if necessary, religious and political leaders from Iran to Los Angeles are voicing grave warnings that an American assault on the shrine could be catastrophic to the U.S. image in Iraq and the Muslim world.
“The United States is slaughtering the people of one of the holiest Islamic cities, and the Muslim world and the Iraqi nation will not stand by,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of neighboring Iran, said in an address on Iranian state television.
Three major American Muslim organizations also issued statements Wednesday calling for negotiations to end the conflict.
“Illegal under the Geneva Conventions, any fighting or destruction to the mosque would result in incalculable damage to the image and interests of the United States and would be widely condemned across the world,” the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council said. [This is a complete distortion of the Geneva Conventions, of course, but what else can we expect from MPAC? —ed.]
U.S. authorities, while repeatedly declaring that Sadr has made the mosque a legitimate military target, also have pledged to proceed with caution. “We have always respected that as a holy site,” one senior U.S. military official said this week, on condition his name not be used. ...
Shiites “worldwide are shocked and outraged over what is going on in Najaf,” said Imam Moustafa Al-Qazwini, a prominent Shiite leader in Southern California. “They consider it an assault on the sanctity of Islam and in particular Shia Islam. Any attack on that city will destroy America’s future in Iraq completely. It will completely discredit America and make it the new tyrant in the eyes of Shias worldwide.” [And this is different from the current situation ... how? —ed.]
Several Shiite Muslims likened any attack on the mosque to bombing the Vatican [If the Vatican had been commandeered by terror gangs... —ed.], and predicted that it would spark retaliatory attacks on U.S. facilities in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Lebanon and other nations with significant Shiite populations. [And this is different from the current situation ... how? —ed.]
Apparently, mosques are supposed to be magical sanctuaries for Muslims, where they are immune from all retaliation no matter what they have done, and especially if pursued by infidels.
Remember that outrage from the Muslim world when Palestinian terrorists broke into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and held the monks and priests hostage? You don’t?
UPDATE at 8/12/04 4:40:57 pm:
DEBKAfile reports that Muqtada al-Sadr has booby-trapped the shrine and is threatening to blow it up with 2,000 holy warriors inside.
Oh no. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen. (Do I need a sarcasm tag?)
UPDATE at 8/12/04 5:42:22 pm:
An interesting detail from the LA Times article linked above:
Shiites revere the shrine as the burial place of Imam Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, and in their eyes, his legitimate successor.
That would be Mohammed’s (propellor beanie upon him) first cousin, Imam Ali, and his daughter, Fatima, respectively.
Keepin’ it in the family, yo.
New Jersey Governor Resigns
N.J. Governor Resigns, Admits He Is Gay.
TRENTON, N.J. - In a stunning declaration, Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation Thursday and acknowledged that he had an extramarital affair with another man. “My truth is that I am a gay American,” he said.
“Shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony,” the married father of two said at a news conference. “It was wrong, it was foolish, it was inexcusable.”
The Democrat said his resignation would be effective Nov. 15.
McGreevey, 47, said that “it makes little difference that as governor I am gay,” but added that staying in office and keeping the affair and his sexual orientation secret will leave the governor’s office “vulnerable to rumors, false allegations and threats of disclosure.”
“Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course of action is to resign,” he said.
McGreevey did not elaborate on what the circumstances were.
UPDATE at 8/12/04 5:24:32 pm:
There’s much more to this story than first appears. The man Governor McGreevey appointed as his special adviser on issues of homeland security and public safety was his lover: Golan Cipel—and according to this story, his credentials were greatly exaggerated. McGreevey was apparently playing games with the security of New Jersey and the entire US.
TRENTON — Despite his statements to the contrary, Gov. McGreevey, from the beginning, intended to make his now-departed Israeli adviser and friend, whose expertise was public relations, the state’s point man on terrorism, documents obtained last week under the federal Freedom of Information Act show.
Using the terrorism attacks of Sept. 11 to justify the hiring, the governor’s chief lawyer wrote a letter to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service on McGreevey’s inauguration day, telling the federal agency that New Jersey wanted Cipel to coordinate increased security with all branches of government and that Cipel had the necessary “substantial experience” in public security.
The letter was part of a petition by the state for a specialty work visa that had to show Cipel was qualified for what he was being hired to do.
Israeli military expert and journalist Yossi Melman said the letter “more than exaggerates” Cipel’s experience and capabilities in the Israeli Defense Force.
“The state of New Jersey’s application (to the immigration service) in particular struck me as full of chutzpah,” Melman said. “It is rather surprising that the governor went out of his way by using the pretext that his Israeli friend is a terrorist expert in order to accommodate him. I find it especially troubling to use the horrible events of 9/11 as a justification for the nomination of Golan Cipel to a highly important security position which he was not qualified for.”
Asked whether the public was misled about the role Cipel was slated to play in New Jersey’s security, McGreevey spokesman Kevin Davitt said, “Not to my knowledge.”
Pierre Rehov Films Online
Author Phyllis Chesler is hosting two excellent documentaries by Pierre Rehov at her site, free of charge, until September 12. The films are: The Road to Jenin, exposing media falsehoods surrounding the 2002 Jenin incursion, and The Silent Exodus, about the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab lands following the Israeli War of Independence. (Hat tip: Stand With Us.)
The Kerry Story That Isn't
A New York Times search for Cambodia: zero results related to John F. Kerry.
A Washington Post search for Cambodia: zero results.
Mainstream media are doing their best to consign the story of Kerry’s false Christmas in Cambodia to the memory hole. It’s incredibly brazen and more than a little scary, as the press unites to ignore history.
WaPo Dons Sackcloth and Ashes
An amazing admission from the Washington Post today that their coverage of the lead-up to the Iraq War was terribly flawed.
It wasn’t negative enough.
“We did our job but we didn’t do enough, and I blame myself mightily for not pushing harder,” assistant managing editor Bob Woodward says in the story. “We should have warned readers we had information that the basis for this was shakier” than many believed.
Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks told Kurtz, “There was an attitude among editors: Look, we’re going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?”
Executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. said, “We were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration’s rationale.”
In his more-than-3,000-word story, Kurtz writes, “The result was coverage that, despite flashes of groundbreaking reporting, in hindsight looks strikingly one-sided at times.”
Sudan: The West Wants Our Fabulous Wealth
The Sudanese government continues to act like craven murderers, whining that Western countries are lusting after their natural resources, while Sudanese proxy militias rape and kill: Sudan Says West After Country’s Oil, Gold. As if.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Thursday accused Western nations of interfering in its troubled western Darfur region to try to exploit Sudan’s gold and oil resources.
Sudan is under intense international pressure to rein in Arab militias, accused of looting and burning African farming villages, and provide security for more than 1 million people displaced by the fighting in the remote area bordering Chad.
If not, the U.N. Security Council in a July 30 resolution says Khartoum could face unspecified sanctions. There has also been talk of possible foreign troop intervention in Darfur.
Bashir on Thursday said Western nations, especially Britain, were inflaming the Darfur fighting to destabilize wider Sudan.
“There is an agenda to seek for petrol and gold in the region,” he told a women’s union meeting on Darfur in Khartoum on Thursday.
“This highlife that they (the West) enjoy now is a result of the theft of the colonies and their riches and peoples,” he added with specific reference to Britain, which granted Sudan independence in 1956.
Why is Sudan holding to this transparently stupid line? Because it’s the best way to get the equally craven Arab League on their side: Arab League Chief Pledges Sudan Support.
wednesday, august 11, 2004
A Picture Worth A Thousand Words
An Israeli Army soldier comforts a Palestinian woman at the Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Ramallah Wednesday Aug. 11, 2004. A West Bank militant detonated a large bomb near Kalandia checkpoint Wednesday, killing two Palestinian men and wounding some 13, including 10 Palestinian civilians and three Israeli border policemen. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
UPDATE at 8/11/04 9:12:05 pm:
LGF reader IDF Dave has posted some of his own photos from the Kalandia checkpoint, showing a side of the IDF you’ll never see in mainstream media: Webshots Community - Checkpoint.
An Iowahawk Exclusive
New revelations tonight about John Kerry’s Xmas mission to the Island of Misfit Toys.
There I was, strafing helpless misfit toys with Joey Heatherton, Jill St. John, Lola Falana and Raquel Welch,“ said Kerry. ”Our fire dispersed the insurgents, and I could have shot several of the fleeing toys in the back, but I didn’t. Down in Saigon they say, my small heart grew three sizes that day.“
In a 2003 Washington Post profile, Kerry even displayed a souvenir from the mission.
”Who told you about this? Even my friends don’t know about it,“ said Kerry, pulling a musty fur bikini top from a secret compartment in his attache case. Kerry said it was ”a good luck charm“ given to him by covert CIA agent Nancy Sinatra.
Putting on the bra, Kerry formed his hands into pantomime guns.
”Pow! Kapow! k-k-k-k-brrrudda brrrudda shpeww!" he added, blowing imaginary smoke from his fingertips.
ABC News: "We Can't Find A Single American..."
An amazing statement from ABC News says they haven’t been able to dig up a single person in the entire United States of America who voted for Al Gore in 2000, but plans to vote for George W. Bush in 2004: ABC News’ The Note: First Source for Political News. (Hat tip: Yehudit.)
And they invite you, oh rare deluded subspecies that you are, to email them at their “political unit:”
Forget the fact that that we still can’t find a single American who voted for Al Gore in 2000 who is planning to vote for George Bush in 2004. (If you are that elusive figure, e-mail us and tell us who you are and why: email@example.com.)
With nearly a million visitors a month (30,000-50,000 daily), a large percentage of whom are former Al Gore voters who will vote for Bush, I think LGF may be able to answer this challenge. Have at it, lizardoids; the usual disclaimers about being polite but firm apply. ABC News really should be humbled for this outrageous display of mainstream media hubris.
UPDATE at 8/11/04 8:56:38 pm:
Apparently, ABC News didn’t bother to contact former New York Mayor Ed Koch:
Over the years, I have crossed party lines in mayoral elections because I believed that John Lindsay, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, for whom I campaigned and voted, would be far better for the City of New York than the Democratic candidates running against them. Party affiliation is an important consideration but should never be dispositive when casting a vote.
Now, for the first time in my life, I am going to vote for a Republican candidate for president, the incumbent, George W. Bush. I voted for Al Gore in 2000. I was one of the few Democratic leaders who supported Gore in the 1988 presidential Democratic primary when Michael Dukakis received 45 percent of the primary vote in New York City, Gore 7 percent, and Jesse Jackson carried the City with 46 percent.
With his endorsement of Howard Dean in this year’s primary and his strident speeches calling President Bush a liar, Gore has certainly demonstrated that he has moved considerably to the left since his defeat.
Why have I endorsed George W. Bush when I don’t agree with him on a single domestic issue? Because I believe the issue of international terrorism trumps all other issues. I don’t believe the Democratic Party has the stomach and commitment to deliver on this issue.
The Enemy Within
An illegal alien from Pakistan who lived in Queens, New York, was arrested three weeks ago in North Carolina on immigration charges—and in a search of his possessions, police discovered video footage that looks very much like surveillance for terror attacks: Man Is Held After Police Seize Tapes of Buildings and a Dam. (Thanks to all who emailed.)
Mr. Kamran Shaikh, 35, who officials said was also known as Kamran Akhtar and listed a Queens address, was arrested three weeks ago on immigration charges in Charlotte, N.C., after local police officers questioned him about where he was going and why he was videotaping the downtown area. He agreed to speak with the Federal Bureau of Investigation but gave false statements about his immigration status and his history, officials said.
A search showed video footage of the Bank of America and Wachovia buildings in Charlotte’s busy financial center, which officials said caused particular concern in light of the recent intelligence about the financial institutions in Washington and New York.
Eloise Hale, a spokeswoman for Bank of America in Charlotte, said Tuesday that the company was taking “all necessary security measures” and working with local and federal authorities to monitor the situation. “The security of our associates and our customers is our top priority,” Ms. Hale said.
Other videos in Mr. Shaikh’s possession showed buildings and transit systems in Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston and Austin, Tex., as well as what appeared to be Mansfield Dam in Austin, according to an affidavit from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. It was not clear when the other videos were taken.
The tapes included audio of someone speaking in Arabic, but investigators said they were awaiting a translation from the F.B.I. Officials could not explain the apparent delay, which comes at a time when the bureau has faced sharp questioning from lawmakers about its ability to provide quick and accurate translations in terrorism cases.
We're Not in Kansas Anymore
John Kerry has a little problem making up his mind. But the answer is blowing in the wind. (Hat tip: Soonerborn.)
Flipper's Lucky Hat
If you haven’t read James Lileks on Kerry’s magic hat yet, go now and do so, for it is good.
An American Hiroshima
Nicholas Kristof on the ultimate nightmare, coming soon to a city near you: An American Hiroshima.
ASPEN, Colo. — If a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon, a midget even smaller than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, exploded in Times Square, the fireball would reach tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit.
It would vaporize or destroy the theater district, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall (along with me and my building). The blast would partly destroy a much larger area, including the United Nations. On a weekday some 500,000 people would be killed.
Could this happen?
Unfortunately, it could - and many experts believe that such an attack, somewhere, is likely. The Aspen Strategy Group, a bipartisan assortment of policy mavens, focused on nuclear risks at its annual meeting here last week, and the consensus was twofold: the danger of nuclear terrorism is much greater than the public believes, and our government hasn’t done nearly enough to reduce it.
Graham Allison, a Harvard professor whose terrifying new book, “Nuclear Terrorism,” offers the example cited above, notes that he did not pluck it from thin air. He writes that on Oct. 11, 2001, exactly a month after 9/11, aides told President Bush that a C.I.A. source code-named Dragonfire had reported that Al Qaeda had obtained a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon and smuggled it into New York City.
The C.I.A. found the report plausible. The weapon had supposedly been stolen from Russia, which indeed has many 10-kiloton weapons. Russia is reported to have lost some of its nuclear materials, and Al Qaeda has mounted a determined effort to get or make such a weapon. And the C.I.A. had picked up Al Qaeda chatter about an “American Hiroshima.”
President Bush dispatched nuclear experts to New York to search for the weapon and sent Dick Cheney and other officials out of town to ensure the continuity of government in case a weapon exploded in Washington instead. But to avoid panic, the White House told no one in New York City, not even Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Dragonfire’s report was wrong, but similar reports - that Al Qaeda has its hands on a nuclear weapon from the former Soviet Union - have regularly surfaced in the intelligence community, even though such a report has never been confirmed. We do know several troubling things: Al Qaeda negotiated for a $1.5 million purchase of uranium (apparently of South African origin) from a retired Sudanese cabinet minister; its envoys traveled repeatedly to Central Asia to buy weapons-grade nuclear materials; and Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, boasted, “We sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other Central Asian states, and they negotiated, and we purchased some suitcase [nuclear] bombs.”
Another Islamic Snuff Film
American CIA agent beheaded in Iraq: Islamist website.
DUBAI (AFP) - An Islamist website showed a videotape which it said was of a US national and CIA agent being beheaded by members of a Islamic militant group in Iraq.
In the poor-quality video, whose authenticity could not be verified, a young Western-looking man is seated on a chair surrounded by five hooded gunmen, one of whom uses a long knife to cut through the man’s neck and then brandishes the head.
The same site (http://ansarnet.t35.com/dabh-cia.htm) shows a dozen photographs of the operation to kill the “CIA agent”.
During the four-minute video, an identity card is shown with the purported American’s photograph and the mention “visitor”.
But the gunmen’s words are unintelligible, apart from their cry of “Allah Akbar” (God is great) when the head is cut off.
What sort of God is it whose “greatness” is proven by the brutal slaughter of a helpless captive?
UPDATE at 8/11/04 5:08:13 pm:
Good lord. I watched this thing. Why do I do this, when I know it’s going to turn my stomach?
Because it’s the enemy, people. They have no trouble watching this stuff. In fact, they exult in it. They pass these videos around like US teens pass around video games.
This is the enemy.
I sincerely doubt this is a fake. And I despise that rotten creep in his underwear in San Francisco for even planting such an idea in people’s minds.
The scene is in some sort of enclosed outside area. You can see trees over a low wall.
Whoever the victim is, he looks either drugged or beaten half-conscious. His head is nodding and eyes half-closed while they strut around him with their weapons and masks, parading some sort of ID card labeled “VISITOR.”
Then everyone clears away, a holy warrior steps out with a sword and takes a big hack at the left front of the victim’s neck. The head does not come off easily. It takes five or more slashes. I wasn’t counting.
They’re all screaming “Allahu Akhbar!” while this happens. It’s unbelievably sickening and chilling to hear.
Finally he separates the head, grabs it by the hair, and holds it up for the camera. They’re still screaming “Allahu Akhbar!” in what sounds like religious ecstasy.
These snuff videos are the work of demons.
Flipper Has Faulty Seared Memory
Here comes the spin on Kerry’s 1968 nonexistent holiday in Cambodia—what was “seared” into his mind was a “mistaken recollection:” Was He or Wasn’t He in Cambodia?
Today, on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Kerry Campaign Advisor Jeh Johnson had this to say to the show’s co-host Brian Kilmeade:
JOHNSON: John Kerry has said on the record that he had a mistaken recollection earlier. He talked about a combat situation on Christmas Eve 1968 which at one point he said occurred in Cambodia. He has since corrected the record to say it was some place on a river near Cambodia and he is certain that at some point subsequent to that he was in Cambodia. My understanding is that he is not certain about that date.
KILMEADE: I think the term was he had a searing memory of spending Christmas - back in 1986 in the senate floor in Cambodia.
JOHNSON: I believe he has corrected the record to say it was some place near Cambodia he is not certain whether it was in Cambodia but he is certain there was some point subsequent to that that he was in Cambodia.
Is it MoveOn.org, or just an incredibly realistic facsimile? MoveOnPlease.org: Democracy Inaction. (Hat tip: Sundance.)
Everything Bad Fault Of Rumsfeld
Scientists have found Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, genetically culpable for every contrary event and effect in modern history, including morbid obesity, the Philadelphia Phillies’ 23 game losing streak in 1959 and Carrot Top.
Studies revealed even more daunting scenarios as the Rumsfeld-effect not only results from direct contact, but that second-hand liason with the Secretary of Evil can cause severe conservative conjunctivitis. Los Angeles restaurants and bars have recently banned Rumsfeld, and any talk of Rumsfeld, except for restricted outdoor areas.
PLEASE SEND AS MUCH MONEY AS YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY TO MOVEONPLEASE.ORG TO HELP US HAVE MORE MONEY TO SPEND
Iran: Atomic Weapons are Un-Islamic
The mullahs have sent their “moderate” puppet out again, to tell the world that Iran only wants nuclear technology for “peace:” Iran Seeking ‘Peaceful’ Nuclear Program.
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran is ready to “pay the price” for pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, even if that means being brought before the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions, President Mohammad Khatami said Wednesday.
At the same time, Iran successfully test fired a new version of its ballistic Shahab-3 missile, which already was capable of reaching U.S. forces in the Middle East and since has been upgraded in response to Israeli missile development. The Shahab-3 can carry a nuclear warhead.
The commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Rahim Safavi, warned that Iran “will crush” Israel if it attacks the Persian state, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Khatami said Tehran was ready to give guarantees that its nuclear program, including enriching uranium, would not be diverted toward making weapons, as Washington suspects. He said atomic weapons go against the teachings of Islam.
“We have nothing more than a word — ‘yes’ — to peaceful nuclear technology,” Khatami said after a Cabinet meeting. “This is our national interest and prestige. This is our strategy. But if they want to deny us of our basic right (to develop a peaceful nuclear program), we and our nation have to be prepared to pay the price.”
“Atomic weapons go against the teachings of Islam?” Well, someone had better let Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar University (the highest center of Islamic learning in the world), know about this—because he seems to have a different opinion: Contemporary Islamist Ideology Authorizing Genocidal Murder.
“Had Abu Bakr lived today he would have said to Khaled ibn Al-Walid: ‘If they fight you with a nuclear bomb, fight them with a nuclear bomb.’ Strength is [one] of the traits of good and wise people who know their obligation towards their God and towards their homeland, and they use this strength in order to defend their faith and their homeland. This is the Sunna that was known to the forefathers of all times, and is known to us as well.
“... Our demand that Israel join the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty does not prevent us from learning and advancing in science until we surpass it and until we act in accordance with Abu Bakr’s words to Khaled ibn Al-Walid: ‘Fight them with that with which they fight you.’ Islam welcomes any force that serves truth and religious precepts and defends the honor of men. Islamic religious law states that every despotic and aggressive power must be eradicated. It should be fought, whatever its strength, and life is decreed by Allah. If Israel has nuclear weapons, then it is the first to be doomed, because it lives in a world that does not fear death. Israel’s nuclear weapons do not frighten us; what does frighten us is [the possibility] that we will not wake up and [will] not advance. [Muslims must] welcome the use of nuclear energy for purposes of peace!”
They keep using that word, “peace.” I do not think it means what they think it means.
Showdown in Najaf?
The end game is approaching in the unholy city of Najaf: U.S. Marines Say Readying for Final Assault in Najaf.
NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. marines said on Wednesday they were preparing a final assault on Iraqi Shi’ite militia in the holy city of Najaf, after a radical cleric ordered his men to keep fighting even if he was killed.
As a bloody showdown loomed between U.S. troops and militia loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, thousands of his supporters vented their anger against interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in the streets of Nassiriya and several other cities. ...
The U.S. warning in Najaf came as sporadic clashes between American troops and Sadr’s Mehdi militia echoed from the heart of the southern city, where hundreds have been killed or wounded around some of Iraq’s holiest Shi’ite Muslim sites.
“Iraqi and U.S. forces are making final preparations as we get ready to finish this fight that the Moqtada militia started,” Colonel Anthony Haslam, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Najaf, said in a statement.
UPDATE at 8/11/04 10:15:24 am:
Or is it? U.S. Troops Postpone Offensive in Najaf.
Earlier Wednesday, the Marines said they were training Iraqi security forces in preparation to launch a major assault to root out the fighters. But later, a Marine commander said the offensive was postponed. No timeframe was given.
“Preparations to do the offensive are taking longer than initially anticipated,” U.S. Marine Maj. David Holahan. “It doesn’t matter now, they know we’re coming.”
Chicago Mosque Leader Arrested for Drug Peddling
A leader of a Chicago mosque has been arrested on drug peddling charges: Mosque official’s release denied. (Hat tip: SoCalJustice.)
A federal judge Tuesday ordered that a leader of a mosque on Chicago’s South Side remain in custody on charges that he trafficked in a chemical essential to manufacture an illegal narcotic.
Tariq Isa, 55, a Palestinian-American, was arrested Thursday as he arrived at O’Hare International Airport on a flight from the Mideast, officials said.
An indictment charging Isa with distributing almost 1.73 million tablets of pseudoephedrine was returned in May in federal court in Chicago but sealed until after his arrest.
The two-count indictment alleges Isa knew or had reasonable cause to believe the pseudoephedrine would be used to make the illegal stimulant methamphetamine.
Isa is the third leader of the Mosque of the Martyr Izzedine Al-Qassam on West 63rd Street to be criminally charged since last year.
Ghassan Zayed Ballut and Hatem Fariz were indicted in Florida in 2003 for the alleged financing of terrorists in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Both men were charged with being members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a militant group that has taken responsibility for suicide bombings that have killed scores of people in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza since 1994.
Last month, Fariz also was indicted in Chicago on food-stamp fraud and money-laundering charges stemming from his operation of a convenience store here.
In court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Atty. Lisa Noller identified Isa, Ballut and Fariz as officers of the Chicago mosque and the only three to hold signatory authority over its bank account.
In seeking Isa’s detention, Noller also said Isa has been photographed with Ramadan Shallah, the worldwide head of Islamic Jihad.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ordered Isa held without bail, in part because she said he has an incentive to flee because a conviction for peddling so much pseudoephedrine would carry a lengthy prison term. Noller said in court that Isa could face 24 to 30 years in prison if he is convicted.
Records show he has been a longtime treasurer of the mosque, which changed its English name in the mid-1990s to Chicago Islamic Center, though an Arabic sign on the building bears Al-Qassam’s name.
What this article doesn’t tell you: the “Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades” is the so-called “military wing” of Hamas, and the name “Izzedine al Qassam” is used by dozens of Islamic terrorist organizations worldwide.
And just today, Palestinian terrorists fired a Qassam rocket at a kindergarten in Israel.
Al Qaeda Plans High-Profile Assassination
At the Washington Times, Bill Gertz reports on new Al Qaeda plots for a series of major attacks in the United States, intended to disrupt the presidential election: Bin Laden hints major assassination.
U.S. intelligence officials say a high-profile political assassination, triggered by the public release of a new message from Osama bin Laden, will lead off the next major al Qaeda terrorist attack, The Washington Times has learned.
The assassination plan is among new details of al Qaeda plots disclosed by U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the killing could be carried out against a U.S. or foreign leader either in the United States or abroad.
The officials mentioned Saudi Arabia and Yemen, two nations that are working with the United States in the battle against al Qaeda, as likely locales for the opening assassination.
The planning for the attacks to follow involves “multiple targets in multiple venues” across the United States, one official said.
The new details of al Qaeda’s plans were found on a laptop computer belonging to arrested al Qaeda operative Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan of Pakistan.
“We’re talking about planning at the screwdriver level,” one official said. “It is very detailed.” ...
“The goal of the next attack is twofold: to damage the U.S. economy and to undermine the U.S. election,” the official said. “The view of al Qaeda is ‘anybody but Bush.’”
UPDATE at 8/11/04 9:07:41 am:
In the fever swamps of Democratic Underground, they’ve already figured out the plot: Bush is planning to kill Kerry and blame it on al Qaeda. (Hat tip: Furious J.)
DNC: The Party of Legal Threats
From the Kerry camp today, we still have complete silence about the accusations raised by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
But the legal hounds have been unleashed to do everything possible to suppress the Swiftee’s advertisement, and smear the people behind it: Groups File Complaint Over Anti-Kerry Ad.
WASHINGTON - Three campaign finance watchdog groups filed a complaint Tuesday accusing a group of Vietnam veterans of violating the campaign finance law by airing an ad that challenges Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s military record.
Democracy 21, the Center for Responsive Politics and the Campaign Legal Center argue that the ad by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth violates a federal ban on the use of unlimited donations, often referred to as “soft money,” to influence federal elections.
In the ad, the group accuses Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, of lying about his war record and betraying fellow veterans by later protesting the conflict. Veterans who served with Kerry on his swiftboat have said the group is lying, and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona has called the ad “dishonest and dishonorable.”
The group bought $500,000 worth of airtime to run the ad in Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia.
In the complaint to the Federal Election Commission, the watchdog groups argued that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth should have used only limited contributions from individuals known as hard money on the ad and should disclose its donations and spending in reports to the FEC.
“We think this is open and shut, that the only purpose of this group is to influence the presidential election,” said Fred Wertheimer, head of Democracy 21.
Mike Russell, a spokesman for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, said the ad is legal because it does not tell viewers which candidate they should vote for in the presidential race.
“The ads are not meant to influence the presidential election. The ads are meant to tell the truth about John Kerry’s service record so people can make their own decisions,” Russell said.
Religion of Car Bombs
Car Bomb Kills 1, Injures 13 in West Bank.
KALANDIA CHECKPOINT, West Bank - A car bomb exploded Wednesday near a busy Israeli military checkpoint in the West Bank, killing a 60-year-old Palestinian man and wounding at least 13 people, including both Palestinians and Israelis, officials said.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a violent group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s ruling Fatah movement, claimed responsibility. In a telephone call to The Associated Press, a member of the group said the car was blown up by remote control, and that the bombing was meant to avenge the killing of a leader of the group by Israel last month.
The blast killed 60-year-old Salah Abu Sneineh, and wounded three members of his family, including a 6-year-old grandson who was seriously wounded, hospital officials in the nearby West Bank town of Ramallah said.
Ten of the wounded were Palestinians and three were Israeli border police, said Israeli police spokesman Gil Kleiman.
Someone ought to tell the Associated Press that the location of this attack by the Religion of Peace™ is inside Israel—not in the West Bank—at a surprise roadblock set up when security forces received warning of an imminent attack on Jerusalem.
tuesday, august 10, 2004
From Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons.
Squabbling Murder Gangs
Several different Islamic terror gangs are vying for the credit in the latest hotel bombings in Istanbul: Kurds Say They Bombed Turkish Hotels.
ISTANBUL, Turkey - A previously unknown Kurdish group claimed responsibility for pre-dawn bomb attacks Tuesday against two hotels in Istanbul tourist districts that killed two people and wounded 11 others.
An al-Qaida-linked group also claimed responsibility in a statement posted on a Web site, but Turkish authorities cast doubt on that claim, saying Kurdish separatists were suspected.
One of the hotels was only a few miles from where the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team is staying during the final stop of its pre-Olympic tour. The team decided to proceed with an exhibition game Tuesday night against Turkey’s national team, U.S. team spokesman Brian McIntyre said.
From Birth to Burial (in the Middle East)
Here’s a story about the mainstreaming of Islamic beliefs in Metro Detroit: From birth to burial, region adapts to culture.
When the Islamic call to prayer was allowed to be broadcast through the streets of Hamtramck, it thrust religious tradition into the national spotlight and illustrated the growing influence of Muslims in the multi-ethnic enclave.
But the religious and cultural practices of Muslims in Metro Detroit are taking hold on a much quieter and broader scale with schools, businesses, hospitals, funeral homes and even cemeteries adjusting to meet their needs.
At Henry Ford and St. John hospitals, policies have been adopted that allow Muslim women to maintain their religious modesty during medical treatment. East-facing graves are being added at cemeteries like White Chapel in Troy to meet the growing demand for graves facing Mecca. And schools in Hamtramck and Dearborn are tailoring schedules and offering Halal food that meets the dietary needs of Muslims.
“Accommodation of beliefs is very important for the Muslim community and society as a whole,” said Sally Howell, a University of Michigan graduate student and member of a research team that studied Metro Detroit Arabs last year. “Mainstreaming their culture is a boost to them, but perhaps more important to the the rest of the community to increase our understanding of them.” ...
Dr. Cheryl Gibson-Fountain, an obstetrician and gynecologist at St. John Riverview Hospital, said staff there is trained to knock first, wait and let expectant Muslim mothers put on head scarves. They also don’t question requests that seem unusual, like taking home the placenta, a practice of some Muslim women who may follow the custom of burying the placenta.
“It’s a matter of not questioning things that might not be familiar to us,” said Gibson-Fountain, who was born and raised a Methodist in Detroit. “Those simply are their beliefs, and when you think about it, it doesn’t affect the way I practice medicine.” ...
Iraqis have different needs than Bengali, Bosnian or African Muslims. The latest trend, he said, appears to be the increasing frequency of shipping bodies for burial back to the Middle East. He said he handled about 30 last year and believes it is a sign of growing affluence in the local Muslim community. ...
There are more than 60 mosques in Metro Detroit representing differing sects and ethnicities. Howell at U-M estimates 130,000 followers of Islam live in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The U.S. Census bureau doesn’t provide such information, because it does not ask questions regarding religion in order to preserve the separation between church and state.
Many Muslims are concentrated in Dearborn and Hamtramck, and the school systems there are accommodating the cultural and religious practices.
School calendars for the upcoming year have days off marked in November and January that coincide with the holiest days of Islam. Not allowed under law to recognize religious holidays, the public schools have scheduled conferences and teacher in-service sessions to accommodate Muslim students.
“It’s not an irony that two of our in-service days fall this year on Muslim holidays. It’s just practical,” said Pat Victor, principal at Hamtramck High School, where up to 60 percent of students are Muslim.
Straightforward words from Ralph Peters, harshing on both Bush and Kerry at the New York Post: Misplaced Mercies.
August 10, 2004 — WHEN it comes to killing our enemies, Mom was right: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. A year after he should have been removed from the Iraqi landscape, our troops are again engaged in combat with Muqtada al-Sadr’s terrorist militia.
Intervening at the Iraqi government’s request, the Marines fighting Sadr’s thugs have been doing a superb job, killing at least 360 members of the renegade “Mahdi Army” and capturing hundreds more. Friendly casualties are almost nil. Our troops know how to do this work better than any other military in the world.
But the first question is: Will the Marines be called off before their quarry is killed or locked in a cell, just as our Army was choked back by the politicos two months ago — when we had another chance to put an end to Sadr’s antics?
The second question is: When will our nation’s decision-makers, Republican or Democrat, figure out that there is no practical alternative to killing our deadly enemies?
Much has been made of the belligerence of the Pentagon’s “chicken hawks,” the neoconservatives who instigate wars so avidly, but dismiss the complexity and cost of restoring peace. Yet the most noteworthy aspect of the neocons’ performance was how quickly they turned into little Bill Clintons (minus the charm) when the going got tough.
Unwilling to declare martial law after a brilliant battlefield performance by our troops, unwilling to face down a budding Baathist insurgency, unwilling to remove Sadr from the scene, and even unwilling to live up to a public promise to crush resistance in Fallujah (who’s credible now?), the Bush administration behaved like the high-school punk who provokes a fight then lets others do the bleeding.
This column has said it before and will doubtless say it yet again: If we’re unwilling to pay the butcher’s bill up front, we’ll pay it with compound interest in the end.
The even-grimmer news is that Sen. John Kerry promises to be worse as commander in chief than President Bush on his most indecisive day. If Kerry’s convention speech can be trusted — and trust is a fundamental issue with this man of a thousand faces — he would commit us to a policy of never acting pre-emptively, of surrendering the initiative to our enemies.
Kerry’s nonsense about never going to war until war is forced upon us means that we might as well hang a sign on the Statue of Liberty: “Go ahead, hit me first.”
Europe is shocked to discover that the mullahs of Iran are arrogant stone-age lunatics, hellbent on nukes.
I know, it is pretty shocking.
Hand over nuclear weapons and know-how, Iran tells Britain.
Iran has issued an extraordinary list of demands to Britain and other European countries, telling them to provide advanced nuclear technology, conventional weapons and a security guarantee against nuclear attack by Israel.
Teheran’s request, said by British officials to have “gone down very badly”, sharply raises the stakes in the crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme, which Britain and America believe is aimed at making an atomic bomb.
Iran’s move came during crisis talks in Paris this month with senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany.
The “EU-3” were trying to convince Iranian officials to honour an earlier deal to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment programme, which is ostensibly designed to make fuel for nuclear power stations but could also be used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs. Iranian officials refused point-blank to comply, saying they had every right under international law to pursue “peaceful” nuclear technology.
They then stunned the Europeans by presenting a letter setting out their own demands.
Iran said the EU-3 should support Iran’s quest for “advanced (nuclear) technology, including those with dual use” - a reference to equipment that has both civilian and military applications.
The Europeans should “remove impediments” preventing Iran from having such technology, and stick to these commitments even if faced with “legal (or) political . . . limitations”, an allusion to American pressure or even future international sanctions against Iran.
More astonishingly, Iran said the EU-3 should agree to meet Iran’s requirements for conventional weapons and even “provide security assurances” against a nuclear attack on Iran.
I missed this excellent Victor Davis Hanson piece a few days ago when it appeared at OpinionJournal, but anything the man writes is worth reading; here he returns to a common theme: Europe’s Choice. (Lotsa hat tips.)
McDonald’s is prominent among the stylish cafés of Luxembourg. Dubbed-in “Friends” and “Jerry Springer” blare from hotel televisions. Bare navels, Ray-Bans, pierced everything, and baggy jeans suggest a studied effort to emulate the look of Venice Beach. For a bewildered American, the key in squaring the anti-American rhetoric with the Valley Girl reality is simply to understand Western Europeans as elite Americans. Their upscale leisured culture is not much different from Malibu, Austin and Dupont Circle, that likewise excuse their crass submission to popular American tastes through the de rigueur slurs about the “corporations,” “Bush-Cheney,” and “Halliburton.” Perhaps this notion that Europe itself has become a cultural appendage of the U.S. explains why it views our upcoming election as a referendum on its own future as well.
None of these paradoxes is new. Yet the European meddling in this particular presidential election is. Less talked about is that the image of an allied Europe has been shattered here at home. And all the retired NATO brass and Council on Foreign Relations grandees are finding it hard to put the pieces back together again. The American public now wants to be told exactly why thousands in their undermanned military are stationed in a continent larger and richer than our own without conventional enemies on its borders. If Europeans think it is nonsensical to connect Iraq with our own post 9/11 security, then Americans believe it is far more absurd to envision an American-led NATO patrolling their skies and roads 15 years after a nearby hostile empire collapsed—especially when NATO turns out to be as isolationist as America is expected to be engaged abroad.
LGF reader Mark R. sent along this very compelling Photoshop work, illustrating recent events in the mind of John F. Kerry:
Corsi Apologizes for FreeRepublic Comments
It’s increasingly clear that John F. Kerry lied repeatedly about at least one detail of his service history—that he spent Christmas in Cambodia in 1968 (it was “seared” in his mind). We still see no official word from the Kerry campaign on this serious charge.
But when you can’t deal with the facts in a down and dirty political brouhaha, you attack the messenger.
And now we see the smear campaign firing up against Jerome R. Corsi, one of the authors of Unfit for Command : Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, for some offensive comments he wrote at the Free Republic web site: Anti-Kerry Book Scribe Sorry for Slurs. Corsi has apologized:
But as he prepared to launch the book, “Unfit for Command,” Jerry Corsi apologized for the remarks in an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday, saying they were meant as a joke and he never intended to offend anyone.
In chat room entry last year on freerepublic.com, Corsi writes: “Islam is a peaceful religion — just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed.”
In another entry, he says: “So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that’s probably about it.”
Corsi, who described himself as a “devout Catholic,” said the comments are being taken out of context. “I considered them a joke,” said Corsi, who owns a financial services company and has written extensively on the anti-war movement.
In a March posting, Corsi discussed Kerry’s faith, writing: “After he married TerRAHsa, didn’t John Kerry begin practicing Judaism? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?”
Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, are Catholic.
“I don’t stand by any of those comments and I apologize if they offended anybody,” Corsi said.
Kerry: "A Special Mission in Cambodia"
From an article in the Washington Post, dated Sunday, June 1, 2003, on Page A01: John Kerry: Hunter, Dreamer, Realist. (Hat tip: Power Line and Hugh Hewitt.)
And who is he, really?
A close associate hints: There’s a secret compartment in Kerry’s briefcase. He carries the black attaché everywhere. Asked about it on several occasions, Kerry brushed it aside. Finally, trapped in an interview, he exhaled and clicked open his case.
“Who told you?” he demanded as he reached inside. “My friends don’t know about this.”
The hat was a little mildewy. The green camouflage was fading, the seams fraying.
“My good luck hat,” Kerry said, happy to see it. “Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia.”
Kerry put on the hat, pulling the brim over his forehead. His blue button-down shirt and tie clashed with the camouflage. He pointed his finger and raised his thumb, creating an imaginary gun. He looked silly, yet suddenly his campaign message was clear: Citizen-soldier. Linking patriotism to public service. It wasn’t complex after all; it was Kerry.
He smiled and aimed his finger: “Pow.”
On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, his producer said that the reporter who wrote this story, Laura Blumenfeld, denied writing the passage quoted above—then hung up.
UPDATE at 8/10/04 3:18:23 pm:
And now, the Washington Post page linked above will not come up. (It seems flaky, coming up sometimes but not others.)
I saved a copy.
Fourth Estate = Fifth Column
It has become commonplace for Western wire services to publish pictures of masked mujahideen engaged in killing US and coalition soldiers, photographed in loving closeup: Yahoo! News Photos - Iraq.
What would have been the reaction in World War II, if American newspapers had run photographs of bravely posing Waffen SS stormtroopers firing their weapons at Allied soldiers, credited openly to German photographers?
But now, no one cares. No one even notices.
The Saudis' Covert PR Campaign
Daniel Pipes blows the whistle on Saudi Arabia’s underhanded public relations campaign, in which they secretly fund speakers with distinguished credentials to shill for the royal family: The Saudis’ Covert P.R. Campaign.
Saudi funding for opinion makers has been known but not its exact specifics. I can for the first time expose how the Saudis manage their covert publicity campaign in America thanks to a Saudi-employed public relations firm having incautiously contacted a senior professor at a major research institution. Although the professor did not accept the offer of the speakers, he showed enough interest to document the proposed transaction and then made the details available to me.
An employee at a leading public relations firm in Washington offered the professor Saudi-funded speakers for the lecture program he runs, doing so as part of a program to provide ongoing education to communities around the country about “the importance and value of strong U.S.-Saudi relations. ... One of our campaign components is to implement a speaker’s bureau program on behalf of the Kingdom that reaches into target markets across the nation. I think there is a wonderful opportunity,” she gushed, “to develop a very stimulating event with [your speakers’ series].”
The letter invites further inquiries, with the p.r. employee adding eagerly that she is “available to come speak with you in person if possible.” The letter then lists five lecturers ready to speak on the Saudi tab. They make for an interesting group.
Kerry's Legal Ambush
As mainstream media continue to ignore the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, here’s a piece at FrontPage about the transparently dishonest nastygram sent by DNC lawyers to TV stations to scare them out of running the Swift Boat Veterans’ advertisement: Legal Terrorism.
It was not until halfway through their letter that the lawyers accused the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth of libel. By leveling that very serious charge, they purported to know something about libel law—especially about several legal principles that negate any legitimate libel claim by Kerry.
First, any statement made in the TV spot that is an “opinion”—e.g., Kerry’s “account of what happened and what actually happened are the difference between night and day” [Chenoweth]; Kerry “lacks the capacity to lead” [Lonsdale]; Kerry “betrayed all his shipmates . . . . ” [Hibbard]—cannot constitute libel. Only the false statement of facts are capable of being libelous.
Second, many of the factual statements are utterly benign, and thus could never be actionable. For example, “I served with John Kerry” [French, Elder, Hildreth]. That leaves factual statements like Hibbard’s: Kerry “lied before the Senate.” In libel law, truth is an absolute defense. If, for example, it is true that Kerry “lied before the Senate,” that Kerry “has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam” [Elliott], that Kerry “is lying about his record” [French], and that Kerry “lied to get his Bronze Star” [O’Dell], Kerry has no case for libel.
Third, even without the absolute defense of truth, Kerry, as a public official, has a constitutionally required burden of proof in a libel case to produce evidence showing that the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth witnesses either knew their statements were false, or recklessly disregarded knowledge of falsity. Kerry’s lawyers must realize their client can never satisfy this burden of proof.
For these reasons, and others, the democrat lawyers’ threatening letter to TV station managers was an unconscionable attempt to protect their candidate from the damning truths spoken by Vietnam veterans who have earned the right to exercise their First Amendment freedom of speech.
Our Friends the Germans
The son of a September 11 victim could not be silent in a German court today, as one of the defense lawyers for an Islamic terrorist smeared the United States outrageously: Clash Over ‘Torture’ Charge at German 9/11 Trial.
Defense lawyer Josef Graessle-Muenscher filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying the truth could not be established because it lay with al Qaeda figures in U.S. captivity who had probably been tortured.
“In this swamp of torture and prison camps, no court can ascertain the truth any more,” he said in a long intervention detailing alleged U.S. abuses of prisoners, especially at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
American Dominic Puopolo, whose mother died on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center, said he found the argument “very offensive” and irrelevant to the case against Motassadeq.
“What I find troubling is this indictment of all our soldiers, our men and women in uniform. You’re desecrating the memories of 3,000 people who died, including my mother,” said Puopolo, 38, from Boston.
He said his mother, Sonia Morales Puopolo, would have turned 64 on Monday and “I’ve been thinking about her a lot.”
9/11 Plotter's Retrial in Doubt
It looks like one of the September 11 plotters, Mounir El Motassadeq, may go free in Germany, as the US refuses to let German judges compromise our intelligence sources: US blocks al-Qa’eda evidence at Sept 11 plotter’s retrial.
The United States has refused to allow German judges retrying the only man convicted over the September 11 terrorist attacks to question al-Qa’eda suspects it is believed to have in custody.
The decision, announced to the court in Hamburg in a letter from American officials, puts in doubt the trial of Mounir El Motassadeq, who is charged with plotting the attacks and with being a member of a terrorist group.
The letter said the judges could not question al-Qa’eda suspects because the United States had to protect its sources and the methods of its intelligence agents.
It even said it could not confirm or deny whether it was holding suspects the court wants to question about whether Motassadeq, a 30-year-old Moroccan, was involved in the al-Qa’eda plot.
Motassadeq, a student from Hamburg, was jailed for 15 years in February last year when he became the first person anywhere in the world to be convicted over the hijackings.
However, his conviction was quashed by a higher court in March this year when a panel of judges ruled that his trial had not had adequate access to Ramzi Binalshibh, who was allegedly a key member of the Hamburg cell which planned the attacks.
monday, august 09, 2004
Will Smith: "George W. Bush Lied to Me"
Davids Medienkritik translates portions of an interview with actor Will Smith, published in a major Frankfurt newspaper under the title “George W. Bush Lied to Me.”
When asked if 9/11 had changed anything for him personally, Smith answered:
“No. Absolutely not. When you grow up black in America you have a completely different view of the world than white Americans. We blacks live with a constant feeling of unease. And whether you are wounded in an attack by a racist cop or in a terrorist attack, I’m sorry, it makes no difference.”
It is interesting to note that, on a certain level, Smith is comparing American police officers, those charged with protecting society, with Islamic terrorists intent on destroying America and everything it stands for. Smith implies that racism is so rampant among America’s police that it is a threat equal in magnitude to black America as that of international terrorism. Instead of seeing 9/11 as a traumatic watershed event that contributed to uniting black and white America and healing racial tensions, Smith seems to believe that the terrorist attacks have had little impact on what he sees as the poor state of race relations in the USA.
Smith also praised the United Nations as the idea of the future and mentioned that he had been in contact with Kofi Annan. He stated that he felt lied to by President George W. Bush and his administration when it came to the war in Iraq. He also had the following to say on Michael Moore’s new film Fahrenheit 9/11:
“I found the film very funny. I found it interesting, and if it contributes to more people waking up and looking into things and drawing their own conclusions, then that is a good thing. However, one should not view the film as the Bible.”
Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has posted an interesting email exchange with Tom Mortensen of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Anarchy in the PA
Access Middle East took part in a conference call with Jerusalem Post journalist Khaled Abu Toameh on the situation in the Palestinian Authority.
Some foreign journalists have mistakenly portrayed the power struggle as a power struggle between reformists and corrupt officials. I think it that this is inaccurate because these people who are fighting all belong to the same group...those who are campaigning against the older generation and are in fact fighting for position and money. Mohammad Dahlan, the former Security Minister in the Palestinian Authority, was until recently part of the structure, part of the Palestinian Authority leadership, but when he was dismissed from his job he lost the campaign under the pretext of fighting corruption and demanding reform.
Similarly, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, they have also joined the campaign, but they are not reformists, they’re not liberal. They are jockeying for power and position and money. They are angry with Arafat because he stopped paying them their salaries. So as I said I disagree with those who tend to describe this power struggle as one between reformists and corrupt officials. Although — there are demands, growing demands among the Palestinians for reform and an end to corruption.
Those reform-minded Palestinians, those Palestinians that want transparency and democracy have taken advantage of the state of lawlessness and chaos, of the fact that there are many militias operating out there in the West Bank and Gaza, to press for reforms and democracy.
There is a bit of confusion as to what is happening, but what is certain is that the events of the past few weeks have affected Yasser Arafat’s position and status. It doesn’t look good for him that Palestinians are fighting amongst each other. All these stories that have come out about corruption in the Palestinian Authority have also affected his status and to a certain extent also have undermined his authority to a point where in recent days he’s been forced to order many of his supporters to come and demonstrate outside his office in order to show the world that the Palestinian people are still with him and they still support him.
Yasser Arafat today celebrates his 75th birthday and from what I heard today in Ramallah, he refused to hold a ceremony, or he refused even to receive greetings from his supporters, and I can understand him: There is no reason to celebrate when Palestinians are being killed everyday, when his security forces and militias are fighting each other, when the gunmen loyal to him are torching cars and offices belonging to security officers, when some of his aides are being shot, or some of his rivals are being assassinated and so on. The situation in the West Bank and Gaza today is one of chaos, lawlessness, and total anarchy...
As I have said, the situation today in the West Bank in Gaza can be characterized as total chaos, lawlessness; the Palestinian Authority almost is non-existent in the eyes of many Palestinians. The only role of the Palestinian Authority today is to pay the salaries, but on the ground the Palestinian villages and cities are being controlled by rival militias, by rival security forces, and in some cases by rival families, so there is a complete breakdown of the Palestinian Authority security infrastructure.
Hotels Bombed in Istanbul
One Dead in ‘Terrorist’ Blasts in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Simultaneous explosions rocked two hotels in tourist areas of Istanbul early on Tuesday, killing one person and injuring eight, and the city’s police chief said it appeared to be a terrorist attack.
Details were sketchy but television pictures showed emergency services rushing to the scene of the blasts and debris from one explosion lying in the street.
Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah told Anatolian news agency the blasts occurred around 2 a.m. local time (7 p.m. EDT Monday). Anatolian said one person was killed and eight injured in the blasts.
Which Candidate Makes You Feel More Sensitive?
The “Question of the Day” at MSNBC: Which Presidential candidate makes you feel safer? With 22,885 responses as of this writing, the results are:
Bin Laden Backer on His Way to Oslo
The Islamic Cultural Center in Oslo, Norway, has invited the leader of the Pakistani Al Qaeda-linked terror gang Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, to speak at religious gatherings and at the University of Oslo, and it looks like Norway will allow it—even though his obvious links with jihad terrorism were sufficient to get him banned from Belgium and the Netherlands: Bin Laden Backer on His Way to Oslo.
And it’s not that easy to get banned from Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Islamic Cultural Center in Oslo’s Gronland neighbourhood has invited Qazi Hussain Ahmed, leader of Pakistan’s largest religious party, to Oslo. He’s scheduled to speak at a religious gathering August 22 and before a Muslim students’ organization from the University of Oslo two days later.
Ahmed has earlier made flattering comments about Osama bin Laden, and his party, Jamaat-e-Islami, also has hailed al-Qaeda members as heroes.
The party also has allegedly encouraged its members to shield al-Qaeda members who are fleeing US troops in Afghanistan. Because of this, both Belgium and the Netherlands blocked his entry as late as May of this year.
Officials at Oslo’s Islamic Cultural Center claim Ahmed’s ties to Osama bin Laden are inflated. “Who says he supports Osama bin Laden?” asked local imam Hafiz Mehboob ur-Rehman. “We don’t think he’s controversial. We don’t support terrorism and stay on the right side of the law.”
In 2003, Qazi Hussain Ahmed declared, “Suicide bombers are the real Ummah.” (Hat tip: Rantburg.)
LAHORE: “Suicide bombers represent the real Ummah,” Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed declared in his presidential address at the launch of the Urdu translation of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed’s book ‘A new deal for Asia’ on Sunday at a local hotel.
The JI chief said the Ummah was not represented by kings and dictators, but was ‘in the heart beat of every Muslim’. “The Ummah are the people who sacrifice their lives,” he said.
Mr Ahmed said the Ummah was the ‘source of life’ for Muslims and this is why they would not accept ‘American dictators and oppressors’.
For more on this charming “religious leader” (the Pakistani version of Sheikh Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi), see Thugburg: Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Barnes and Noble: "Fit for Command?"
The Barnes and Noble page for the book by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth lists the title as Fit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out against John Kerry, in several places.
And K-Lo at The Corner points out an image at Barnes and Noble that has apparently been hacked: Fit for Command.
As I write this, the larger book cover on the B&N page is the correct one, although the text still reads, “Fit for Command.”
UPDATE at 8/9/04 2:52:04 pm:
The text has now been corrected.
USA vs. Babar Ahmad
Aaron points out the arrest warrant for Babar Ahmad, the Islamic web designer/publisher who ran Azzam Publications, and who may have been part of the surveillance team that scouted many terror targets in the United States. Fascinating reading, with lots of detail about the internet machinations of these freaks: USA vs. Babar Ahmad. (PDF file.)
What's That Smell?
Last Friday, after watching the C-SPAN broadcasts of the speeches by Kerry and Bush to an audience of journalists at the UNITY Conference, I was so appalled at the behavior of the journalists that I wrote this entry: Journalism Isn’t Dead, It Just Smells Funny.
Today, Editor and Publisher reports that some journalists also noticed the odor: Partisan Cheers at Unity Upset Some Attendees. (Hat tip: Jewels.)
John Temple, editor of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, praised the meeting overall and said he was “inspired” by it — but noted in a column that the partisanship (evidenced by “cheering and whistling” during Kerry’s speech) was “something I had never experienced in a crowd of journalists.”
Helen Ubinas, another attendee, wrote in The Hartford (Conn.) Courant that she was “in the minority, as it were” who acted like “a professional, not a partisan” in responding to Kerry. There was snickering during Bush’s address and the crowd rose at the end, “but not for much longer than it took to head to the door.” Ubinas’ explanation: Kerry connects with the “advocacy side” of Unity journalists. But showing preference for one candidate, she added, “is the ultimate betrayal — to everyone.”
Akilah Johnson, a reporter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Delray Beach, Fla., told USA Today, “It was a little awkward for me. I guess a lot of people were acting like citizens, not reporters.” Unity President Ernest Sotomayer pointed out that many Unity members, including those who were covering the event or planned to report on it later, did not cheer. Those who did, he said, are “people who vote, and they have a right to express themselves” when they’re not working.
But Seattle Times reporter Florangelea Davila told her paper, “It was so offensive and awful, and I hated it. It was clearly inappropriate. It was ridiculous.” Houston Chronicle Suburban Editor Pete McConnell said he was “embarrassed” by the crowd reactions to Bush and Kerry: “As a group we should have kept ourselves in check.”
Bob Steele, ethics expert at the Poynter Institute, called public outbursts favoring one candidate “unprofessional and unethical.”
More Islamic Terror Plots Discovered in UK
Computers and CDs seized in last week’s British terror raids contain evidence of previously unknown terrorist plots in the US: Computer discs seized in Britain may trigger new security alerts: report.
NEW YORK (AFP) - US officials may issue new public safety alerts based on information contained in more than 1,000 computer discs seized during the arrests of suspected Al-Qaeda operatives in Britain last week, a newspaper reported.
US and British intelligence officials are analyzing the content of the discs, which “appear to contain evidence of previously unknown terrorist planning activities in the United States,” the New York Times said, citing an unnamed senior US intelligence official.
“As a result, Bush administration officials are preparing for the possibility of expanded public and private threat alerts,” the daily said.
Jewish Students Attacked at Auschwitz
This is how bad things are getting in Europe; a despicable act that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: Jewish students attacked at Auschwitz.
While on a tour of the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday, a group of around 50 Jewish university students from Israel, the U.S. and Poland were verbally attacked by a three-member gang of French male tourists.
Evidently incited by the presence of an Israeli flag wrapped around the shoulders of Tamar Schuri, an Israeli student from Ben Gurion University, the first assailant ran at the group while its members were being guided through a model gas chamber and crematoria and began swearing and hurling anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli insults.
“He told us to go back to Israel and said that we were stupid and should be ashamed to walk around with an Israeli flag,” testifies Maya Ober, a 21-year-old Polish student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and member of the Polish Union of Jewish Students (PUSZ), which organized the 16-day summer learning program along with the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS).
After the initial altercation, a second assailant grabbed Ober by the arm. “One of the guys held me by the arm and wouldn’t let go,” says Ober, who lost several members of her family at Auschwitz. “I was afraid. I couldn’t move and I didn’t know what he was going to do.
”I was shocked. Although I have met anti-Semitism many times, I never expected to meet it at Auschwitz, where so many of my relatives were killed,“ she says she spoke to the assailants in French and that in addition to being ”brutish and vulgar,“ their sentiments ”made absolutely no sense.“
”Violence was narrowly averted,“ adds Laurence Weinbaum, Director of Research at the World Jewish Congress and resident scholar for the group, who says the Polish police were not notified of the incident because the assailants did commit an actual crime. ”But, if the two sides hadn’t been separated, it would have come to blows.“
Weinbaum, who has been to Poland more than 30 times on educational tours, says he never before saw anything like what happened, happen. ”It was simply shocking,“ he says. ”In some way, I felt that these men were satisfied to visit Auschwitz. This was another reminder that in Western Europe there is sympathy for dead Jews; it’s just the live ones that they cannot tolerate."
The Democratic Party's Antisemitism Problem
With highly visible spokespeople like Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, and Michael Moore, it’s no longer possible to ignore the Democratic Party’s anti-Semitism problem. (Hat tip: Allah.)
One of the most prominent figures at John Kerry’s nominating convention was the Rev. Al Sharpton, who seemed almost as fixed a presence at Kerry’s side the night of his acceptance speech as were the nominee’s wife and vice presidential candidate John Edwards.
Yet, it is common knowledge that this failed contender for the Democratic nomination incited anti-Jewish violence in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn in 1991 and in Harlem in 1995. In the latter incident he encouraged the explicitly anti-Semitic boycott and picketing of a Jewish-owned store named “Freddy’s.” Eight employees of the store were killed in a fire started by one of Sharpton’s followers.
But none of this unpleasantness has kept Sharpton from being treated with oily sycophancy by the Democratic leadership.
Among the victors in the July 20 Democratic primary in Georgia was Cynthia McKinney, who served five terms in Congress before being defeated in the 2002 primary by Denise Majette. Like many other inhabitants of the fever swamps of the Democratic Party, McKinney believed and said that President Bush knew in advance about the 9/11 plot but allowed it to proceed in order to line his pockets.
She also, as The New York Times said in reporting her victory, had made “a series of other incendiary, often racial comments.” This is The New York Times’ delicate way of alluding to the stridently anti-Semitic character of McKinney’s 2002 campaign, in which “Jews” were repeatedly blamed for her faltering in the polls and for her eventual defeat. Her behavior did not deter House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, then the Democratic whip, from backing her to the hilt.
AP: "A Largely Disbelieving World"
I’ve noticed for quite a while that mainstream media is deliberately playing down Iran’s push for nuclear weapons. But here’s an AP release on Condoleezza Rice so packed with skepticism that it oozes out of the monitor: Rice: Iran’s Nuclear Intentions Worrisome.
Notice how the AP’s William C. Mann speaks for the entire world.
WASHINGTON - For 3 1/2 years, the Bush administration has insisted to a largely disbelieving world that Iran was developing a dangerous nuclear capability. The administration is contending now that its doggedness is paying off.
The world finally is “worried and suspicious” over the Iranians’ intentions and is determined not to let Tehran produce a nuclear weapon, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said Sunday.
This dismissal of Iran’s nuclear aspirations is of course followed immediately by a statement from the mullahs’ “foreign minister,” telling us how peaceful and honest Iran is being:
Iran said Monday the international community has no reason to be suspicious about its nuclear ambitions, despite allegations by the United States that it is trying to produce nuclear weapons.
“Iran has not violated any of its commitments to international treaties in its nuclear program,” Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
And this statement is of course followed immediately by threats, from the same mullahs’ mouthpiece:
Kharrazi announced a week ago that his country had resumed building nuclear centrifuges. He said Iran was retaliating for the West’s failure to force the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to close its file on possible Iranian violations of nuclear nonproliferation rules.
Kharrazi said at the time that Iran was not resuming enrichment of uranium, which requires a centrifuge. But, he said, it had restarted manufacturing the device because Britain, Germany and France had not stopped the investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.
Dig the Islamic logic: “Stop your investigation into our plans to make nuclear bombs, or we will build centrifuges to make nuclear bombs!”
UPDATE at 8/9/04 3:44:05 pm:
The AP story has been edited; here’s an earlier version in which the words “a largely disbelieving world” were moved to a lower point in the text: Rice: Iran’s Nuclear Intentions Worrisome.
WASHINGTON - President Bush vowed Monday to keep pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions, but he tempered his tough words with talk of diplomacy, countering Democrats who say he takes a go-it-alone approach on the world stage.
... [two paragraphs] ...
For 3 1/2 years, the administration has insisted to a largely disbelieving world that Iran was developing a dangerous nuclear capability. The administration is contending now that its doggedness is paying off.
And here’s a slightly more recent version in which that line has fallen all the way to the bottom and down the drain: Rice: Iran’s Nuclear Intentions Worrisome.
Tube Terror Plot Found
A plot to bomb the London subway system has been uncovered at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan: ‘Tube flood plan’ to kill thousands. (Hat tip: Smit.)
A terror plot to detonate a bomb inside a Tube tunnel beneath the Thames has been uncovered by MI5 chiefs, it was reported yesterday.
The explosion would pierce the bed of the river, leaving tens of thousands of rush- hour commuters to be drowned or trampled underfoot in the panic as people tried to flee.
Blueprints for an attack on the Underground and maps of the tunnels were reported to have been discovered at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, a Sunday newspaper reported.
Chalabi Arrest: a Ploy for Saddam?
An arrest warrant was issued by an Iraqi judge over the weekend for Ahmad Chalabi and his nephew Salem Chalabi. But Salem Chalabi says the charges are intended to derail the trial of Saddam Hussein: Salem Chalabi Says Charges Undermine Saddam Trial.
An Iraqi judge issued arrest warrants for both Salem Chalabi and his uncle, leading politician and former Pentagon ally Ahmad Chalabi. Salem Chalabi was accused of playing a role in the murder of a Finance Ministry official, while his uncle was charged with counterfeiting.
“The charges are ridiculous,” Salem Chalabi told BBC radio in London. He said he had been accused of threatening a man who was later killed, but denied he had ever met him.
He said the judge who issued the arrest warrant had criticized the procedures established for trying Saddam.
“The fact that it was leaked means there was some element of a smear campaign against me, and therefore against the tribunal, trying to discredit the tribunal, which I think has happened now,” he said. “That’s what is troubling me. I want to go back and continue the work. There are a large number of staff still working, trying to do the investigations. But under these kind of allegations it makes it more difficult.”
Another Islamic Snuff Film
Militants Behead Man in Video on Internet.
CAIRO, Egypt - Four masked, black-clad men who said they belong to a group that has claimed responsibility for kidnappings and killings in Iraq beheaded a man identified only as a Bulgarian in a video posted on the Internet Monday.
It was not clear when the video was made, and its authenticity could not immediately be verified. Bulgarian officials said Monday they had examined the video but were “unable to identify the executed man because of the material’s bad quality.”
The militants in the video said they were from the Tawhid and Jihad group, which had claimed to have kidnapped two Bulgarian truck drivers June 29 and demanded Iraqi detainees be released in exchange for their lives. ...
In the new video, a bearded, blindfolded man sits before the masked men and a black banner with the words Tawhid and Jihad in white Arabic script. The hostage is wearing the orange jumpsuit that has become an iconic element in such videos, meant to evoke those worn by Iraqi prisoners subjected to abuse while in U.S. custody in Iraq.
A man is heard saying, “Here we are returning again to cut off the neck of the other hostage.”
The brief video ends with bloody images of a body in an orange jumpsuit being beheaded with a knife as his assailants repeatedly shout “God is great!” The victim does not appear to struggle, indicating he may have been dead or drugged before the beheading, or that his arms were somehow restrained. In the last scene, one of the men in black brandishes the severed head before the camera.
Al-Sadr Wants to Die, We Won't Kill Him
Muqtada al-Sadr keeps shrieking that he wants to die. Why haven’t we granted his wish? Finding him isn’t a problem; he struts and rants for TV cameras and reporters every day. Iraq Cleric Vows Fight to Death Vs. US.
NAJAF, Iraq - A radical cleric whose loyalists battled U.S. troops for a fifth straight day vowed Monday to fight to the death, and a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb northeast of the capital, killing six people and wounding the deputy governor who was the intended target, officials said.
Explosions and gunfire were heard throughout the holy Shiite city of Najaf and U.S. helicopters hovered overhead as U.S. troops tried to drive Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militiamen from a vast cemetery they have repeatedly used as a base. A U.S. tank rolled within 400 yards of Najaf’s holiest site, the Imam Ali Shrine, also held by militiamen.
A Najaf hospital spokesman reported three people killed, including two policemen, and 19 wounded Monday. A senior U.S. military official in Baghdad estimated Monday that 360 insurgents died in Najaf in the first four days of the battle, although al-Sadr’s militia insists the toll has been far lower.
Five U.S. troops have been killed in Najaf, according to the military, and the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 19 had been wounded. He said four Iraqi national guardsmen also had been killed and 12 wounded.
Al-Sadr vowed to keep up the battle. “I will continue fighting,” al-Sadr told reporters. “I will remain in Najaf city until the last drop of my blood has been spilled.”
After al-Sadr launched a two-month uprising in April, U.S. commanders vowed to “capture or kill” him, but later tacitly agreed to let Iraqi authorities deal with the cleric. Asked what current U.S. policy toward al-Sadr is, the senior officer in Baghdad said al-Sadr “is not an objective; we are not actively pursuing him.”