Right war, botched occupation


by Michael Rubin
USA Today
November 27, 2006


As U.S. troops entered Iraq, President Bush promised freedom and democracy. But rather than establish a stable democracy, today terrorists and militias tear the country apart. After billions spent and the sacrifice of almost 3,000 U.S. troops, it is right to ask whether democracy in Iraq was not a fool’s dream.

It was not.

President Truman faced similar questions about Korea. Critics accused him of embroiling America in open-ended war, ignoring his generals and losing touch with reality. They said democracy was alien to Korean culture. Time proved them wrong. Any juxtaposition of nuclear North Korea with democratic South Korea shows the value of Truman’s policy.

Bush was right to liberate Iraq. Saddam Hussein had started two wars, used chemical weapons and subsidized suicide bombers. He claimed to have weapons of mass destruction. Sanctions had collapsed; containment failed.

With military action inevitable, the White House was right to pursue democracy. Cynical realism created Saddam. Iraqis who fled their country, meanwhile, had no problem accepting democracy; Iraq’s problem was both its rule of law and its dictator’s unaccountability.

What went wrong? Iraq’s transformation was undercut by naive faith, not in democracy but rather in diplomacy. Instead of securing Iraq’s borders, the Bush administration accepted Syrian and Iranian pledges of non-interference. They believed the canard that Iraq’s neighbors sought a stable, secure Iraq. Both countries exploited U.S. trust.

Then, to win United Nations support, the White House defined itself as an occupying power. Overnight, liberation became occupation, and Iraqi democrats became collaborators. To appease Paris and Berlin, the Bush administration justified insurgent rhetoric.

Iraqis embraced democracy, but the wrong kind. U.N. experts sold the White House an election system based on party slates rather than on districts. Any system in which politicians are more accountable to party leaders than constituents, though, encourages ethnic nationalism and sectarian populism. Add militias to the mix, and the result is explosive.

Iraqis greeted U.S. troops as liberators, but the Bush administration fumbled the occupation. Blaming democracy does not address the cause of strife; rather, it absolves policymakers for poor decisions and implementation. Too much is at stake, not only for Iraq but also for U.S. national security, if policymakers learn the wrong lessons.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Global Incident Map

This is labeled as the internet’s best global terrorism incident map. This map provides a global display of terrorism and other suspicious events updated every 300 seconds…more

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Speed Talking

Check out this cool speed talking video. In under 2 minutes, he names the books of the Bible (Old and New Testaments) the Book of Mormon, the 50 US States, the alphabet backwards, the U. S. Presidents and the Academy Award winners for Best Picture.

Here is a list of everything he says (in under 2 minutes!):

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Samuel, Kings, Kings, Chronicles, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, First, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians, Colossians, First, Second Thessalonians, Timothy, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, Peter, Peter, John, John, John, Jude, Revelation, First, Second Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, Third, Fourth Nephi, Mormon, Ether, Moroni, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Z, Y, X, W, V, U, T, S, R, Q, P, O, N, M, L, K, J, I, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, A, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, “Wings,” “The Broadway Melody,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Cimarron,” “Grand Hotel,” “Cavalcade,” “It Happened One Night,” “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “The Great Ziegfeld,” “The Life of Emile Zola,” “You Can’t Take it With You,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Rebecca,” “How Green Was My Valley,” “Mrs. Miniver,” “Casablanca,” “Going My Way,” “The Lost Weekend,” “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Gentleman’s Agreement,” “Hamlet,” “All the King’s Men,” “All About Eve,” “An American in Paris,” “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “From Here to Eternity,” “On the Waterfront,” “Marty,” “Around the World in Eighty Days,” “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “Gigi,” “Ben-Hur,” “The Apartment,” “West Side Story,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Tom Jones,” “My Fair Lady,” “The Sound of Music,” “A Man for All Seasons,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Oliver,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Patton,” “The French Connection,” “The Godfather,” “The Sting,” “The Godfather Part II,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Rocky,” “Annie Hall,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Ordinary People,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Gandhi,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Amadeus,” “Out of Africa,” “Platoon,” “The Last Emperor,” “Rain Man,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Dances with Wolves,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Unforgiven,” “Schindler’s List,” “Forrest Gump,” “Braveheart,” “The English Patient,” “Titanic,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Chicago,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Crash.”

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Why I could never be a Democrat

There are many reasons why I would never be a Democrat besides the obvious like the Democratic Party takes strong stances concerning abortion, gay rights, and other social causes counter to those of the Mormon Church.

I think liberal policies are self-destructive to the country and the people who are supposed to be helped by such policies.

Liberals exploit and promote divisiveness through their incessant need for race-bating, man-hating, and class-warfare. The issue of illegal immigration is a prime case elucidating the differences between conservative and liberal positions, statements, policies, arguments and behaviors. Conservatives focus on immigrates being illegal in the first place, or the severe economic strain on local or national social services, or the overall negative economic impact, i.e., real arguments. Whereas liberals prime method of discussion is based on name calling, i.e., conservatives are racists and hate Hispanics.

I’ve learned through many discussions and observations that leftists live for and love to bring others down, i.e., consumed by hatred they attack any person, policy, culture, or country they seek to destroy. Which is why I’ve coined Dems as “The Down Party.”

To be short, Dems disguise their hatred as self-righteous outrage, their failure as oppression, and their viciousness as benign. They are the party of obstructionists, underminers, whiners, and victocrats.

A book I look forward to reading is, “How The Left Was Won An In-Depth Analysis of the Tools and Methodologies Used by Liberals to Undermine Society and Disrupt the Social Order.”

Book Description
Combining a series of unique insights with an entirely new set of analytical techniques, How the Left Was Won systematically dismantles each and every element of modern-day liberalism ranging from the justifications behind any and all of its flawed social and political policies to the most basic assumptions regarding the ideology itself.

In order to achieve this goal, the author first introduces a new framework which segments and isolates all liberal behaviors and beliefs into the most objective and discrete elements possible. He then goes on to provide numerous examples of how liberals relentlessly employ this simple set of tools and methodologies over and over again and then discusses the resulting effects they have on our society. Some of these strategies include:

  • Promote and Exploit Divisiveness: Learn why liberals should thank God every day for differences between people and how without them, liberalism would be dead in the water.
  • Bad Competition: Learn why practically all liberal policies create success only through the impairment of others and exactly where this dynamic must necessarily lead.
  • Relevancy and Proportion: See why the vast majority of what liberals say has absolutely no meaning whatsoever and learn a simple way to prove it every time.
  • Groupdividual: Find out how liberalism has distorted the differences between groups and individuals and why this continued distortion is the basis for all flawed social policies within the United States.
  • Implicit Assumptions: Explore the assumptions liberals use to shape public policy and see why the arguments supporting them are ultimately nothing more than a house of cards.
  • The Perpetual Motion Machine: Learn how the vast majority of liberal programs are based on the scientific impossibility of getting something for nothing.
  • A Swarm of Ants: Find out the real reason liberalism continues to permeate more and more elements of our society and why there just may be no way of stopping it. Source: Amazon

How the Left Was Won

FP: Why do you think the leftist faith is ultimately self-destructive?

Mgrdechian: I think the answer can be summed up in two words — Bad Competition, a concept I discuss in considerable detail in the second chapter of the book.

In that discussion, I offer the following proposition: There are in fact, two and only two types of competition — good and bad. Good Competition is ultimately productive to the competing elements, while Bad Competition is ultimately destructive.

After describing what I mean by this and giving a few examples, I then provide some definitions. As such, I define Good Competition as: Any competitive effort where a person or organization attempts to achieve success based solely on the strength of their abilities, products or services. Similarly, I define Bad Competition as: Any competitive effort where a person or organization attempts to achieve success through any means other than the strength of their abilities, products or services. Rather than working to improve these elements, those engaged in Bad Competition will typically seek to achieve success primarily through the impairment of others.

Now look at things like affirmative action, quotas, empowerment, increasing taxes, thought-crimes or any sort of preferential treatment or special protections for women, minorities, homosexuals or others. How do these supposedly begin liberal programs help people? Simple — by hurting others. There is no improvement on an absolute level, there is only improvement on relative level by taking from others, lowering standards, denying opportunities to more qualified people or rewarding people for achievements they never managed to achieve. Clearly this sort of thing can never help a society as a whole; it can only hurt it. Worse yet, over time, this dynamic of penalizing success and rewarding failure can only lead to one thing — the complete collapse of a society.

This simple rule explains exactly why Hillary Clinton cannot ever be allowed to be President — absolutely everything about her is based solely on the relentless exploitation of Bad Competition. And Bad Competition will — without a doubt — be the death of this country. [Read more]

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Alain’s article: The Mitt Romney Deception

Ultra-conservative (OK, Christian Right) website AlainsNewsletter.com published a report claiming Mitt Romney is not pro-life, pro-family, or a “committed conservative.”

Click here to read the article The Mitt Romney Deception

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Atlantic Monthly’s 100 Most Influential Americans

I’m grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and his mission to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in the latter-days. Moroni’s prophecy regarding Joseph Smith’s name has been fulfilled in a multiplicity of ways: “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name [Joseph Smith] should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.” Joseph Smith History 1:33

The Atlantic Monthly | December 2006

They Made America

Who are the most influential figures in American history? The Atlantic recently asked ten eminent historians. The result was The Atlantic’s Top 100-and some insight into the nature of influence and the contingency of history. Was Walt Disney really more influential than Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Benjamin Spock than Richard Nixon? Elvis Presley than Lewis and Clark? John D. Rockefeller than Bill Gates? Babe Ruth than Frank Lloyd Wright? Let the debates begin.

52 Joseph Smith The founder of Mormonism, America’s most famous homegrown faith.

74 Brigham Young What Joseph Smith founded, Young preserved, leading the Mormons to their promised land.

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A Time Of Thanks To God

Thanksgiving Day, 2006

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Thanksgiving 2006

As Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for the many ways that our Nation and our people have been blessed.

The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the earliest days of our society, celebrated in decisive moments in our history and in quiet times around family tables. Nearly four centuries have passed since early settlers gave thanks for their safe arrival and pilgrims enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World. General George Washington observed Thanksgiving during the Revolutionary War, and in his first proclamation after becoming President, he declared November 26, 1789, a national day of “thanksgiving and prayer.” During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, reminding a divided Nation of its founding ideals.

At this time of great promise for America, we are grateful for the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and defended by our Armed Forces throughout the generations. Today, many of these courageous men and women are securing our peace in places far from home, and we pay tribute to them and to their families for their service, sacrifice, and strength. We also honor the families of the fallen and lift them up in our prayers.

Our citizens are privileged to live in the world’s freest country, where the hope of the American dream is within the reach of every person. Americans share a desire to answer the universal call to serve something greater than ourselves, and we see this spirit every day in the millions of volunteers throughout our country who bring hope and healing to those in need. On this Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year, let us show our gratitude for the blessings of freedom, family, and faith, and may God continue to bless America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2006, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


Related Thanksgiving Day links:

President George Washington On Thanksgiving Day on October 3, 1789
Smithsonian Institution: Thanksgiving in North America
Pilgrim Hall Museum
LDS General Authorities on the topic of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving World

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When and Where to Pray, Muslim Opinions Differ

The following story appeared today on local news, Channel 12, KPNX, Phoenix, Arizona in reference to the imams from Phoenix removed November 20th from a U.S. Airways flight en route back to Phoenix from Minneapolis.

When and Where to Pray, Muslim Opinions Differ- by Kevin Kennedy.

Other related coverage:

Channel 12 11/21
Muslim passengers removed from plane bound for Phoenix (video)

Channel 12 11/21
Airline defends its actions to take Muslims off the plane (video)

Channel 5 11/21
Imams arrive in Phoenix

Channel 15 11/21
Six Muslims removed from Phoenix bound flight

Channel 15 11/21
CAIR Press conference (video)

Arizona Republic 11/22/06
Valley Musilms say prayer got them kicked off a flight

Robert Spencer
Putting Homeland Security First:

Why nobody should apologize for removing six imams from an airplane.

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Zune today, U.N. tomorrow?

I just discovered that Microsoft makes a Media Player called Zune, obviously going after Apple’s iPod/iTune market.

It just never ceases to amaze me that Microsoft is compelled to get into everything market…News networks like MSNBC…search engines like MSN Search…game consoles like Xbox…Media Players like Zune…what’s next…Tomorrow’s headline: “Microsoft takes over the U.N.!”


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Redesigned Gospel Library, Improved Search

Improved navigation, organization and search features are some of the enhancements to this redesigned gospel library. Check out the Search > Advanced Search Options.


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Hoyer Wins Majority Leader Post, Beating Murtha

Pelosi’s first setback with many more to follow to be sure.

By Josephine Hearn

In a stunning rebuke to incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Democrats selected Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to be their majority leader Thursday morning in a vote of 149 to 86 even though Pelosi had thrown her weight behind Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.).

Hoyer drew on a coalition of soon-to-be committee chairmen, centrists and freshman members to overcome Pelosi’s clout with colleagues. Pelosi lobbied both freshmen and returning members this week in an effort to oust her old rival from the leadership. Hoyer and Pelosi waged a bitter battle for minority whip in 2001.

Murtha, a noted Iraq war critic and senior appropriator, suffered from a perceived weakness on ethics. At a recent meeting of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, he called the Democrats’ ethics package “total crap,” a comment that reverberated across the cable news networks only a day before the election.

With the election now settled, Democrats will turn to the hefty task of taking control of the House and pushing their agenda through Congress, but they will carry the baggage of this rancorous campaign. Pelosi’s entry into the race effectively drove a wedge into the caucus, weakened their ability to remain unified and infuriated Hoyer’s supporters, which include many in the moderate New Democrat Coalition and conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

Earlier this morning the House Democratic caucus unanimously elected Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as Speaker, Jim Clyburn (S.C.) as majority whip, Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) as caucus chairman and John Larson (Conn.) to caucus vice chairman.

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Tempering Ambitions

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

by Daniel Pipes
National Interest
November/December 2006

Whether the Iraqi expedition is judged a success or failure depends almost exclusively on the views of Americans-not those of Iraqis, other coalition partners, or anyone else. So, fellow Americans, let’s debate the topic. My take:

It was right to pre-empt Saddam Hussein before he could oppress his Iraqi subjects further, invade another country, deploy more chemical weapons or build nuclear weapons. The world is a better place with this abominable thug in jail, not lording it in his “presidential palaces.”

Alongside the easy and fast victory over Saddam Hussein, the Bush Administration made a critical conceptual mistake-raising short-term expectations too high. Nomenclature alone required Operation Iraqi Freedom to quickly produce a vibrant, healthy, open, calm Iraq, with anything less constituting failure. Talk of a “free and prosperous” Iraq serving as a regional model foisted ambitions on Iraqis that they-just emerging from a thirty-year totalitarian nightmare, saddled with extremist ideologies, deep ethnic divisions and predatory neighbors-could not fulfill.

As Iraqis failed to play their appointed role, frustration grew in Washington. Deepening the trap of its own making, the administration forwarded these ambitions by bogging itself down in such domestic Iraqi minutiae as resolving inter-tribal conflict, getting electricity and water grids to work and involving itself in constitution writing.

Had the U.S.-led coalition pitched its ambitions lower, aspiring only to a decent government and economy while working much more slowly toward democracy, Iraq’s progress over the past four years would be more apparent. The occupying forces should have sponsored a democratically-minded strongman to secure the country and eventually move it toward an open political process; and this approach would have the benefit of keeping Islamists out of power at a moment of their maximal popular and electoral appeal.

The basic coalition message to Iraqis should have been: You are adults, here is your country back, good luck. Transfer some seed money and station coalition forces in the deserts with a clearly defined mandate-defend Iraq’s international borders, ensure the security of oil and gas exports, search for Saddam Hussein and his henchmen, prevent large-scale atrocities.

These should-have-beens remain relevant as 2007 approaches. The administration can still frame the debate in terms of U.S. interests, not Iraqi ones. It can contrast Iraq today with yesteryear’s totalitarian model rather than a potential ideal. It can distance itself from Iraq’s fate by reminding the world that Iraqis are responsible for shaping their destiny.

But the administration shows no signs of gearing down its ambitions in Iraq along these proposed lines. Should it stick with its unrealistically high goals, I fear failure then looms. The implications of that failure, as in Vietnam, will primarily be domestic, with conservatives and liberals returning to their pre-Reagan battle stations and the United States reverting back to what Richard Nixon in 1970 dubbed its “pitiful, helpless giant” status.

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Impact of US elections in Mideast

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: “What impact, if any, will the results of the US midterm elections have on US policy towards Israel and the Middle East?” For all replies, see “Burning Issues #11: Impact of US elections in Mideast

In every full democracy, the legislative branch mostly enjoys power in domestic affairs, while the executive branch predominates in foreign policy. The United States is no exception; especially with the virtual disappearance over the right to declare wars, Congress has a distinctly secondary role in formulating America’s role in the world. Its main domain is that of taxation, pensions, welfare, and the judiciary. One vivid example of this: Congress has long tried to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but has never come close to succeeding.

Therefore, I expect the changes from this week’s mid-term elections to have only minor impact on U.S. policy in the Middle East, including Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is especially the case given:

  • The stagnant quality of Arab-Israeli relations;
  • The war on terror having only a minor Congressional dimension;
  • The debate over Iraq having more sting and anger concerning events of 2003 than events of 2007; and
  • The almost complete presidential prerogative when it comes to responding to the Iranian drive to build nuclear weapons.

By extension, I expect that the internal conservative debate over George W. Bush’s profligate spending will have more of a long-term impact than the parallel debate over his decision to go and uproot the Saddam Hussein regime.

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In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
November 7, 2006

Has the United States ever engaged in a crusade against Islam? No, never. And, what’s more, one of the country’s earliest diplomatic documents rejects this very idea.

Exactly 210 years ago this week, toward the end of George Washington’s second presidential administration, a document was signed with the first of two Barbary Pirate states. Awkwardly titled the “Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796 (3 Ramada I, A. H. 1211), and at Algiers January 3, 1797 (4 Rajab, A. H. 1211),” it contains an extraordinary statement of peaceful intent toward Islam.

The agreement’s 11th article (out of twelve) reads: As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

In June 1797, the Senate unanimously ratified this treaty, which President John Adams immediately signed into law, making it an authoritative expression of American policy.

In 2006, as voices increasingly present the “war on terror” as tantamount to a war on Islam or Muslims, it bears notice that several of the Founding Fathers publicly declared they had no enmity “against the laws, religion or tranquility” of Muslims. This antique treaty implicitly supports my argument that the United States is not fighting Islam the religion but radical Islam, a totalitarian ideology that did not even exist in 1796.

Beyond shaping relations with Muslims, the statement that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion” has for 210 years been used as a proof text by those who argue that, in the words of a 1995 article by Steven Morris, “The Founding Fathers Were Not Christians.”

Joel Barlow (1754-1812), a U.S. diplomat, promised “harmony” between his country and Muslims.

But a curious story lies behind the remarkable 11th article. The official text of the signed treaty was in Arabic, not English; the English wording quoted above was provided by the famed diplomat who negotiated it, Joel Barlow (1754-1812), then the American consul-general in Algiers. The U.S. government has always treated his translation as its official text, reprinting it countless times.

There are just two problems with it.

First, as noted by David Hunter Miller (1875-1961), an expert on American treaties, “the Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic.” Second, the great Dutch orientalist Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (1857-1936), reviewed the Arabic text in 1930, retranslated it, and found no 11th article. “The eleventh article of the Barlow translation has no equivalent whatever in the Arabic,” he wrote. Rather, the Arabic text at this spot reprints a grandiloquent letter from the pasha of Algiers to the pasha of Tripoli.

Snouck Hurgronje dismisses this letter as “nonsensical.” It “gives notice of the treaty of peace concluded with the Americans and recommends its observation. Three fourths of the letter consists of an introduction, drawn up by a stupid secretary who just knew a certain number of bombastic words and expressions occurring in solemn documents, but entirely failed to catch their real meaning.”

These many years later, how such a major discrepancy came to be is cloaked in obscurity and it “seemingly must remain so,” Hunter Miller wrote in 1931. “Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point.”

But the textual anomaly does have symbolic significance. For 210 long years, the American government has bound itself to a friendly attitude toward Islam, without Muslims having signed on to reciprocate, or without their even being aware of this promise. The seeming agreement by both parties not to let any “pretext arising from religious opinions” to interrupt harmonious relations, it turns out, is a purely unilateral American commitment.

And this one-sided legacy continues to the present. The Bush administration responded to acts of unprovoked Muslim aggression not with hostility toward Islam but with offers of financial aid and attempts to build democracy in the Muslim world.

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Today’s Elections and the War on Terror

Another superb essay by Orson Scott Card.

Today’s Elections and the War on Terror

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that’s the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case – if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to Americas role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hell-bent on losing it – and in the most damaging possible way – I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan – the party I joined back in the 1970s – is dead. Of suicide. … [Read more]

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Justice for all!

Many Iraqis were jubilant when they heard that Saddam Hussein had been found guilty for crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.


baghdad – Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity today, bringing to an end the first trial examining the alleged crimes of the former regime ? a theatrical, yearlong televised odyssey dogged by questions of legitimacy.

Hussein, 69, was sentenced to death by hanging, but capital and life sentences in Iraq are automatically appealed. The nine-judge appellate court begins hearing arguments within a month of the sentence, and could deliberate for an unlimited time – months or even years. Sentences must be carried out within a month after the final appeal is exhausted. …[Read more]

Related articles:
LA Times: Baghdad, provinces on shutdown for Hussein verdict
LA Times: First trial of Hussein is ending amid doubts
Worldpress.org: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death
Worldpress.org: US, UK welcome Saddam death sentence
Worldpress.org: Mideast torn over Saddam verdict
Worldpress.org: Judgement day arrives for Saddam
Worldpress.org: Baghdad curfew as verdict nears
BBC: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death
BBC: Saddam dominates courtroom drama
BBC: In pictures: Iraq’s reaction
BBC: Saddam verdict: Voices from Iraq
BBC: Media broadcast scenes of jubilation
BBC: Saddam sentence: Reaction in quotes
BBC: UK Government hails Saddam verdict
BBC: Verdict Impact Analysis – International resonance of Iraq verdict
Fox News: Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Die for Crimes Against Humanity
CNN: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging

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A Message to John Kerry from Iraq

Novak summaries well Kerry’s foot-in mouth disease in the Evans-Novak Political Report for 11/1

The Kerry Effect: It’s not the biggest October Surprise, but Sen. Kerry’s political self-destruct yesterday is the latest unexpected event. The entire incident reflects a man who missed the presidency by an inch, and who feels at the core of his being that he miscalculated in his 2004 campaign and doesn’t want to make the same mistake again.

  1. Kerry, addressing a crowd of Democrats in California on the topic of education, tied in the Iraq War by bringing up the long-standing complaint by some on the left that the military preys upon poor and uneducated youths in their recruitment. “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” That is a slightly meaner version of what several Democratic members of Congress have been saying for years.
  2. Republicans were delighted when the remarks came to light and drew somber rebukes from the White House and from several Republican politicians, especially Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). It was shaping up as a motivator for a disillusioned Republican base, when Kerry issued an angrily written statement, apparently hastily written, aimed at “right-wing nut jobs” who were criticizing him.
  3. In sum, Kerry said something he shouldn’t have (nothing an apology could not have mended), but then gave his strident response to the criticism, which may have dealt a blow to Democrats and a death-blow to Kerry’s political future. Kerry’s extremely angry, aggressive follow-up presentation was so lacking in contrition that he made matters worse. As House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) put it in a television interview, “He’d better apologize, or we’re gonna beat him to death over this one.”
  4. Kerry still believes that his failure to respond quickly and aggressively to the attacks on his military record in 2004 cost him the presidency. He has taken so much grief from Democrats over his failure to stand up for himself and for liberal ideas that he felt the need to act decisively yesterday. That is what brought on his extremely ill-considered behavior.
  5. Kerry’s explanation — that his original comment was meant as a jab at President Bush — was lost in a sea of angry anti-Bush rhetoric. The explanation also falls flat because his remarks are so clearly in line with accepted left-wing positions. If Kerry’s fear was that Republicans would divert attention away from a failed Iraq policy, he managed only to give extra life to the news story that will indeed divert it. Whatever the truth at the heart of it all, the story going into the final week of the election is about John Kerry, who insulted the troops, refused to apologize, and erupted in a defiant televised speech.
  6. How much damage will this cause Democrats? It unquestionably knocks them off their message, and it may even poison the well with respect to remarks critical of the Iraq War. Kerry’s angry denial that he would ever speak ill of the troops brings back memories from 2004 — specifically his 35-year-old testimony that his comrades in Vietnam were murderers and rapists. More immediately, Democratic candidates all over the country will now be asked whether Kerry owes an apology, which is a no-win proposition no matter how it is answered.
  7. But the real damage will come in the form of increased Republican base turnout. Their old boogeyman has returned from the dead. What could be more effective in motivating disillusioned conservatives to vote next week than the sight of a defiant John Kerry insulting the troops and angrily refusing to apologize? We are told that the ads are already being cut and the mailers printed as we write. The effect will remain unknown until next week.

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Muslim American Journalist: Millions of Proud American Muslims Oppose Al-Qaeda

The online version of the Las Vegas Review Journal (http://www.reviewjournal.com/ ) recently posted an article by Muslim American journalist Aslam Abdullah, who is the director of the Islamic Society of Nevada and of the Muslim Electorates Council of America, and is also editor of two Muslim American papers: the Muslim Observer weekly and the Minaret monthly. In his article, titled “Kill Us Too, We Are Also Americans,” he harshly denounces the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir, saying that Al-Mujahir and his supporters rejoice in killing innocent people and that they bring nothing but disaster upon Islam. Abdullah adds that, if Al-Muhajir wishes to harm Americans, he might as well target Muslim-Americans, since they, no less than their fellow citizens, regard the U.S. as their home and uphold its values.

FROM OUR READERS: Kill us, too: We are also Americans

Radical Muslims not worthy of the religion


Special to the Review-Journal

The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, recently issued a decree to its supporters: Kill at least one American in the next two weeks “using a sniper rifle, explosive or whatever the battle may require.”

Well, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, I am an American too. Count me as the one of those you have asked your supporters to kill. …[Read more]

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Anti-American hatred in official PA daily’s cartoons

More anti-American hatred
in official PA daily’s cartoons

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

The official (PA) daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, has for years promoted anti-American hatred, often through the publication of hateful political cartoons. This tactic has continued in recent weeks with a new spate of anti-American cartoons.

In the first cartoon below, the US is portrayed as a menacing threat to the Arab world. America and Al Qaeda have sent the Grim Reaper, who is shown surrounded by piles of skulls in Iraq yet already searching for his next Arab victims. The second shows the US’s attempt to dominate the entire world, as Uncle Sam sits happily on top of the globe. The third cartoon continues the PA’s active support of Saddam Hussein and the insurgency in Iraq. It focuses on America’s high losses in the past month by replacing the stars of the American flag with skulls, while Uncle Sam stares at the flag and cries.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which published these hate cartoons, is under the complete control of the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Abbas last month: “We have great admiration for you and your leadership…You have the strong support of the US and a personal commitment from President George Bush” (AP and The Jerusalem Post, October 5, 2006).








Sign on pile of skulls on TV: “Iraq.”

Grim Reaper says: “This series is brought to you by America and Al Qaeda.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 20, 2006]








[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 20, 2006]









Note the skulls that replace the stars in the flag.

Text on top: “More than 100 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq this past month!”

Text under flag: “Iraq”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 30, 2006]

Please feel free to forward this bulletin, crediting Palestinian Media Watch.


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American Leadership & War

Which presidents and political parties were responsible for America’s deadliest wars? Republicans, Democrats, or the Founding Fathers? This map answers our question by illustrating the history of American conflict from the Revolutionary War to Iraq.

See 231 years of history in 90 seconds…Click to play

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Imperial History Of The Middle East

Who has conquered the Middle East over the course of world events? See 5,000 years of history in 90-seconds…Click to play

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F/A-18C Hornet

An F/A-18C Hornet executes a high-speed pass by the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) on Oct. 24, 2006. Enterprise and embarked Carrier Air Wing 1 are on a scheduled six-month deployment in support of maritime security operations. The Hornet is attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 86. DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Milosz Reterski, U.S. Navy. (Source)

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2006 California General Election Voter Guide

Vote Your Values on November 7!

The November 7, 2006 General Election is just days away and I know you and your family want to be prepared and informed on where the candidates stand on moral and social issues. Click Here for California information from American Family Association’s 2006 ValuesVoters.com voter information website.

The liberals and mainstream media are well aware of what is at stake in our nation and have been hard at work to discourage values voters in hopes that we will sit out the 2006 elections. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we must not make that mistake.

Forward this email or print a copy of these Voter Guides and give them to your pastor for distribution in your church. Pastors, churches and non-profit organizations can distribute voter guides to inform the public about the positions and voting records of candidates. Click Here for a detailed guide from the AFA Center for Law and Policy as to what churches may and may not do in the context of political action.

Early Voting has already begun in most states and Absentee Ballots are available in many states. Click Here to access vital voter registration and absentee ballot forms along with voting dates, places, guides and deadlines for California.

The nation’s values voters were the single largest factor in the 2004 elections — and now is no time to let up. Your vote can and will make a difference! Voting is a privilege that millions of people in other parts of the world can only dream about. For a clear presentation on the importance of this election, please read this commentary by David Barton from the October AFA Journal, “For Moral Issues to Prevail, Values Voters Must Storm the Polls in November.”


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Take the Pledge and Pass it On: I Vote Values

Take the Pledge and Pass it On: I Vote Values

We understand that our link on our “I Vote Values Pledge” did not work for some of you. Here is your opportunity to sign the pledge if you couldn’t link from yesterday’s send by clicking below.

Please pass this email on to all of your friends. Let’s start an uproar!

Do Moral Values Matter on Election Day? You Bet They Do!

The mainstream media is predicting low voter turnout among social conservatives in this midterm election. They are telling us that what matters is only the war in Iraq, the war on terror, immigration and the squeeze in our pocketbooks. We care about all of these things. But in our hearts what matters most is the future of home and family, the well-being of our children, the meaning of marriage and our religious freedom. Nothing equals are concern about the erosion of this bedrock foundation in our nation and nothing will have greater impact on our future.

Let’s tell members of the media and leaders of the Democrat and Republican parties that the Value Voters Do Exist and will be out in force on Election Day.

Take Action:
Sign the Pledge

I Vote Values Pledge

On election day, I will vote for candidates and issues that support marriage, family and religious freedom-knowing that each of these foundations of a healthy society are in jeopardy. In these tumultuous times, I will stand for the future and importance of traditional marriage. I will stand for the sanctity of life. I will stand for the free expression of religion and not watch idly while it is trampled and marginalized.

I know that my voice and vote matter in shaping the world our children will inherit and I accept that responsibility. I will cast an educated vote on election day. Because I know that the freedom of a nation hinges on its morality, I will support candidates who will take a stand for America’s traditional values.

I am a voter who cares about values-and I am not going away.

Click here to sign the petition.

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Brief History of Mormonism

New page added: Brief History of Mormonism

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The Aaronic Priesthood

New page added: The Aaronic Priesthood

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The Melchizedek Priesthood

New page added: The Melchizedek Priesthood

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This Week in Iraq: Oct. 30, 2006

Iraqi Government makes progress, security improvesSetting conditions for country that can govern, defend, sustain itself

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to benchmarks with timelines, according to a joint statement with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

“The Iraqi government has made clear the issues that must be resolved, with timelines to take positive steps forward on behalf of the Iraqi people,” the two. . . more>>

Iraqis taking charge across the country
The Coalition here is increasingly shifting from a lead role to a supporting role in, as Iraqi Forces take . . .

Coalition, Iraqis developing goals
Coalition officials continue to work with the Iraqi Government to set economic and political goals, a . . .
Displaced persons receive help
Soldiers from two Army units here delivered supplies and medical care to hundreds of recently displaced Iraqi citizens in the Kadamiyah neighborhood . . .

Iraqi Soldiers, Police score victories

Iraqi Soldiers and Police chalked up a series of victories in recent anti-terrorist operations across . . .

Week in Review
Read the Latest News
· Stories from around Iraq
Operations Review
· Tips lead to weapons seizures
MNF-I Weekly Press Conference
· Projects and progress in reconstruction
Reconstruction Report
· Projects shaping Iraq

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