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Accusation of a coup plan as Mauritania election nears
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Students at U.S. gay school arrested
This should be quite a blow to the PC police. Ooops, sorry. Wrong choice of words.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five boys who attend a New York high school for gay and lesbian students are accused of dressing as female prostitutes and robbing unsuspecting customers, police say.
I thought this school was setup because these kids were being subjected to harrasment? Might want to rethink that, maybe?
Dressed as women, the five approached men seeking prostitutes in Manhattan’s West Village, a popular spot for the illicit sex trade. They then posed as undercover police as they stripped their victims of their wallets, credit cards, bank cards and cash, police said. The youths, all aged 17 except for one 16-year-old, are charged with robbery and criminal impersonation of a police officer and will be charged as adults, police said.
I’ll bet they get dick at their sentencing. Ooooops. Wrong choice of words again.
Wearing wigs, earrings and makeup, the youths robbed five men, flashing phony police badges and handcuffing their victims, police said. "You couldn’t put this in a book. Nobody would believe it," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a weekly radio appearance.
Who was a big, big fan of setting this place up I believe.
The teens attend the city’s Harvey Milk high school for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, police said.
What? Aren’t there any famous gay New Yorkers they could’ve named it after? I can think of some. Any of Liza’s husbands, for instance...
They are suspected of committing other robberies as well, and police are asking other possible victims to come forward. The youths were arrested on Thursday by plainclothes police who recognised one of them from the victims’ descriptions.
There’s a later story on this and, guess what? The gay angle has miraculously... disappeared!
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 4:27:43 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [358 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Milk money," doesn't it?
Posted by: Mike || 11/07/2003 16:55 Comments || Top||

#2  "Wearing wigs, earrings and makeup, the youths..."
Still had on their school uniforms,eh?
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 11/07/2003 18:00 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't see the connection between these kids being gay and these kids committing crimes. You guys are showing your true colors here. I admit robbing people in drag is uniquely gay, and rather bizarre, but that doesn't automatically negate the idea that gay kids need protection from an often violent majority in many places.

This story isn't a gay thing. It's a thug thing. Are you shocked that there are gay thugs? I'm not.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 20:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Here’s at least some of the underlying animus. Homosexuality is the only psychiatric disorder (that I am aware of) that was voted out of the DSM in the 1970s for political reasons. All the other diagnostic categories, as far as I know, have at least some basis in some kind of science/research regarding human ills. That doesn’t make homosexuality more deviant than some of the other deviant ways of living (say, e.g., wife beating), but it does cause people to get irritated that a deviant sacred cow continues to be protected by those who should be smart enough to realized the inherent contradictions in their thought.

For instance, what if homosexuality is truly a disorder? What if, additionally, it is a behavioral/mental set that comes from dysfunction and results in the person being more unstable and unhappy than they would be otherwise? What if these kids who engaged in thuggery would have not done so if their inner-psychic conflicts were addressed, instead of mollified by well-wishing socialites?

Just something to think about . . .
Posted by: cingold || 11/07/2003 22:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Okay, Anonymous. Fat kids get harrassed in high school. When are they getting their high school? When are the kids with bad acne getting their high school? What the hell, when will the fat kids with zits get their high school? Pick a "victim", any victim at all.
Look like these 5 picked their version of victimhood. Everybody loves victims, nobody likes predators. And that makes it so much harder to work your scam.
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 23:02 Comments || Top||

#6  If this "gay school" is what I gather, namely a return to segregation, then I can't support it at all. If these kids were harassed in other schools, then find the harassers and expel them. In fact do that for all bullies, those that pick on fat kids and all.

Don't go back to segregated schools.

cingold> I'm not certain I understand your use of the word "deviant". Are you referring to everything that's of a minority status as "deviant"? Is an IQ of 160 deviancy? Or black skin? What does "deviant" mean here? I don't know the medical term if this is one.

All those what-ifs are interesting, but you have to counter them with "what if the correct way of dealing with homosexual orientation is accepting it", And in liberal society of live-and-let-live dogma you have to show that homosexuality harms people by its very nature before pronouncing it a "disease" or a "disorder".

The whole "making people stray from the word of God" that some people use, isn't a good enough answer, btw, in a non-theocratic society.

And the "It's really icky" explanation, isn't a good enough answer either. :-)
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 23:18 Comments || Top||

Judge terminates unwanted law
From ScrappleFace. ROTFLMAO!
(2003-11-07) -- A Federal Judge in San Fransciso today decided to terminate the new partial-birth abortion ban law in its first trimester.

"It’s an unwanted law," said the unnamed judge. "I’m exercising my right to choose to end it. Besides, even though Congress passed it and the President signed it, it’s only a couple of days old and one could argue that it’s not technically even a law yet."

The judge said his decision is correct because two other federal judges -- in Nebraska and New York -- agree with him.
Posted by: Atrus || 11/07/2003 3:35:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  An unviable legal mass.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:40 Comments || Top||

#2  I bet they were all Liberial judges too.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 15:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Doesn't matter. I've heard that Berkley CA decided that they were not going to enforce the Partial Birth Abortion ban (much like not enforcing immigration laws) .... making it the first 'Life Free Zone' in american....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/07/2003 16:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Besides, even though Congress passed it and the President signed it, it’s only a couple of days old and one could argue that it’s not technically even a law yet.

That makes no sense what-so-ever. Passed by Congress and signed by the President makes it a law.

I think everyone should send this guy copies of "Schoolhouse Rock".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 17:51 Comments || Top||

#5  RC: ahem...Scrappleface is a satire site.... :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 18:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Yeah, Frank, but in this case Satire Imitates Life (or Death), depending upon your point of view. Heh heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 18:31 Comments || Top||

#7  I think these three judges qualify for post-partum abortions, myself. Anybody else?
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/07/2003 19:30 Comments || Top||

Nice Elderly Couple Shot Dead in Gun Free Utopia UK
How can this happen? Gun’s are illegal!
A HUSBAND and wife were found shot dead at close range yesterday at their isolated country business. A passer-by found the body of Carol Fisher in the grounds of Perch Garage on the A39 near Wadebridge, Cornwall, at around 8.50am. Police armed response teams were called to the petrol station and car repair centre because it was feared Mrs Fisher’s killer may have been at the property. Once inside police found Graham Fisher also shot dead. Detective Superintendent Stuart Newberry said a double murder investigation had been launched. "It is an horrific murder of two local business people trying to get on with their daily lives," he said. "At the moment there is no apparent motive." Mr Fisher, thought to be around 60 years old, and his wife, who was in her late 50s, lived in a bungalow adjacent to the business which they ran together. Det Supt Newberry said it was too early to say if there had been a break-in before the killings. But he said officers were no longer treating the incident as a murder followed by suicide. "I am satisfied with the nature of the killings and the belief that firearms were involved that this was done by a third party or maybe even more than a third party," he said.
how can firearms be used if they are illegal?
The Fishers, who did not have children, were said to be well-known in the local area."These were people who kept prices as low as they should have been during the fuel crisis," Det Supt Newberry said.
no good deed goes unpunished
Local people were last night urged to be "alert and on their guard" after the killings.
but if you hurt the poor buggers who have to rob and kill to buy drugs you will go to jail like that Tony Martin
Posted by: chriskarma || 11/07/2003 12:56:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [445 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wow... too overbearingly arrogant for words, this title and commentary.

I could probably find a hundred incidents of couples being shot dead in gun-filled Utopia USA -- and they wouldn't actually *prove* that lack of gun control was the reason for the deaths, any more than your post makes any real point whatsoever about the presence of gun control and the results thereof.

So... will we start posting info about every murder that occurs anywhere in the world or shall we try to keep the posts in this board somewhat connected to the "War on Terror" issues or atleast to politics in general?

I mean, really, if you'd atleast posted year-long comparative murder statistics or something, that'd atleast be closer connected to politics rather than a lone murder incident would be. Still not sure this'd be the place for it, but atleast it'd be *somewhat* relevant...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 5:57 Comments || Top||

#2  Aris,you are"On Target"about this not being about the WOT.How ever"good control is using both hands".
Of course being one of those gun-owning American"Utopians"I tend to be a bit biased when it comes to defending myself.
Posted by: Raptor || 11/07/2003 7:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Kennesaw, Georgia, is one of the few municipalities that not only doesn't have gun control, but ACTIVELY ENCOURAGES gun ownership. The only requirement to own one is to show proof of attendance to a training course that includes live fire exercises.

Not Surprisingly, the crime rate and murder rate in Kennesaw is waaay below the national average, AND below that of nearby Atlanta (you DO know about Atlanta, Don't you Aris? The one who "stole" the Olympics from Athens for the 100th anniversary games?)

The CDC recently put out a report stating that, after extensive statistical analysis, they could not find any detectable benefits to Gun Control laws.

Finally, there's the rather blatantly hypocritical assumption YOU make that we ARE or OUGHT to be like you, and thus that OUR not living up to YOUR thoughts and beliefs is some sort of failure. WE are NOT LIKE YOU.

Thank God!
Posted by: Ptah || 11/07/2003 7:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Aris You are now called on your BULLSHIT "I could probably find a hundred incidents of couples being shot dead in gun-filled Utopia USA".....Put up or leave......

Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 8:17 Comments || Top||

#5  Aris probably could find a lot of incidents. But to personalize this one, my folks sleep with a shotgun at the end of the bed, and have chased out intruders twice. Thank god they moved out of there last month.
Posted by: flash91 || 11/07/2003 9:53 Comments || Top||

#6  This is about the WOT my friends: the WOT from stupid gun control laws and the criminals who prosper from them.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 10:44 Comments || Top||

#7  The article itself would probably be less annoying if it wasn't all in bold typeface. Hint, hint.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 10:54 Comments || Top||

#8  Anonymous Dorf> *rolls eyes* I don't have the patience to track a hundred different murder articles, but as for general statistics this will work just as well as any. Despite the rather non-serious page it's located as in.

I'm sure some of those deaths must be of couples as well, though I grant thee, most are probably of solitary demises. USA has lots more murders per capita than most of Western Europe.

But since I already said that doesn't actually prove anything about what gun control does or doesn't do, did you have any point in making me search for these stats?

flash91> I think my personal feelings on the issue are a bit like that -- any place where, even though surrounded by dozens of neighbours, I'd feel insecure enough that I'd need to have a gun in -- that'd be a place where I wouldn't be interested in staying. That's civilisation.

Now if I was living far from other people, or in proximity to enemy civilisations or in the Wild Wild Wild West frontier or whatever, now that's a different mentality there -- and the holding of a gun in such situations doesn't seem so distasteful to me. But cities, as in all large gatherings of people... they are supposed to be safer. The sound of your shout *making* you safer than any gun.

Ptah> Another *rolls eyes* to you. Yeah I know about Atlanta. I know about the Olympics in Atlanta. I know about the burning of Atlanta in the civil war - remember it from "Gone with the Wind". I even know about the Center of Disease Control in Atlanta as a close friend of mine came from Atlanta, and she had once told me of being worried about the CDC being targetted by terrorists and thousands of nasty little bugs flying out or something.

Btw, what was it again that you disapproved of in my commentary? My saying that gun-control issue isn't such an easy issue that it could be proven right or wrong by giving out lone examples of couples being murdered or not in their beds?

Or is it just general asshole hostility on your part that makes you think I said something negative about your beloved US of A even when I didn't?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 12:20 Comments || Top||

#9  Aris,

"But cities, as in all large gatherings of people... they are supposed to be safer. The sound of your shout *making* you safer than any gun."

Possibly the stupidest (or probably most naive)comment I've ever heard in regards to this subject. How many apathetic people in the big city get involved in stopping a crime if a criminal is armed and they are not? How many criminals attack people in a crowd or during a time where there are lots of bystanders to watch or hear your *shout* - I'm not even trying to be an asshole or personally attack you either. Just use your head. Criminals usually attack people stopping at a gas station, ATM, or in their homes at night - THERE IS NO ONE THERE TO HEAR YOUR *SHOUT*. Most of the time the criminals attack the old, females, and those they think look like victims. I know first hand that a determined citizen w/a firearm and some training is a great defense to crime.

I'm from Detroit, not sure if you've been there. Kind of rough town. Makes Atlanta look like a Brownie Bake Sale. A firearm is a good thing to have for personal defense. Not everyone can just move away from where they work & re-side here in the U.S.

I've been to western Europe and the UK. You may not have the same problems we do. We have the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution which gaurantees us the right to bear arms. A lot of politicians would love to see that reduced to the farthest extent possible through bureaucratic b.s. laws. I could go on all day about the virtues of responsible citizens owning a firearm for their protection and the protection of their family as it is a subject I know intimately well.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#10  USA has lots more murders per capita than most of Western Europe.

how many Joooos did Europe kill? Think if each'd been able to be armed, that it might've been a little harder?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#11  Hello chriskarma: welcome to Rantburg!

I believe that what Chris is trying to say is that the rural English have been left more or less defenseless by the draconian gun control laws which have been created by the urban English. I've been to rural England (quite lovely) on several occasions and there is not, nor will there ever be, enough police to protect the local people. Like rural folks everywhere, they have to do it themselves.... only they aren't allowed to legally by the PC, urban, liberal crowd who have developed some very odd ideas of what constitutes crime and punishment.

England is a geographically rather small nation; you can drive across it in a remarkably brief period of time. Thus it is a simple matter for the urban criminal element to take a "holiday" to the countryside -- where a disarmed, helpless, unprotected populace awaits them. And they know it.
Posted by: Secret Master || 11/07/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

#12  "How many apathetic people in the big city get involved in stopping a crime if a criminal is armed and they are not?"

That probably depends on whether the city is located in the civilised world or not.

"Criminals usually attack people stopping at a gas station, ATM, or in their homes at night"

Are you using American or European statistics? Gas stations over here always have some employee nearby, so I've not heard many such incidents. And most ATMs I've frequented are in busy streets. And their "homes at night"... most criminals try to attack homes when they are empty.

"We have the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution which gaurantees us the right to bear arms."

I know. So? Does the personal distaste that makes sure I'll never keep a gun in *my own home*, somehow offend your American sensibilities? Or does it somehow threaten your own 2nd Amendment rights?

Or are you such a fanatic idiot that people having personal distaste for gun ownerships actually *threatens* you?

Frank G> "how many Joooos did Europe kill?"

Given that Europe's a land-mass, I doubt it killed any. Unless you are talking about landslides or something.

"Think if each'd been able to be armed, that it might've been a little harder?"

Not sure actually. At the beginning of the concentration camps period, most Jews didn't know that death was awaiting them there -- as such they'd see armed resistance against impossible odds (even if they were armed to the teeth) as what would have been what would have been sentencing them to death, not submission.

But either way that's irrelevant to my point. I think I spoke something about the need of weapons (or lack thereof) in a place of *civilisation*? I doubt that even you would have called Nazi Germany civilised.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 13:47 Comments || Top||

#13  "I believe that what Chris is trying to say is that the rural English have been left more or less defenseless by the draconian gun control laws which have been created by the urban English."

But that would imply that *gasp* English cities are safer than the countryside!!! Which is what *I* said.

How can you be such an idiot? How can you possibly echo *my* statement? Haven't you heard what Jarhead said? That's the most stupid thing he has heard in a thousand years, etc, etc, whatever.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 13:54 Comments || Top||

#14  Aris,

"That probably depends on whether the city is located in the civilised world or not."

-Knock off the arrogance it be-littles your argument. Violent criminals who are armed live in all cities, especially here. (and obviously England.)

"Are you using American or European statistics? Gas stations over here always have some employee nearby, so I've not heard many such incidents. And most ATMs I've frequented are in busy streets."

-US stats. However, UK crime stats for violent crimes have actually gone up since legalized gun control. (same w/Australia I'm told) Maybe you could ask Bulldog about this?

It wouldn't matter if an un-armed gas attendant was nearby. ATMs YOU'VE FREQUENTED on busy streets huh? You do realize that people over here don't always visit ATMs during high pedestrian hours? You do realize how damn big our country is right? Have you been here to a big city lately?

"... most criminals try to attack homes when they are empty."

-Negative. Armed criminals in this country don't really give a shit if its empty or not. If they did there wouldn't be so many reports of homeowners fighting off intruders or shooting them in their homes. Especially those bent on raping the occupants. Use your head. Maybe in europe the cat burglar is still after just the loot and not confrontation.

"Does the personal distaste that makes sure I'll never keep a gun in *my own home*, somehow offend your American sensibilities?"

-Nope. I don't give a shit what you do. I'm a libertarian - what you do in your home is your business 100%. Own a gun or not - makes no difference to me. I own one because I know the realities of *my area*.

"Or does it somehow threaten your own 2nd Amendment rights?"

-Why would it? See the Above. My statement was saying WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. You mistook it as usual. I never said ANYONE HAD TO BEAR ARMS.

"Or are you such a fanatic idiot that people having personal distaste for gun ownerships actually *threatens* you?"

-Again, as long as they keep their distaste to themselves and not try to infringe upon my freedom to bear arms and protect my infant son and wife. Then no, I have no problem.

However, when some f*ckin' moron w/an ajenda whose never lived where I live or knows what I know or seen what I've seen tries to force their stupid idiotic beliefs on me, then yeah, WE WILL have a problem.

"But that would imply that *gasp* English cities are safer than the countryside!"

-No it doesn't. See my UK comment above. Only means the criminals from the city can make easy work of the more dispersed folks in the rural areas. Or it could've of been a thrill kill - either way, that couple would've at least stood a chance if they had a firearm. In your world, Aris, they had no chance.

-BTW, knock off the fanatic idiot remark. I think your above the personal attack crap. I stated I wasn't attacking you personally. Your views don't work here in the states in my experience. If you've been exposed to what a lot of us here have your views might change on home gun ownership.

-"For the first time in history, a civilized nation has embraced legal gun registration."

-Adolf Hitler, 1933
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 14:35 Comments || Top||

#15  The rural areas of America (that's barbarian tribal society to you, Aris) are quite different than Britain. I grew up in rural America. No one ever had their home broken into. I suspect it was because it was widely known that everyone owned firearms and were quite adept at using them. You see, criminals are almost always cowards.

I have had to use a firearm to protect myself from someone breaking into my home since moving to a city. Didn't even have to point the weapon at the guy. I simply used the Most Feared Sound In America (a round being loaded into the chamber of a pump-action shotgun) to run the intruder off. How much more 'civilized' can you get, Aris? I resolved the conflict without any physical confrontation. I also applied the same resolution when someone tried to break into my neighbors' apartment. Deterence IS being civilized.
Posted by: Kentar || 11/07/2003 14:36 Comments || Top||

#16  "Does the personal distaste that makes sure I'll never keep a gun in *my own home*, somehow offend your American sensibilities?"

Impress me Aris - put a big friggin' sign on your front door that says "this house is unarmed, and I won't defend my life or my property. But I'm morally superior to those who do"

Go ahead - make my day
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 14:49 Comments || Top||

#17  Kentar, was that a Remington, Benelli, or Winchester bro! LOL. You hit the nail on the head w/the "sound or sight of deterence" - a law abiding citizen brandishing a weapon.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 15:02 Comments || Top||

#18  Jarhead,
It's a Remmy. Not the most sophisticated, but it never jams and it makes that really cool ratcheting noise.

BTW, I enjoy your posts…objective and balanced without bullshit additives. Say what you mean and say it mean!
Posted by: Kentar || 11/07/2003 15:22 Comments || Top||

#19  Is this gun control crap gonna have any effect on my planned purchased of a MLRS?

(The remote controlled D-9 won't be ready for Christmas)
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:23 Comments || Top||

#20  Frank G> Hardly anyone that I know has a gun in their homes, so the "this house is unarmed" comment would be superfluous. And who said anything about not defending life or property if someone does break in?

The distaste doesn't arise from people defending themselves. It arises from the idea of people feeling insecure enough in their own homes that they feel it a likely scenario that they will need to do so with a gun, so that they prepare themselves for it, as if living in the city is the same as living in the wild. Or the same as going to armed combat.

The rural areas of America (that's barbarian tribal society to you, Aris)

Not barbarian as that'd imply a "civilisation" that was anti-life in its attitude. The unprotectedness of rural areas lies only in the sparsity of their dwellings -- which is why I suggested being armed there makes more sense than being armed in the cities.

Jarhead> "I don't give a shit what you do."

Then, given your seeming anger when I said what I do, you have a very funny way of showing it.

"BTW, knock off the fanatic idiot remark. I think your above the personal attack crap. I stated I wasn't attacking you personally. "

Bullshit. You have a real problem of showing that you are not attacking people personally when you constantly use remarks such as "Use your head". Most people would find such a remark a quite personal attack.

Then again I understand you had a real problem a few days back of indicating that you are not a racist with certain anti-French commentary you made and then a refusal to apologize, right?

"that couple would've at least stood a chance if they had a firearm. In your world, Aris, they had no chance"

And what world is that? Is it the world where intruders prefer to go after empty houses and scatter if the occupants wake up because a shout could wake up an entire block of flats?

Is it the world where I've not been attacked by robbers (in my house or outside it) in the 24 years of my life, and I have no reason to believe that the next 24 will be any different?
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 15:24 Comments || Top||

#21  (in my house or outside it) in the 24 years of my life, and I have no reason to believe that the next 24 will be any different?

LOL. Ah youth. I hope you're right.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#22  How can you be such an idiot? How can you possibly echo *my* statement? Haven't you heard what Jarhead said? That's the most stupid thing he has heard in a thousand years, etc, etc, whatever

Well, Aris, #chuckle# I certainly don't think I'm an idiot, but regardless I'm not posting my opinion here: this is a fact. Urban English criminals ARE going out into the countryside and praying upon unarmed people. It has nothing to do with how safe or unsafe the urban areas are due to the so-called English gun controle laws; although my Brittish friends tell me that "unsafe" is the operative word these days in London.

Regardless of RKBA issues (for the record I am a member of the NRA) the fact remains that the English goverment cannot protect its rural minority nor will it legally allow them to protect themselves.
Posted by: Secret Master || 11/07/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#23  Regarding cities being safer because you can shout for help. There is a famous case in NY (from the 60s or 70s I think) where a woman was killed over a 15 or 20 minute period near an apartment complex and something like 2 dozen folks listened without calling the cops or trying to help. They all assumed someone else had called the cops or would help so why should they get involved. Big cities lead to anonymous attitudes and crowd mentalities, not safety.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 16:19 Comments || Top||

#24  Kentar,

I have an 870 Rem. Love it.


"Then, given your seeming anger when I said what I do, you have a very funny way of showing it."

-I have no anger toward you. I honestly don't care what you do in your house. None of my business. If you don't want a gun - don't get one, that simple. Your analogies just don't work here as most of the other posters besides me have pointed out.

I will say "use your head" when something you say is not imo well thought out. If you take offense to that, then I'll just have to get over it. You can ignore my opinion all you want.

About the French thing, they are not a Race, they're a culture so I'm not a racist. If you also read my whole post (vice the parts you like for this attack) you'd seen that I had great admiration for others in that country. The other poster and I "made up", we're over it - can you get over it?. I made not agree w/you but doesn't mean I won't agree w/you on something else in the future. I may come off strident but am trying to make you understand. Either way, nice deflection and left-handed attack on the French thing - but won't work with me.

Now, if I was to personally attack you in my own Leatherneck way it would go something like this -

Aris, you gotta be shitting me!? You are by far the stupidest, numb-nut, piece of shit, clown-ass motherfucker on the planet. You're a 24 yr old dumb shit talkin' outta his ass from some cheap college text book he got from the local ANSWER side walk sale. Your also probably some maggot infested peace-pansie whose living off his folks still and on his momma's nipples & climbing up and down her apron strings like a little girl. Oh and I'm sure you know the Greek Army motto - "never leave your buddie's behind" real fucking well. You speak of high ideals and civilization yet you have no fucking idea what it means to defend this idea. Save the bullshit for your college progressive polite society non-hacking boyfriends. The real men here who actually back the shit up for a living laugh at you. I can't believe you're actually Greek; King Leonidas and the rest of the Spartans are probably turning in their graves to have such a bitch-ass pussy as yourself smearing their good name. Guess they should've just let the Persians save them trouble. I'm also glad you've never owned a weapon - probably too stupid to know how to use it right anyway.

See bro'. Now that would be a damn fine personal attack. Even a nice tie-in w/Leonidas & the Spartan thing whose battlefield prowess I admired greatly. However, did I do that in my last post? NO. & No one's really trying to attack you (honestly)- think what you want. I've got some real close friends who are Greek Americans. Awesome people. I'm just saying what works for the EU doesn't work for us concerning guns. You can be pissed at me, keep throwing rocks, good to go. I think some of your posts are thought provoking especially the ones concerning the M.E. and EU areas - obviously your forte. When you hit about 30 have kids, (and maybe come over here) get accosted by someone or fear for someone else (like a child) your attitude will probably change. Either way, I've said my peace and am done w/this.

Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 17:14 Comments || Top||

#25  Aris thanks for the info "*rolls eyes* I don't have the patience to track a hundred different murder articles, but as for general statistics this will work just as well as any. Despite the rather non-serious page it's located as in."

However the info does not absolve you from the resposibility of your statement. Please find the hundreds as soon as possible, also please include whether guns where used. And you are correct when I finally got to the part of the page about President Bush and adolf hitler I discounted all of the page.

Dorf (still relatively anonymous)
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 17:35 Comments || Top||

#26  When I lived in England, I lived on the edge of a small village (~6000), but in the middle of a 60-acre pasture. We had a small fire - some electrical wiring burned out, gave a brief flame, and then smoldered a bit. My wife called the fire department (I was at work). They couldn't find the house! Simple reason - they knew the house as "the Coop Farm", while we rented it as "Northdale". Both names were technically correct - the local Coop did own Northdale. That didn't help my wife feel any safer.

I hardly ever locked my doors in England. I do here, all the time. My mother stopped a prowler one morning (around 3:30AM) when I was a small boy - by pumping six rounds of .38 ammo into him. We NEVER had any problems after that. Here in Colorado Springs, I don't own a gun, yet I've stopped one person breaking and entering (nice fireplace iron across the neck), and we've had two stabbings, a shooting, and a meth lab raided within three blocks of my house. Nice, "safe" city. Yet Colorado Springs crime statistics are half Denver's per capita.

"Safety is being able to make sure that anyone that wants to harm you will wish he'd picked someone else when you finish with him." Something my dad taught me when he came back from helping clean up the mess in Europe during the 1940's...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/07/2003 19:50 Comments || Top||

#27  I've lived in the US my entire life and never seen a crime committed. Not a violent crime, not a pickpocketing, nor a break and enter. Of course I've always lived in the suburbs, not in the ghetto.

From what I understand if you whacked the ghetto numbers out of the crime statistics the US would match up nicely with Canada across the board. Make of that what you will. Thre are more guns in the ghetto, but there are also more predators in the ghetto.

I tend to blame the predators, not the weapons.

It is my belief that before gunpowder the world was truly a dog-eat-dog world where the strongest survived and the rest did their bidding. Guns changed that so a weak woman can hold her own against a giant barbarian these days. Knowing that I fail to understand why women and liberals would want to revert back to the dog-eat-dog world we had before.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 20:15 Comments || Top||

#28  Jarhead> Go on convincing me that I wasn't personally attacked by you (or by anyone else), it's quite amusing. Especially since Dorf pretty much denied the fact that hundreds of murders take place in America and Ptah, even more rabidly said that I'm making a "rather blatantly hypocritical assumption that we ARE or OUGHT to be like you, and thus that OUR not living up to YOUR thoughts and beliefs is some sort of failure. WE are NOT LIKE YOU. Thank God!"

All this based on my comment that the gun control issue is more complicated than the original poster wanted to suggest. That's it. I pretty much made no other implication in my first post in this thread, but that was enough for the rabid fanatics to attack me. Whatever.

And what's your definition of a "race" btw? And French are not a "culture", they are a nation.

"From what I understand if you whacked the ghetto numbers out of the crime statistics the US would match up nicely with Canada across the board. Make of that what you will. "

I think I'll make of that that we oughtn't whack the ghetto numbers out of the crime statistics.

Anonymous Dorf> Thanks, but no thanks, I'm not your lapdog. Find your own hundred detailed murders from the past. I can ofcourse start posting murders from now on, but I think this issue should get quite a bit less wanky, therefore I'll decline.

Jarhead> "I'm just saying what works for the EU doesn't work for us concerning guns"

As I said you have a real problem saying the things you later claim you meant to say. Because the point I got from your post, is that my proclaimed unwillingness to live in a place where I'd feel threatened enough that I'd want to carry a gun, somehow was "stupid" and "naive" and that I needed to use my head and some such stuff.

To produce a little historical parallel:
Chastity belts once existed not to protect the faithfulness of wives (as is the urban legend) but in reality to protect women travelling from potential rapists. I have no doubt that many women of the time thought such a protection necessary. I have no doubt some women still do. There are arguments in favour of such a measure, even as there arguments in favour of the need for guns.

But a woman needing to wear a chastity belt for fear of safety remains a repulsive idea. To *me*. Even as owning a gun for fear of safety is one. To *me*. Perhaps you people perceive it differently, and neither a chastity belt nor a gun is repulsive to *you*.

But if you can't deal with what things I find repulsive, and what things I don't, that's again your own damn problem.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 20:56 Comments || Top||

#29  Aris,

stay amused then bro.

"WE are NOT LIKE YOU. Thank God!"

-For once we agree. World would be boring if you were. But just for the record - if you ever do plan on visiting here - you can stay w/my family. No B.S. I would be happy to show you around. We could also debate and argue over lots of stuff. Ever been down south in the U.S.?

"And French are not a "culture", they are a nation."

-I stand corrected that is more accurate. My definition of race is unimportant. I only forsee us quibling over that one as well w/neither agreeing w/the other.

"As I said you have a real problem saying the things you later claim you meant to say."

-Okay, lets see:

"Not everyone can just move away from where they work & re-side here in the U.S. I've been to western Europe and the UK. You may not have the same problems we do."

-that's from my first post - pretty evident I'm saying YOU (THE EU) may not have the same problems we do.

"WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. You mistook it as usual. I never said ANYONE HAD TO BEAR ARMS."

-From my second post.

"Your views don't work here in the states in my experience."

-From my second post. Your views may work in Greece or on the continent there - that's great, but not in the U.S.

"Because the point I got from your post, is that my proclaimed unwillingness to live in a place where I'd feel threatened enough that I'd want to carry a gun, somehow was "stupid" and "naive" and that I needed to use my head and some such stuff"

-nope, but what is stupid and naive to say about my country is this:

"I could probably find a hundred incidents of couples being shot dead in gun-filled Utopia USA -- and they wouldn't actually *prove* that lack of gun control was the reason for the deaths, any more than your post makes any real point whatsoever about the presence of gun control and the results thereof."

-If you make the statement, back it up w/facts concerning the U.S. Anyone can make the statement.

"But if you can't deal with what things I find repulsive, and what things I don't, that's again your own damn problem."

-True enough - & as I said before in my second post:

"I'm a libertarian - what you do in your home is your business 100%. Own a gun or not - makes no difference to me. I own one because I know the realities of *my area*"

-I never advocated YOU ARIS needed to own a gun. I know I need to - its a reality for me, thankfully not for you.

"Perhaps you people perceive it differently, and neither a chastity belt nor a gun is repulsive to *you*."

-We people do see it differently as far as guns are concerned. BTW - I always thought chastity belts were kind of sexy ;) The analogy is pretty exteraneous to an American - chastity belts from our point of view was to guard virgins against premarital sex with a paramour -not a brutal rape from a criminal. I guess it could do the latter as well but that was not the intended use of it *in our view*. Most of the women in our country didn't wear them for fear of rape - most of their parents made them wear it so they couldn't have consenual sex with a boyfriend or (have a fling) until they were married.

The bottomline is two people are dead. I wish they were not. If England did not have the anti-gun laws would they be alive? I don't know, and sadly we'll never know. Would they have even thought to own a firearm as many business owners in the U.S. do? Again, can't say. I do know though if they did have a firearm and were attacked or whatever they would've stood a chance of living imo.

Aris, again my offer from the above about coming here if you ever do, no b.s., I'll put you up.

Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 22:30 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Anonymous5252 || 06/18/2004 8:23 Comments || Top||

Miss Afghanistan Conflicted About Bikini
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A 23-year-old Afghan woman denounced by her country’s Supreme Court for wearing a bikini during a beauty pageant said she felt uncomfortable in the skimpy attire, but did it to call attention to the plight of women in her homeland.
Vida, I saw no conflict at all. Honest!
Vida Samadzai paraded down a catwalk in a red bikini in the Philippines two weeks ago as part of the Miss Earth contest. ``I know that ... it’s caused a lot of controversy and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it ... because it’s not just my culture,’’ she said in an interview with Associated Press Television News.
There are lots of things you do at Cal State that don’t fit in Afghan culture. Like, oh, about everything.
But wearing the two-piece bathing suit was necessary to qualify for the contest, said Samadzai, who studies at California State University.
We forgive you, really we do! Tell her, guys, hurry!
At a meeting of the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul last week, judges condemned Samadzai’s appearance, which is a radical departure from the traditional image of Afghan women - many of whom still wear all-covering burqa robes despite the fall of the hardline Taliban regime nearly two years ago. ``Women who show their bodies without clothes in front of people are completely against Shariah (Islamic) law, against Islam and against the culture of the Afghan people,’’ the court said, according to a state TV report in Kabul.
I knew there was something I liked about it!
The court said it made the statement after repeated media inquiries about her appearance. Samadzai’s participation in the contest hasn’t been publicized in Afghanistan, where most of the impoverished population lacks access to outside media.
We could fix that. Get one of those "Commander Solo" planes beaming the pictures to those new satellite dishes in Kabul. That would unwind a few turbans.
She said she was ``appointed’’ as a contestant by people aware of her work as a volunteer fund-raiser for women’s rights causes. She said it doesn’t matter if she wins or lose when the pageant judges rule Sunday. The pageant, she said, gives her recognition that will help in raising money and support for Afghanistan. ``It gives me a chance to speak up and send my voice out there and let people know that the Afghans are in great need of help,’’ she said. Samadzai left Afghanistan in 1996 to study in the United States. She plans to finish a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in international business and speech at California State University, Fullerton. She then plans to help produce, direct and act in a movie about the Fast Times life at Ridgemont High School of an Afghan-American.
Porky’s VI: Under the Burka!
However, helping fellow Afghans remains her main goal. ``Whether I mention it or not, it’s on my mind, it’s in my blood. My whole goal is to just go back there and help them,’’ she said.
Take the bathing suit with you, and insist on your right to wear it.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/07/2003 11:09:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It wasn't a bikini by any stretch of the imagination. Except for an Islamic one, that is.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 11/07/2003 13:04 Comments || Top||

#2  The truly sad thing is that, if she does go back, she's probably dead.
Posted by: cingold || 11/07/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

U.S. Closing Embassy in Saudi Arabia
The U.S. Embassy will close its offices to review security procedures on Saturday, while embassy officials said terrorists are close to launching an attack in the desert kingdom. The embassy in Riyadh and the U.S. Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran will be closed, according to a warden message issued by the embassy on Friday. "The embassy continues to receive credible information that terrorists in Saudi Arabia have moved from the planning to operational phase of planned attacks in the kingdom," stated the message. "The embassy strongly urges all American citizens in the kingdom to be especially vigilant when in any area that is perceived to be American or Western."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a warning to journalists in Afghanistan on Friday. "The United States Embassy in Kabul has received credible information that Taliban (search) forces are actively searching for American journalists to take hostage for use as leverage for the release of Taliban currently under United States control," the embassy statement said. "American journalists in Afghanistan are urged to take immediate steps to increase their security posture in light of these threats."
I don’t remember this happening before, even in the runup to the war.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 11/07/2003 2:02:55 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We're not seriously considering re-opening it, are we?
Posted by: Mercutio || 11/07/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#2  It sounds like the boomers and Jihadis desperately need a show or even they realize that they are on the big graveyard spiral to irrelevance or impotence.

I hope that the Iraq/Syria-Saudi border wacking is true and I hope that they keep it up. Some Iran/Iraq wack should also be taking place, too.

Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 15:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Taliban forces are actively searching for American journalists to take hostage for use as leverage
Snicker, where's Peter Jennings these days?
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 15:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Steve---The Jihadis will call Petey for an interview after they kidnap the other journalists. Then they have a forum for their activities (*testing, testing, one, two, three, is this mike working OK?*)
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Kidnapping journalists? Their allies? "The Ransom of Red Chief" sprang into my head.
Posted by: PBMcL || 11/07/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#6  They could have Peter Arnett.....
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/07/2003 16:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Could we send the Taliban our wish list? It's kinda long....
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 16:45 Comments || Top||

#8  "..American journalists in Afghanistan are urged to take immediate steps to increase their security posture in light of these threats."

I would add the following:

"As of the issuing of this advisory, any American journalist(s) who persists in continuing in activities without taking adequate precautions and who subsequently fall into the hands of hostile captors cannot expect the U.S. government or its official intermediaries to seek his/her/their release via negotiation or armed rescue."
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 16:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Just FYI-
Closing the Embassy / Consulates for a short time (1-5 days) isn't big news. About 18 months ago there were a spate of bombings. Most were "solved" by locking up all those Brits and Canadians who have claimed torture lately - and I don't doubt them. Supposedly it was bad blood turf shit over illegal Sidikki / homebrew trade.

But a couple were premature jihadi types - one moron blew himself up in Al Khobar, killing one American, one Brit, and two Phillipinos. This happened in the same block as my favorite Thai restuarant - where we went every Wednesday. There were several other events (rioting in Bahrain, street incidents between young Saudis and expats, rumors, even a street "demonstration" broken up with gunfire by Nat'l Police in Dhahran) over the last 18 months - every time there was a threat or an event - the Dhahran Consulate closed - and they all skedaddled to Bahrain - even when there was rioting at the US Embassy there. The point is that they are totally fucking useless. If anything happens, they are the first to know, besides any victims, and the first to evacuate. US citizens are left to fend for themselves. Your tax dollars - in full fright flight.
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/07/2003 17:48 Comments || Top||

#10  Since the Embassy does nothing to help American citizens trapped in the Kingdom, and are clearly so lazy at visa processesing that they subcontracted out to travel agents in Riyahd prior to 9/11 I'm not really sure why we even bother to keep an embassy in Saudi Arabia these days. Anything the governments need to say can go through Prince Bandar in Washington.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 20:00 Comments || Top||

Saudi religious leaders condemn militants
Saudi Arabia’s religious leaders accused Muslim militants in the kingdom on Friday of violating the teachings of Islam and threatening its most sacred sites. After two separate clashes between gunmen and security forces in the holy city of Mecca, the preacher at Mecca’s Grand Mosque said the militants were trying "to destabilise the security of these safe places". "They have violated the sanctities of time and place and committed terrorism, violence, bombings, crime and corruption," Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudeis told worshippers in a sermon at Friday’s noon prayers.
They get real nervous when things go boom around Mecca. Other muslims might get the idea that the House of Saud isn’t doing a very good job as Protector of the Holy Places.
Last week the United States and Britain warned of possible terror attacks in Saudi Arabia during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which runs until late November. Sudeis told worshippers Ramadan should be a time of forgiveness and mercy.
If you keep saying it enough, maybe someday it’ll happen.
The kingdom’s top religious official, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, condemned the two men who died in Mecca, saying they had violated Islamic teachings by attempting to attack "the house of God" and then by fleeing from security forces and killing themselves. "All these are forbidden (in Islam)," he told the Saudi newspaper al-Jazirah.
"Go attack some infidels."
Sudeis stressed the need to teach Saudi youth moderation.
You’re a few generations too late with that message.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 1:09:10 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These people are seriously conflicted. I bet his idea about moderation is "do your jihad someplace else, as allah intends. We want only to drink our sweet mint tea and think great thoughts." Spoken in a soft voice followed with toothy smiles and batted eyelashes.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/07/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

Details on Yesterdays Riyadh Shootout
A terrorist was gunned down and eight security men were slightly wounded yesterday in Riyadh in a shootout with suspected Islamist militants, the Saudi Press Agency said. At least five suspects were detained, according to a member of the security forces, who continued to cordon off the site several hours after the dawn clash in Al-Suwaidi district, south of the city. According to eyewitness and neighbors, the drama began early in the morning. “At about 3.30 a.m. I heard the sound of a helicopter flying overhead. I immediately went to the rooftop to see what was going on. After a little while I heard the sound of machine guns and firing and a loud explosion,” said one neighbor who did not want to be named. “I went to the area after hearing the sound of shootouts and saw police and the terrorists besieged in the building exchanging fire,” said another eyewitness. “It was total chaos. Onlookers were everywhere,” he said.
When I hear machine gun fire and explosions, I try to stay indoors.
“If you think the police had the area sealed off before the shootout began you are mistaken. They only began doing that after one of their men was shot and injured during the firefight. It was terrible. People who had come to see what was happening were running for their lives,” he added.
See what I mean about staying inside?
“The helicopter that was flying over turned off its beams when the terrorists on the rooftop began firing at it,” said an eyewitness who watched the events from his house.
They need to use gunships for this kind of thing.
Arab News later saw a car the terrorists blew up when they exchanged fire with police while other cars were riddled with bullets. A source told Arab News that a dark-skinned bearded man, thought to be pious, rented the villa the terrorists were living in. The source said the man had told the landlord that he, his wife and his mother wished to live there.
"He had such a pious beard, and he paid cash."
“The bearded man’s neighbor informed the landlord after a while that he had never seen a woman enter the house and that he was starting to get suspicious of the man as he kept seeing him bring in large black suitcases,” said the source. Eyewitnesses also told Arab News that several of the terrorists managed to escape fleeing in two cars, a Ford Crown Victoria and a Nissan Maxima.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 9:34:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Two things come to mind. Thirty years ago this story wouldn't have made print.
The other is, at that time, Ford was on the contraband (shit) list for donating money to some Isreali cultural thing. The Saudis still bought and used Ford cars and trucks, but they were labeled FARGO. Go figure.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 11/07/2003 11:22 Comments || Top||

#2  pretty amazing since Henry Ford (the first one) was a blatant anti-semite....would think that would get 'em some special fleet contracts in Soddy
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 11:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Henry Ford 1 WAS a blatant antisemite, but grandson Henry Ford 2 was NOT, and licensed some kind of assembly plant in Israel, for which Ford was put on the official Arab boycott list.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#4  besides hating Jews, Ford 1 was a total facist and big time anti-union. Heck, the unions partially started up due to his treatment of his workers. He would have his managers some times spy on them in their off time to see if they were acting morally in his view. He would also accuse workers of being communists in order to shut them up about their working conditions.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 13:46 Comments || Top||

More on the Meccaboomers...
Security sources identified the two who blew themselves up as Muteb Al-Mihyani and Sami Al-Luhaibi, both in their late 20’s. Security forces canvassed a three-kilometer radius in their search for more suspects believed still on the run. They were also combing the rugged hills above the Al-Khadra area in the Al-Sharaie district, searching for a cache of weapons that may have been left behind by militants who managed to evade arrest after a raid on Monday which left two suspected terrorists dead and one policeman injured. Witnesses said security forces used searchlights in the rugged region as helicopters buzzed overhead, but it was not clear if any arrests were made. The atmosphere was tense, and residents of this close-knit community appeared suspicious of anyone they did not recognize. Arab News asked several residents for information and directions to the area where the latest firefights between police and the militants had occurred but was met with silence. One man, a taxi driver, said the Al-Sharaie district was closed. He then picked up his mobile phone and called the police.
"Sheriff Mahmoud? This here's Abdul. Lookee, there's a stranger sniffin' around here. Sez he's with Arab News..."
Police set up numerous checkpoints at the entrances and exits to the district, which led to a great deal of confusion and inconvenience. “The whole area has been blocked off and access is limited to residents only,” said Ali Al-Shammari, a grocer. In Monday’s clash, two militants were killed and several terror suspects were arrested. Interior Minister Prince Nayef said the two men killed were part of an eight-member Al-Qaeda cell, and that two of their accomplices surrendered and four others were captured, one of them wounded. An Interior Ministry statement said four Saudis, one Nigerian and one Pakistani were arrested during the Makkah clash, which also netted a large amount of weapons, including Kalashnikov assault rifles, pistols, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and barrels with explosives as well as passports and ID cards. Asked if the planned attacks foiled in Monday’s arrests had been aimed at buildings, crowded areas and pilgrims, Prince Nayef said: “That is exactly what I mean. In Makkah there are only Muslims from the Kingdom and abroad. There are no other people except Muslims... Certainly (they wanted to target) buildings, installations and people. All the seized weapons indicate such a plan.”
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Glad the Saudi's are starting to get the picture. Radicals don't care who they kill, just as long as their message gets out.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:02 Comments || Top||

All Iraqis involved in killing of POWs must be put on trial
Good for Kuwait. Don't let it drop.
The United Nations Coordinator on Kuwaiti POWs and properties Yuli Vorontsov said Wednesday his report which will be presented to the UN Secretary-General mid-December will emphasise the importance of putting on trial each Iraqi official involved in the killing of Kuwaiti prisoners. Vorontsov called on the Kuwaiti government to produce all documents showing crimes perpetrated by the ousted Iraqi regime as a supplement to his report. In a statement to the Kuwaiti daily "Al-Seyassah," Vorontsov expressed hope there are prisoners still alive in Iraq and pointed out the search is on at all levels with the help of US-led coalition.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We've come a real long way, baby. Just 25 years ago, this same gentleman (who I believe is a Russian - in fact, his name is familiar, I just can't place it at the moment) might well have been defending the loyal allies of the Soviet Union, the Iraqis.
Posted by: Joe || 11/07/2003 19:26 Comments || Top||

Scottish Muslim Faces Jail
A devout Muslim who tried to hire a hitman to avenge a perceived stain on his family’s honour was facing a possible lengthy jail term yesterday after being found guilty of incitement to murder. Mohammed Arshad, 49, a businessman and leading member of the Tayside Asian community, was outraged by his daughter’s secret wedding and wanted his new son-in-law "removed from this earth".
That's Urdu for "bumped off"...
Arshad, of Landsdowne Square, Dundee, put a price of £1000 on the head of Abdullah Yasin, 26, who had married his daughter, Insha. He gave a £200 advance payment to the man he wanted to arrange the murder and organise attacks on his new son-in-law’s family. But the supposed hitman was an undercover detective and the conversation was secretly taped.
Some details of how he was trapped emerged during his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, but the question of how the police came to be involved remained unanswered. John Simpson, defending, said the tape did not prove Arshad was trying to have his son-in-law murdered.
"Lies, all lies"
I guess "having him removed from the face of the earth" could also involve having him shot into orbit, or teleported to Dimension 96, or levitated to one of the moons of Jupiter...
He claimed there was no "conspiracy" before the police egged on Arshad but the jury rejected his argument and, after three hours of discussion, returned a unanimous verdict of guilty. They also found Arshad guilty of making a threatening telephone call to Mr Yasin, who was living in Walsall, West Midlands.
"MacYasin? This is McArshad. You mess with my daughter and I'll have you teleported to the moons of Jupiter, you bastard!"
The trial heard that Mr Yasin and Insha, a supermarket worker, carried on their affair at a distance, calling each other on mobile phones.
"Can you hear me now?"
She told the court that he had tried to get his family and the Arshads to agree to a marriage, without success. Fearing that the woman might be sent back to Pakistan, Mr Yasin married her in secret at a register office in Edinburgh in September 2001.
Ah, daddy’s Pakistani, that explains the killing part. Of course, if he was really devout he’d have killed his daughter.
The court heard that, in a culture of arranged marriages, Mr Yasin had broken the rules. He had married a younger daughter before her older sister had a husband. Although a Muslim, he was Indian-born and was from a different caste and had done it all in secret.
Well, ok, that makes it understandable then.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 11:45:05 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The court heard that, in a culture of arranged marriages, Mr Yasin had broken the rules.

Scotland still has arranged marriages?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Aye, laddie, any of those Maclouds come sniffing around our Madonald lasses and the claymores will be dripping blood, don't you know!
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 13:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Lets see, Stone her. Slit his throat. Demand dowry for older daughter. Beat wife. Or is it stone him and slit her throat. But to hire a hit man? Un-islamic, has to be!
Posted by: Lucky || 11/07/2003 14:19 Comments || Top||

#4  Stone her. Slit his throat. Demand dowry for older daughter. Beat wife. Or is it stone him and slit her throat.

Hell it's no wonder these guys can't get anything done.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:26 Comments || Top||

#5  Hiring a hit man has to be a point of dishonor for a good Muslim. What, the scimitar was in the shop for repairs?
Posted by: Steve White || 11/07/2003 18:13 Comments || Top||

British authorities release 4 Yemeni citizens
Without charges, British authorities released four Yemeni citizens Nov 3.
The Yemenis had been arrested according to the terrorism combating law during a home break-in last Tuesday in Sheffield, UK. British media did not disclose the nature of the confiscated possessions found with the arrested, but indicators show that nothing serious was found.
A few passports, some explosives, nothing serious...
A Middle East newspaper reported that South Yorkshire police gave two of the arrested men over to the British migration police to continue investigation, after the terrorism combating force released the men. Sheffield court allowed investigation with the four men to continue for another 72 hours after release. Britain had ratified laws on combating terrorism in 2000, and is now preparing for a new set of laws for civil emergencies. Such new laws had been receiving objections from the conservatives, complaining that this unnecessary new wave will transform UK into a police state if a state of emergency was announced.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

Greeks: USA a greater threat than Israel
Followup on the poll from earlier posts this week ;-)
Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres on Friday dismissed the seriousness of a poll indicating that 59 percent of the European Union’s citizens think Israel is a threat to world peace.
"*snif!* Those people are crazy!"
Peres was meeting with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who acknowledged that there may be "an element that one could say would be anti-Semitic" in the poll’s results, but they could instead be a criticism of Israeli policies.
"Oh, yasss. A tad anti-Semitic, but that's understandable. Look at all the Jews have done to oppress the Greeks..."
Greeks were among the few Europeans that did not consider Israel to be the main threat to world peace, giving the position to the USA instead
thanks for your support - boycott the Olympics! heh heh
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 11:50:05 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And in other news today....
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Thanks. We're touched. Did they call us "cowboys", too?
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 11:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres on Friday dismissed the seriousness of a poll indicating that 59 percent of the European Union’s citizens think Israel is a threat to world peace.

Peres is always sucking up to the Euros despite the fact that the US is Israel's only dependable friend in the world. It would be typical of this appeaser to believe that Europeans don't actually hate Israel.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 11:57 Comments || Top||

#4  "Greeks were among the few Europeans that did not consider Israel to be the main threat to world peace, giving the position to the USA instead"

-"My Big Fat Greek Who Gives a Rat's Ass" - Always strive to be number one in whatever you do I always say! LOL. Its funny how Greek-Americans are some of the most patriotic people you will ever meet.....
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 12:02 Comments || Top||

#5  Jarhead -- no big surprise there. They hear from the folks back in the old country what a shithole the alternative is.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 13:09 Comments || Top||

#6  No Sweat.

When all is said and done they will be standing in line to kiss our butt.

Then we can discuss some of these issues.

Kind of makes you wonder where is Xerxes when you need him.

Come to think of it in a way we are in the process of sort of recreating that old entity.

Maybe that's what is really on their mind.

Memory is long in that part of the world.
Posted by: Michael || 11/07/2003 13:30 Comments || Top||

#7  RC - agreed. They know the benefits of coming to this country, being business entrepreneurs, still retaining their heritage but also embracing that which makes this country great. The ones I've been lucky enough to call friends are brilliant folks. -Their food ain't bad either ;)

Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 13:52 Comments || Top||

#8  It's weird Greek-Americans are absolutely the coolest people on earth. Did we just get the cream?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:44 Comments || Top||

#9  Shipman, I agree 100%. I've also found Greek-Australians to be the some of the coolest people I've met as well. Our frequent Greek poster here on rantburg however has made it clear again and again that Greeks in Greece have a different outlook on America.

The thing is, they are right in a way. If you consider peace to be the status quo where millions live under brutal authoritarian regimes that support terrorism. Yes, the US is the most likely t upset that peace. Some had learned to live with the low level of violence (at least in their countries) and turn a deaf ear to the brutalized masses and are afraid of change.

I hope a decade from now they hold their manhood cheap that they were not with King Bushy on St. Crispins day.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 15:58 Comments || Top||

Boycott the Olympics

That's the Jimmy Carter approach. I say we go there and dominate the medal dias as usual. They can boo all they want but the star spangled banner is going to be sounding again and again.
Posted by: Tokyo Taro || 11/07/2003 20:47 Comments || Top||

Fifth Column
More about the Fund Haman, Hang Esther conference. Hat tip LGF.
On November 7-9, Ohio State University is planning to host the Third National Conference On Palestine Solidarity.
Ohio State? You mean they do something besides play football?
The second conference held at the University of Michigan last year featured Sami al-Arian as its honored keynote speaker. Al-Arian is one of three founding heads of Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a terrorist organization that is responsible for the suicide bombings of 99 innocent, men women and children, including several Americans. Al-Arian, who is a hero to the organizers of the Ohio State conference, cannot attend this year because he has been indicted and arrested for his crimes and is in federal lockdown.
In the clink? Good.
Fadi Kiblawi, head of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), the sponsor of the Michigan Conference declared in a Michigan student publication his desire “to strap a bomb to one’s chest and kill . . . . The enemy is not just overseas, the enemy is also amongst us.”
The organizer of this year’s Ohio State event is the Palestine Solidarity Movement, which is a shadowy organization allied with the International Solidarity Movement, an active collaborator with terrorists in the Middle East (an Islamic jihad terrorist militant was even arrested hiding in ISM offices in Jenin). The ISM supports the terrorists’ political agendas, including their opposition to the peace process and their call for the destruction of the state of Israel. One of the three founders of ISM is Ghassan Andoni, whose tour company made the travel arrangements for two London-based Islamic suicide bombers who killed three innocent civilians at a music bar in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003. The conference is scheduled to open with a panel called “Towards A Global Intifada,” in other words a global terrorist war.
These people only know one song, don't they?
Questions for Members of the Academic Community at Ohio State
  • Is a recruiting rally for terrorists and their solidarity supporters an appropriate event for sponsorship by an institution dedicated to higher learning?

  • Would members of the Ohio State community, for example, consider it appropriate for the university to host a Ku Klux Klan conference on race relations?

  • Does Ohio State University have a responsibility to its students, which would preclude the hosting of events that support terrorism and hate?
    "Anyone?" *crickets*
One of the prime tenets of academic freedom is respect for the uncertainty of human knowledge and human truth. Civility and respect for all people and a dispassionate examination of all ideas should be the hallmark of an academic institution. Therefore it is a vital task of institutions of higher learning to make sure that all propositions in an academic setting be subject to examination and questioning, and that diverse intellectual viewpoints be present, especially in matters that are inherently controversial.
Of course, that would kind of show the students the truth about the WoT and the way the world works, so intellectuals need not appear.
The Third National Conference On Palestine Solidarity does not meet these criteria. It is not an academic conference. The charade in which the university participates by hosting the event is destructive to the academic atmosphere at Ohio State and a disservice to its student community.
Not to mention pro-Holocaust.
A university is not a political party, and an education should not be an indoctrination. A university should be a place for examining ideas not hectoring students into submitting to them. Universities like Ohio State need to defend the integrity of their educational mission by drawing a sharp distinction between the university as a place of questioning dialogue, and the political arena with its sound-bite mentality, vitriolic address and (as in the present case) often violent agendas.
Posted by: Atrus || 11/07/2003 3:20:21 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [339 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This happening at THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY?! I'm shocked. Ok, not really, but I wish them the worst for allowing this.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 15:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Move it to Kent State - and notify the Ohio National Guard...
Posted by: mojo || 11/07/2003 15:47 Comments || Top||

#3  This should be a great opportunity for the Feds to do some casual observation. See who is organizing, what they are saying (Kill dem Jooooos...and, oh yeah, respect us and give us money) and then following them back to their rat holes. THen, assuming that they are aiding or abetting Hams, IJ, etc. round 'em up and send them off to Gitmo. I'd like to think that some right-thinking midwestern lads might also want to knock some heads. Asshats.
Posted by: remote man || 11/07/2003 16:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Boy, wouldn't it suck if Fadi kinda got...run over by a bus? Or fell out a window of a tall building? Yeah, that'd really suck...
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 16:52 Comments || Top||

#5  typical clueless university lots of mommies and daddies and alumni are contributing to.

Maybe they can string up babies instead of pinatas and let the brave young palestinians whack them with bats.

or maybe they can celebrate solidarity by throwing dynamite into a synagogue, or hijack a city bus and blow it up.

the palestinian students ought to feel right at home.
Posted by: somewherenorth || 11/07/2003 23:28 Comments || Top||

Regional Struggle
Virtually all of the serious reporters in Iraq — and there are several — have noticed that both our political and military leaders there have no clear picture of the enemy. Some think we’re fighting a Baathist underground, with a handful of foreign terrorists tossed in for leavening. Some of our guys even give numbers, saying the foreigners are somewhere between five and ten percent. Others, above all those on the Syrian and Iranian borders, speak of a massive flow of killers into Iraq. This confusion derives from several causes. First and foremost is the disarray of the intelligence community, produced over more than a quarter-century of politicization, mounting restrictions from Congress, a surfeit of lawyers, and America’s own cultural shortcomings (we don’t study history, geography, or foreign languages). These critical weaknesses cannot be cured in a couple of years. It will take at least a generation to fix, even with the best leadership.
Before you tackle a problem, you must first identify it, then isolate it. Can this be done? Doubtful, at least in the short to medium term, because of issues like this http://hnn.us/articles/1765.html
Washington’s Evergreen College, for example, features two courses on 20th century U.S. political history: "Dissent, Injustice, and the Making of America," and "Inherently Unequal." The latter course, which addresses U.S. history since 1950, holds as an indisputable premise that in the 1990s, "racist opposition to African American progress and the resurgence of conservatism in all branches of government barricaded the road to desegregation." California State University-Monterey Bay, another AAC&U-oriented school, likewise presents students with only two, clearly biased, courses examining the history of American government institutions. Those wanting more U.S. political history are invited to take such classes as "History According to the Movies," "California at the Crossroads," and "Multicultural History in the New Media Classroom." The historical profession needs balance, not intolerance. No one denies that students should have the opportunity to sample such offerings from the new social history as "History According to the Movies." But courses in American political, diplomatic, and legal history are at least as important. Groups such as The Historical Society, which has brought together historians of all viewpoints to champion a return to a discipline based on reasoned appeals to evidence rather than promotion of an ideological agenda, have resisted the exclusion of whole fields from college history departments. In addition, the Miller Center for Public Affairs, housed at the University of Virginia, has launched an ambitious project to promote and fund innovative new scholarship in the history of American political development. Still, historians seem unlikely to create an intellectually diverse profession on their own. As recently noted by University of Pennsylvania professor Erin O’Connor, publisher of the weblog Critical Mass, since "scholarship—centered on questions of identity, oppression, and power relations—is in turn a sign of a particular political commitment," faculty diversity will "only be pursued insofar as it ensures and perpetuates ideological uniformity."
Posted by: tipper. || 11/07/2003 6:00:27 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey! Evergreen College! Alma mater of Rachel Corrie, patron saint of bulldozers! Wonder where she got it from?
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Following 9/11 a family member, cum laude in Middle East Studies, eight years work in the Middle East, in a fit of patriotism sent resumes to the intell agencies and Congress, figuring they needed some help. He was too old for the FBI, and the CIA didn't like some of the people he worked with in Saudi Arabia (not AQ, but anti-Saud). Two years later the DOD responded. I don't know what that tells you, but....
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 13:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Anonymous, if true, put next to the traitorous folks they hired as chaplains and translaters in Guantanimo it shines a pretty sorry light on the governments screening procedures.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 16:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Remember that most of the government "screeners" attended the same left-wing universities and colleges in this nation. The State Department hires mostly from Harvard and Princeton. Several other US government agencies have 'preferences' for Ivy League colleges. You end up with a "human relations" department (what an idiotic term!) that is not in step with 90% of Americans. I think we need a periodic 'revolution', where we kick all the old asshats out. It usually takes about 60 to 80 years before we get assailed with a new group of asshats. Then we can do it again.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/07/2003 20:12 Comments || Top||

FARK Rules!
Check out the Photoshop contest Admit it, Kerry fans, this is good!
Posted by: Raj || 11/07/2003 12:21:41 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Not Found
The requested URL /cgi/fark/comments.pl was not found on this server

Yeah.... it drools alright.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/07/2003 0:29 Comments || Top||

#2  It works for me...
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 0:33 Comments || Top||

#3  I like the one where Kerry is about too become T-rex food.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:25 Comments || Top||

Nuggets from the Urdu press
British visas for criminal clerics
According to Nawa-e-Waqt magazine, the British high commission in Britain was liberal with visas for all kinds of dubious clerics in Pakistan who went to the UK and busied themselves in all kinds of undesirable activities. One Hafiz Chishti father of eleven children molested a girl in Birmingham while pretending to teach her the Quran in her house. He was now behind bars. In South Hall another maulvi Ghulam Rasul was caught making blue films with girls he was supposed to teach the Quran to.

‘Obscenity’ in Gujranwala again
According to Jang, policemen from three police stations attacked a theatre in Gujranwala and arrested four artistes including actresses Hina Shaheen and Salomi on the charge of obscenity. The police said that citizens had complained of obscenity against the producer and the actresses. The manager and a number of artistes acting in the play ran away from the scene to avoid being arrested. The producer said that the raid was a deliberate attempt to harass artists. Other theatres in Gujranwala closed down before time and the audiences ran away to save themselves from being brutalised by the police. The raid was ordered by a local sessions judge. Nawa-e-Waqt wrote that four actresses, after being arrested by the police, were not kept by the police but transferred to the house of the magistrate where three other magistrates gathered to ‘enjoy’ their company. Finally magistrate Taseer Ahmad let them off on bail while a large crowed stood outside the lockup to enjoy the spectacle. One actor said that a large police posse attacked the theatre during interval and slapped the audience which ran away and arrested every artiste under the charge of obscenity. There are seven theatres in Gujranwala which closed down in fear after one owner was picked up by the police and kept in the lockup. The actresses came away from Gujranwala swearing they will never go to the scary city.

Leader of Qadanis challenged to ‘mubahila’
According to Nawa-e-Waqt, Maulana Manzur Chinioti had thrown a challenge of mubahila (abusing each other till one falls dead) to the leader of the Qadianis, Mirza Masroor, and since the Qadiani leader had not turned up to take part in abusing, the field was won by Maulana Manzur Chinioti who proclaimed that a festival of victory will be observed in London. In the first week of October the religious leaders of the MMA were to gather in Chenabnagar and make speeches on the finality of the Prophet PBUH.

Qadianis allowed too much freedom!
According to Nawa-e-Waqt religious leaders gathered in Chiniot-Chenabnagar for Khatam-e-Nabuwwat accused the government of being too soft on Qadianis who were being employed in key posts and even posted in the Auqaf Department. They said the Qadianis were busy conspiring against Islam and were freely violating laws enforced against them. The conference was addressed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI and Liaquat Baloch of Jamaat Islami in addition to dozens of other religious leaders. According to Jang, the Chenabnagar meeting warned the government that the Qadianis had become emboldened. They also said that behind the façade of the NGOs, the spread of Qadiani faith, Judaism and Christianity would not be tolerated and that a movement could be launched against the government on it.

Kashmir not like Palestine!
Daily Khabrain quoted the Palestinian ambassador in India Osama Musa as saying that the Kashmir issue could not be compared to Palestine because India had the right to take action against terrorists in Kashmir. He said Pakistan’s claim that there were freedom-fighters active in Kashmir was not accepted by the Palestinian government. He said that Sharon’s visit to India was good for the Palestinian cause.

Al Qaeda and 17 couples!
Daily Pakistan revealed that the Lahore police raided a hotel in Mozang and arrested two African Al Qaeda members who had landed in Lahore a day earlier with a special task. But as the police raided the hotel, couples staying in rented rooms tried to run away and were caught red-handed by the police. In all, 17 couples were apprehended and taken to the police station for rangralyan (good times) and were let off after they greased the palms of the officers. One couple jumped from the window and were injured. A raid against terrorists became a lucrative drive against immorality.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 12:10:02 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [335 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Abusing each other until one falls dead???? Ummm... just what kind of abuse are we talking about here? Dirty minds want to know.
Posted by: Ben || 11/07/2003 4:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Ben, it sounds like they were holding a rappers contest.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 8:36 Comments || Top||

#3  "Parson Brown, he was there,
And in the corner he sat,
Amusing himself by abusing himself
And catching it in his hat..."
Posted by: Fred || 11/07/2003 8:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Gotta love those "clerics". Is there a scam around that they aren't working?
"Wanna come over and read the Quran, little girl..."
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 9:58 Comments || Top||

#5  "Daily Khabrain quoted the Palestinian ambassador in India Osama Musa as saying that the Kashmir issue could not be compared to Palestine because India had the right to take action against terrorists in Kashmir. He said Pakistan’s claim that there were freedom-fighters active in Kashmir was not accepted by the Palestinian government. "

Am i the only one who finds this amazing?

Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:05 Comments || Top||

#6  The Palestinian ambassador bit caught my eye too. What kind of turban twisting would we see in Pakistan if this gets reported widely there. Can anybody shed light/has this turned up anywhere else?
Posted by: VAMark || 11/07/2003 11:23 Comments || Top||

#7  Then came the village magician
Who gave us all a laugh
He pulled his foreskin over his head
And vanashed up his ass!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 21:06 Comments || Top||

“Power-hungry generals have always derailed democracy”
The controversial arrest of the Pakistan Muslim League-N leader and president of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy, Javed Hashmi, has not only kicked off a major political controversy, it has also activated laidback politicians like Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Khan, a former federal minister, has been in the forefront of the combined opposition’s drive against Hashmi’s arrest. He says the whole affair stinks and the methodology clearly betrays the army’s involvement.

The Friday Times: Why did the government arrest Javed Hashmi?
Nisar Ali Khan: Probably, it did not know how to counter the ongoing agitation over the LFO [Legal Framework Order]. But we fail to understand what the objective is.

Who ordered the arrest?
This is the handiwork of GHQ (General Headquarters), the real government. The premier, the speaker of the national assembly and the ministers – the democratic façade – were probably unaware of the decision to pick up Javed Hashmi. This is why neither the speaker nor the prime minister has been able to give any plausible explanation of events.

But why resort to such methods to intimidate the MPs?
The GHQ obviously is better placed to answer this question but this has been done in a typical army way. Quite often their actions don’t flow from common sense or logic.

Does this mean that despite what it may do, the army remains a sacred cow?
It is not only a sacred cow, they rule this country. Let the elections and the new civilian set-up not deceive anyone. During the first three years, General Musharraf ruled the country with brute force and the PCO. Since October last year, he has been lording over the nation with the help of the LFO. The style of governance and the mindset has not changed. It was a military style of government, and it remains so even today.

But would you agree the politicians have also played a role in strengthening the army’s role in politics?
My contention is that if the army holds politicians and their invitations so dear, then they should also listen to their repeated pleas for returning to the barracks. All the mainstream parties are imploring the army to surrender power, rid the country of military rule and concentrate on its real job. But these requests are falling on deaf ears. Our history bears witness to the fact that whether invited or otherwise, whenever the army seized power, it played havoc with the political system and the economy and destroyed the civil society and its institutions. It did that in the past, and it is doing this again.

Why has the army loomed large on the political horizon despite strong leaders like Z A Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif?
Basically, because of its brute force. The ruling elite – army, politicians, judiciary, and the civil service – is responsible for political failures. But at the same time, if you were to ask me about the largest factor responsible for the derailment of democracy in Pakistan, I would say power-hungry generals, who have been always looking for an opportunity to derail the system, whether in the 1950s or in 1999. It has always been a general who derailed democracy. Things have been bad in other countries including India, but army generals have never taken over the country.

Why is the army still so sensitive to criticism?
Ask the GHQ. I have always believed that as long as the armed forces look after their basic responsibility i.e., safeguarding the borders of this country, there should be no criticism of them at all. But once they take over as rulers and become masters of the nation, they are not operating as the armed forces of Pakistan. They become the self-styled rulers of the country. They then begin acting as politicians, as bureaucrats, as the ruling elite of Pakistan. If so, why should they be not criticized?

How much has the US interest in its war on terrorism undermined democracy and strengthened the military rule in Pakistan?
The American support for successive military dictators has been one of the major factors in sustaining military rule in Pakistan. It is a very dark side of the so-called Pakistan-US relationship. I have always advocated strong ties with the US, but unfortunately what we have seen in the past couple of years, makes me doubt the authenticity of this relationship. Whenever it suits the Americans they hug the coup-makers but when it doesn’t suit them they give a damn even about elected leaders. This paradoxical and self-centered approach has greatly undermined our democratic march, and in fact sustained military hold over the whole society. Rather than play a guiding role for the revival of democracy, the US administration took a military general into its arms for its own vested interest, turning Musharraf into a darling of the West, unlike Bill Clinton, who had refused to publicly shake hands with him.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 12:08:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Somebody should hire this guy for the DNC. He'd fit in pefectly.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:19 Comments || Top||

Balochistan - seething under sardars and subversion
Balochistan is seething again. Apart from sustaining the fallout of the war on terrorism, parts of Balochistan have become a hotbed of hostilities between the establishment and some two dozen big tribal sardars (chieftains) and nawabs. The latest series of rocket attacks on various parts of Quetta city – two rockets fell on November 1 in Quetta cantonment and three on the Frontier Corps camp in Kohlu – underline the intense inter-play of the lobbies at war with one another: Baloch and Pashtun nationalists versus conservative religio-political forces; tribal chiefs pitched against one another, and most of them locked in incessant confrontation of interests and territory with the provincial authorities as well as segments of the armed forces.

Rockets and even mortar shells are not uncommon; small-arms fire exchanges are a normal occurrence. “It is a very, very fragile situation and extremely difficult to deal with,” a very senior bureaucrat in Quetta told TFT during a visit to the city in the backdrop of attacks on FC posts in Kohlu and Sui, about 440 kilometres south of Quetta. Tensions also heightened after the arrest of some 35 suspects from Dera Bugti following an attack on a police post in the area in mid-October. While the police is investigating the incident and the tribesmen remain incarcerated, rocket attacks have increased, as has the threat from the tribesmen.

“Our predicament is that only about 5 percent of the province falls within the police jurisdiction and that means the writ of the government remains very weak,” says a senior police official. A similar statement was given last July by the Balochistan IG following an attack in Quetta on a Shia imambargah. Police officials told TFT that regional sardars and nawabs constantly undermine the government’s writ in most areas. At times the government courts one or the other sardar or nawab out of political expediency. Such exchanges also revolve around vested interests of political personalities. But the end result is always the same: it prevents the law-enforcement agencies from doing their job.

Economically important regions like Dera Bugti, observers point out, are even today without proper roads, schools and medical centres. “It all looks like a medieval village, you need strong political will to establish basic facilities for the people there,” said a senior government officer in Quetta. Local analysts think the sardars are part of the malaise that has kept the people of Balochistan subjugated and deprived of fundamental rights like education and health. “The system has to change. It is increasingly becoming unsustainable,” says an observer in Quetta.
The Baluchs are a lot like the Pashtuns culturally, however they are much, much less extremist in their Islam, with hardly any presence in Jihadi outfits.
Observers in Quetta believe that the combined number of police and militia for a population of 6.5 million spread across 347,000 square kms is very small, especially, if one were to also take into account the number of law enforcement personnel at any time employed in providing security to important officials. A fairly large number is also deputed at religious places to guard them against sectarian terrorists. “This has become essential since the July 4 deadly attack on the imambargah,” says a police officer. The attack left 50 people dead and over 100 injured. Two months ago, the ISI pointed the finger at young men in Khuzdar from the Baloch National Party who were said to be distributing posters that show the army in various anti-people situations dating back to the 1970s. Several people were arrested, including a journalist by the name of Rashid Azam, and charged with sedition. It is not clear why there is so much anti-army nationalist feeling in the province all over again.
There was a seperatist insurgency in Baluchistan in the 70’s, with a leftist orientation, it was eventually crushed. Many Baluchs are angry at becoming a minority in their province because of a huge influx of Pashtuns. They are also angry about the building of a major sea port, claiming that all the benefits are going to workers from other provinces.
Sectarian Dimension: The Quetta police claims it has arrested all the terrorists responsible for the imambargah massacre and says they belong to the outlawed terrorist outfit Lashkar-e Jhangvi. The Shia leaders had accused the LJ of the attack immediately after the incident. Interestingly, the MMA leaders have continued to blame the Indian intelligence agencies of perpetrating the crime. The police is searching for more suspects and has begun to tighten the noose around those who are still at large. It is also looking for one of the prime suspects in the case, a certain Dawood Badeeni, the son of the local Jamiat-e Ulema-i Islam (JUI-F) leader Maulana Badeeni. In fact, one Shia-Hazara leader speaking on a private channel pointed a clear finger at LJ and, addressing Qazi Hussain Ahmed of the JI, even said that Qazi Sahib should go to the MMA and ask some of the parties in the Alliance to stop protecting the killers of Shia. Evidence now proves who he was referring to. There is also proof now that just before the killing of Shia police recruits and later the attack on the imambargah, certain elements were distributing sectarian literature in and around Quetta. The theory that the Indians got this done does not hold much water, though this is not to say that the Indians do not want, or will not, exploit the vacuum created in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban – or even that they may not want to create trouble for Pakistan by using Afghanistan as a jumping off ground.
I’m not aware of any proven role of Indian intelligence in any sectarian terrorism in Pakistan, but they beat that drum an awful lot.
However, the provincial government does worry deeply about other activities of the Indian consulate in Kandahar. It is interesting to hear almost every government functionary – be it the chief secretary, Ashraf Nasir or the inspector general of the FC – playing on the theme of “the hyper activities by the Indian consulate in nearby Kandahar.” “Why should India choose to open a mission in a city that is neither Hindu-friendly nor are there any Hindus there, unlike Kabul,” Ashraf Nasir asked TFT rhetorically. FC officials at Chamman, for instance, claimed to have seized some 11,000 fake Pakistani ID cards from people pretending to be Pakistanis. “We believe the Indian consulate is involved in producing fake Pakistani IDs to help its agents infiltrate into Pakistan,” Ashraf Nasir says. This argument looks quite feeble when one notices that scores of Pakistanis have been involved in the fake ID cards and passports business for decades. Although the new system has made it difficult, yet the acquisition of these documents is just a question of money and finding the right contact in the registration office.
Sometimes I think it's a hobby, kind of like building model planes or making your own AK47s...
Some officials, nevertheless, pointed out that the Indians have entered Kandahar in a big way; they are constructing the Kandahar-Spin Boldak highway, and are also providing study materials to many Afghan educational institutions. But an ex-intelligence official scoffs at the “foreign hand theory.” He also wonders why Pakistan, instead of lamenting about the Indians, does not help Afghanistan constructively.
"Hey! We think providing arms and ammunition to the locals is constructive!"
“What’s stopping us from doing development work in Afghanistan,” he asks. “India is our adversary. Why should it not try to undermine us? Any country in India’s position would have done that, why be surprised and annoyed. As far as the sectarian problem is concerned, it is clear from the arrests that these attacks are perpetrated by our own people,” says another observer.
The Indian ’influence’ in Afghanistan is the biggest fear among the Pak Army, and seems to be the primary reason they are allowing the Taliban resurgence to act out of the border provinces. I also wonder at the Indian intelligence presence in Afghanistan; either they are a lot more subtle in their operations that the ISI (but then again, so is a marching band), or they aren’t really doing a whole lot at the moment.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 12:07:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Has Balochistan ever not been seething? Is this the weather report?
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 10:02 Comments || Top||

#2  so the pro-jihadi support in Quetta comes from Pashtun in migrants, not from ethnic Baluchis?

Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Pretty much, Quetta has a Pashtun majority..
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 17:23 Comments || Top||

#4  If the Baluchis are less "extreme" in their Islam than the Pashtuns, then how do you explain the psychotic rantings of the Balochistan Post?
Posted by: Joe || 11/07/2003 19:38 Comments || Top||

#5  The Baluchistan Post may be printed in Baluchistan, but that doesn't mean that most of it's readers are ethnic Baluchs. As far as I know, a majority of Baluchs are illiterate, and even if they aren't, it is only the Pakistani 'elite' that can read English.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 20:40 Comments || Top||

Report: New Covert Force Hunts Saddam, Bin Laden
A recently created U.S. covert commando force has been hunting America’s most wanted men, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and has come close to the deposed Iraqi leader, The New York Times said on Friday. Citing Pentagon and military officials, the newspaper said the commander for U.S. forces from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean formed the Special Operations group in the last few months to hunt throughout the region for Saddam and the al Qaeda leader.
Gen. John Abizaid disbanded two forces hunting separately for the two men and replaced them with a more flexible group that already has been close to Saddam, according to the officials. They declined to give any details on the group coming close to Saddam, the Times reported.
"We can say no more!"
Military officers said that focusing the intelligence and the Special Operations firepower within one organization, called Task Force 121, streamlines the effort to use information and mount attacks, the paper said. The force is designed to strike against the two men or other "high-value targets" in America’s war on terrorism. The joint task force of Special Operations forces from the Army, Navy and Air Force is supplemented by a conventional force, which can be used to secure the perimeter of an area where a raid is about to take place, the paper said. Since U.S. forces toppled Saddam in April, he has been on the run. Troops have periodically said they are closing in on the former president, who they believe remains in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, attacks on America, which Washington blames on Laden, President Bush vowed to take the guerrilla network leader "dead or alive."
"I'll take 'dead' for $20..."
Although the United States waged a war in Afghanistan that routed al Qaeda, many senior militants evaded capture and the network has apparently remained active, blamed for several attacks around the world.
Bin Laden appears regularly on video or audio tape vowing fresh strikes on America. U.S. intelligence and military officials say they believe bin Laden is most likely hiding in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 12:02:47 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone. It's a secret!
Posted by: Mike || 11/07/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#2  when has Bin Laden appearing regularly on video? All I've heard of is scratchy audio tapes and (obviously older pre-9/11) video
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 12:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Hmmmmmm, coincides quite nicely with the memo that Rummy drew up in regards to our progress on the WOT. Let's see ....critical analysis leads to action plan. Chuck E Cheese Rangel and the rest of the Donks could learn something here - but don't bet on it.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/07/2003 12:47 Comments || Top||

#4  All I've heard of is scratchy audio tapes and (obviously older pre-9/11) video

Bin Laden is dead, and even if not, is as good as dead. The fact that his methods of sending out his message changed after the Tora Bora assault and have not gone back to what it was before is clear indicator that something is not what it was.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 12:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Commando force to find Bin Laden = lots of backhoes tearing up Tora Bora.
Posted by: Raj || 11/07/2003 13:37 Comments || Top||

#6  I think he's alive & well, lying on somebody's couch in their basement, watching Springer. He's smart enough to keep quiet and keep a secret better than this SECRET FORCE LOOKING FOR HIM. Shhhhhh. I'm huntin bin waddins.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 14:43 Comments || Top||

#7  Didn't I just see a clip of Osama congratulating David Letterman upon becoming a father?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 11/07/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Osama is in a small room under the White House. Every day, GW wakes up, puts on some boxing gloves, goes down to do some exercise to start his day.
Posted by: Sad Clown of Life || 11/07/2003 16:15 Comments || Top||

Turkey Won’t Send Troops to Iraq
Wotta surprise.
Turkey will not send troops to Iraq to relieve U.S. forces there, a government official said Friday, after local Iraqi officials made clear they didn’t want Turkish soldiers to join the coalition.
Turkey’s parliament voted last month to allow a contingent of Turkish troops to join the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. American officials had pressed Turkey, the only majority Muslim nation in NATO, to approve sending troops. But a government official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that his administration will not use the authority granted by parliament to send troops to Iraq under current conditions.
"Seeing as the Kurds would like to pot us, and the 4ID wouldn’t let us shoot back."
Private NTV television said Turkey’s military has stopped preparations for deployment. Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Osman Faruk Logoglu, said this week that his country would not send peacekeeping troops into Iraq without an invitation from the Iraqi Governing Council. Some members of the council have expressed opposition to Turkish deployment, citing atrocities ethnic tensions and uncomfortable memories of the Ottoman empire, which ruled Iraq for about 400 years. The Pentagon had been counting on a third multinational division, possibly led by Turkey, but that has not materialized. It announced plans Thursday to alert an additional 43,000 National Guard and Reserve support troops that they may be sent to Iraq as well. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the matter in a phone conversation late Thursday. ``Powell called Foreign Minister Gul. They talked about the current condition in Iraq, and the possible troop contribution,’’ the U.S. official said. ``Foreign Minister Gul said the government was reconsidering its offer’’ to send troops. Asked if Turkey was still sending troops, the U.S. official said: ``At this point, it appears ’no.’’’
Turks get to play this both ways at home, and probably will.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said in a written statement that Powell thanked Turkey for its offer to help ``efforts led by the United States to ensure security, stability and economic development in Iraq.’’ ``Foreign Minister Gul and U.S. Secretary of State Powell agreed that Turkey and the U.S. would continue to work together for the Iraqi people and that Turkey would assume a key role in Iraq’s stability and restructuring,’’ Dirioz added.
"Mr. Secretary, how did that phone call with the Turkish Foreign Minister turn out?"
"Marvin, it ain’t good. We have a problem here. We can activate about 43,000 Guard soldiers, or we can bring the Turkish army into Iraq."
"Pardon me for asking, Mr. Secretary, but are these the Turks that used to rule the place?"
"The Turks that thumped the Kurds to the north?"
"The Turks that committed atrocities against Kurdish civilians?"
"The Turks who would cause an insurrection in Iraq?"
"I’ll get Mr. Rumsfeld on the phone for you."
"Right now, Marvin."
Posted by: Steve White || 11/07/2003 11:02:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  First I had doubts with the conservative AKP government, but I am getting to like them. Why are you guys asking for Turkish troops anyway, drill the Kurds and sent them to Fallujah and Tikrit. The US created a dummy Iraqi council with a dummy Iraqi Kurd as president, why leaving out a Kurdish army force?
Posted by: Murat || 11/07/2003 11:12 Comments || Top||

#2  that's phase 2, son
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#3  One word: Kurdistan.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#4  murat - who in Iraq belongs on the IGC who's not on it?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 12:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Kurdistan

I hope to vacation there some day.

Posted by: Michael || 11/07/2003 13:35 Comments || Top||

#6  I like the fact that the Kurds have more clout with the US than Turkey. Nice moves, Turkey. What's next, an Islamic state ? Ooops, already workin on it.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 14:46 Comments || Top||

#7  I know that Turkey had previously sent some troops to Afghanistan, but I don't think that they are still there. Why don't we ask Turkey to send 5,000 or 10,000 troops to Afghanistan to help improve the security situation there and to free up US/UK troops to hunt for Taliban/AQ types along the Pak border (or even in Warzistan & NWFP)? Like Germany, Turkey can still be useful to us in the gloabl WoT if they make a solid contribution in Afghanistan. What do you think of that, Murat?
Posted by: Tibor || 11/07/2003 15:43 Comments || Top||

#8  Redundant headline Redundant headline.
But Murat likes it But Murat likes it.
Posted by: Mike || 11/07/2003 15:55 Comments || Top||

#9  Turkey hosed us during the invasion. Now they are turning down the overtures to make up and be pals. Screw 'em.
Posted by: flash91 || 11/07/2003 16:11 Comments || Top||

#10  Redundant headline Redundant headline. But Murat likes it But Murat likes it.

bet he still wouldn't get the link/title right even given two tries
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 18:36 Comments || Top||

#11  Actually Murat's comments above (despite his ignorant jabs about dummy council and dummy President) are probably the wisest once I've seen him make on this board. We should train and arm the Kurds and put them in charge of the occupation force that covers Northern Iraq and the Sunni triangle. It's brilliant.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 20:05 Comments || Top||

Another Voice From Iraq
The Messopotamian, a new Iraqi blog. Via InstaPundit:
Greetings all,

You probably know that we are in Ramdhan. It is some few hours to breaking the fast at sunset. This fasting is so interesting. Food suddenly aquires new attraction. Today is Friday our weekend holiday. So, in general expect my postings mostly thursday and friday. The rest of the week I am quite busy trying to make a living.

So now we hear another Helicopter is brought down. Serious, yes. Disaster ? not necessarily. It only shows the enemy is not to be underestimated.

I note that most of my visitors are american. This is natural and welcom really. American public opinion is a matter of life and death to us here, at this particular time. The "enemy" ( let us call them that at the moment and they include some Iraqis too, to be absolutely honest ), is doing his damn best to influence american and western public opinion. He has people monitoring, watching, relaying back information. He has allies, especially amongst the other non-iraqi arabs. We don’t really like to be too hard on our arab "brothers", but we are really angry with them now. The just don’t seem to care one little bit about our safety and future.

This dancing, over wrecked vehicles, he discovers is most graphic and effective. Any ordinary american watching this on T.V. is likely to be very upset. The enemy is past master at this. I mean he may not be very briliant militarily, but when it comes to psychological torture, they are the greatest masters of the "art" in human history. I bet you anything that for each operation carried out in a certain well known area by now, a chorus is prepared and asked to go and dance for the benifit of photographers of the press, most likely notified of the show before hand.

Oherwise are some of these "spontaneous" ? - Probably.

But people: don’t forget, the mob also danced as Jesus ( PBU ) bore the Cross. The mob is the mob. All we can say of any "spontaneous" manifestations is exactly what Jesus ( PBU)said : " Lord forgive them for they know not what they are doing "

Salam Alaykum
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 10:41:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Are there really 'chorus lines' dancing for the photographers? Any evidence of this?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/07/2003 12:21 Comments || Top||

#2  "one smile and suddenly nobody else will do ..."
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Are there really 'chorus lines' dancing for the photographers?

al-Jazzer has rent-a-mob on their speed dialer.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

Army medic, mom faces punishment
Simone Holcomb’s choice was between duty and family. She chose family, and now the military may punish her. Holcomb, an Army medic married to an Army sergeant, refused an order to return to duty in Iraq because it could have meant losing two of their seven children in a custody battle. "For me to get on a plane and abandon my children would be against the law,” Holcomb said Wednesday. “And I don’t know how any parent on Earth could leave without knowing how they’re going to be taken care of.”

Her commanders in Iraq have told her by e-mail that she is absent without leave, she said. Holcomb, 30, and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Vaughn Holcomb, 40, lived with their children at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs when both were sent to Iraq in February. Family members were taking care of their children, but the couple returned on emergency leave in September when Vaughn Holcomb’s ex-wife went to court to get full custody of two of the children from their previous marriage. A judge said one of the Holcombs had to remain home or they would lose custody. Simone Holcomb said she decided to stay because she is a reservist while her husband has 20 years of active-duty service and is near retirement.
I couldn’t link to the direct article. Its on the linked page under "local/state"
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 11/07/2003 9:59:47 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "A judge said one of the Holcombs had to remain home or they would lose custody". That judge should be disbarred if the legal profession had any sense of honor and patriotism. The ex-wife should become a pariah in her community for making this gambit during the war.Simone Holcomb hould have her head examined for having seven children and still staying in the reserves when there was real possiblity of both parents being shipped overseas.

This story is pathetic all around.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 11:07 Comments || Top||

#2  A judge said one of the Holcombs had to remain home or they would lose custody.

Pardon my French, but this is simply bullshit. For a judge to force this kind of choice is inexcusable.

Simone Holcomb hould have her head examined for having seven children and still staying in the reserves when there was real possiblity of both parents being shipped overseas.

My sentiment is that the Army should have evaluated the situation before calling up BOTH husband and wife. I see nothing wrong with both being Army reservists, but it makes no sense to call them both up when major combat operations are no longer in effect, and the situation isn't a dire one.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:24 Comments || Top||

#3  The Army should go to bat for her. This is unfair and reflects as poorly on the military as it does on the judge.
Posted by: B || 11/07/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#4  My sentiment is that the Army should have evaluated the situation before calling up BOTH husband and wife

BAR, if you read the story again you'll see that she is the reservist (medic) and her husband is active duty. While they were on the same base, they most likely were not in the same unit. Something smells ripe about this, I can't see the unit commander not approving one or the other parent staying behind until this is worked out. It sounds like she just decided to stay behind without asking.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 12:27 Comments || Top||

#5  I agree that this is pathetic all around. The Army should back up S Holcomb in the short term, but she should be discharged ASAP once the custody problems are cleared up. Its obvious with her family situation she is unable to adequately perform her duties as a reservist.
Posted by: Dakotah || 11/07/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#6  Here's more from the story:

Army officials in the United States said they could not confirm Simone Holcomb's status without talking to her unit commanders in Iraq. Officials said the punishment for going AWOL ranges up to discharge or imprisonment. Holcomb said she has been told only that she would forfeit all her pay since disobeying the order to return to Iraq, but hasn't been told what other measures she might face.

That sounds better, AWOL punishments under UCMJ can be pretty flexible. Sounds like a slap on the wrist from the commander, just taking the pay for duty she missed.

The Army inspector general is reviewing the case, said a spokesman for Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., who intervened at Simone Holcomb's request.

Oops, she went Congressional on them.

Holcomb said her commanders had been sympathetic, extending her leave when the court process dragged. She still thought they would help even after they rejected her request to be taken off active duty on Oct. 3, within hours of the final custody hearing.

From reading the whole story, I'd say it's much ado about very little. She's gonna get a slap on the wrist and discharged. The DOD stills needs to fight this judge's order tooth and nail, this could affect a lot of other divorced military personnel.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

#7  Excuse my ignorance, but aren't there laws protecting soldiers in cases like this? I mean, when you're called to active duty, should the courts but a hold on any cases you're involved in?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 13:21 Comments || Top||

#8  After reviewing the article, the following caught my eye:

The Army requires two-soldier families to agree on custody plans before deployments so that children are taken care of, said Col. Rich Thomas of Army Forces Central Command in Atlanta.

Seems to me that the Army had this figured out from the beginning, and that the judge's actions in the custody case were terribly inappropriate, to say the least. In matters regarding active deployment, it is absolutely ludicrous to put military personnel in a position where their responsibilities for their children and their military service obligations are in obvious conflict.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 13:28 Comments || Top||

#9  The fact that she went the congressional route shows one of two things: She didn't try to use the chain-of-command or wanted to subvert it. No one likes (including Congress) when they have to play Mommy for someone who should know better. P.S. She cannot have her children taken away from her. In fact NO legal decision can be made on her while she is deployed.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 11/07/2003 13:45 Comments || Top||

#10  Forgot to link to the Civil Relief Act:
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 14:08 Comments || Top||

#11  The only trouble with the Civil Relief Act is that some local judges try to subvert it, considering it a slur upon their judgement and an unfair restraint upon their judicial powers.

They seem to take the concept of "the military is subservient to civilian control" to the extreme.

I can't tell you where or when, for understandable reasons, but I was there when a local judge got into a pissing contest with a base commander. The judge did his level best to make life hell for any GI who set foot off the base, and flatly, PUBLICALLY, told the base commander that the harrassment would not end until the commander admitted to the judge's right to tell the military what to do.

This didn't end until the spat rose to the point of being noticed by the governor of the state, who took steps to remove the judge from the bench. Last I heard, the little would-be legal tyrant was pouting about it ten years later.

Ed Becerra
Posted by: Ed Becerra || 11/07/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#12  Ed, After 20 years in the military nothing surprises me. But Judges can't randomly pick out troops and haul them into court. There has to be some pretext. But I can assure you that the first judge that tried to subvert the SCRA would find himself taken off the bench. NO elected official wants to be on the wrong side of that act, it would be political suicide. All this medic would have to do is file with the base JAG/ADC and they would have a FEDERAL Judge suspend everything. I have seen it happen many times, even with guys that really didn't deserve it (IMHO).
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 19:05 Comments || Top||

#13  As a former Juvenile Court Bench Officer, I disagree. There is probably more to it, but, if the children are at risk and the relatives are no longer caring for them, the judge doesn't have the authority to order Mom not to return to duty, but he does have the authority to take the children into custody. Just because mom and dad are overseas doesn't mean the children are entitled to live on the street.
Posted by: Sgt.DT || 11/07/2003 19:33 Comments || Top||

#14  One of the big problems in the military is that there are always a few things that people don't get trained on. The UCMJ, individual rights and responsibilities within the legal framework of the United States military, and how to respond to civilian/military disputes is one of the biggies. I've had two or three subordinates get in trouble, and come to me with their sad tale. I'd usually ask a few questions, then say something like, "did you do 'this', or did you see the SJA??" The answer was usually, "Huh?" The kids don't have a clue. Usually by the time it gets to the legal people, it's too late, but sometimes you can put a stop to nonsense simply by learning the facts, and talking to the right people.

Unfortunately, there are a number of people in our society that like to cause trouble. The number of judges that have eased themselves into that group is astounding, and depressing. The anti-military sentiment in some parts of our society is abysmal. Whenever we find one of these sick toads, we need to stomp it, hard.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/07/2003 20:56 Comments || Top||

#15  OP and SgtDT, No the SCRA will not put the kids on the street. The story was that the kids were being cared for by relatives. And since the Mom had to deploy the Judge could not rule that the mom had to stay or lose the kids. Every NCO is required to know some basics about the UCMJ. The SSCRA is one of the first things the tell you about in the Military. I feel for her, but it sounds like she is going about this the wrong way.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 11/07/2003 22:09 Comments || Top||

Daytime chopper flights continue despite Chinook disaster
The latest Black Hawk shootdown occurred at 9 a.m., despite a Fox News item several days ago that daytime helicopter flights had been phased out. Someone at Centcom needs to be relieved of his command.
U.S. Black Hawk Helicopter Crashes in Iraq, 6 Killed
TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - A U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Saddam Hussein’s hometown in Iraq on Friday, killing six people on board, and U.S. soldiers said it had been probably been shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade. Apache attack helicopters were scouring the area around the crash site in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, hunting for guerrillas who may have brought the Black Hawk down. If confirmed to have been attacked by guerrillas, it would be the third U.S. helicopter shot down in two weeks.

"At approximately 9 a.m. (0600 GMT) this morning a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down," Major Josslyn Aberle of the 4th Infantry Division told reporters. "At this stage we don’t know if it was due to mechanical failure or another reason." But soldiers in Tikrit said initial reports suggested the helicopter had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. A column of smoke rose from the crash site, and U.S. troops sealed off the area. Soldiers at the base said they heard two explosions and ran outside to see the destroyed helicopter. A military spokeswoman said the helicopter had burst into flames after crashing on the banks of the Tigris river.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 9:49:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  American commanders need to learn the lesson Russian commanders learned in Afghanistan back in the '80s. After losing helicopters on a daily basis, they stopped flying!!
Posted by: Rafael || 11/07/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#2  The Army on the Chinook shootdown: The helicopter was flying at between 200 and 300 feet, he said -- meaning that the fast-moving missile, when fired at the correct angle of approach, allowed little time for its target to escape.

What I don't get is why the Chinook was flying at 200 feet over hostile territory in broad daylight. This is why I believe a senior commander needs to be removed - there is something very wrong with the way operations are being conducted in Iraq. I suspect we will find that the Black Hawk was again flying at low level over hostile territory. I thought the helicopter crews were trained to reach operating height over the base, using a corkscrew ascent pattern - sure, it's stomach churning - but it's better to be nauseous than to be dead.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 11:49 Comments || Top||

#3  there is something very wrong with the way operations are being conducted in Iraq.

I've been saying this for weeks now. Someone's not using their head.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/07/2003 14:45 Comments || Top||

#4  American commanders need to learn the lesson Russian commanders learned in Afghanistan back in the '80s. After losing helicopters on a daily basis, they stopped flying!!

Actually, they did not stop flying. Just as choppers continue to be used today in Chechnya, the Soviets continued flying in Afghanistan - they were just a lot more careful about it. There is no alternative to choppers for airmobility - we are not about to resume using parachutes to deposit troops in hot spots. The reality is that helicopters can go where airplanes cannot (we could start dropping dumb bombs in populated areas that are infested with the enemy, but I suspect that this wouldn't play well with the bleeding hearts back home).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 15:24 Comments || Top||

#5  DEBKA is reporting that the heli had "unidentified Army VIPs" on board - anyone know anything about this?
Posted by: Mercutio || 11/07/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

Talibani visits Turkey and criticizes Syria
The Kurdish leader Jalal al-Talibani who assumed the rotating presidency of the provisional governing council in Iraq announced he will be visiting Turkey to discuss the crisis of sending Turkish forces to northern Iraq and to purify the atmospheres.
This should be interesting.
Talibani accused Syria of obstructing the participation of the Interim Governing Council in the meeting of the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighboring states which was held recently in Damascus. He called on Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran to tighten control of their borders and prevent border crossing operations to Iraq.
"Close em or we’ll close them for you."
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 9:22:51 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [340 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He's Kurdish? Better be taking his bullet-proof turban with him.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  You have it to give it to the British, smart guys they are for predicting a though winter in Iraq. It's already raining Yanks over the Iraqi skies.
Posted by: Murat || 11/07/2003 10:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Where's Abu TrollSlicer?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 10:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Didn't see you around yesterday, Murat. Were you too busy shedding a skin?
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 10:36 Comments || Top||

#5  It's already raining Yanks over the Iraqi skies.

Finally crossed over to join the enemy, eh Murat? Hope we never have to meet on the battlefield pal.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/07/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#6  Rafael you are not man enough for that, you can only bomb some defenseless 3rd world countries who have no armies like Afghanistan and Iraq, and that mostly from distance with Tomahawks and B2s.
Even Vietnamese fight better than you guys.
Posted by: Murat || 11/07/2003 10:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Not to worry it won't be the US... we got plenty of warm water ports. However now that the Russian are exporters they might start buying into the SLOC doctrine.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 11:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Rafael you are not man enough for that, you can only bomb some defenseless 3rd world countries who have no armies like Afghanistan and Iraq, and that mostly from distance with Tomahawks and B2s.

Better hope that Rafael isn't a Marine. Poke your head up, and all he'd need is one shot.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:27 Comments || Top||

#9  Big words from Wild Dumrul the dumbass moral coward. Gonna run away and hide again, MuRAT?
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 11/07/2003 11:35 Comments || Top||

#10  "you can only bomb some defenseless 3rd world countries who have no armies like Afghanistan and Iraq, "

Sounds like Turkey to me. Hope you like raisins.
Posted by: VAMark || 11/07/2003 11:40 Comments || Top||

#11  Raf, I got this one bro'. Don't even let him goad you into being pissed. ;)

"Even Vietnamese fight better than you guys."

-LMFAO. Murat, that's a good one. The V.C. were very good fighters, but pound for pound, no match for us in marksmanship or hand to hand combat. I would say that maybe overall their "field craft" was better, but that's to be expected as we were in their own backyard. They were especially good from March '65 when we first officially got there to July 67'. After that, we were on to them big time.

You should consider that by the end of the war the VC were no longer a combat effective fighting force due to how many we killed and the NVA took horrendous losses as well. TET was tactically an utter disaster for them despite the political harang. By the end of 1973 N.Nam had lost 11% of its entire damn population in that war. I would recommend "We We're Soldiers Once, and Young: The Battle for the Ia Drang Valley" by Hal Moore or "Operation Buffalo: USMC Fight for the DMZ" or even, "The Village."

Please educate yourself before spewing such remarks. Also remember which country sent troops to your country to provide humanitarian relief during your earthquake in '99. You may hate us, I don't give a sh*t, at least remind yourself despite the politics are countries pasts together. The Turks fought side by side the U.S. Marines in N.Korea, you do your brave fore-fathers a great dis-honor w/your comments. Such men do not wish ill on their allies.

On a final note, and I'm being dead serious on this - you better pray you never met us on a battlefield. It may be Allah's job to judge you, but we will arrange the meeting.

Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#12  "Better hope that Rafael isn't a Marine. Poke your head up, and all he'd need is one shot."

If he didn't have guts enough to hang around here after the fall of Iraq, what makes you think he'd have the guts to -stand- on a battlefield without pissing his pants? He's what you expect from a country who's greatest "legendary hero" is a moronic, parasitic bully who blasphemes God, picks fights with Azrael, the Angel of Death and then goes crawling to his parents to beg for help.
Posted by: Ernest Brown || 11/07/2003 11:42 Comments || Top||

#13  Azrael's the name of the AoD? Heck, as a Catholic I'm embarassed for not remembering that one. Thanx E.B., now I know what to name my new Doberman puppy!
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 12:13 Comments || Top||

#14  On a final note, and I'm being dead serious on this - you better pray you never met us on a battlefield. It may be Allah's job to judge you, but we will arrange the meeting.

Excellent Jarhead!
Posted by: Ptah || 11/07/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#15  Er, Murat, Iraq had a huge and feared Army for the area, relatively well-equipped as well. Ask any of its neighbors.
Posted by: John Anderson || 11/07/2003 13:28 Comments || Top||

#16  Thanks Ptah, I get all motivated when folks like Murat (why'd he name himself after one of Napoleon's Lieutenant's anyways?) start doing the pee-pee dance about past history & U.S. military tactics they've no education of.

I'm almost certain he won't post back to me as that is his usualy tactic. He does what I like to call "pussy posting" - basically he likes to shoot out a few flamers, piss off the R-Burg lads, then duck & run when the logic arrows start getting launched back at him. He may make one return post but rarely finishes a debate or thinks anything through. Which makes me sad as I was pretty fond of that last quote I threw at him. Well, I'm glad at least you liked it bro.

I don't ever really get pissed at Murat. If he is the average educated Turk, then they're country is F*cked. I find him more amusing then anything else. ;)

Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#17  Actually what's scary is that Murat's much better educated than the average Trk.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 13:56 Comments || Top||

#18  Murat - bombing some third world country (if they ask for it) is much better than bombing your own people because they are diff than the majority. And if the Turks are soooo goooood then why did your spec ops get get themselves arrested in northen irag a few months ago? tyring to incite the turkmen of the are - must of failed. You know why - because Turkey (do you know the slang for a Turkey in the United States - you fucking turkey) would not want to confront the United States - and I do not think that is because our military does not know how to fight. As for the Vietamese - yes they were very good fighters but they never defeated the US on the battlefield - we did to ourselves.
Posted by: Dan || 11/07/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

#19  Murat: Rafael you are not man enough for that, you can only bomb some defenseless 3rd world countries who have no armies like Afghanistan and Iraq, and that mostly from distance with Tomahawks and B2s. Even Vietnamese fight better than you guys.

Note that Lawrence of Arabia led a bunch of Arabs who defeated the Turks. Yes - that's right - the Turks were defeated by a bunch of Arabs in the modern era. We had Vietnam (a pseudo-defeat at most), but the Turks have had a long and honorable history of real battlefield defeats, which led to Turkey being described as the sick man of Europe throughout most of the 19th century.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 15:33 Comments || Top||

#20  Now Turkey can best be described as the depressed man of not-in-Europe.

Frog on train to Turkey on arriving in Sofia.
This must be Istanbul.

Turk on train from Turkey to France on arriving in Sofia.
This must be Paris.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

#21  Jarhead,

That's the name of the Angel of Death in Islamic lore. For the whole hilarious story of Wild Dumrul, scroll down to Legend V at this site:

Dimwit Dumrul fights Azrael, and doesn't do so well

The Turks brought the story to New York in the wake of 9/11 as one of those "healing" gestures. I suppose it was to explain the stupidity inherent in that region of the world.

The Turks put the DUUUUUUU in 'Dumrul'

Posted by: Ernest Brown || 11/07/2003 17:32 Comments || Top||

#22  Thanx E.B for clarifying that for me. I thought I was going crazy. However the name's still good if it has the intended affect I think it will. I will check that site out.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 21:25 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Rebels Execute Village Leader
Moro separatist rebels seized and executed a village chieftain on suspicion that he was aiding government forces in the southern Philippines, the military said yesterday. Officials said Barli Jamani, village chieftain of Nala in Sibuco town, Zamboanga del Norte province, and his wife were enroute to another coastal village on Tuesday when the rebels intercepted their boat and captured both of them. A military report said the small band of rebels led by Commander Suya Arasid, alias Puti Ulo, tied Jamani’s hands on his back and shot him in the head in front of his terrified wife. The rebels accused Jamani of aiding government troops and passing information to the military about the activities of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said the report. Jamani’s wife was later freed and sought the help of villagers. Soldiers and policemen, who went to look for Jamani, later found the body. Villagers told the soldiers that Arasid’s group was extorting money from them and stole their farm animals. Those who refused to pay illegal taxation are threatened with harm, they said.
"We ain't stealin' your farm animals and money. We're liberating them."
The MILF immediately disowned Arasid, saying he could be a bandit leader. “We have no Arasid in our roster. Besides the MILF is strictly observing the truce agreement it signed with the government,” said MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu. He said MILF forces are under strict orders to refrain from attacking military positions to allow peaceful negotiations between rebel and government leaders. “There is peace now because of the cease-fire accord between the MILF and the Philippine government and we are optimistic that we would achieve a long and lasting peace in the southern Philippines,” Kabalu said.
At that point 81 demons — 9 x 9 — came boiling out of the ground. There was a single, terrified shriek as they grabbed Kabalu and threw him to the ground. One by one, the demons jumped feet first down his throat, except for the last, who swan-dived. Kabalu groaned, then set up, looking confused. He stood and his head spun completely around six times. He farted twice, filling the room with the stench of sulfur and corruption, and vomited wasps. Then his lips fell off.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Moro separatist rebels seized and executed a village chieftain on suspicion that he was aiding government forces in the southern Philippines, the military said yesterday.

It's Palestine, Oriental-style!!!
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:36 Comments || Top||

'Flying voters' in Mindanao face penalties
A year of imprisonment and one-year suspension of the right to vote await some 200,000 multiple registrants in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Commission on Elections Chairperson Benjamin Abalos said Thursday. The Comelec has removed from its list of voters the names of qualified voters who enlisted more than once during the 10-day general registration of voters in the five-province ARMM, Abalos also said. "We have to do this because they were aware that registering more than once could mean revocation of their right to participate in balloting and imprisonment," Abalos told a radio station here. Left on the Comelec sists are only about 981,000 qualified ARMM voters for next year's national and local elections, he said. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed the Comelec to act on the multiple-registration of voters "with a high sense of urgency and resoluteness ... (because) "the country has had enough of election fraud."
I thought it was a national tradition?
Most of the ARMM "flying voters" were underage, Abalos said. Some used different photographs and different names, "but fingerprints do not lie," he said. Some others enlisted again outside ARMM, Comelec investigation revealed. For instance, several Maguindanao residents also registered in Cotabato City.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mayor Daley will be sponsoring these folks' move to Chicago shortly ...
Posted by: VAMark || 11/07/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Guess they took "Vote early - and often" seriously. But 200,000 of 1,180,000? That sounds like a movement, not a lark.
Posted by: John Anderson || 11/07/2003 13:39 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
A Western woman’s journey inside the Bin Laden ’village’
From The International Herald Tribune - EFL & Fair Use
Robert Kroon/IHT
In the late 1970’s, Osama bin Laden went to visit his brother Yeslam, who lived in the sprawling family settlement near Jidda. Answering the doorbell, Carmen Binladin, Yeslam’s Swiss-born wife, stood face to face with her brother-in-law and invited him in. But Osama bin Laden froze, grumbled something in Arabic, and turned his head away. "I was unveiled and he couldn’t bear looking at my naked face," recalled Carmen, who is back in Switzerland and involved in a tortuous divorce battle with her Saudi husband, who also lives in Geneva. "My brother-in-law never deigned to speak a word with me," she added.

In a revealing biography, "Inside the Opaque Kingdom," Carmen Binladin chronicles her nine years of married life in a puritanical, male-dominated community, "where women are no more than house pets." The book is a diary-style account of her struggle to cope with rules and strictures as suffocating as the desert climate. The English edition will be published by the end of the year by Virago in London. The couple has three daughters but no son, much to her husband’s disappointment. Binladin, who says that was not an issue in the divorce, returned to Geneva in 1987 "because I could no longer take it and I didn’t want my children to grow up in a prison." The couple has been separated for more than 10 years, and the divorce battle is dragging on, for reasons she will not discuss. An elegant woman in her late 40’s, she says she wrote the book as a "document for my three beloved daughters, not for my own notoriety or glory. After all, they have to live with that name, and after 9/11 that has been sheer hell."

An insider’s look for the terminally curious! The value lies in the ending of the story, folks.
Posted by: .com || 11/07/2003 12:42:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have absolutely no sympathy for this woman and her hell-spawn, and sympathy is what this article attempts to invoke with the reader.

Tough break when you make crappy choices and have to live with them. It sucks to be her and her daughters. Life will go on with or without her. Islam will wind up on the ashheap of history as a dour and ultimately self-destructive religion.
Posted by: badanov || 11/07/2003 7:01 Comments || Top||

#2  I feel sorry for the daughters since they didn't have a choice in the matter. The mother I just want to stare at and say 'DUH'.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:35 Comments || Top||

In Africa Alone Everyday, 16,000 Muslims Leave Islam
I don't know what the validity of this is. I suspect it might be good data in overview, though. The link has a transcript of the actual interview with the holy man. Christopher Johnson's touched on this subject a time or two, as well.
By Ali Sina
Hitler said if a lie is repeated often enough and long enough, it would come to be perceived as truth. One such lie often repeated is “Islam is the fastest growing religion”. Despite the fact that Muslims by virtue of being poor and uneducated are much more reproductive than others, Islam as a religion is not growing but dying fast. More and more Muslims are discovering that the violence evinced by some of their coreligionists is not an aberration but is inspired by the teachings of the Quran and the examples set by its author. Muslims are becoming disillusioned with Islam.
Another of those laws of nature: not everyone has the mental capacity to be a nutbag...
They find out that the mechanistic ritual of praying five times per day, reciting verses that they do not understand and indeed mean nothing, getting up at taxing hours of the morning and abstaining from food and water until the sunset are not means to becoming more spiritual but are instruments to control their mind. These enlightened Muslims no more heed to the fear mongering verses of the Quran that threaten to burn them and roast them in the fires of hell if they dare to think and question the validity of that book.
Most Christians seem to have gotten beyond the fire and brimstone point, too...
Every day thousands of Muslim intellectuals are leaving Islam. They find Islam inconsistent with science, logics, human rights and ethics. Millions of Iranians already have left Islam. The enlightened Muslims of other nationalities are not far behind. This is the beginning of a mass exodus from Islam. It is a movement that is already in motion and nothing can stop it.
Islam's emphasis on the primitive — starting with the idea of reestablishing the Caliphate — has to repulse thoughtful men and women. The choice becomes either changing the religious environment or leaving it. They kill you for trying to change it, and they try to kill you for leaving it...
However the exodus from Islam is not reserved to the intellectuals but also the average Muslims are finding that Islam is not the way to God but to ignorance, poverty and wars. They are leaving Islam to embrace other religions especially the Christianity. Perhaps it is best to listen to the truth coming from the mouth of the horse. The Internet site aljazeera.net published an interview with Ahmad Al Qataani an important Islamic cleric who said: “In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity."
According to SalafiTalk.net, Ahmad al-Qahtaan is "is a takfeeree [Takfir] who is also quite popular amongst the 'awwaam and Egyptians in Kuwait." No idea who the 'awwaam are, though I probably should. Given the Islamist penchant for exaggeration, and the requirement to present Islam as being under attack, who knows whether to take him seriously? Who knows where he's getting his numbers? 6 million a year sounds overblown to me — though one can always hope...
What Muslims say among each other, is not the same thing that they say for the consumption of the Westerners. These are huge numbers. If this trend continues we can expect to see Islam become insignificant in Africa in just a few decades. This is good news for those who are concerned about the on going slavery in Africa and the prospects of war and genocide. In fact with the weakening of Islam, we can hope to see peace in many war-ridden parts of the world including Palestine. By now it should be clear that any road map to peace between Israel and Palestine will be blocked by the Islamists and the terrorists. Peace in Middle East is not possible as long as Islam is the ideology of the masses. It is important that we realize that this terrorism that is threatening the peace of the world and these wars that bleed the Muslim nations are not economically motivated but are religious wars. The weakening of Islam means peace for mankind.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [446 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Every day thousands of Muslim intellectuals are leaving Islam
So what happens in two days time?

I guess the best way to check this Mullahs claims on converts would be to check major evangelical website and see what kind of figure they give out for Muslim converts, but I don't feel like doing that.
Like it says, there are millions of Iranians who have walked away from Islam, probably becoming agnostics with a general idea of right and wrong, like millions of people in the west. However, I have a feeling that it is not the Wahabi-Salafi types who are renouncing Islam, but more like the 'moderates'. So this won't reduce our problems in the short-term, as for the future, who knows?
Maybe in a hundred years African crusaders will be invading Europe, the last bastion of Islam...or perhaps their will be universal agnosticism, combined with pc new age elements and shorn of historical context.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 0:24 Comments || Top||

#2  These numbers are probably bogus, but I've never bought into the notion that Islam is growing for any reason other than birth rates. Practicing any religion rigorously in the modern world is something of a stretch, but trying to wrap your mind around a religion that clearly has violence at it's core can't be easy, no matter where you live. It must be an absolute bitch trying to convert people (without coercion) to a faith that oppresses women, thinks nonbelievers should be killed, is anti-science, etc., etc.

Christianity, for all it's faults, has as its central message love, understanding, peace. It's an amazingly beautiful message. Has it been warped over time, yes. But Christianity's violent period, such as it was, ended many centuries ago. (I know I'm abbreviating all this, so spare me the lectures). The core ideas are still wonderful...which is why anywhere that Christian missionaries go they have little trouble converting people. No wonder fundamentalists Muslims hate them...They can't compete with the message.

Posted by: RMcLeod || 11/07/2003 3:11 Comments || Top||

#3  There ARE photographs of evangelistic crusades numbering more than 100,000 people.

I'll be commenting later on this, but here's a link to chew on: The Next Christianity.
Posted by: Ptah || 11/07/2003 6:29 Comments || Top||

#4  The difference between Christianity and Islam are simple: The ability to change.

Christianity looks for a greater understanding of the world through the teachings of Jesus. However, different point of views are widely accepted and even discussed within the Church. Even my family has differing opinions on some points.

Islam only allows strict teachings and proclaims that change is blasphemy. You could say that since Islam is younger than Christianity, it has yet to grow out of this stage. But that's not the case.

In the early days of the Church, only Jews were allowed to be Christians. That changed when Paul, with the backing of Peter, convinced the congregation to allow Gentiles (Non-jews) into Christianity. This wasn't even 50 years after Jesus death!

Islam has no such example of tolerance, except maybe Salidin. But he was a general, not a religious leader. I wouldn't be suprised if these numbers were too high or too low.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:17 Comments || Top||

#5  "They find out that the mechanistic ritual of praying five times per day, reciting verses that they do not understand and indeed mean nothing, getting up at taxing hours of the morning and abstaining from food and water until the sunset are not means to becoming more spiritual but are instruments to control their mind. "

Geez, i wonder what this guy thinks of praying 3 times a day, or taking a 25 hour fast twice a year, and daylight fast several times a year. I know (non-muslim) people who do that, and THEIR minds are pretty good. as for reciting verses they cant understand - so mebbe all they need is prayerbooks with translations, or better education of children in the language of prayer (Conservative and Orthodox Judaism do both)

I dont know about the accuracy of the numbers, but the rest of whats there sounds not like a real understanding of Islam (or of ANY non-Christian religion) so much as a bit of bigotry. Which would lead me to discount the numbers.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:16 Comments || Top||

#6  "Practicing any religion rigorously in the modern world is something of a stretch"

On the contrary, practicing RIGOROUSLY is doing just great in the modern world - as is secularism. Whats dying is all the old moderate religius compromises, all the mixtures of religion with local culture, etc.

Look - Evangelical Christianity is booming - "mainstream" Protestantism is in decline. Orthodox Judaism is growing (and no, not just because of birthrates) and Reform and Conservative are declining (and to the extent they are surviving, its largely cause of small groups who are attempting to be MORE RIGOROUS in practice) Within Islam Wahabism has been stomping out Sufism - some of thats Saudi money, but some is also the way modernity favors rigorous faith, and disfavors local traditions.
Ive heard that in India the Hindu fundie movements have displaced local traditions to some extent as well.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:21 Comments || Top||

#7  "In the early days of the Church, only Jews were allowed to be Christians. That changed when Paul, with the backing of Peter, convinced the congregation to allow Gentiles (Non-jews) into Christianity. This wasn't even 50 years after Jesus death!

Islam has no such example of tolerance, except maybe Salidin. But he was a general, not a religious leader. I wouldn't be suprised if these numbers were too high or too low. "

IIUC the issue on which the church changed was one on which Jesus was silent. No changing anything where Jesus said something. Or, later, where Paul said something.

Muslims wont change what they beleive Mohamed said in the koran, or practiced according to the Hadiths. Just as Judaism wont change the laws of Moses. They WILL interprete the Koran and Hadiths - of necessity, since modern times present novel problems. Just as Judaism, interprets the bible and Talmud. And like Judaism, they have historically used interpretation to make changes while at the SAME time DENYING they were doing so.

Now a group of people (salafis) wants to undo some of the changes - like the redefinition of Jihad - or make totally new changes - like abolishing Sufi practices - all IN THE NAME of going back to 7th century models.

millions of people in muslim world, both modernizers and very traditional sufis, reject this salafi approach. Oddly, many in the west embrace the Salafi definition of Islam, and reject the interpretations of both modernizers and Sufis - of course this leads to a definition of the current conflict as a clash of civilizations, something desired BOTH by the Salafists, and by some in the west.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:31 Comments || Top||

#8  "What Muslims say among each other, is not the same thing that they say for the consumption of the Westerners."

Yup, its all in the Protocols of the Elders of Mecca. And the damned ungrateful Muslims wont even credit Jews for the idea!

I know that people in saudi say nasty things in arabic that they dont say in english. I can read Memri. But to (even implicitly) suggest that this is true of each and every muslim in the world, without knowing that individual, is both unjustified and invidious.

And yes - likely to lose us this war, dammit.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:34 Comments || Top||

#9  BTW, if any of the Christians here think this guy is on your side, here's something from the websites FAQ

"My criticism applies to all religions. The very concept of God sending messengers to be known and worshipped is absurd. All those who come pretending to bring a message from an invisible god that only they can see are charlatans and their claims are bogus. I do believe in a higher Reality and a Single Principle underlying the creation, but not in an egotistic self-centered petulant deity as depicted by these self-appointed prophets."
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 10:39 Comments || Top||

#10  R.McLeod...good post.
Ptah. It's tough to kill a good idea. No?
Charles..Christianity prevails, because like many of the other religions (excluding militant Islam), it's good advice. Faith, hope, charity, forgiveness, love....and other lessons passed through the generations, often most fully comprehended when sitting at the deathbed of a loved on.
Liberalhawk..it's true what you say of fundi movements, but it's because someone is busy selling. Advertisers can get millions to fill the movie theaters for a rotten flick...but it's just a flash in the pan. It's the classics, via word of mouth that ultimately get the most viewing.
Posted by: B || 11/07/2003 10:44 Comments || Top||

#11  If the numbers are true (which I doubt) it is probably the rebound effect of the rapid expansion of Islam into subsahara Africa during the 90s. Now that Islam is being stood up to in numerous places those that felt forced to become Muslim might have second thoughts.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 10:52 Comments || Top||

#12  B: *Nods* damn right.

LH: The guy is off-base: He wants a sugar daddy God that gives no definite commands and makes no definite demands. In short a God made in his own image, after the modernizers and liberals that you cite. (BTW, the Charismatic and Pentecostal wings of the Christian faith hold to a "direct connect" model, where every person is their own prophet, to whom God directly speaks, but who are sent only to themselves, and who must be held accountable to the Scriptures. Naturally, such people are held to an even higher standard than everyone else.)

And you are quite right about the benificial effects of returning to a "rigorous" (what I call, at my website, the "original, primitive") form of Christianity. By "rigor", I do not mean "rigid" or "unchanging", but "highly disciplined", "Carefully reasoned", seasoned with a lot of fact and logic checking. you stated "the issue on which the church changed was one on which Jesus was silent. No changing anything where Jesus said something. Or, later, where Paul said something." Right on! The things that are the real killers are the unspoken assumptions that have no biblical basis, but seem so reasonable and logical and sound. (...edits out long passage on popular beliefs not found in the Bible, and which have led Christians to oppress and kill people...) Most of these assumptions sneak in during early education in the faith, when critical thinking isn't encouraged, and thus come up to bite you when you DO learn to think critically. IMHO, most people leave Christianity due to "doctrines" that cannot be supported from the Scriptures, or due to assholes who hold said "doctrines".
Posted by: Ptah || 11/07/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#13  Christianity is no doubt the largest religion on earth and no doubt that Islam does not seem to be the fastest growing religion on earth. I do not mind or challenge the number figures rather I believe actual figures might be higher who knows. I only believe that Islam has been loosing ground for many centuries mainly because of the fact that many of the muslims are by and large only by name muslims and do not seems to be practicing islam in total. very few of them practice 5 daily prayers that are essential part of islam. However, I solemnly belive that Islam is certainly the best religion on earth and if its followers are good, it should bring peace to the world. We can blame muslims but not islam.
Posted by: Ahmad || 01/01/2004 1:22 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Lynch: Military manipulated story
PALESTINE, W.Va., Nov. 7 — Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch said the U.S. military was wrong to manipulate the story of her dramatic rescue and should not have filmed it in the first place.

THE 20-YEAR-OLD private told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a “Primetime” interview to air Tuesday that she was bothered by the military’s portrayal of her ordeal.

“They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff,” she said in an excerpt from the interview, posted Friday on the network’s Web site. “It hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about,” she said.

She also said there was no reason for her rescue from an Iraqi hospital to be filmed. “It’s wrong,” she said.

The former Army supply clerk suffered broken bones and other injuries when her maintenance convoy was attacked in the Iraqi town of Nasiriyah on March 23. U.S. forces rescued Lynch at a Nasiriyah hospital April 1.
Posted by: Alex || 11/07/2003 8:18:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Your selling your story to NBC and even have a book deal on this, yet the US military is wrong for taping this? Did it ever occur to you that maybe taping was part of US military procedure? You're helping publish a book with information about how you were raped!

I'm caught between sympathy and disgust right now. Especially when they're is a logical explanation to the Army taping the rescue.
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 22:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, I suspect that type of mission is ALWAYS taped. Kinda like a professional football team taping the game and using it to critique their performance later.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 22:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Charles, I'm caught between laughing and puking brother....

Heck gents, interesting question of why was it taped? I assume they were looking for evidence of her friends who were also in that ambush. Probably took the camera a long to get "evidence" of their demise, bodies or what not in the hospital. They probably figured if they couldn't bring back the bodies that night or in the future at least get the footage. I'd like to see the whole tape. Maybe their whole intention was video taping her rescue, as far as they knew she could've been dead.

I agree with her about the "fighting to the last round" story, that infuriated me - listening to people's rumors and knowing in my gut its bullshit. Shit, I could've told anybody there was no way she fought to the last round - she'd be dead. I remember all these soccer mom's back home saying she shot all her rounds off and killed Iraqi's - blah - obviously needing a sweet-heart hero to identify with. I remember saying, Ma'am, that girl probably got knocked out the back of a 5-ton that got whacked by enemy fire. (Female U.S. Army supply clerk from a supply unit - do the math lady - no I'm not a sexist just speaking from experience). I feel bad for her but I doubted at the time the hollywood hype version story was legit whatsoever. Way too good to be true.

OTOH - "said there was no reason for her rescue from an Iraqi hospital to be filmed. “It’s wrong,” she said.

See my statement above - the spec ops/higher command may have had another reason. If she's still in the Army she's in no position to question her command. They got her out safe - case closed. Yes baby Jessica it is all about you isn't it? I'd be one happy Marine to see my bro's pulling my sorry ass outta the shit. Put that on M-TV, let everyone see me on a stretcher black & blue, broken boned, ass raped - I don't give a flyin' f*ck. I'm back w/my Marines, free, that's all that matters. Apparently lost on her.

"They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff,"

Boo fucking hoo. Bunch of good guys risked their necks getting her ass outta there. Take the college free ride, bank the book deal & movie money, but be grateful. Otherwise those of us still serving will just tell her to shut the f*ck up.

Sorry for the exceptionally strident tone of my post to the rest of you. These things are a hot button issue for me.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/08/2003 0:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Hero to zero, that's the way I feel about this. It was not the miilitary who spread the story about her fighting to the last round, it was the media. For her to turn her back on those who rescued her, in order to get the book deal is just disgusting.

The heros are the ones, Iraqi and American, who risked their necks to save her. She's just an unfortunate victim of circumstance. I don't wish her ill will, or expect her to be superhuman. But a hero, she's not.
Posted by: B || 11/08/2003 7:49 Comments || Top||

#5  hero to zero...continued. Let me just add that, despite the fact that, from the beginning, it became clear that she was just a victim of circumstance, she was a hero to me for fighting for her country and suviving against all odds.
Posted by: B || 11/08/2003 7:54 Comments || Top||

#6  hero to zero...continued. Let me just add that, despite the fact that, from the beginning, it became clear that she was just a victim of circumstance, she was a hero to me for fighting for her country and suviving against all odds.

I admire her for surviving. But I admire those who made that possible, much more.
Posted by: B || 11/08/2003 7:56 Comments || Top||

#7  She is just a kid caught up in something that she isn't prepared for. Some of what your hearing is guilt over surviving while her best friend and others got whacked. The bronze star didn't help; I doubt that was the idea of the military - some political punk cooked that one up.

The filming probably has gotten to her over time. On no hands I can count the number of times that I want to see myself as the subject of a strecher evac.

I imagine she has been changed politically by the views of her ghostwriter through prolonged exposure. A supply clerk is not really set up to fully understand the tooth portion of the military. I imagine her writer put some doubt into her head.

That said she is neither a hero nor a zero. She is a young lady illprepared to perform the function thrust upon her by the country's need of a hero. Best if she fades from public life and lives quietly.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 11:46 Comments || Top||

#8  superH. Well said. It's just a shame, that's all. She'll spend her life justifying the fact that she turned her back on those who helped her. While I hope for her peace and happiness, I doubt that will be possible, no matter how true your words. She is a symbol of this war. It's just a different symbol than what it could have been.

You're absolutely right, she's not a zero, not by any means. Sadly, she'll be old and gray before she realizes how much that book deal really cost her.
Posted by: B || 11/08/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

#9  Hope the guy she picked is a good egg. He has quite a few late nights coming.
Posted by: Super Hose || 11/08/2003 17:23 Comments || Top||

The Other War on Terrorism
via www.fuckfrance.com - EFL
"Lopsided election results cannot be attributed solely to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s charisma and Gov. Gray Davis’ unpopularity, or even to the slowed economy. Something more incendiary helped to stoke voter anger. The outcome reflected deep-felt public frustration and resentment against insensitive and abusive government officials and institutions. Beyond California, a growing number of Americans think that too many government officials are unaccountable and too many laws and regulations -- federal, state and local -- are unfairly administered.

Researching this series of articles took me to 23 states. I interviewed victims, their families, their business associates and friends, and the regulators whose common sense-defying decisions had created a slew of financial, legal and emotional hardships. Many of these muggings are committed so regulatory agencies can set legal precedents, meet enforcement quotas, protect the monopoly power of favored enterprises and intimidate property owners who might otherwise contest arbitrary decision-making. Most of the governmental abuses occur so far beyond the notice of national news media attention that we never hear of them. Here is a sampling from among hundreds that I have collected.

Eminent Domain Muggings
Arizona brake repairman Randy Bailey, 40, faced the loss of his three-decades-old family business when Mesa city officials used eminent domain to condemn his shop so the land could be used for a hardware store expansion. This form of coercion and corporate welfare, pursued in the name of the public good, is commonplace. City officials in Hurst, Texas, tried to increase tax revenues by condemning an entire neighborhood subdivision and giving the land to a mall developer for a parking lot. Florida’s Riviera Beach City Council condemned 1,700 homes and apartments and 150 small businesses to provide land for big developers who wanted to construct a commercial yachting center.

Drug War Victims
State and local civil asset forfeiture laws, modeled after federal statutes, often mug innocent property owners to help underwrite the drug war bureaucracies. Tax consultant Judith Roderick, 55, of Lacey, Wash., had prepared a land trust for a client who was later charged with growing marijuana. The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force seized Roderick’s home, her bank accounts and her business records during their investigation into whether she knew the client had used drug money to buy the land. Left destitute by the seizures, Roderick had to represent herself in court. It took over a year for prosecutors to decide they had no case. Classic car restorer Dan Peruchi, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas, was driving a vehicle he had just purchased through West Memphis, Ark., when police stopped him. They seized $18,890 in cash Peruchi was carrying for car purchases because a drug-sniffing dog reacted as if some of the bills had once been in contact with cocaine. No charges were filed against Peruchi, and there was no evidence of drug involvement. But he never got his money back.

Land Use Muggings
Property owners have suffered financial losses after being caught in the crossfire between competing regulatory bureaucracies. Washington state medical worker Brian Bea built a house on land that had been in his family for five generations. He received a building permit from Skamania County. But after the house was almost complete the Columbia Gorge Commission interceded and ordered the house torn down for "scenic" reasons. That prompted a regulatory court battle between the two government agencies, bringing Bea and his wife to the brink of bankruptcy. Other middle-class property owners have fallen prey to anti-growth hysteria in the guise of environmental protection. A water equipment service engineer, Regina Gonzalez, 34, bought two lots on which to build retirement homes for her parents and herself in Monroe County, Fla. Seven years later, the county informed her the lots could never be developed, rendering them worthless, because some of the land bordered on a few feet of marsh. Nearly 9,200 other lot owners received similar news from the county as a result of a series of anti-growth ordinances and ever-widening wetlands regulations. Whether the public is provoked by regulations that don’t make economic sense, or enforcements that don’t make legal sense, the real crime is often the transformation of law-abiding citizens into lawbreakers.
Randall Fitzgerald lives in northern California and is the author of the book, "Mugged By The State: Outrageous Government Assaults On Ordinary People And Their Property" (Regnery/Cato Institute), which will be released Nov. 10.
Posted by: mercutio || 11/07/2003 6:44:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

Defector: Iran thought center was Mossad HQ, ordered bombing
From Worldtrubune.com
An Iranian defector said the Islamic republic mistook a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires for the headquarters of Israel’s Mossad in Argentina. The mistake led to the decision by the Iranian government to order the bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina in which more than 80 people were killed in 1994. The operation was carried out by Iranian agents who arrived in Argentina with the help of then-Iranian ambassador Hadi Suleimanpour. The accusation came in testimony by a former Iranian intelligence agent in Germany on Thursday. The agent, identified as "Witness C," was testifying in the trial of 20 Argentinians accused of being involved the bombing of the Jewish community center.

The 1994 bombing was the second of two attacks in Buenos Aires linked to Iran and Hizbullah, Middle East Newsline reported. The first was the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in the Argentinian capital. Argentina, with 300,000 Jews, has the largest Jewish community in South America. The Iranian defector, later identified by German sources as Abdul Qassim Musbahi, said Iranian intelligence chose the seven-story Jewish community center as a target in the belief that it served as a base for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency in Buenos Aires. The defector said the assessment proved be incorrect. Iran has denied any involvement in the 1994 bombing.
"Lies! All lies!"
Musbahi testified in a closed-circuit video relay from the Argentinian embassy in Berlin to the courtroom in Buenos Aires. He said a special Iranian government panel decided to target the Jewish community center and that all of the attackers came from outside Argentina. The former Iranian agent said Suleimanpour, was "very, very much involved in all stages of the operation." Suleimanpour has been detained in Britain and wanted by Argentina for the bombings.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 6:10:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If and when the Iranian mullahcracy is toppled, each and every one of those turbaned bastards should be tried, and when convicted, sentenced to death by stoning.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 23:18 Comments || Top||

"Muslims are loftier...."
"Look at the Iranian Sufi leader, Sheikh Tabandeh, who wrote A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To take one of many examples: while arguing for capital punishment if a Muslim is killed, Tabandeh argues against it if the murderer is Muslim and the victim non-Muslim. "Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim . . . then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain. A fine only may be exacted from him . . ."
A "fine" cut of his tenderloin works for me....
Posted by: mercutio || 11/07/2003 4:15:31 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How about upping the ante? Any Muslim that kills a non-Muslim in a non-Muslim country will be swiftly put to death, along with THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY, and their assets donated to Israel.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 17:05 Comments || Top||

#2  That scumbag has it exactly backwards.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 11/07/2003 17:07 Comments || Top||

#3  We read something like this every friggin' day. Sorry, but, I've come to the conclusion that these people are totally, TOTALLY fuckin' insane!
Who's with me...
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 17:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Ha! Infidel cattle! You are no more than dogs - to pet or kill as the Master sees fit and as suits his merciful mood!
Posted by: .com (RoPMA) || 11/07/2003 17:26 Comments || Top||

#5  no more than dogs - but we have sharp teeth Grandma

Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 18:16 Comments || Top||

#6  And don't forget he is a Sufi, ie a moderate, a (sort of) good guy.
Posted by: JFM || 11/07/2003 18:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Yeah, JFM, I was going to say something like that, too, but then my (leaky) memory seemed to recall that a lot of the Mahdi's followers that ate Chinese Gordon's lunch in the late 1800's in the Sudan were Sufis. Just cause they dance doesn't mean they're flower children.

(someone who ACTUALLY knows this stuff, feel free to correct me.)
Posted by: Mercutio || 11/07/2003 18:49 Comments || Top||

#8  As far as I know the folks across all of North Africa were Sufi's until very recently when Saudi oil funds have helped push Wahhabism from an extreme wacko branch of Islam into the nightmare we see today with tentacles in every Islamic country.

And yes, the Mahdi's folks were batty just as the Ayatollah's brand of Shia Islam is batty compared to the general history of Shia Islam. And I bet if transportation was a bit more available back then thousands of Jihadists would have come to Sudan to fight with the Mahdi just as they flowed in to help the Taliban and to fight in Iraq.

Oh, and you are right, there are lots of people that don't dance that are not flower children as well.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 19:52 Comments || Top||

#9  I am not a dog - far more like a wolf. I also like muslims slightly grilled, with a side of mustard.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/07/2003 20:34 Comments || Top||

Middle East
The Problem with Ali
From Hootinan - EFL:
The Arab Human Development Report has released their annual report to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with some very interesting findings based on cold hard facts on how the combination of religion (read: Islam) and the state have produced the worst atmosphere for freedom of any kind...

And lastly the report points out what exactly needs to take place for Arab countries to join the rest of the advancing world.
  • Unleashing and guaranteeing the key freedoms of opinion, speech, and assembly through good governance. ("A climate of freedom is an essential prerequisite of the knowledge society.")

  • Disseminating high quality education based on educational outcomes and life-long learning. ("If knowledge is to be acquired for this purpose, Arab countries will have to undertake deep and serious reform of the educational system.")

  • Indigenizing science, universalizing research and development (R&D) in societal activities and keeping up with the information age. ("Most of what is produced in the Arab world is not competitive with what international markets offer.")

  • Shifting rapidly towards knowledge-based production. ("Arab countries have little choice but to pursue deep reforms in their social and economic structures.")

  • Establishing an authentic, broadminded, and enlightened Arab general knowledge model. ("In Arab countries where the political exploitation of religion has intensified, tough punishment for original thinking, especially where it opposes the prevailing powers, intimidates and crushes scholars.")
Why do they hate us, lack of freedom, simple as that.
Posted by: mercutio || 11/07/2003 3:57:32 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

Arafish embezzles from his own murder machine
An investigative report by CBS television 60 Minutes will claim that Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat transfers $100,000 a month from funds directed to the Palestinian Authority to his wife Suha. The report, to be aired across the United States on Sunday, alleges that Suha Arafat, who lives in Paris with the couple’s daughter, receives the sum on a monthly basis. According to the report, Arafat has accumulated in his private accounts more than $800 million from aid originally appropriated to the Palestinian authority. PA Finance Minister Salam Fayad aided in the CBS investigation. Fayad is currently trying to track down all the PA-allocated money that never reached its intended destination.
You mean the Pro-Holocaust boomers?
Posted by: Atrus & Frank G || 11/07/2003 3:55:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ahhhhh crap! second again, and Atrus, instead of the Army of Steve! Damn!
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 15:59 Comments || Top||

#2  "PA Finance Minister Salam Fayad aided in the CBS investigation"


This, if true, is the big news here folks.

The Pal civil war is ON NOW. Its just not being fought with guns and bombs. Yet.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 16:01 Comments || Top||

#3  "Salam? I’d let someone else start your car in the mornings "

I have no doubt thats already been thought of, and quite seriously. See my comment on the other thread.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 16:02 Comments || Top||

#4  She oughta be paying him for staying away from her. And aren't we all shocked to hear this? Remember those poor little kids who's Ramadan was gonna suck because of the damn Zionists? BooHooHoo...
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 16:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Salam? I’d let someone else start your car in the mornings

Yep, it's about time for Fayad to keep an eye open for members of the "Collaboration Solutions Group".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 16:38 Comments || Top||

#6  just to point out, no one's assasinated a senior Fatah or PA official, at least since Oslo, AFAIK. If Arafat has Fayed killed its hit the mattress time. Fayed may be calling Arafat's bluff - and thus asserting in public Arafats weakness. A very dangerous game, I would think.

But of a piece with Qurei refusing to form a new cabinet without Yussuf (the guy Arafat spit at) as Interior Min. And Fayed putting the donor conference in danger. And Sharon suddenly turning mister softie, removing roadblocks, letting Pals into Israel to work, reaching out to Qurei.

No proof. But a growing suspicion this is all thought out (hopefully more carefully than during Abbas-Arafat struggle)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 16:47 Comments || Top||

#7  It seems that the Arafish is vulnerable, so it's dogpile on Arafish. Wait, that does not sound right, but the principle is.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 16:54 Comments || Top||

#8  flash - AP

"During a late night meeting with top officials in Arafat's Fatah movement, the Palestinian leader and the prime minister agreed on the appointment of longtime Arafat confidant Hakam Bilawi as interior minister, a Fatah official said.

For weeks, Qureia had insisted on the appointment of Gen. Nasser Yousef as interior minister, but Arafat blocked that choice. He also pushed out Qureia's predecessor, Mahmoud Abbas, over the same issue. "

Damn it.

Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 16:55 Comments || Top||

#9  "increase the Zionist Death Ray to '7', Avner!"
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 18:18 Comments || Top||

#10  except LH's comment above shows the Fish got his way on the interior minister in the new cabinet - he's a survivor par excellence, bastard! Let's hope his health is worse than let on....
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 18:20 Comments || Top||

Home Front
US judge warns Moussaoui over pleadings
Frenchman Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in the United States for the September 11 attacks, could be punished if he does not stop his slew of court requests, a judge said Thursday. "(Moussaoui) is placed on formal notice that he faces sanctions, including being held in contempt or losing his right to (act as his own attorney), if he files any further frivolous, scandalous, disrespectful or repetitive pleadings in this case," Judge Leonie Brinkema wrote in a document made public Thursday. "Since October 27 , 2003, the court has received more than twenty writings from Mr. Moussaoui, most of which are not proper requests for appropriate judicial relief." Moussaoui has submitted to the court handwritten requests, generally ranging between sarcastic and insulting, often incoherent and flouting legal conventions. The judge had earlier warned the defendant, but the Frenchman seemed to have exhausted her patience. She said the requests were packed with "veiled and, in some cases, overt" threats against officials, verbal attacks on foreign governments and attempts to obtain documents unrelated to the case. The content of those requests would remain sealed, the judge said.
Anyone here have a leftover Almond Joy? Sometimes you feel like a nut...
Posted by: Seafarious || 11/07/2003 3:55:30 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Smoking Gun has a copy of the formal notice.
Posted by: Raj || 11/07/2003 16:26 Comments || Top||

Md: FBI probes suspicious incident at Jewish girls middle school
Close to home, huh, Fred? Hat tip to LGF
Officials at a Jewish girls middle school in Mount Washington told parents last week that the FBI is investigating a Middle Eastern couple who were spotted videotaping the Smith Avenue campus and pupils. Shlomo Spetner, president of Bais Yaakov School for Girls, wrote to parents on Oct. 31 that a parent had spotted a car with a man and woman who appeared to be Middle Eastern. The parent reported to the school’s principal and police that the pair videotaped the entrance to the school and the girls as they were leaving the building. When the parent approached them, according to the letter and a police report, they fled. The parent reported the license plate number of the car, and Baltimore County Police, and members of the FBI’s terrorism task force have questioned the driver and are in contact with him, Spetner said.

The man is a Saudi national who is a student at a local college. According to a police report, he lives in the Fallstaff neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore. FBI spokesman Larry Foust confirmed that the matter is being investigated but would not comment on the details. Spetner wrote in the letter to parents that the FBI told school officials that it knew of no threats to Jewish institutions in Baltimore but that it would continue aggressively investigating the matter. The FBI put the school in touch with a security consultant, who has performed an analysis of the campus. A security system was installed at the school’s Park Heights Avenue campus last year and a similar system is being evaluated for the middle school. Arthur Rose, the school’s executive vice president, said the school has received responses to the letter from worried parents and that it is taking "aggressive steps" to ensure security
If this keeps up we’ll be no better than Toronto
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 2:25:50 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [371 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Geepers, my wife attended that school! (at the old campus in the city)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 14:31 Comments || Top||

#2  A male Saudi national.....a student...lemme guess - in his mid 20's?
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/07/2003 14:41 Comments || Top||

#3  A saudi student. Hem, doesn't seem suspicious, yet. Better check wheather he is attached to any faith-based charities. If so a little follow-up might be in order. Does he speak in a soft voice, smile toothily, perhaps a batting of his eyelashes. Does he collect stones.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/07/2003 14:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Are you _sure_ he is a student at a local college... and that the local college actually exists?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/07/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Things are improving. These "students" now have to actually register and attend classes while conducting their other business.
Posted by: Gasse Katze || 11/07/2003 15:18 Comments || Top||

#6  If it had been a Catholic girls' school, they'd have kicked his ass.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 11/07/2003 15:33 Comments || Top||

#7  Wondering if anyone's casing Smith.

Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Maybe he's a "cleric" and wants to find out if these girls want to learn about the Quran...in other words, a perv.
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 16:57 Comments || Top||

#9  Arthur Rose, the school’s executive vice president, said the school has received responses to the letter from worried parents and that it is taking "aggressive steps" to ensure security

I'm kinda curious as to how this guy defines "aggressive".
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 16:58 Comments || Top||

#10  Bomb-a-rama says "I'm kinda curious as to how this guy defines "aggressive"."

Hopefully it involves Messrs. Smith, Wesson, Colt, Remington, Glock, et al., but I don't know about Maryland's gun laws. That's my aggressive security, anyway.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 11/07/2003 17:39 Comments || Top||

#11  If this keeps up we’ll be no better than Toronto

Huh??? I don't get it.
Posted by: Rafael || 11/07/2003 19:34 Comments || Top||

#12  Rafael: Try these:

Serious threat behind El Al airliner diversion
"...was diverted away from TORONTO?s Pearson International Airport. 'There was a threat of a missile and officials say that it was so credible that they decided not to take any chances...'"

Hearings continue for 19 men suspected as threat to national security
"A student pilot from India who apparently few over a nuclear power plant near Toronto will continue to be held in custody... Anwar ur Rehman Mohammed is one of the 19 men arrested two weeks ago..."

Terror probe focuses on colleges
"...the 19 Pakistani and Indian men who are being held obtained visas by enrolling in the defunct Ottawa Business College, based in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough."
Posted by: Old Grouch || 11/07/2003 21:31 Comments || Top||

Three Men Sentenced in Jihad Paintball Training Case
Three men accused of practicing military tactics at a paintball field outside Washington were sentenced to prison Friday for their roles in a Virginia jihad network that trained members to support a Pakistani terrorist group. Yong Ki Kwon and Khwaja Mahmood Hasan of Fairfax, Va., and Donald T. Surratt of Suitland, Md., pleaded guilty to conspiracy and gun charges in August.
Humm, Mary Surratt from Maryland was convicted of complicity in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and hanged, wonder if Donald is related?
They were part of a group of 11 men accused of training at the paintball field to support Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Muslim extremist group trying to oust India from the disputed region of Kashmir. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema sentenced Hasan on Friday to 11 1/4 years in prison, Yong to 11 1/2 years, and Surratt to three years and 10 months. Hasan and Yong could have faced up to life in prison, while Surratt could have faced up to 15 years. "At best, what Hasan and Yong did in Pakistan was attempt to receive training. I don’t see how this is giving service to an entity," Brinkema said, referring to the terrorist group.
Seven of the other defendants were accused in September of training to eventually join al-Qaida and Taliban fighters against American troops in the Afghanistan war. During his plea hearing in August, Yong told Brinkema that the group possessed a variety of weapons and trained in secret so they wouldn’t arouse suspicion.
Well, that worked, NOT!
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 11:57:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  wonder if Donald is related?

I'll bet she is. Conspiracy seems to run in the family. (And Surratt was in on it)

Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#2  and then we have the black sheep of the Rantburg family, Mary sURrATt
Posted by: john || 11/07/2003 13:08 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm sure there is some value to training using paintballs but not much. My own experience was that combat veterans were terrible at paintball games because in a real war bullets go through bushes and in paintball a bush is better than a wall because it allows vision while blocking enemy fire.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 15:52 Comments || Top||

Soldier Says He’s Being Branded a Coward
FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) - A Special Forces interrogator whose cowardice charge was reduced to a lesser count said Friday he believes the Army is pursuing the case to pressure him to resign. ``I am getting the vibe that my military career is over,’’ Staff Sgt. Georg-Andreas Pogany said in a telephone interview. ``The sentiment I get is that they have branded me as a coward.’’
Ya think?
A military court dismissed the cowardice charge against Pogany on Thursday, and his commander then charged him with dereliction of duty. Pogany, 32, said the charge came after he sought counseling for symptoms of panic attacks he suffered when he saw the mangled body of an Iraqi man who had been cut in half by American gunfire in Iraq.
Okay, I have some sympathy here, seeing something like this has to be disturbing as all hell. But you still have to do your job.
Since he returned to Fort Carson to face the charge, Pogany said he has been assigned janitorial duties, stripped of his security clearance and barred from carrying a gun. He also said he has endured hostile stares and comments.
I’ll bet he has.
``I am absolutely not guilty of dereliction of duty. I am relieved that they dropped the other charge but I am highly disappointed that they came forward with this charge,’’ he said.

Army officials have refused to comment on Pogany’s case, saying they want to protect Pogany’s rights during the judicial process. A telephone message left for Fort Carson officials Friday was not immediately returned.

Assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, Pogany was attached to a team of Green Berets on Sept. 26 when he departed for Iraq. He wouldn’t discuss his responsibilities, citing security issues. Three days later, he was standing in a U.S. compound near Samarra north of Baghdad when soldiers brought in the Iraqi man’s bloody body. The soldiers told Pogany the man was killed after he was seen shooting a rocket-propelled grenade.

Pogany said he was shaken, couldn’t focus and kept vomiting. He told his commanders he believed he was suffering from panic attacks or a nervous breakdown and requested counseling.
I’m sure he was shaken, seeing a dead, mangled body the first time in combat can do that.
He was examined by psychologist Capt. Marc Houck, who concluded he had signs consistent with normal combat stress reaction. Houck recommended Pogany be given a brief rest before returning to duty, but he was sent home to Fort Carson in mid-October and charged with ``cowardly conduct as a result of fear.’’ Pogany said he asked three times to be given time to adjust and complete the recommended treatment while in Iraq.
Hmmm. Why not give him a day to get his head back on straight and put him back on the job?
In a statement released Thursday, Fort Carson officials said the company commander brought the new charge after judicial officers dismissed the cowardice charge.
SF company commander?
Attorney Frank Spinner, a retired Air Force colonel who handles military cases, said dereliction of duty is a minor offense that, if disposed of without a court-martial, usually is penalized by loss of pay or reduction in rank. With a court-martial, the maximum penalty is six months. Whether a court-martial is held depends on the military judiciary.
Either someone really over-reacted or this guy did not than shake a little after seeing a deader.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/07/2003 11:21:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In a statement released Thursday, Fort Carson officials said the company commander brought the new charge after judicial officers dismissed the cowardice charge.

Something smells rotten here. If Army judicial officers didn't see fit to press charges, what makes the company commander think that pressing on is worth the effort?

More details in the article would have been helpful.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:47 Comments || Top||

#2  They story must've left something out. Doesn't sound right at all. They probably did give him a day to get his sh*t straight. I bet he refused orders to go back out or became a "sickbay commando", finding ways to shirk patrols. No one court martials anybody for just wanting to see the chaplain or a wizard.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 12:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Heavens! Branded a Coward?

Was this about that little fight at Bitter Wadi?
Where all but one man died?
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 12:16 Comments || Top||

#4  There had better be more to this than a commander who thinks asking for help is the same thing as cowardice. General Patton got in quite a bit of trouble in much the same way.
Posted by: John Anderson || 11/07/2003 12:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Damn. I was going to make the reference to the old western, but Shipman beat me to it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 13:13 Comments || Top||

#6  You Lone Ranger now, Kemosabe...
Posted by: mojo || 11/07/2003 13:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Ditto Jarhead something is missing from this story. A SpecOps guy that see dead people and goes 'Oh my!' The don't train them at some pansy finishing school. They should have found out that he couldn't 'handle it' before he got his green beenie.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 11/07/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

#8  Sarge, I agree. Plus, you know them spec ops lads - they're tighter then a frog's ass in water bro. Say he cracked up, they still would've tried to help him out to the nth degree - shit, he's one of their own. They don't let that type of stuff outta the units - especially about an interrogator. One of my bud's is a Ranger - top notch mofo. No way he's gonna let one of his teammates who gets a little shaken take a beating by the command - they always try to fix that stuff on the spot before it becomes news like this.

No one would've pulled this guy's punk card unless he truly did act like a coward or jeopardized their mission.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#9  I would lay odds that Jarhead is rite on here, the kid probably did all he could to avoid daily routine. Most of the stories do go untold when an investigation is taking place. You wouldn't expect the prosecution to show his/her cards before the trial would you.
Posted by: R.A. Myers || 11/07/2003 14:01 Comments || Top||

#10  I agree Jarhead. I did my tour with the 101st and if the company commander files something like that, especially in the Special Forces (the 5th Special Forces group housed next to our barracks) something else is going on. If the guy truely freaked out, he would have been sent to a line unit or dischared under mental conditions. I think we are not getting the whole story here.
Posted by: Spc Murray || 11/07/2003 14:43 Comments || Top||

#11  Another report said that he wasn't SpecOps, just attached to the unit.
Posted by: Pappy || 11/07/2003 14:47 Comments || Top||

#12  Agree. There is more to this.
Posted by: Sgt.DT || 11/07/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||

#13  Spc Murray, holy sh*t. We have two things in common - first, we share the same last name and second, my old man was 101st (LRRPs) early 'Nam as well. Welcome aboard Rantburg bro. Thanx for the input.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 15:12 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Islamic Jihad Maksim bomb planner caught
JPost Reg req’d
IDF forces have captured Amjad Ubedi, the head of the Islamic Jihad in Jenin and responsible for the recent massacre at the Maksim restaurant near Haifa.
Alive huh? Now his comrades won’t know how much he’ll give up to stay alive
The capture came at the end of a 12-hour operation, during which Palestinian sources reported extensive maneuvers in both Jenin and its nearby refugee camp. Ubedi is the head of the Jerusalem Platoon – the movement’s military arm. In a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon stressed his import, identifying him as responsible for planning and instigating suicide bombings and commanding Islamic Jihad forces in the Jenin area. A curfew has been imposed on the area and Ubedi’s house has been demolished.
Instant justice, and cause/effect lesson #9,242
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 11:15:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A curfew has been imposed on the area and Ubedi’s house has been demolished

Taking notes....
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 11:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Stick a meathook through the guy and hang him from the tallest lamppost in Haifa.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Squeeze this monster for all the intel they can get, until he is literally and figuratively a mass of goo, then drop him off at the Arafish think tank.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 22:11 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Gitmo Translator to Go Before Court-Martial
EFL and news
An Air Force translator at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorism suspects will go before a court-martial on 20 charges in the continuing probe of possible espionage at the facility. Ten other charges against Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi were dropped, and the general who referred the case to a court-martial decided the military will not seek the death penalty, Air Force officials said in a statement late Thursday. The date for the proceeding has not been set.
life in prison will do fine, thank you. Let one of the prisoners do him
Al-Halabi, who worked for nine months at the military’s prison in Cuba, faces the most serious charges among three who officials say they have arrested since July in the probe of alleged security breaches. Al-Halabi had said that he is innocent. One of his lawyers, Air Force Maj. James Key III, has said the Syrian-born al-Halabi is a naturalized U.S. citizen and a patriotic anti-American. The military alleges he gave classified information to people from Syria and Qatar about the prison housing some 660 suspects, mostly reported to be from the Al Qaeda terrorist network, former Taliban regime of Afghanistan and other terrorist organizations.
yep, that’s patriotism, right there
He was arrested July 23 at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida and being held at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
where access to muslim mouthpieces is rare
The charges against al-Halabi include seven counts alleging that he failed to obey a lawful order; one that he aided the enemy; four alleging he committed espionage; five that he made false statements to investigators; two that he possessed sensitive documents; and one that he lied on credit applications.
The credit thing is the final nail in the coffin....by the time he gets out he’ll owe a billion dollars in interest charges
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 10:53:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He should be hanged as an example to others.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 11/07/2003 13:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Robert---Agreed. And take away his American Express card for the final insult.

All kidding aside, this little number he did on the country is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, plus it could very well mean the possible loss of life to our soldiers. Everyone else needs to know that they will not be treated like Aldrich Ames when they sell out this country.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/07/2003 20:56 Comments || Top||

Middle East
Arabs Say Bush Words Are Pretty in Someone Else’s Mouth
As Jonah Goldberg says: "wasn’t this a line in Deliverance?"
In calling for more democracy in the Middle East, President Bush echoed what many Arabs have said for years. But with Bush as the messenger, many were skeptical that the United States would push for real change in the region’s autocratic rule. The speech Thursday in Washington, televised throughout the Arab world, also provoked resentment
what else - Arabs seething
since many Arabs believe his government manufactured reasons to wage war on Iraq and regularly sides unfairly with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians.
Cuz the Joooos ain’t worthless Islamonazis imposing mayhem, theocracy, and anti-american hatred everywhere
In its Friday edition, a signed editorial in the leading Lebanese daily An-Nahar described the speech as "very attractive words" but said that "before they become tangible policies that deal with the real problems, they will continue to be boring, empty rhetoric."
In a signed boring empty rhetorical editorial, the Lebanese paper said...
"Exposing the region’s ills is useless. We already know them. ... What is required is a realization that the underlying problem continues to be Palestine and the obscene American bias for Israel and against Arabs, their interests and hopes," wrote columnist Sahar Baasiri.
"We know what’s wrong, we’re just to ingrained with victimhood, honor/shame, and pig-headed stubbornness to want to do anything about it."
Lebanon’s left-wing daily As-Safir commented that Bush’s speech "lacked the practical and necessary suggestions for achieving his vision for the region." There was no official reaction from Middle Eastern governments, and little public response, since the speech came after dark in the Middle East when Muslims are breaking their daylight fast in the holy month of Ramadan — and on the eve of the Islamic day of prayer, when many newspapers do not publish. But political analysts said Bush’s plea would ring true with advocates of democracy who for years, even decades, have demanded an end to autocratic governments and corrupt politics. "Bush is reading the situation correctly — there is a great need for greater democratic reform across the Middle East," Gehad Auda, a political scientist at Egypt’s Helwan University, said in a telephone interview. The analysts also said, however, that Arabs were likely to react more to the speaker than to the speech.
Pavlov’s Arabs
"Arabs want democracy. They hate their corrupt regimes more than they hate the United States," wrote Abdul Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi. "But," he added, "they are not going to listen attentively to the speech of the American president, first, because the consecutive American administrations, in the past 50 years, supported those regimes ... and because all true democracies in the world came as a result of internal struggle, not due to foreign intervention, particularly American."
He's talking about Japan and Germany and Italy... Oh. Guess he isn't. Never mind.
Bush did say in his speech that Western governments had been wrong for decades in backing undemocratic, corrupt leaders in the Middle East. He had praise for steps toward democracy taken by some Arab governments — generally U.S. allies — and renewed his criticism of what he regards as despotic rule in Iran and Syria.
That's 'cuz they're... ummm... despots.
In Iran, the media made no mention of Bush’s address. The one newspaper published Friday in Syria also ignored it, though Syrians could easily have seen it, because it was broadcast on the pan-Arab television network Al-Jazeera. Syrian political analysts reacted with the usual dismissal of American criticism. "How can we believe that the one who is biased in favor of Israel ... can bring acceptable democratic projects to the people of the region?" said analyst Imad Fawzi al-Shueibi.
"And we believe it even less 'cuz we're the despots he's talking about. He's gotta be wrong. Somewhere..."
In the United Arab Emirates, the Sharjah-based daily Al-Khaleej saw the American leader’s address as just an excuse to continue the same old U.S. policies. "Swamping the Arab region with talk about democracy, terrorism, and dictatorship will overtake any talk about the Zionist (Israeli) massacres and the necessity of stopping them, and the Iraqi occupation that should come to an end," the paper’s editorial said.
"Our minds are one-track and one-track only. How can anyone expect us to do anything while the Zionists rule? Do more than one thing at a time? It's a Zionist concept!"
The few people out on the street who were willing to speak publicly about the speech echoed the mixed feelings of political analysts. In the Jordanian capital Amman, businessman Khalid Salim said: "I support completely President Bush’s speech concerning democracy in the Middle East and hope that his words will take effect soon." But in the Syrian capital Damascus, 37-year-old worker Ali Rida said Bush’s talk of democracy didn’t conceal the true U.S. policy in the region. "If they want to export democracy through wars, we do not want it," he said. "Let them keep it to themselves."
"Assad, we will defend you with our blood!"
I’d say those comments typify why the Middle East is a stinking pustule of hatred, willful ignorance, and shame....
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 10:40:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [332 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "and because all true democracies in the world came as a result of internal struggle, not due to foreign intervention, particularly American."

Guy needs to read his history books. He would realize that our democracy came about thanks, in part, to frogeign intervention.
Posted by: B || 11/07/2003 11:01 Comments || Top||

#2  "If they want to export democracy through wars, we do not want it," he said. "Let them keep it to themselves."

The only reason that we are now trying to "export" democracy to that region is because we are forced to, not because of some grandiose social experiment to try making their lives better. I'm all for leaving wretched individuals like Ali Rida to stew in their own juices, except that too many people in that part of the world simply can't be trusted to keep their problems and their misery to themselves. And that is where the trouble usually begins.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||

#3  "and because all true democracies in the world came as a result of internal struggle, not due to foreign intervention, particularly American."

This is true - if you consider China, Vietnam and Cuba to be true democracies.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 11:54 Comments || Top||

#4  ... and because all true democracies in the world came as a result of internal struggle, not due to foreign intervention, particularly American."

-minus the fact that we're actually a Federalist Republic and not a 'true democracy'. Another small but important factor when talking about our form of gov'ment that the looney left and these schleps need to remember.......
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 12:28 Comments || Top||

#5  "In the Jordanian capital Amman, businessman Khalid Salim said: "I support completely President Bush’s speech concerning democracy in the Middle East and hope that his words will take effect soon."

But in the Syrian capital Damascus, 37-year-old worker Ali Rida said Bush’s talk of democracy didn’t conceal the true U.S. policy in the region"

IE a mixed reaction - some dont like, but some DO. Thats GOOD. Very GOOD.

And let me give credit where credit is due. I thought it was very good and very necessary. I thank Pres. Bush for making it. I think he may be "getting it"
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 12:32 Comments || Top||

#6  Actually Jarhead, lots of folks across the spectrum dont utilize the text book distinction between "a representative republic" and "direct democracy" in 1789 we were a republic - no monarch, and a variety of checks and balances not only among institutions but among class interests. After the Jacksonian period, with the almost universal adoption of white manhood suffrage, we became effectively a democracy, even if we werent ruled by a gigantic town meeting a al ancient Athens. From at least the mid-19th c on the word "democratic" has been applied primarily to representative democracies. (several of which, like the UK, are nominally monarchies) So the talk of the US as a republic, not a democracy sounds a tad pedantic to some of us. Not saying you shouldnt make that distinction, if its meaningful to you, but not everyone who calls the US a democracy (like Pres. Bush) is either in the loony left or a "schlep"
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 13:38 Comments || Top||

#7  LH, a mixed reaction I agree. One fact I picked upon and maybe you may see it to:

"businessman Khalid Salim" - with us.

"worker Ali Rida" - skeptical.

I've noted this before in past articles. Could it be that the business folks who may be more highly educated are more for the democracy (& captalist ventures) and cut Bush more slack then those who are farther down the econ-ladder? I'm not trying to be sarcastic or a snob. I'm just wondering if the business execs or the more educated elite (west europe is a different story to me) are seeing something different about us then the less educated "man on the arab street." You know more about the region then I do - what do you think?
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 13:41 Comments || Top||

#8  In the Jordanian capital Amman, businessman Khalid Salim said: "I support completely President Bush’s speech concerning democracy in the Middle East and hope that his words will take effect soon."

What Arabs mean by democracy is the fulfilment of their collective wish lists - i.e. the expulsion of Jews from Israel, unlimited immigration for Muslims who want to come to America, etc. (you get the drift).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 13:43 Comments || Top||

#9  Jar

thanks for the compliment, but i know far too little about the region to answer your question.
Could be a class difference - probably the entrepreneurship think more than education, since the Egyptian university students tend to be on the extremist side. Or it might be local circumstances - life under a relatively moderate AND pro-western King of Jordan, vs life under either an anti-US regime (Syria) or a pro-US but fairly brutal regime (Saudi, Egypt, Algeria) Or it could be ethnicity - Jordan is half Palestinian, half locals who tend not to like the Pals much. Perhaps he's just a local who dislikes the Pals, and prefers US policy? Perhaps he trades with Israel? Or, better, perhaps hes a Pal disillusioned with Pal leadership. Or perhaps theres more going on that i cant fathom. -
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 14:29 Comments || Top||

#10  LH, Rep style Democracy yes, I'm w/you on that. "True democracy" always meant to me everyone votes on every decision. I.E. different from Reps voting for their constituents (electorate college included) that was the distinction I'm trying to draw between Fed Repub & True Demo.

Thanx for the input on my other question.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 14:55 Comments || Top||

#11  LH, also true democracy would've meant to me that Gore wins by popular vote as is the argument made by many Dems. My counter argument is that Fed Republic style we follow justifies his losing even w/the pop vote.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 14:58 Comments || Top||

#12  Michael Totten on the speech

"Yesterday George W. Bush said this:

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty." (Emphasis mine.)

In other words, he’s pitching the Kissinger doctrine over the side. “Stability,” “our bastards,” and the rest of the old right ideology is finished. We cannot and will not liberate every oppressed population at once. But we’ll do what we can when we are able.

It’s ironic that a recently isolationist Republican president has embraced this vision. It’s an old vision and its roots can be found on the left. Paul Berman articulated it best. “Freedom for others means safety for ourselves. Let us be for the freedom of others.”

George W. Bush, to my enduring astonishment, agrees. It’s the only thing that makes the Democrats’ self-destruction bearable."

Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 15:01 Comments || Top||

#13  Jarhead

Of course Gore shouldnt be president cause he won the popular vote - not only would that violate the (yes federalist) constitution, it would be silly, since if the GOP had known those rules going, they could have changed their campaigning patterns to focus more on getting the best popular vote -rather than focus on swing states.

No the reason Gore should be pres is cause he won the ELECTORAL Vote :)

Runs away.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 15:45 Comments || Top||

#14  "... and because all true democracies in the world came as a result of internal struggle, not due to foreign intervention, particularly American."

Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems to me the democracies in Germany, Italy and Japan had something to do with American intervention. Panama is a pretty clear case of US intervention leading directly to democracy as well.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 16:08 Comments || Top||

#15  Yank: Germany made an earlier attempt at democracy post WWI (Weimar Republic) that wasn't imposed (except by circumstances). Japan had its Meiji Restoration in the late 1800s that was an early attempt at Japanese democracy.

It'd be easy to argue that the U.S. occupation restored those existing aspects of their society, albeit with different structures.
Posted by: snellenr || 11/07/2003 16:31 Comments || Top||

#16  snell

ISTR that for early meiji period Japan had very limited parliamentary influence, more like Kaisers Germany. Real democracy, as in Germany, existed only briefly, in the 20's.

Ive seen it argued that IRaq's monarchy was moving in a constitutional direction in the 1950's before it was overthrown by a military coup in 1958. Not as democratic as Weimar, but a relatively open society.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 16:51 Comments || Top||

#17  And I thought the Arabs believed that democracy was a Jewish plot.
Posted by: Atrus || 11/07/2003 16:55 Comments || Top||

#18  It seems to me that this speech was heavily directed at Foggy Bottom.
Posted by: Dishman || 11/07/2003 17:19 Comments || Top||

#19  Snellenr, You can quibble that they had limted this or that, or that the US involvement doesn't count because the UK and Russians were also involved but your nitpicking. In both Germany and Japan the proto-democracy failed and led to an expansionist autocratic state until the US intervened and established democracy that seems to be stable and lasting half a century later.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 20:19 Comments || Top||

#20  silly, since if the GOP had known those rules going, they could have changed their campaigning patterns to focus more on getting the best popular vote

Besides the campaigning issue (which isn't so convincing to me), people that abstained from voting because the result in their own states was certain (e.g. Texas) might have decided to go and vote instead, knowing that the nationwide result wasn't certain. So, Bush might have won by popular vote, if popular vote was the crucial one to have...
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 21:06 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Patrol Boat Ambushed in Nigeria
Yar! We be dread Nigerian pirates! Yar!
Pirates armed with automatic rifles and dressed in camouflage fatigues ambushed a police boat in Nigeria’s troubled oil delta, officials said Thursday. Five officers were missing and presumed killed. Nigerian police spokesman Chris Olakpe said the 10-member police patrol was attacked Tuesday on the Nun River near Nigeria’s southern Atlantic coast. Police in the southern city of Yenagoa said the attackers opened fire from their boat in a bend of the heavily forested river as the vessel approached. The police initially waved at the gunmen, mistakenly believing they were soldiers because of the camouflage uniforms, police said.
"Hold your fire, you scurvey dogs! Let them get closer."
When the gunmen opened fire, the police plunged overboard.
"Now, give em a broadside!"
Five reached safety, while the others remained missing Thursday. The Niger Delta, where the vast majority of Nigeria’s 2.2 million barrels of oil a day is produced, is prone to outbursts of ethnic and criminal violence. Gangs of thugs — demanding a share of the region’s wealth — frequently target oil companies with sabotage and kidnappings to extort payoffs. Organized criminal gangs daily siphon millions of dollars in crude from pipelines in creeks and marshes of the Niger Delta, posing a growing menace in recent months, oil company officials say. Nigerian authorities believe proceeds from the stolen fuel — which is loaded onto tankers for resale in Europe, Asia and the Americas — has been used to arm rival ethnic militias and criminal gangs in the region.
Seems to me like a few aircraft could spot these tankers loading pretty easily. Sounds like somebody’s paying off the right people.
Nigeria recently trained and equipped several waterborne police and military units to help protect delta oil installations. Among the units’ acquisitions are three former Coast Guard ships donated by the United States and refitted by Nigeria’s military with artillery and machine guns. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and the fifth-biggest supplier of U.S. oil imports.
Posted by: Steve || 11/07/2003 10:05:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nigerian pirates? What do they do, send spam e-mails with business offers?

Posted by: Mike || 11/07/2003 12:57 Comments || Top||

#2  LOL. Too damn funny... and cutting and adding to list of scream-scams.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:46 Comments || Top||

World Court: U.S. Wrong to Hit Platforms
The United States was wrong to destroy three of Iran’s oil platforms during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, but doesn’t need to pay damages, the World Court ruled in a 14-2 decision Thursday. ``The actions carried out against Iran ... cannot be justified,’’ said presiding Judge Shi Jiuyong of China, reading the decision by a panel of 16 judges from around the world.
We seemed to justify them without any problems at the time.
Washington doesn’t need to pay damages because the countries had suspended trade relations at the time and the United States ``cannot have been said to have infringed the rights of Iran,’’ Shi said. The first oil platform was destroyed by the U.S. Navy on Oct. 19, 1987, in retaliation for an Iranian missile strike on a U.S.-flagged oil tanker that injured 18 crewmen. The United States destroyed two more platforms on April 18, 1988, after a mine in the Persian Gulf injured 10 crewmen aboard a U.S. frigate. The United States argued the actions were in self-defense because Iran was threatening U.S. commerce in the Persian Gulf during the 1980-1988 conflict. However, the court said it was not satisfied the attacks were necessary. It also dismissed a counterclaim by the United States, citing the suspended trade relations.
They’re kidding! The Iranians shoot at us but we can’t shoot back? How, how ... Y’urp-peon!
William Taft, who represented the United States, said he was pleased with the decision. ``We didn’t bring the case, Iran brought the case, and the court sent them home empty-handed,’’ he said.
Sorry, Bill, you should have told them to stuff it and walked out.
The United States continues to believe the attacks were necessary to ``put an end to Iran’s attacks on neutral shipping in the gulf,’’ he said. Iran’s legal deputy, Mosskan Mashkour, said the court’s decision showed that ``the actions taken by the United States were contrary to international law.’’ Iran filed the case in 1992 at the United Nations’ highest legal body. The World Court hears only disputes between nations, and has jurisdiction when specified by treaty or by mutual agreement of countries that have a dispute. Despite U.S. opposition, the court ruled in 1996 that it had jurisdiction in the Iran-U.S. case under a friendship treaty signed between the United States and Iran in 1955.
The black turbans used a 1955 friendship treaty to attack us -- doesn’t that sorta violate the meaning of ’friendship’?
Iran sued the United States for what it said was a ``fundamental breach’’ of that treaty after the United States sided with Iraq and fired on the platforms. Iran claimed it had been the victim of Iraqi aggression and the United States had assisted Iraq’s war effort by supplying it with intelligence and supplies.
We had about 52 reasons for doing so, remember boys?
Posted by: Steve White || 11/07/2003 2:31:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The black turbans used a 1955 friendship treaty to attack us -- doesn’t that sorta violate the meaning of ’friendship’?

Actually since this was negotiated by the Clinton administration, I'd say it was probably more of a 'kick me' sign the Iranians hung on us.
Posted by: badanov || 11/07/2003 6:51 Comments || Top||

#2  "William Taft, who represented the United States, said he was pleased with the decision."
Dug him up, did they?

Posted by: B || 11/07/2003 8:17 Comments || Top||

#3  So.. ummm... when will they rule concerning the hostages the black turbans took? I would say that pretty much made the 'Friendship' treaty null-and-void.

You don't seriously think that it was only 'students' who took the hostages did you?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/07/2003 9:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Iran filed the case in 1992 at the United Nations’ highest legal body.

4 Years!? What took them so long, the camel run out of water?
Posted by: Charles || 11/07/2003 9:29 Comments || Top||

#5  The actions carried out against Iran ... cannot be justified,’’ said presiding Judge Shi Jiuyong of China, reading the decision by a panel of 16 judges from around the world.

Once again, our Chinese friends split the difference. Smart move, but not real friendly.

The World Court hears only disputes between nations, and has jurisdiction when specified by treaty or by mutual agreement of countries that have a dispute. Despite U.S. opposition, the court ruled in 1996 that it had jurisdiction in the Iran-U.S. case under a friendship treaty signed between the United States and Iran in 1955.

Decisions like this is why the ICC would have been a big joke perpetrated by Bill Clinton on hapless Americans.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 9:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Okay. Sorry. Won't do it again... unless we have to.
That's about how much this decision's worth.
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 10:15 Comments || Top||

#7  The actions carried out against Iran ... cannot be justified,’’ said presiding Judge Shi Jiuyong of China, reading the decision by a panel of 16 judges from around the world.

I wonder if any of China's neighbors is ever going to sue China for any of its half-dozen invasions over border disputes.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/07/2003 10:23 Comments || Top||

#8  The disturbing thing about this is that they used an old treaty, that should have been voided with the fall of the Shah. That seems to be a precident that would allow those that sell arms to dictators to have legal recompense after that dictators fall (Iraq anyone?). Now enshrined in International Law even though this case failed.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 10:59 Comments || Top||

#9  "The actions carried out against Iran ... cannot be justified"

-Sure they can. Did it put a stop to them shooting at us? If so, then the action was justified.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 11:05 Comments || Top||

#10  "The black turbans used a 1955 friendship treaty to attack us -- doesn’t that sorta violate the meaning of ’friendship’? Actually since this was negotiated by the Clinton administration, I'd say it was probably more of a 'kick me' sign the Iranians hung on us."

Wouldn't '55 have been Eisenhower? Clinton was like 9, I doubt he was on the negotiating team.
Posted by: VAMark || 11/07/2003 11:32 Comments || Top||

#11  We hit the wrong platforms?

I know this was pre-Ageis but jebus.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:51 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Egyptian Ikhwani tortured to death
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood has been tortured to death by Egyptian authorities. The popular Islamist organisation said Saad Sayed Muhammad Qutb, 43, died on Monday at the headquarters of the Egyptian state security forces in Cairo.
Related, I'd guess to the original Sayyid Qutb...
"He underwent several sessions of interrogation and different kinds of torture," a statement said. Senior Brotherhood official Sayed Tarili said "this crime exceeds the red lines ... and we will in no case accept this blood-letting and these criminal practices". The Brotherhood's supreme guide, Maamoun al-Hodeibi, said the death was "monstrous and unacceptable... We will file a complaint and demand that the authorities launch an investigation. This must not happen again."
Complaint forms are over there...
He added the Brotherhood had "several times in the past warned the authorities against cases of torture" of its members. The Egyptian Human Rights Organisation said the death occurred after he was admitted to Umm al-Misriyine hospital "where he died without having received medical care". It said that the "hospital report mentioned several injuries on the body" and urged the authorities "to take the necessary steps to stop the practice of torture".
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Notice that Al Quaidira is far slower to post reports about Islamist atrocities in Sudan or Algeria
Posted by: JFM || 11/07/2003 1:23 Comments || Top||

#2  The popular Islamist organisation

Make sit sound like the cool kids glee club.
Posted by: Kenneth || 11/07/2003 7:21 Comments || Top||

RE: Street Party

Come and dance in the streets to celebrate the deaths of infidels. We have a great selection of videos...including infidels jumping from WTC, slo-mo's explosions of baby strollers and discos and a special expose of Behind the Scenes of Daniel Pearl's Murder. There will a wide variety of explosives for sale and friendly jihad recruiters. Highlight Speaker Sayed Tarili will speak about the importance of how "we should, in no case, accept this blood-letting and criminal practices". BYOB (bring your own bomb)
Posted by: B || 11/07/2003 8:07 Comments || Top||

#4  Got your attention, didn't it boys? Remember that.
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 8:56 Comments || Top||

#5  No virgins for him.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 13:53 Comments || Top||

Iran returns al-Qaeda suspects
About 150 people suspected of having links to al-Qaeda, who fled Afghanistan to Iran, have been sent back to their home countries, including Yemen. Media reports suggest 13 Yemenis are among those suspected of having links to the al-Qaeda network. Six were handed to the Yemeni authorities last February. The other seven suspects were handed to the Moroccan authorities. The latter detainees were handed over in a response made by the Moroccan authorities, due to their involvement with terror operations. The Iranian Embassy, however, denies the reports. One Iranian embassy spokesman told the Yemen Times that the stance of the Iranian authorities has been clear, that it insists that detainees with links to al-Qaeda have to be handed over to their original countries, not to any other countries.
Did the Yemenis pass them on to Morocco? Or are the Medes and Persians just lying to save face or to keep in practice?
The list also include, 35 Pakistanis, 29 Saudis, 12 Jordanians, 6 Moroccans, 6 Tunisians, 7 Somalis, 3 from Afghanistan, 1 Syrian, 1 Austrian and 34 of unknown identities.
That's not quite 150. It's 128...
The following Yemeni al-Qaeda suspects have been handed over to Yemen officials:
- Khaled Omar Saeed Omar
- Ashraf Abduh Saeed Ghanem Saleh al-Maqtari
- Ashraf Abdulqareem Abdullah Saleh al-Waihaish
- Mousa Ahmed Jaberi
- Najeeb Mohammed Ali Mohammed al-Hejri
- Mofeed Faisal Ahmed Abduljaleel Farae
The following Yemeni al-Qaeda suspects were handed over to the Moroccan authorities, according to media reports.
- Saleh Saeed Masjedi
- Fatema Subait
- Mohammed Saleh Saeed Masjedi
- Saeed Saleh Saeed Masjedi
- Nesbah Saleh Saeed Masjedi
- Hamzah Saleh Saeed Masjedi
- Abdulrahman Saleh Masjedi
Most of those who had been handed over to the Moroccan authorities come from one family.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Looks like the Masjedi's of Yemen might be involved here. Is Fatema Subait like the Tom Hagen of the Masjedi's?
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 10:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Thems a whole lotta jedis tied in with the AQ. WTF Yoda? What's up with that?
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 11/07/2003 14:26 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Accusation of a coup plan as Mauritania's election nears
The director of the elections campaign for the President of Mauritania said that he found a document that proves that Muhammad Khouna Weld Hedallah, the candidate of the opposition to the Presidential elections was planning to take over government by force if he does not win the elections, and this will be in support of national and Islamist groups.
Especially the Islamist groups...
News reports in Nouackchott said that the security forces detained another son for Muhammad Khouna Weld Hedallah and expelled him to Bumdid town to the eastern part of the country and the authorities also detained on Tuesday his nephew Sayed Ahmad Hedallah on charge of violating general security and elections which will begin after two days.
We reported on this yesterday...
For his part, the director of the Weld Hedallah campaign denied these accusations saying that Mauritanian president is planning to falsify the results of the elections, amid accusations from the opposition to him of using the government departments in his elections campaign.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [680 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A day without a coup attempt in Africa is like a day without sunshine...
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/07/2003 8:58 Comments || Top||

"Egypt the Motherland": give up Arabization
Unlikely to go anywhere, but interesting. Very interesting...
Scores of Egyptian intellectuals and vocational members formed a party called "Egypt the motherland" (Mesr al-Um) for dismantling Egypt from its Arab identity. Lawyer Mohsin Lutfi said that he will apply to the Parties affairs at the Shoura council after Eid al-Fitr for licensing the party. He explained "we are a party which says: we are Egyptians and not Arabs.. The Arabs are our friends and neighbors and we have common destiny.. but we are not Arabs."
Noticed that, did you?
However, there are in Egypt some 18 political parties with the majority are margined and some of them are frozen over differences among their leaders, but there is no one party among them that denies Egypt's Arabization or raises doubt on this issue despite the fact many of them call in its programs to revive the values of the ancient Egyptian civilizations. Lutfi, the nephew of the late liberal intellectual Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyed said "we are Egyptians speaking the Arabic language for historical reasons like the Franchophony in Africa which speaks French. But no one says he is French." Lutfi calls for reviving the Heoglyphic and Coptic languages and has been teaching scores of students the Heroglyphic language in his house since 10 years. He studied Heroglyphic language at the French Surrbornne university after he had graduated in 1948 from the law faculty, Fouad 1st university (the current Cairo university). He also studied at London's university for more than 3 years.
Reclaiming their heritage? What an original idea...
The Egyptian writer Jamal Badawi strongly criticized the idea of the new party in the Egyptian daily al-Wafd issued on Tuesday, saying "those of the Pharos trend do not care what form of government there is, rather what is of concern to them is to cancel the Arab era from Egypt's history."
"They must be killed!"
He added they "are not brave to show off their hostility to Islam, and therefore they concentrate their arrows on Arabization, and put the Arabs in one bunch along with the foreign forces which occupied Egypt."
Right. Go for their motives. If they realize they're not Arabs, they might decide they're not Islamists. And if they're not Islamists, they might even decide they're not Muslims...
Lutfi said "the idea of implanting this party emerged when we saw in the talks of President Mubarak an inclination to the majority party which he presides over towards democracy permiting the foundation of new parties." One of the founders of the party, Talaat Radwan, said we will ask for "abrogating the word ( al-Arabyia ) from Egypt's name to become "The Republic of Egypt" instead of "the Arab republic of Egypt." In the 1970s the late Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat abrogated the name of the United Arab republic launched by the late President Gamal Abdul Nasser for use on Egypt and Syria following their unity of 1958 and Egypt kept the name after the cessation. Radwan, a critic and story writer said relations with the Arabs will be economic and in the course of cooperation relations like any relations with any other people." He added "our call is separate from what has been provoked since years of the failure of the Arab nationalism project adopted by Abdul Nasser." He added that "relations with Israel will be on equal footing... Our principle is to have pride on the Egyptian nationality and our objective is to be a state preserving its national soil against any aggression and stands against any aggression on any country in the region. We are with the rights of the Palestinian people to liberate their homeland and establish own state and also with the right of the Iraqi people to liberate their soil."
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [429 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If the Egyptians aren't Arabs, then neither are the Syrians, or the Iraqis, or the Moroccans. In fact there wouldn't be any Arabs outside of Arabia.
Hmm, I like the sound of this, although there are plenty of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indonesians that would happily Arabize themselves.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 11/07/2003 0:13 Comments || Top||

#2  If this great traction then it is great news: people who consider themselves as Egyptians first will sooner or later conclude that they owe nothing to Arabians (Islamic teaching is that Egypt was in darkness and was civilized by Islam), that they have been cheated during all their history (no examples for Egypt but Spain was conquered by an Army who was 98% Berber, however it was ruled by Arabs, all the Berber got was to have to mount guard by minus 15 C in Castilia) and see Islam as a tool of subjugation to the Arabians. I expect Saudis to fund movements fighting these guys just as they fund the anti-Berbers in Algeria.
Posted by: JFM || 11/07/2003 1:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Another blogger linked to an article by 4 Egyptian (Islamic?) historians earlier this year that they really didn't think Mohammed's 12-night journey took him to Israel, but Medina.

It was published in a prominent Egyptian paper and the blogger supposed that since the government allowed it, it was kind of like tossing over the Palis claim to fame, since the ME looks up to Egypt.
Posted by: Anonymous || 11/07/2003 1:42 Comments || Top||

#4  If the Egyptians aren't Arabs, then neither are the Syrians, or the Iraqis, or the Moroccans.

Ethnic identity is a somewhat more fluid concept than that. Right now, I'd say that IMO Egyptians are pretty indistinguishable culturally from other Arabs... atleast in my eyes. But, hey, if they want to change that, reviving their old identity, it may soon be that they will no longer be such. It's not so much what they "are", but what they'll turn themselves into.

And nations have changed their ethnic groupings before -- Bulgarians were originally a Mongolic tribe; they *became* Slavs... And ofcourse Egyptians were once a "race" apart and they then became Arabs; I do wish them luck if they want to change themselves back.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 11/07/2003 6:05 Comments || Top||

#5  i think aris is closer on this than Paul - while of course Arab by definition means arabic speaker (well except for Arabic speaking Jews?), not inhabitant of Arabia, my impression is that the arab states differ considerably in how much they value mainly the Arab identity, and how much they assert a distinctive national identity. IIUC Egypt, has the strongest non-Arab identity of any major arab state. Nasser emphasized the arab identity cause he wanted to LEAD the arab world. Sadat emphasized the Egyptian identity. Mubarak, as in so many things, went partway back from Sadats position.

Ive also heard that Iraq is perhaps second to Egypt in having national identity apart from being Arab, just as in the case of Egypt, have a pre-Islamic (and thus pre_arab) civ. In the case of Iraq this is magnified by several decaded of suffering under a militantly Arab nationalist regime, as well as popular hostility to Arab neighbors that supported that regime.

I think right now Iraq, not Egypt is the best candidate in the arab world for affirming a non-Arab identity. Right now Iraqi nationalism is NOT our enemy - its our natural ally against residual Baathist arab nationalism, and Islamism
Posted by: liberalhawk || 11/07/2003 9:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Quadaffi has been distancing himself from the Arabs as well. Very interesting. If you are not Arab there is less reason for your people to be upset at the Arab Palestinian issue.

There is still the religious componant to the problem but its a start.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Sounds good to me. Get back to your roots, teach the kids the ancient language of their ancestors. Cherish your fine history and be proud. Stand up to the islam-o-nuts who are so insecure w/their own short-comings they want to keep you frome educating your people about their past history.
Posted by: Jarhead || 11/07/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Imagine an Egypt where a strong King will be able to unite the upper kingdom with the lower kingdom. It would be a time of great monuments and Fair Roe would be his name. The people will shout, "Oh great Fair Roe, we bow to thee, we are Egyptions again, gather the stones and burn the mosques"! And the moderates did tremble in the land of Fair Roe.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/07/2003 14:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Fair Roe
Hmmm... Mullet Run!
Posted by: Shipman || 11/07/2003 15:31 Comments || Top||

#10  A few months back I read about a renewed intrest in Zarostrianism in Iran. Some of the Mullahs were concerned that if the Theocracy falls the backlash could be against Islam in general and not just the religious leadership.

V.S Naipaul has a few good books on how outside of Arabia (where the previous culture was wiped out entirely or blended into Islam) Islam is basically an imperialist culture atop of ancient cultures that the regions have fought to maintain. Wahhabists hate previous cultures competing with Islam so things have gotten a bit heated in areas as the two sides grind out their differences.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 19:58 Comments || Top||

#11  As a Christian of Egyptian descent, I think this is a good idea. Egypt has become too Arabized, and if it becoems "Egyptian" again it would culturally surpass its neighbors by far. It's patriotic Arab identity is actually holding it back. However, it could be said that Arabs originated from Egyptians and Iraqis and thus they truly are all related. Also, Egypt has built itself up to become the most powerful "Arab" state, the most influential "Arab" state. It is where decisions for the Arab world are made. I just hope it wont lose its title as the top dog in the Near East. However, nothing bad is coming out of this party and I think its ideas are excellent. It is a way to have down and out unemployed young Egyptians with the potentail to join fundamental islam be proud of themselves and their ancestors. It would reaffirm an Egyptian identity that is nearly gone. However, EGypt's main problem right now is the economy and I don't see what differece that would make. To get to the point, I agree with Mohsin Lutfi. Although Arabs, Iraqis and Egyptians are both Hamito-Semitic Caucasians who share a common language and culture , they have separate identities that they should individually pursue.
Posted by: Patrick || 11/11/2003 19:40 Comments || Top||

Africa - East
Somalis Shocked — Shocked! — by UN Report
Shocked by a UN report that their country hosted Al-Qaeda fighters, Somalis said yesterday they feared the findings might disrupt international attempts to heal more than a decade of anarchy. The United Nations’ report said Al-Qaeda fighters trained and armed in Somalia organized a suicide attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya a year ago and a botched attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner taking off nearby. At least four Al-Qaeda suspects remain in Somalia, where additional weapons may have been imported for the purpose of carrying out further attacks in East Africa, according to a draft of the report obtained by Reuters on Tuesday. Somalis, long weary of the fighting between rival warlords, said they feared the report’s revelations of suspected activity by Osama Bin Laden’s followers would undermine efforts to reverse the country’s long collapse. “Before, I thought there was only a little such activity going on, but this huge activity in our country is a danger to our innocent people,” said Said Duale, manager of the Wireless African Communication Company. “This kind of activity will prevent Somalia getting back to toward law and order.”
Seems like it's a danger to innocent people elsewhere, too.
Some Somali faction leaders have pointed to the danger of militant activity as a reason for increased international efforts to restore central authority.
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 11/07/2003 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Some Somali faction leaders have pointed to the danger of militant activity as a reason for increased international efforts to restore central authority" - i.e.: "Give us money"
Posted by: Frank G || 11/07/2003 10:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Give us money or help us take out our enemies and thus unite the country and restore central authority.
Posted by: Yank || 11/07/2003 10:44 Comments || Top||

#3  ..Somalis said yesterday they feared the findings might disrupt international attempts to heal more than a decade of anarchy.

Well that sure sounds like a ringing endorsement of "international" efforts doesn't it? I mean, ten years of anarchy and the international community still hasn't straightened it all out yet?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/07/2003 13:53 Comments || Top||

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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Scooter McGruder
john frum
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2003-11-07
  Accusation of a coup plan as Mauritania election nears
Thu 2003-11-06
  Attack of the Meccaboomers
Wed 2003-11-05
  Iranian role in Hakim assassination?
Tue 2003-11-04
  Pakistan Army Kills Two Al-Qaida
Mon 2003-11-03
  Soddies shoot it out with Bad Guys in downtown Mecca
Sun 2003-11-02
  13 dead as US helicopter shot down
Sat 2003-11-01
  Pak opposition leader arrested on treason charges
Fri 2003-10-31
  Ivory Coast Uncovers Assassins Plot
Thu 2003-10-30
  Izzat Ibrahim running al-Qaeda ops in Iraq
Wed 2003-10-29
  New JI leader on trial in Jakarta
Tue 2003-10-28
  Bob has a stroke?
Mon 2003-10-27
  Red Cross rocketed in Baghdad
Sun 2003-10-26
  Wolfowitz hotel rocketed in Baghdad
Sat 2003-10-25
  Jordan charges 108 with terrorism
Fri 2003-10-24
  Residents foil bomb plot in Baghdad burb

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