Monthly Archives: June 2006
International economic and political pressure begin to payoff. But until Hamas rejects terrorism, this first step will be worthless. Hamas got into power because the Palestinians overwhelmingly supported terror, i.e., suicide terrorist.
Per terrorismexperts.org, “Palestinian terrorism, once focused on the international arena, is now concentrated inside Israel . The Ideology of the Palestinian struggle has become more universal and is now dominated by Pan-Islamic character.”
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – The rival Hamas and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, a top Palestinian official said Tuesday after weeks of acrimonious negotiations aiming to lift crippling international aid sanctions.
Moderate President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah has been trying to coax his Hamas rivals into endorsing the document, which calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, in effect recognizing the Jewish state. He has endorsed the plan as a way to end sanctions against the Hamas-led Palestinian government and pave the way to reopening peace talks with Israel.
A recent article in the Washington Post, written by Nina Shea of Freedom House, laid bare Saudi hypocrisy in claiming to have removed hateful material from textbooks, when in fact that material remains. The Saudis export such material in large quantities to Muslims in other countries. But while the article suggests that this is a Wahhabi problem, in fact much of the objectionable material is actually derived from the Qur’an and from traditions of Muhammad considered authentic by Muslims.
The blockquotes below are from the Saudi textbooks as reported by Shea; interspersed are relevant Qur’anic verses and other material showing that all this is not just Wahhabi invention:
We’ve heard a lot about why Hillary Clinton will be a strong candidate in 2008. In fact, there are whole books on the subject.
However, Hillary Clinton is actually a much weaker candidate than many people seem to believe. Here’s a short, but sweet primer that may help explain why that is the case:…
I’ve been wondering why there is something familiar about the behavior of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, and suddenly it dawned on me that we have our own similar insurgency right here at home — it is called the Democrat Party.
Think about it. Both are operating under the same motivation — an unrequited lust for lost power. And both will do just about anything to retrieve it…
…As Michael Barone has written: “It comes down to this: A substantial part of the Democratic Party, some of its politicians and many of its loudest supporters do not want America to succeed in Iraq. So vitriolic and all-consuming is their hatred for George W. Bush that they skip right over the worthy goals we have been, with some considerable success, seeking there — a democratic government, with guaranteed liberties for all, a vibrant free economy, respect for women — and call this a war for oil, or for Halliburton.
“Successes are discounted, setbacks are trumpeted, the level of American casualties is treated as if it were comparable to those in Vietnam or World War II. Allegations of American misdeeds are repeated over and over; the work of reconstruction and aid of American military personnel and civilians is ignored.”
In the end, all that matters to them is regaining the power the American people took from them in 1994, and, thank God, have kept it out of their hands ever since
I’ve read several books on Islam lately and have come to the conclusion that somehow Islam itself produces defective thinking.
I’m glad I found this article by Dr. Babu Suseelan, a Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pennsylvaniam because it articulates scientifically my findings and augments my conclusions.
Per Dr. Suseelan, typical Islamic thinking errors include:
- Polarized or all-or-nothing-thinking (e.g.: believers and non-believers, daru-ul-Islam, dar-ul-harb)
- Catastrophic Thinking (all infidels will go to hell)
- Discounting the positive, accentuate the negative (all kafirs are trying to get Muslims)
- Emotional reasoning (emotional justification for bombing, beheading, terrorism)
- Labeling (putting a global label on non-believers as kafirs)
- Minimization (blame the victim, denial, alibi)
- Mind Reading (Muslims know what non-Muslims are thinking)
- Mental Filter (Failure to see things holistically)
- Overgeneralization (making sweeping negative conclusions: Jews are pigs, Christians are rats)
- Personalization (Muslims believe Kafirs are behaving negatively because of Islam)
- Tunnel Vision (seeing things only in the Islamic way)
Jihadi terrorism is as old as Islam. Jihad war, death and destruction have followed in the wake of Islam for hundreds of years. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Spain, Persia, India and several societies have experienced the deadly Islamic conquest. Now Jihadi terrorism has propelled to dangerous proportions and is a major threat to public health and world peace. Jihadi terrorists are said to have the unique ability to perpetuate their deadly terrorism wreaking havoc in every city in the world. It’s destructive impact on the economy, public health and public safety is widespread, and on the increase.
Hearing the Senate debate that ended in knocking the Marriage Protection Amendment down this round has been a little like watching a magician who tries to keep your eyes focused on his right hand, while he hides the card in his left. The opponents had a script repeated with few variations, whose lines were designed to skirt the substance of the issue, and chill debate. Yet, redefining marriage is a serious business, whose implications nobody can entirely predict. Surely this warrants thoughtful debate.
A must read!
James Phillips wrote a very important paper with an excellent summary on The Evolving Al-Qaeda Threat. His paper is based on his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities on February 16, 2006.
- Terrorism is only a part of Osama bin Laden’s revolutionary strategy for imposing his harsh Islamic ideology on the Muslim world. A wide variety of radical Islamic groups have copied al-Jada’s terrorist tactics and share its radical Islamist ideology, which meas that “bin Ladenism” will outlast bin Laden.
- To defeat al-Qaeda, the U.S. and its allies must not only destroy its leadership, but also destroy its ability to recruit replacement by discrediting its violent ideology. The United States must put as much effort into the ideological struggle as it did during the Cold War.
- To discredit bin Laden’s ideology, Muslims must be convinced that his revolutionary program is unrealistic, imposes intolerable costs on Muslims, and that there is a better way to practice authentic Islam. These arguments must come from Muslim political, religious, educational, and intellectual leaders.
Al-Qaeda is a transnational Sunni Islamist terrorist network operating in over 60 countries around the world. At the center of the web is the core group, which I will refer to as Al-Qaeda Central (AQC), a disciplined, highly professional cadre of committed revolutionaries, which now probably consists of fewer than 1,000 dedicated members, and perhaps fewer than 500. Although it has become the most hunted terrorist group in world history since its September 11, 2001, attacks and has been severely degraded by substantial losses, it remains a resilient and potent threat to the United States.
AQC remains determined and capable of launching spectacular megaterrorist attacks against the United States, which it perceives to be the chief obstacle to its visionary plans to build a global Islamic state, a new caliphate. A disparate network of Islamic revolutionary groups are loosely affiliated with AQC and share its long-term goals and the broad outlines of its ideology, while focusing their efforts on attacking secular and moderate governments in the Muslim world, American and Western targets of opportunity, and moderate Muslim leaders in their respective fields of operations. Although they cooperate with AQC, support some of its operations, and receive AQC support for some of their operations, the affiliate groups function independently and generally concentrate on local or regional jihads, rather than waging war on a global basis.
A third tier of terrorist threats comes from loose collections of Islamic radicals who organize themselves for ad hoc attacks, sometimes with support from AQC, but often inspired by al-Qaeda’s example. These terrorist groups, such as the group that bombed the World Trade Center in February 1993 and the group that bombed the London Underground in July 2005, contain self-selected individuals with little or no terrorist training who may not belong to a formal organization and who coalesce for a limited campaign or even a single operation. Although their amateur status may limit their effectiveness, it can make them much harder to detect and counteract.
I will focus my remarks on Al-Qaeda Central, rather than its affiliates or loosely organized Islamic militants inspired by its actions.
Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants operate as an umbrella group to recruit, train, finance, and logistically support a diverse network of Islamic extremists united by a fanatic ideology that is cloaked in religious zealotry. While the foot soldiers are relatively easy to replace, the top leadership, drawn from a tight circle of “Afghan Arabs” who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980s, will be much harder to reconstitute because personal trust based on shared experience is so vital to its operations.
Now that they have been forced out of their Afghan caves and shorn of most of their Taliban allies, they are increasingly vulnerable to betrayal. The more bodyguards they retain for personal security, the more risk they take of detection or treachery. Communications and movement undoubtedly have become more difficult. The 2004 arrest of al-Qaeda communications coordinator Mohamed Naim Noor Khan in Pakistan has further degraded bin Laden’s ability to safely communicate with his far-flung organization.
Although bin Laden is the front man, he is more important as a spokesman and revolutionary icon than as the operational commander. One of the code names that he selected for himself was “The Contractor,” which suggests how he sees his own role. He delegates responsibilities to his followers, sometimes financing operations that are planned and conducted by semi-autonomous mid-level leaders within his decentralized organization.
The chief operational brains behind al-Qaeda is believed to be Egyptian militant Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Egypt’s Al Jihad terrorist group which has merged with al-Qaeda. Egyptian militants, who acquired considerable terrorist experience in their long struggle with the secular regime in Cairo, provide much of Al-Qaeda Central’s top operational leadership.
Al-Qaeda recruits members through a progressive screening process. It is believed to have recruiters that travel to or are embedded in radical mosques, where they identify and befriend promising candidates. Often the candidates are selected to travel to foreign countries such as Pakistan or Yemen for religious education. Once there, they are isolated from former friends and family and offered more rigorous training for jihad. Al-Qaeda also recruits promising prospects from radical Islamic insurgent groups that it supports around the world. Iraq recently has become an epicenter for attracting, organizing, and training a new generation of battle-hardened revolutionary terrorists.
In recent years al-Qaeda and its affiliates have made increasing use of women as suicide bombers. Chechen groups have been most active in this regard, using “black widows” (some of whom claim to be the wives or relatives of insurgents killed in action) to attack Russian targets in Chechnya and elsewhere. Al-Qaeda’s organization in Iraq has used women suicide bombers in at least three attacks inside Iraq, including one mounted by a Belgian woman who converted to radical Islam. It also used an Iraqi woman in the November 9, 2005, suicide bomb attacks on three hotels in Amman, Jordan. Al-Qaeda affiliates also have used women in suicide attacks in Egypt and Uzbekistan. AQC probably will use women more extensively in the future due to their greater ability to slip through security perimeters and the heightened shock value which would amplify the publicity garnered by such attacks.
The killing by U.S. forces of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, is a major turning point in the war on terrorism. The course of history is shaped by major events, and this is one of them. The elimination of one of the world s most brutal, barbaric terrorists will be a huge blow to al-Qaeda and its murderous cohorts who have been operating a vicious campaign of intimidation and destruction across large swathes of central Iraq for the past three years.
An airstrike in Iraq, undertaken on intelligence provided by Iraqi security forces, ended the murder spree of the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization. That is good news. But there is still a war to be won, and Zarqawi s death will not bring an end to the violence in Iraq. Getting Zarqawi, however, does demonstrate the resolve of the United States and its allies in the global war on terrorism. This war can be won with determination, persistence, and a strategy that frustrates the terrorists mission to intimidate free peoples and slaughter innocents with impunity.
For all the hype and the money spent on the race between former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) and Francine Busby (D) in California s 50th District, Busby, in her loss to Bilbray, failed to exceed significantly the percentage won here by John Kerry in 2004. This is significant, because although she will have another shot at Bilbray in November, the turnout should have favored her yesterday, since Republicans had no other races to drive their turnout and Democrats had a gubernatorial primary.
The lead paragraph of the Toronto Star story on this week’s terror arrests in
was: “In investigators’ offices, an intricate graph plotting the links between the 17 men and teens charged with being members of a homegrown terrorist cell covers at least one wall. And still, says a source, it is difficult to find a common denominator.” But illustrating the story was a photo of two women, relatives of the accused, in full Islamic dress, their faces entirely covered except for a slit for their eyes. Difficult to find a common denominator? The investigators could have found it in the Star’s photo.
But the Star seemed intent on not noticing this. The initial New York Times story on the arrests likewise identified the suspects as “Canadian residents” and as “mainly of South Asian descent.” It assures readers immediately thereafter that “none of them had any known affiliation with Al Qaeda”-which it had given no one any reason to suspect in the first place.
The Democrats lost in San Diego last night in a special election many thought they would win. After all, the race was to fill a seat left vacant by a Republican congressman who had to resign when he pled guilty of corruption. President Bush’s approval rating in a California Field Poll this week is around 28% percent (the lowest in that poll’s history since just before President Nixon resigned in 1974). And in the first round of voting, the Democrat, Francine Busby got 44% of the vote and the Republican Brian Bilbray, a former congressman, led a big field of Republicans with only 15% of the vote.
But with 96% of the vote reported, Brian Bilbray has 49.48% of the vote and the Democrat has 45.28% (there are two minor candidates). With a margin of almost 5,000 votes, Bilbray seems certain to win.
So what happened? Why was the Democrat only able to go from 44% to 45%? How did the Republican go from 15% to victory?
Here’s the bottom line: A conservative reform-candidate won in San Diego last night. The result of this election speaks volumes about what will succeed and what will fail for Republicans this November
If you are looking for the legacy of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, do not look in the concrete rubble of so-called safe house in Baqubah that became his final resting place. Instead, look less than 10 miles to the west, on the side of the road in the desert town of Hadid, for a pile of cardboard banana boxes.
Inside those boxes were nine human heads.
Article links to major media sources covering this story.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the much-hunted leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, has been killed during a US air strike in Hibhib, a small village about 40 miles north of Baghdad.
FOXNews.com – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Killed in Bombing Raid – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News
BAGHDAD, Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader who led a brutal insurgency that included homicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, was killed in an airstrike on a building north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced Thursday.
The long-anticipated book Godless: The Church of Liberalism was finally released this week. If the New York Times reviews it at all, they’ll only talk about the Ann Coulter action-figure doll, so I think I’ll write my own review…
…This is not a book about liberals. I stress this in anticipation of Alan Colmes hectoring the author to name names. (For people who resented being asked to “name names” during the 1950s, these liberals sure aren’t shy about demanding that conservatives do the same today.)
It is a book about liberalism, our official state religion. Liberalism is a doctrine with a specific set of tenets that can be discussed, just like other religions.
…The thesis of Godless is: Liberalism IS a religion. The liberal religion has its own cosmology, its own explanation for why we are here, its own gods, its own clergy. The basic tenet of liberalism is that nature is god and men are monkeys. (Except not as pure-hearted as actual monkeys, who don’t pollute, make nukes or believe in God.)
Republicans WIN California special election for the U.S. House! Congressman-elect Brian Bilbray pulled off an impressive victory as theDemocrats touted their chances of starting the anti-Republican turnover of the House. Howard Dean and Nacy Pelosi spoke too soon, as Republicans once again showed that “our groundgame” is the best in the country and we can hold our own against any onslaught from the Democrats.
SALT LAKE CITY An apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stood with several other religious leaders at a news conference in Washington supporting a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participated in a press conference with the Alliance for Marriage, and met with President Bush at the White House before giving a statement in support of amending the U.S. Constitution.
“Together we share a duty to preserve marriage and family as established by God,” Nelson said. “The time has now come when a constitutional amendment is needed in this country to protect our divine inheritance. Such action does not reduce our regard for individuals who choose to live by other standards. But it confirms our conviction that marriage is the foundry for social order, the fountain of virtue and the foundation for eternal exaltation.”
BOSTON – Gov. Mitt Romney says he would be willing to talk about his Mormon religion in broad terms should he run for president but would shy away from debating specific beliefs.
I think initially some people would say, ‘Gosh, I don’t know much about your faith. Tell me about it.’ And I’d probably outline the fundamentals: I’m a religious person, I believe that Jesus Christ is my savior,” Romney said during an appearance on PBS’s “The Charlie Rose Show.” “But then as you get into the details of doctrines, I’d probably say, ‘Look, time out.”‘
Found a post that made me ROTFLOL! …”One thing I’ve always admired about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) is that they, unlike other denominations, haven’t forgotten the time honored Christian tradition of excommunication…”
Great post! Excommunication certainly has it’s time and place, yet Reid’s political opinions simply do not qualify him for that level of exclusion and/or censure.
However, I do agree with the sentiment.
One thing I’ve always admired about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) is that they, unlike other denominations, haven’t forgotten the time honored Christian tradition of excommunication. With Sen Harry Reid’s (D-Nev) new found stance opposing the Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as betwen a man and a woman at odds with that of the Mormon church, isn’t it time the Mormons disassociate themselves from him?
As many have pointed out, we must work together with the Muslim community to root out the fringe elements. At home, this ideology must be fought using counterarguments that are both rational and spiritual in nature, based on the Koran and Prophetic traditions. Imams must continue to denounce extremism at Friday sermons, as they did in a historic national statement last summer in the wake of the London bombings. Ignorance must be countered with sound knowledge and appeals to the conscience.
The politics of grievance, combined with the reliance on victimhood espoused by a minority, do little to empower the Muslim community. Feelings of despair and helplessness must be replaced by proactive, workable projects to help Muslims – especially energetic youth – channel their talents toward helping the disenfranchised. In this regard, elements of the highly successful social projects developed by Amr Khaled (akin to Oprah’s Angel Network) might be developed here. Mr. Khaled’s programs are rooted in Islamic teachings, providing a sense of identity aimed at helping all human beings.
“Responsibilities of Fathers,” Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 503-510
The sacred title of “father” is shared with the Almighty. In the Church men are called and released. Did you ever hear of a mortal father being released? (CR April 1981, Ensign 11 [May 1981]: 36.)
Each father in the Church is establishing, or should be establishing, his patriarchal order-an order that will extend into the eternities. (Priesthood [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981], p. 138.)
Only through sin can a father be relieved of his obligations to that family, and that is a terrifying thing to contemplate. (Regional Representatives Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah, 4 October 1973.)
Our pattern, or model, for fatherhood is our Heavenly Father. How does He work with His children? Well, in order to know that, of course, this head of the family will need to know something about the gospel, the great plan of the Lord. (Regional Representatives Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 June 1974.)
TORONTO (AP) – Canadian police foiled a homegrown terrorist attack by arresting 17 suspects, apparently inspired by al-Qaida, who obtained three times the amount of explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombing, officials said Saturday.
The FBI said the Canadian suspects may have had “limited contact” with two men recently arrested on terrorism charges in Georgia. About 400 regional police and federal agents participated in the arrests Friday and early Saturday.
“These individuals were allegedly intent on committing acts of terrorism against their own country and their own people,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement. “As we have said on many occasions, Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism.”
Question 6: Is it healthy to subject children to experimental families?
I continue to be amazed at the pressure some world leaders are putting on Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority government led by the terrorist group Hamas. On what basis could any sovereign nation sit down with an enemy that refuses even to concede that nation’s right to exist? Yet, nearly everyday some European diplomat or United Nations bureaucrat suggests that Israel is standing in the way of a peace agreement because it refuses to negotiate with murderers.
How radical is Hamas? The new security chief in the Hamas government is Jamal Abu Samhadana, who recently said this: “We are happy when any American soldier is killed anywhere in the world, because the American Army is an aggressor against all the people in the world, particularly the Arab and Muslim worlds.” He urged the American people “to bring down this terrorist government in Washington.”
Just in case you ever had any doubt that the United Nations will only be happy once it has rolled back our freedoms one at a time, news came last week that the world body has now turned its attention to the freedom of the press.
A U.N.-authored report, ostensibly penned with the fanciful notion of fighting terrorism, includes restricting press freedom worldwide as one of its primary recommendations. Indeed, in the report, the U.N. endorses “voluntary” codes to restrict journalists’ ability to do any number of things including, of course, interviewing terrorists.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen The Da Vinci Code but you’re planning to, and you don’t want the surprise ruined, please read no further, OK? OK, so here’s the deal on The Da Vinci Code: It stinks.
The most compelling mystery about this movie is why Tom Hanks agreed to appear in it in the first place, although one suspects that the best parts of his performance may have ended up on the barbershop floor. How tepid was Hanks’ own turn here as Professor Robert Langdon? Let’s just say it’s not likely to inspire a generation of idealistic youngsters to go off to college and major in symbology.
Democrat Rep. John “Cut and Run” Murtha thinks he knows the truth about Haditha — and he has been blabbing it to every last cable show host that will host him. The loose-lipped former Marine has accused troops of wantonly killing some two dozen civilians, including children, “in cold blood” in the terrorist stronghold in Iraq last November. There are two ongoing military investigations into the incident itself and the actions of higher-ups in the Haditha aftermath.
Let me repeat that: The investigations are ongoing. Not complete. Official reports aren’t expected for several weeks.
I do not know the truth about Haditha. Neither do Murtha and the media outlets calling the alleged massacre a massacre before all the facts are in. It would be helpful if they could handle these grave charges without serving as al Jazeera satellite offices. GOP Sen. John Warner, who like Murtha also served in the Marines, struck the right tone over the weekend — refusing, unlike Murtha, to render a verdict against the Marines before trial and avoiding Bush Derangement Syndrome, but also taking the allegations very seriously.
Throughout history, the union between a man and woman has been recognized and honored as an essential cornerstone of society. Customs come and go and vary by time and place, but the institution of marriage has endured through millennia.