Sunday, December 31, 2006
by Jason Pappas
John Agresto, former president of St. John’s College’s Santa Fe campus, served as a senior advisor in Iraq from September 2003 to June 2004 and has kept in close contact with friends and colleagues since he left. He describes the situation in Iraq in the journal, Academic Questions, of the National Association of Scholars, of which he is on the board of advisors. He was eager to help his country bring democracy to Iraq by helping to establish educational institutions appropriate to a liberal order. He tried to reopen and reform Iraqi Universities. He describes his quixotic quest: (Academic Questions, Vol. 19, No. 3, page 37)
“[W]e talked all the time about freedom and democracy. Yet we had precious little knowledge of how to bring a stable, mild, moderate, middle-class, and above all free democracy to Iraq. We had, it seemed, scant idea as to what made our own democracy lasting and liberal. Other than holding elections and writing some kind of constitution, we had little idea as to what kind of civic institutions might precede democracy, what character a people might need to have to make democracy work, or what kind of political institutions were needed to make democracy just. We acted as if democracy were natural—just get rid of the tyrant, hold elections, and look: a democracy.”Agresto explains the lack of understanding of their Iraqi culture and religion is familiar terms to the readers of this blog:
“We generally have a benign view of religion. We always insist that those who kill infidels or torture in God’s name have somehow ‘hijacked’ their religion. We consistently failed to understand that not all religions have the same view as we do of peace, of brotherhood, or of justice. Islam in general, and parts of Islam in particular, are not post-Enlightenment faiths. But why would they be? We desperately kept looking for the supposed ‘moderates’ among the clergy in Iraq. Moderate as compared to what? Just because we believe that God wants everyone to enjoy equal rights, or that killing Jews or stoning apostates is wrong, doesn’t mean that our beliefs are shared in other faiths.We have so tamed and, in a sense, marginalized religion in the West that we consistently underestimate its ferocity and strength. … we didn’t, I think, realize, the attraction of extremism and fanaticism, especially among the youth, and especially among a people who have so little stability and order in their lives. We don’t understand either killing for God or dying for God. But others do.”He believes the problem wasn't mistaken policies or mismanagement, although he describes that in detail. The problem is something that simple management can't address. He reiterates that we “misunderstood religion, we misunderstood human nature, we misunderstood the prerequisites of liberty and liberation, we misunderstood democracy.”
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Thus Always to Tyrants
and reliably dead!!!
Excellent Coverage and More Video:
Fox News: Still More Video Coverage:
"He died absolutely, he died instantly."
Click here to visit: The Wizard of Oz Soundtrack Lyrics
Friday, December 29, 2006
I would imagine a poll of Lincoln would have came up with nearly the same results in the middle of the U.S. Civil War.
I think history will show Bush the same favor it did Lincoln.
Britney Spears Selected as Worst Celebrity Role Model
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, AP
WASHINGTON (Dec. 28) - Bad guy of 2006: President Bush. Good guy of 2006: President Bush. When people were asked in an AP-AOL News poll to name the villains and heroes of the year, Bush topped both lists, in a sign of these polarized times.
Saddam is a former tyrant and mass murderer with millions of dead, wounded and missing victims as a result of his decades long holocaust of terror and war.
So why would anyone want to string up such a fine altruist with dispatch after only three years of the judicary process in Iraq even if it was a flawed, politicized and divisive trial according to the NYT?
But at least THE NEW YORK JIHADIST TIMES is not giving away state secrets today.
It could have, but it didn’t. After a flawed, politicized and divisive trial, Mr. Hussein was handed his sentence: death by hanging. This week, in a cursory 15-minute proceeding, an appeals court upheld that sentence and ordered that it be carried out posthaste. Most Iraqis are now so preoccupied with shielding their families from looming civil war that they seem to have little emotion left to spend on Mr. Hussein or, more important, on their own fading dreams of a new and better Iraq.
The Muslims hate the pagans...Why?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Ford made the comments in a four-hour interview in 2004 with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.
Woodward is famous for being part of the writing duo who exposed the Watergate scandal, which led to Ford becoming president.
So Ford DID support the war in Iraq. I knew that Woodward was lying. It's not the first time and it won't be the last.
The real story and commentary:
"I always wanted to serve my country," said Woods, who will turn 23 on Jan. 27. "I think freedom is an amazing thing. I love what this country stands for. I want to give back for what we have. There's no other high for me."
But for those who want to know more about The Religion Of The Sword summarized in a few paragraphs:
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Shaheen said the court's decision was the final word in the case.
The toppled Iraqi dictator's execution must take place before January 27, Shaheen said. Iraqi law requires a death sentence to be carried out within 30 days.
Well done, Tommy Atkins!
The British Army kicks Muslim butt and takes names in southern Iraq.
And pay no attention to the armchair generals and Personal Computer warriors.
The British let this cancer fester for far too long. And while they freed 127 victims -- many showing signs of real torture, like crushed hands -- the perpetrators had mostly fled when they stormed in.
So they blew the building up. Big whoop. Many of the detainees who were tortured seem to have been terrorists themselves, though.
The complete article:
Somalia called on the Council of Islamic Courts militias, bloodied by a week of artillery and mortar attacks, to surrender and promised amnesty if they lay down their weapons, government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Islamic fighters attempting to wrest power from Somalia's internationally recognized government retreated from the main front line early Tuesday, witnesses said, a day after Ethiopian fighter jets bombed the country's two main international airports.
Troops loyal to the Council of Islamic Courts withdrew more than 30 miles to the southeast from Daynuney, a town just south of Baidoa, the government headquarters.
The Islamic forces also abandoned their main stronghold in Bur Haqaba and were forming convoys headed toward the capital, Mogadishu, residents in villages along the road told The Associated Press by telephone.
In reality the Runnymede Trust has neatly defined many important aspects of Islam.
For years, many of us have been warning about the true nature of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and that it is a terrorist-support organization and not a group dedicated only to defending the civil rights of America’s Muslims. As a minimum, CAIR has been unabashedly dedicated to the imposition of Sharia law in the United States and to pooh-poohing the idea that Muslims took part in 9/11.
What was the terrible crime committed by Griffin that so enraged the Left, Muslims and the legal system in Britain? He said in public that Islam was a “wicked, vicious faith” — Shock! Horror! O The Humanity! This said by Mr Griffin several years after 9/11 when Muslim terrorists displayed to any Doubting Thomas anywhere in the world that Islam was indeed, "wicked, vicious faith" to put it mildly, that was after the destruction of Western Civilization, in particular one of the major "Infidel" nations of the world - Great Britain.
The entire affair, which was a "win-win" situation for the Griffin (If Griffin had lost, the governing authorities in Britain would have been under intense fire for restriction of freedom of speech) has boosted his popularity and that of the BNP, a once fringe political movement that today is making serious inroads into the membership of both Conservative and Labour parties in large measure because of its uncompromising stand against unrestricted immigration and the appeasement of Muslims by the authorities.
More About Nick Griffin:
The real story of the creation of a holiday that you won't hear from the Leftist MSM.
As the leaves fall and November fades into December our sentimental hearts turn naturally from Thanksgiving to America’s second and only purely American seasonal observance – Kwanzaa. Real Americans love Kwanzaa because Kwanzaa is the funniest “holiday” ever invented. The creator of Kwanzaa may have been certifiably insane when he patched Kwanzaa together; you can decide that for yourself. Here is the history.
Once upon a time there was a little black boy named Ron N. Everett who was born the fourteenth child of a Baptist minister on a poultry farm in Maryland. By the late 1950s young Ron Everett had groped his way to California and attended some classes at Los Angles Community College. By the mid-60s he was touting himself as a “cultural nationalist,” which was Ron’s way of distinguishing himself and his followers from the Black Panther Party gang who were then parroting Maoist Marxist rhetoric. Ron Everett, self-described “cultural nationalist,” awarded himself the lofty title “maulana,” which means “master teacher” in Swahili, and gathered around him a following of unsophisticated young blacks. He adopted the African last name of Karenga. By 1969 Karenga’s gang was calling itself United Slaves and was gearing up to challenge the Black Panther Party gang for domination of the spanking-new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. Karenga’s gang and the Panthers each backed opposing candidates for the chairmanship of the Center. Both gangs began sporting firearms on the California campus. The clueless liberal university administration turned a blind eye to the on-campus arms buildup.
The Black Student Union, by contrast, had a better sense of the urgency of the situation and sought to parley a peace between the two camps of ideological rivals – that is, the Black Panthers and the guy whom the New York Times was preposterously calling Ron Ndabezitha Everett-Karenga.
Monday, December 25, 2006
The best Christmas picture of the season comes from India
Who says the Muslims don't have a sense of humor?
Today we have 15 Mosques in Central Florida alone with upwards of 40,000 Muslims milling around in the Orlando metro area.
Everyone of them is a potential suicide bomber.
The term "Muslim-American" is an oxymoron.
BY MICHAEL JUDGE
But I'm not here to talk about any miniature clash of civilizations, etc. On the contrary, I'm here, at the invitation of Imam Tawil, to talk about something remarkable: the rebirth of the oldest mosque in North America and the Muslim-American community that made it happen. "We've been here for four and now five generations," says Imam Tawil, pointing to a panoramic black-and-white photo of dozens of early settlers; the picture dates to 1936 and shows an imam and priest, both of Middle Eastern descent, proudly shaking hands in the center. "We're as old as the oak trees in Iowa," he continues. "We're part of the fabric of this great state. We're Americans with dreams and aspirations." Many of the earliest Muslim settlers came to Cedar Rapids in the late 19th century from what is now Lebanon to work the farmland and raise crops of their own. As the community grew, it needed a permanent place to worship. Despite the hard times of the Great Depression, the local Muslim community pooled its resources and the "Mother Mosque" was dedicated on June 16, 1934. Sixteen young men from the Muslim community here served their country in World War II; two of those men never made it home. Since then, Muslim-Americans from eastern Iowa have served their country in nearly every major military conflict. "At least 20 members of the community are currently enlisted in the military," says Imam Tawil. "Several are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq right now." Cedar Rapids is now home to Muslims from some 30 countries, including Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia and Iraq. After the 1991 Gulf War, dozens of Iraqi families--mainly Shiites who rose up against Saddam--found refuge here. Today, of the 700 Muslim families who call eastern Iowa home, more than 50 are from Iraq. "Nearly all of these refugees are striving to become U.S. citizens," says Imam Tawil, who emigrated from Jerusalem in 1983 and became a U.S. citizen in 1990. A Palestinian by birth, he says, "I have never had citizenship anywhere else but America. Every time I vote I feel so proud because I didn't have this right in my home country." Around the same time that he became a U.S. citizen, Imam Tawil set out to renovate and restore the Mother Mosque. The building, which had gone vacant after housing a Pentecostal church and a teen center, was purchased in 1990; renovations began in 1991 and a grand opening was held in February 1992. The mosque serves mainly as a cultural and historical center since a modern Islamic Center was completed in 1971. "Our main goal is to educate the public about Islam," says Imam Tawil. Part of this education process was the founding, in the early 1990s, of the Linn County Inter-Religious Council. "We started the council to promote understanding and respect for all faiths," says Cedric Lofdahl, who retired as the pastor of Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in 1998. "Taha was very much involved. I'll never forget it. He said, 'It may be too late for our generation but we need to be talking together and understanding each other for the sake of our children.'"
That dialogue, says Pastor Lofdahl, helped the residents of Cedar Rapids deal with their grief and better understand the nature of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. "Because we had spent a lot of time together trying to educate the community regarding various faiths, and because we had become acquainted with people from the mosque, our immediate reaction was concern for those people." Imam Tawil agrees. "Our outreach to the community--because we shared in the community's happiness and sadness--these things helped us after Sept. 11." Both men say they remember flowers and cards and letters of support being dropped off in front of the Mother Mosque in the days after 9/11. "We are blessed with a community here that understands our endeavors and knows our struggles," says Imam Tawil, as he prepares to leave his little office in a little mosque that has witnessed great things. Mr. Judge, a freelance journalist, is an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication
New Rifle M8 (if adopted)
New Round 6.8mm (if adopted)
The U.S. Army is pretty serious about adopting a new caliber bullet for its infantry weapons. Now is the time to do it, as a new infantry rifle, the XM-8, is moving quickly through field testing. The proposed new caliber is 6.8mm (also known as .270). Officially, it's the 6.8mm Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge) Special Forces troops were the first to use 6.8mm ammo in combat, and they were impressed with it's better (than 5.56mm bullets) ability to take down enemy troops. This should be no surprise, as the 6.8mm round is based on the 19th century 30-30 round. The 6.8mm round is a modified 30-30 caliber round based on the Remington 30 cartridge (first introduced in 1906). The 30-30 is a rimless round first designed for lever action rifles. Most of those lever action rifles you see in cowboy movies are 30-30s. The 30-30 round is still popular with deer hunters because of its ability to bring down deer (of up to about 400 pounds) or wild pigs (up to 300 pounds) at common hunting ranges (100-150 meters) without producing a lot of recoil, or requiring a heavy rifle. The 6.8mm round has a bullet that's about 40 percent lighter than 30-30 rounds, but about twice as heavy as the current 5.56mm bullet. The superior hitting power can be seen in comparing muzzle energy (1158 foot pounds for the 5.56mm bullet versus 1793 for the 6.8mm round.) At 500 meters it's 338 versus 600 foot pounds. This means that, out to about 600 meters, the 6.8mm round has about the same impact as the heavier 7.62mm round used in sniper rifles and medium machine-guns.
So with SOCOM adopting the FN SCAR rifle, the USMC sticking with the M16A4 and the US Army canceling the XM8 project ("This action has been taken in order for the Army to reevaluate its priorites for small caliber weapons, and to incorporate emerging requirements identified during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Government will also incorporate studies looking into current capability gaps during said reevaluation."), what does everyone think is next? Something in 6.8mm? A return to 7.62mm? Sharks with frickin' laser beams on thier foreheads? It seems a real possibility that 5.56mm is finally on the way out.
The Mahdi Army is a large, subnational Iraqi militia of something on the order of 30,000. It gives loyalty to a Shi'ite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, whose motives are suspect to say the least. Does he merely desire to defend Shi'ites, or does he wish to seize power in Iraq?
Now shift gears a bit and consider Blackwater, the world's foremost private security company. A recent article in the Weekly Standard described its capabilities:
Aside from the interests of states, consider the future of private security and stateless warfighting organizations from the perspectives of those organizations themselves. Here are some considerations:
In other words, two authoritative studies carried out by scholars found that American Muslims number under 2 million - less than a third of the hitherto-consensus number.
How many Muslims live in the United States?
Until now, basically, no one has had any idea. By law, the U.S. Census cannot ask questions about religion. There are also plenty of other difficulties in coming up with a number, starting with the problem of defining who is a Muslim: Does one include non-standard believers like Louis Farrakhan and the Druze?
Uncertainty has generated some wildly divergent numbers. A large 1990 demographic survey counted 1.3 million Muslims. In 1998, a Pakistani newspaper put the number at 12 million. Even the usually authoritative Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches found 527,000 American Muslims in 1996 and six times as many (3.3 million) in 1998.
Needing some kind of consensus figure, Muslim organizations came up with a self-acknowledged "guestimation" of 6 million, which this year they decided to raise to 7 million.
These numbers were so widely adopted (even by this writer) that they acquired a sheen of authority. But repetition does not transform a guess into a fact.
Fortunately, the smog of imprecision finally lifted last week, with the appearance of two authoritative studies by highly regarded demographers. (Each study relied on respondents' religious self-identification.) Interestingly, they agreed on a very similar number, one much smaller than the old guestimate.
The American Religious Identification Survey 2001 carried out by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York polled more than 50,000 people and found the total American Muslim population to be 1.8 million.
Meanwhile, the University of Chicago's Tom Smith reviewed prior national surveys and (in a study sponsored by the American Jewish Committee) found that the best estimate puts the Muslim population in 2000 at 1,886,000. (With a nod toward figures supplied by Islamic organizations, he allowed that this number could be as high as 2,814,000 Muslims.)
In other words, two authoritative studies carried out by scholars found that American Muslims number under 2 million - less than a third of the hitherto-consensus number.
To this, the militant Islamic groups in Washington - widely but erroneously seen as representative of American Muslims - responded with predictable hyperbole. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) furiously accused Smith's report of working "to block Muslim political participation."
The American Muslim Council (AMC) charged Smith with nothing less than trying to "deny the existence of 4 1/2 million American Muslims" and blamed him for "tearing at the very heart of America."
The AMC also amusingly claimed that its own estimate of "more than 7 million" Muslims came from the 2000 Census figures - erroneously thinking that the Census asks about religion.
Oh, and that's the same AMC which in 1992 pressured a researcher named Fareed Nu'man to find 6 million Muslims in the country; Nu'man later testified that he counted just 3 million and was fired by the AMC when he refused to inflate his number above 5 million.
Why does the militant Islamic lobby insist on the 6-7 million figures? Because a larger number, even if phony, offers it enhanced access and clout. Convincing the Republican Party that Muslims number 8 million, for example, led to urgent calls from its chairman for "meeting with [Muslim] leaders," something which becomes less of a priority when the Muslim population turns out to be much smaller.
Knowing the real number of Muslims will, most immediately, likely impede two militant Islamic efforts now underway: one (pushed by The Minaret magazine) to get Americans to acknowledge that their own misdeeds partially caused the atrocities of Sept. 11; and another (led by CAIR) to halt the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. The longer-range implications will be yet more significant.
The Bush administration made no public announcement of the politically delicate seizure of the Iranians, though in response to specific questions the White House confirmed Sunday that the Iranians were in custody.
Gordon D. Johndroe, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said two Iranian diplomats were among those initially detained in the raids. The two had papers showing that they were accredited to work in Iraq, and he said they were turned over to the Iraqi authorities and released. He confirmed that a group of other Iranians, including the military officials, remained in custody while an investigation continued, and he said, “We continue to work with the government of Iraq on the status of the detainees.”
It was unclear what kind of evidence American officials possessed that the Iranians were planning attacks, and the officials would not identify those being held. One official said that “a lot of material” was seized in the raid, but would not say if it included arms or documents that pointed to planning for attacks. Much of the material was still being examined, the official said.
Nonetheless, the two raids, in central Baghdad, have deeply upset Iraqi government officials, who have been making strenuous efforts to engage Iran on matters of security. At least two of the Iranians were in this country on an invitation extended by Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, during a visit to Tehran earlier this month. It was particularly awkward for the Iraqis that one of the raids took place in the Baghdad compound of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, one of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite leaders, who traveled to Washington three weeks ago to meet President Bush.
Over the past four days, the Iraqis and Iranians have engaged in intense behind-the-scenes efforts to secure the release of the remaining detainees. One Iraqi government official said, “The Iranian ambassador has been running around from office to office.”
A senior Western official in Baghdad said the raids were conducted after American officials received information that the people detained had been involved in attacks on official security forces in Iraq. “We conduct operations against those who threaten Iraqi and coalition forces,” the official said. “This was based on information.”
A spokesman for Mr. Hakim, who heads a Shiite political party called Sciri, which began as an exile group in Iran that opposed Saddam Hussein, declined to comment. In Tehran, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, had no comment about the case on Sunday other than to say it was under examination.
The action comes at a moment of extraordinary tension in the three-way relationship between the United States, Iran and Iraq. On Saturday, even as American officials were trying to determine the identity of some of the Iranians, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution imposing mild sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. Meanwhile, the Bush administration has rejected pressure to open talks with Iran about its actions in Iraq.
Much about the raids and the identities of the Iranians remained unclear on Sunday. American officials offered few details. They said that an investigation was under way and that they wanted to give the Iraqi government time to figure out its position. A Bush administration official said the Iranian military officials held in custody were suspected of being members of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. It has been involved in training members of Hezbollah and other groups that the Americans regard as terrorist organizations.
He added: “We will be better able to explain what this means about the larger picture after we finish our investigation.”
In the raids, the Americans also detained a number of Iraqis. Western and Iraqi officials said that following normal protocol, the two Iranian diplomats were turned over to the Iraqi government after being questioned. The Iraqis, in turn, released them to the Iranian Embassy. An Iraqi official said his government had strained to keep the affair out of the public eye to avoid scuttling the talks with Iran that were now under way.
The raids and arrests were confirmed by at least seven officials and politicians in Baghdad and Washington. Still, the development was being viewed skeptically on Sunday by some Iraqis, who said that they suspected that the timing was intended to reinforce arguments by some in the administration that direct talks with Iran would be futile.
An administration official in Washington disputed that, saying, “When the military conducted the raids, they really didn’t know who they were going to find.”
The United States is now holding, apparently for the first time, Iranians who it suspects of planning attacks. One senior administration official said, “This is going to be a tense but clarifying moment.”
“It’s our position that the Iraqis have to seize this opportunity to sort out with the Iranians just what kind of behavior they are going to tolerate,” the official said, declining to speak on the record because the details of the raid and investigation were not yet public. “They are going to have to confront the evidence that the Iranians are deeply involved in some of the acts of violence.”
The events that led to the arrests of the Iranians began on Thursday, although details are sketchy.
In one raid, which took place around 7 p.m. that day, American forces stopped an official Iranian Embassy car carrying the two Iranian diplomats, one or two Iranian guards and an Iraqi driver. Iraqi officials said that the diplomats had been praying at the Buratha mosque and that when it was stopped, the car was in the Allawi neighborhood, a few minutes from the Iranian Embassy to the west of the Tigris River.
All in the car were detained by the Americans. The mosque’s imam, Sheik Jalal al-deen al-Sageir, a member of Parliament from Mr. Hakim’s party, said the Iranians had come to pray during the last day of mourning for his mother, who recently died. He said that after the Iranians left, the Iranian Embassy phoned to say that they had not arrived as expected. “We were afraid they were kidnapped,” Sheik Sageir said.
But he said he was later informed that the diplomats, whom he said that he did not know well, were in the custody of Americans. “I had nothing to do with that,” Sheik Sageir said. “I don’t know why the Americans took them.”
The predawn raid on Mr. Hakim’s compound, on the east side of the Tigris, was perhaps the most startling part of the American operation. The arrests were made inside the house of Hadi al-Ameri, the chairman of the Iraqi Parliament’s security committee and leader of the Badr Organization, the armed wing of Mr. Hakim’s political party.
Many Shiite political groups are now suspected of having ties to Iran, and Sciri is no exception. Senior party leaders lived in exile in Iran for years plotting the overthrow of Mr. Hussein. Some married Iranians and raised their children there.
Mr. Hakim has emerged as the central Iraqi Shiite who is backing a new bloc made up of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds that would isolate more radical politicians. Americans back the new bloc, and Mr. Hakim traveled to Washington earlier this month to discuss its formation with Mr. Bush. It was not clear how the arrests, embarrassing to Mr. Hakim, would affect those political efforts.
Hiwa Osman, a news media adviser to Mr. Talabani, said, “The president is unhappy with the arrests.” .
The politician familiar with the efforts said the Iranians in the compound had been in Iraq for four days. He said Iraqi officials expected that two more of the Iranians would be released soon.
The disagreement will further irritate relations between Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq and his American supporters. The Shiite-led government has begun to chafe under the control of the Americans, pressing for more control of its army and for greater independence from what it says is unilateral American decision making.
The Americans are concerned that the Shiite-led government would not respect the rights of the minority Sunni Arab population, and, in the worst case, would use the largely Shiite security forces as a weapon in this country’s deepening sectarian war.
Since the borders opened after the invasion, it has not been uncommon for Iranian pilgrims to visit Iraq. Many come to worship in religious places holy to Shiites.
David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon contributed reporting from Washington, and Nazila Fathi from Tehran.