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Archive for June, 2007

Effective arguments for the War on Iraq (a must read)

Posted by Atilla89 on June 30, 2007

Great stuff from Frontpage by David Horowitz http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=28944

Read it and weep moonbats!

Why We Went to War in Iraq

By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 29, 2007

When he was in office and responsible for protecting us, Al Gore was absent from the war on terror. As Vice President, he was part of an administration that failed to respond to the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; that cut and ran when al-Qaeda ambushed US Army Rangers in Mogadishu; that called for regime change in Iraq when Saddam expelled the UN weapons inspectors but then failed to remove Saddam or to get him to allow the UN inspectors back in; that failed to respond to the murder of US troops in Saudi Arabia or the attack on an American warship in Yemen; that reacted to the blowing up two US embassies in Africa by firing missiles at an aspirin factory in the Sudan and empty tents in Afghanistan; that refused to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden when it had a dozen chances to do so; and that did not put in place simple airport security measures, its own task force recommended, that would have prevented 9/11.

In short, to every act of war against the United States during the 1990s, the Clinton-Gore response was limp-wristed and supine. And worse. By refusing to concede a lost presidential election, thereby breaking a hundred-year tradition, Gore delayed the transition to the new administration that would have to deal with the terrorist threat. As a result of the two-month delay, the comprehensive anti-terror plan that Bush ordered on taking office (the Clinton-Gore team had none) did not arrive on his desk until the day before the 9/11 attack.

 

Yet, it is characteristic of Gore’s myopic arrogance that he would wag his finger at the Bush administration for its failure to anticipate the 9/11 attack. “It is useful and important to examine the warnings the administration ignored,” Gore writes in his self-referentially titled new book, The Assault on Reason. As if to underscore his own hypocrisy – he then adds: “not to ‘point the finger of blame’….” Of course not.

           

Like his Democratic colleagues, Gore sees himself as a restorer of “reason” to an America that is on its way to perdition thanks to the serpent in the Rose Garden. According to Gore, Bush is the arch deceiver: “Five years after President Bush made his case for an invasion of Iraq, it is now clear that virtually all the arguments he made were based on falsehoods.”

 

The First Big Bush Lie, according to Gore, is that the Bush administration went to war to remove Saddam Hussein’s WMDs or, as he puts it: “The first rationale presented for the war was to destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” This familiar Democratic claim is itself probably the biggest lie of the Iraq War, rather than anything the president or his administration has said.  In fact, the first – and last – rationale presented for the war by the Bush administration in every formal government statement about the war was not the destruction of WMDs but the removal of Saddam Hussein, or regime change.

 

This regime change was necessary because Saddam was an international outlaw. He had violated the 1991 Gulf War truce and all the arms control agreements it embodied, including UN resolutions 687 and 689, and the 15 subsequent UN resolutions designed to enforce them. The last of these, UN Security Council Resolution 1441, was itself a war ultimatum to Saddam giving him “one final opportunity” to disarm – or else. The ultimatum expired on December 7, 2002, and America went to war three months later.

 

Contrary to everything that Al Gore and other Democrats have said for the last four years, Saddam’s violation of the arms control agreements that made up the Gulf War truce – and not the alleged existence of Iraqi WMDs – was the legal, moral and actual basis for sending American troops to Iraq.

 

Al Gore and Bill Clinton had themselves called for the removal of Saddam by force when he expelled the UN weapons inspectors in 1998, a clear violation of the Gulf truce. This was the reason Clinton and Gore sent an “Iraqi Liberation Act” to Congress that year; it is why the congressional Democrats voted in October 2002 to authorize the president to use force to remove him; and it is the reason the entire Clinton-Gore national security team, including the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence, supported Bush when he sent American troops into Iraq in March 2003.

 

The Authorization for the Use of Force bill – passed by majorities of both parties in both Houses – is the legal basis for the president’s war, which Democrats have since betrayed along with the troops they sent to the battlefield. The Authorization bill begins with 23 “whereas” clauses justifying the war. Contrary to Gore and the Democratic critics of the Bush administration, only two of these clauses refer to stockpiles of WMDs. On the other hand, twelve of the reasons for going to war refer to UN resolutions violated by Saddam Hussein.

 

Even if these indisputable facts were not staring Gore in the face, the destruction of WMDs could not have been the “first rationale” for the war in Iraq for this simple reason. On the very eve of the war, the president gave Iraq an option to avoid a conflict with American forces. On March 17, two days before the invasion, Bush issued an eleventh-hour ultimatum to Saddam: leave the country or face war. In other words, if Saddam had agreed to leave Iraq, there would have been no American invasion. It is one of the most revealing features of the Democrats’ crusade against George Bush that they blame the war on him instead of Saddam.

 

If its offer had been accepted, the Bush administration would have left in place a regime run by the Ba’athist Party and headed by Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz or some comparable figure from the old regime. The idea was, that without Saddam, even such a bad regime would honor the truce accords of 1991 and UN Resolution 1441. This would have led to Iraq’s cooperation with the UN inspectors and the destruction of any WMDs or WMD programs that Saddam may have had – without necessitating a war.

 

Ignoring – and distorting – the facts about how and why his country went to war, Gore repeats the slanders of the president – and therefore his country – that have become a familiar aspect of our political life. The charges are transparently designed to destroy the authority of America’s commander-in-chief, while his troops are in harm’s way – an unprecedented sabotage of a war in progress. In the course of repeating these charges, Gore adds one of his own, indicting Bush as a tool of the American ruling class who has manipulated the facts about Iraq in order to serve their hidden agendas: “It was as if the Bush White House had adopted Walter Lippmann’s recommendation to decide in advance what policies it wanted to follow and then to construct a propagandistic mass persuasion campaign to ‘manufacture’ the consent of the people to do what the ‘specialized governing class’ had already made up its mind to do.”

 

Of course Walter Lippmann never recommended any such thing. This is a gross misrepresentation of a Lippmann argument, which can be traced to Noam Chomsky and his Marxist screed, Manufacturing Consent. According to Chomsky, the term “manufactured consent” refers to a conspiracy of the ruling class to snooker Americans into war. This is a malicious misreading of Lippmann’s text.

 

In his book, Public Opinion, Lippmann observed that modern society had become so complex that only specialized experts were in a position to understand the implications of a given national policy. Because of this complexity, informed policy debates could not be conducted by the voting public but necessarily took place between specialized experts who were then supported by constituencies on both sides of the argument. In other words, Lippmann was already recognizing the role of what we now call “special interest”  and “public interest” groups in shaping the national policy debate. It was in this sense that Lippmann wrote that democratic consent was inevitably “manufactured.” Lippmann never recommended that rulers should organize a “propagandistic mass persuasion campaign” to deceive the public and manipulate the result. This is Chomsky’s perversion of Lippmann’s idea, which Gore merely repeats.

 

Even so, the argument that Bush manipulated the facts about Iraqi WMDs to pursue a war policy that was aggressive and unfounded is demonstrably false. Bush acted on the consensus of every major intelligence agency – including the British, the French, the Russian, the German and the Jordanian – all of whom believed that Saddam had WMDs. In other words, he cannot reasonably be accused of inventing the existence of Saddam’s WMDs, although that is precisely what Gore and other demagogues on the left do on an almost daily basis. Since every Democratic Senator who voted for the war was provided by the administration with a copy the intelligence data on Saddam’s WMDs, the charge made by Gore and other Democratic senators that they were deceived is both cynical and hypocritical as well as false.

 

Gore’s charges continue: “We were told by the President that war was his last choice, when it was his first preference.” Was it? That depends on what one means by “first preference.” If what Gore means is that the president prepared for war with Saddam long before the war began, well, of course he did. It was his responsibility to do so. It is the Pentagon’s motto – and a fundamental doctrine of every strategist from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz – that if you want peace, prepare for war. By 2001, when Bush took up residence in the Oval Office, Saddam had already broken the Gulf War truce many times over. American pilots were engaged in a low-intensity armed conflict with the Iraqi military over the “no-fly zones” the truce had created. Clinton and Gore had allowed Saddam to get away with breaking the truce he had signed for two reasons. First because they were preoccupied with the fallout from Clinton’s affair in the White House; but more importantly, because ever since Vietnam the Democrats had shown no interest in deploying American troops to protect the national interest (and thus had opposed the first Gulf War).

 

In 1998, Saddam expelled the UN inspectors from Iraq. Why would he do so if it was not his intention to do mischief as well? Specifically, why would he do so if it was not his intention to develop the weapons programs – the WMD programs – that the Gulf truce outlawed and that the UN inspectors were there to stop? The terrorist attacks of 9/11 showed that Saddam’s mischief could have serious consequences – not because Saddam had a role in 9/11 – but because Saddam celebrated and endorsed the attacks, had attempted to assassinate an American president and had hosted terrorist organizations and gatherings engaged in a holy war against the West.

 

The only reason Saddam allowed the UN inspectors to return to Iraq in the fall of 2002 was because Bush placed 200,000 U.S. troops on its border. It would have been irresponsible of Bush to put those troops on the border of a country which was violating international law unless he meant to enforce the law. But the troops were there to go to war only if Saddam Hussein failed to honor the 1991 truce, not to slake the aggressive appetites of the president of the United States, as America’s enemies – and Al Gore – maintain.

 

Saddam’s offer to allow the UN inspectors to return to Iraq coincided with Bush’s appearance at the UN in September 2002. His message to the UN was that it needed to enforce its resolutions or become irrelevant. If UN did not enforce the resolutions that Saddam had violated, the United States would do so in its stead. Jimmy Carter and Al Gore marked the occasion by publicly attacking their own president for putting such pressure on Saddam Hussein. This was the beginning of the Democratic campaign to sabotage an American war in progress, which has continued without letup ever since.

 

As a result of Bush’s appeal, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to present Saddam with an ultimatum, and a 30-day deadline to expire on December 7, 2002. By that date he was to honor the truce and destroy his illegal weapons programs or “serious consequences would follow.” The ultimatum was UN Resolution 1441 – the seventeenth attempt to enforce a truce in the Gulf War of 1991. The deadline came and went without Saddam’s compliance. Saddam knew that his military suppliers and political allies – Russia and France – would never authorize its enforcement by arms. This is the reason the United States and Britain went to war without UN approval, not because George Bush preferred unilateral measures, which is simply another Democratic deception.

 

Since war was not the president’s preference – first, last or otherwise – the United States did not immediately attack. Instead, the White House spent three months after the December 7th deadline trying by diplomatic means to persuade the French and Russians and Chinese to back the UN resolution they had voted for and to force Saddam to open his country to full inspections. In other words, to honor the terms of the Gulf War truce that they – as Security Council members – had ratified and promised to enforce.

 

Virtually all of the claims that make up the core of the Democrats’ attacks on Bush’s decision to go to war – that he manipulated data on aluminum tubes to present them as elements of an Iraqi nuclear program and that he lied about an Iraqi attempt to buy yellowcake uranium – were never part of the administration’s rationale for the use of force, and were not mentioned in the Authorization for the Use of Force congressional legislation. They were political attempts to persuade the reluctant Europeans to enforce the UN ultimatum and international law. Even then, by offering Saddam an escape clause, Bush provided an alternative to war. If Saddam would re-settle in Russia or some other friendly state, the United States would not invade.

 

A third Democratic lie, regurgitated by Gore, is the famous accusation about the sixteen words Bush used in the State of the Union address on the eve of the war. According to Gore, Bush claimed “that he had documentary proof” that Saddam Hussein attempted to buy fissionable uranium from the African state of Niger. According to Gore the “documentary proof” was revealed to be an Italian forgery for which Bush failed to apologize. According to Gore, there was no inquiry into how this happened. According to Gore, the Niger claim was one of the key falsehoods on which Bush based the “rationale” for the war. Every one of these assertions is a distortion of the facts and false.

 

First, the Niger claim was not part of the rationale for the war. It is not mentioned in the Authorization for the Use of Force legislation or in UN Security Council ultimatum 1441, which constitute the actual reasons the United States and Britain went to war in Iraq. In his State of the Union address the president did not say he had “documentary proof” of an Iraqi mission to obtain uranium in Niger. He said “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Those sixteen words were all he said. Every one of these words, moreover, was true then and remains true today. The British did report that Saddam “had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,” and they have stuck by their report, which – contrary to Gore’s malicious assertion – has indeed been investigated by a Senate Intelligence Committee, and has not been found to be false as Gore (and legions of unprincipled Bush critics) have falsely claimed. Moreover the forged Italian document – which was not mentioned in the State of the Union Address, as Gore falsely suggested – was quickly acknowledged by the White House to be forgery.

 

The Niger claim, along with the administration’s claims about aluminum tubes and Colin Powell’s February speech to the UN, which are falsely presented by administration critics as rationales for the war were all made more than a month after Saddam defied the December 7th deadline. They were not rationales for the war, but were strictly for the benefit of the appeasement parties in Britain and France. They were put forward as part of an attempt to secure a second Security Council resolution to reinforce the 1441 ultimatum. This requested by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, even though a second Security Council resolution would have been redundant. It was needed by Blair to respond to the attacks he was under from Britain’s anti-American left.

 

In January, weeks before Powell’s speech, 800,000 Britons – mainly Laborites – had descended on London to protest the war. This would have been equivalent to four million Republicans descending on Washington to protest Bush’s decision to go to war. If Powell’s UN speech was a “manipulation” of the facts to hoodwink the public, it failed miserably. It certainly did not persuade any of the leftists who poured into the streets of London to defend Saddam, and it did not persuade the French or Russian allies of Saddam to desert him. In America, the majority support for the war had long been in place, and for them Powell’s speech was superfluous. 

For Gore and the president’s Democratic critics, all these facts count for nothing. In their place is the great American Satan, George Bush. According to Gore and the Democrats America went to war for reasons that are either illegitimate or immoral or both. According to Gore, the sending of American troops to Iraq was an imperial aggression, orchestrated by the president and his advisors who manipulated the evidence, deceived the people, and ignored the UN to carry out their malign intent: “The pursuit of ‘dominance’ in foreign policy led the Bush administration to ignore the United Nations,” writes Gore, showing his utter contempt for the facts. What Bush actually ignored was the French, who built Saddam’s nuclear reactor, collaborated with Saddam’s theft of the “Oil for Food” billions, and threatened to veto any attempt to enforce international law or the UN ultimatum. Bush also ignored the Russians, who supplied two-thirds of Saddam’s weapons, helped him sabotage the UN sanctions, and refused to enforce the UN ultimatum. What Bush did not ignore were the 17 UN resolutions designed to keep the Middle East peace and protect the world from the consequences of its failure. Al Gore did that.

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Red vs. Blue Episode 100 is out!

Posted by Atilla89 on June 30, 2007

My favorite web Machinima series, Red vs. Blue has finally ended on episode 100. It was a great series and if you ever enjoyed the Halo game you will enjoy this one, come to that, you don’t have to have played Halo to enjoy, it is still good. Anyway here is the link to the Rooster Teeth website to check this series out:

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Who killed Palestine?

Posted by Atilla89 on June 29, 2007

BY BRET STEPHENS, member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. His column appears in the Journal Tuesdays.

June 26, 2007 – Opinion Journal

Bill Clinton did it. Yasser Arafat did it. So did George W. Bush, Yitzhak Rabin, Hosni Mubarak, Ariel Sharon, Al-Jazeera and the BBC. The list of culprits in the whodunit called “Who Killed Palestine?” is neither short nor mutually exclusive. But since future historians are bound to ask the question, let’s get a head start by suggesting some answers.

And make no mistake: No matter how much diplomatic, military and financial oxygen is pumped into Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, it’s oxygen flowing to a corpse. Palestine has always been a “notional” place, a field of dreams belonging only to those who know how to keep it. Israelis have held on to their state because they were able to develop the political, military and economic institutions that a state requires to survive, beginning with its monopoly on the use of legitimate force. In its nearly 14 years as an autonomous entity, the PA has succeeded in none of that, despite being on the receiving end of unprecedented international goodwill and largesse.

Hamas’s seizure of the Gaza Strip this month–and the consequent division of the PA into two hostile, geographically distinct camps–is only the latest in a chain of events set in motion when Israel agreed, in September 1993, to accept Arafat and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. An early indicator of what lay ahead took place on July 1, 1994, when Arafat made his triumphal entry into Gaza while carrying, in the trunk of his Mercedes, four of the Palestinian cause’s most violent partisans. Among them were the organizers of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the 1974 Ma’alot school massacre. If ever there was an apt metaphor for what Arafat’s rule would bring, this was it.

Arafat was determined to use Gaza and the West Bank as a staging ground for attacks against Israel, and he said so publicly and repeatedly: “O Haifa, O Jerusalem, you are returning, you are returning” (1995); “We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion” (1996); “With blood and spirit we will redeem you, Palestine” (1997). With equal determination, the Clinton administration and the Israeli governments of Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak treated Arafat’s remarks as only so much rhetorical bluster. Mr. Clinton desperately wanted a Nobel Peace Prize; Israelis wanted out of the occupation business at almost any cost. These were respectable goals, but neither had as its primary aim, the creation of a respectable Palestinian state.

Later, after the second intifada had erupted in all its suicidal frenzy, former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross would admit the Clinton administration became too obsessed with process at the expense of substance. He should give himself more credit. The decision to legitimize Arafat was Israel’s, not America’s; once he was brought inside the proverbial tent he was bound to put a match to it. Still, the Clinton administration elevated Arafat like no other leader of the 1990s. If the rais came to flatter himself as a second Saladin, the flattery of White House banquets surely played a role.

The global media also did their bit in Arafat’s elevation. Successive generations of Jerusalem bureau chiefs developed a conveniently even-handed narrative pitting moderates on both sides against extremists on both sides–a narrative in which Arafat was a “moderate” and Ariel Sharon was an “extremist.” When Mr. Sharon took his famous walk on the Temple Mount in September 2000, it was easy to cast him as the villain and Palestinian rioters–and, later, suicide bombers–as the justifiably aggrieved. Cheering Palestinians on from the sidelines were the Arab media and the governments that own them, happy to channel domestic discontent toward a foreign drama.

As with individuals, nations generally benefit from self-criticism, and sometimes from the criticism of others. No people in modern history have been so immune from both as the Palestinians. In 1999, Abdel Sattar Kassem, a professor of political science in the Palestinian city of Nablus, put his name to the “petition of the 20,” written to “stand against [Arafat’s] tyranny and corruption.” Arafat imprisoned him; the rest of the world barely took notice. Arafat’s global popularity reached its apogee in the spring of 2002, exactly at the same time the civilian Israeli death toll from terrorism reached its height.

Yet what served Arafat’s interests well served Palestinian interests poorly. Arafat learned from his experience with Mr. Clinton that one could bamboozle an American president and not pay a price. George W. Bush took a different view and effectively shut the Palestinians out of his agenda. Arafat learned from the “international community” that no one would look too closely at where its foreign aid was spent. But a reputation for theft has been the undoing of Fatah. Arafat thought he could harness the religious power of “martyrdom” to his political ends. But at the core of every suicide bombing is an act of self-destruction, and a nation that celebrates the former inevitably courts the latter.

Above all, Arafat equated territory with power. But what the experience of an unoccupied Gaza Strip has shown is the Palestinians’ unfitness for political sovereignty. There are no Jewish settlers to blame for Gaza’s plight anymore, no Israeli soldiers to be filmed demolishing Palestinian homes. The Israeli right, which came to detest Mr. Sharon for pulling out of the Strip, might reconsider its view of the man and the deed. Nothing has so completely soured the world on the idea of a Palestinian state as the experience of it.

What does this mean for the future? At yesterday’s summit in Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah threw rose petals at Mr. Abbas’s feet. But the potentates of the Middle East will not midwife into existence a state the chief political movement of which has claims to both democratic and Islamist legitimacy. The U.S. and Israel will never bless Hamastan (even if the EU and the U.N. come around to it) and they can only do so much for the feckless Mr. Abbas. “Palestine,” as we know it today, will revert to what it was–shadowland between Israel and its neighbors–and Palestinians, as we know them today, will revert to who they were: Arabs.

Whether there might have been a better outcome is anyone’s guess. But the dream that was Palestine is finally dead.

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Its Iran Stupid…

Posted by Atilla89 on June 29, 2007

Great comic from Cox and Forkum: http://www.coxandforkum.com/

Security Measures

Security Measures

From AP: Gates says weapons flow through Iran to Taliban.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates tied Iran’s government to large shipments of weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan and said Wednesday that such quantities were unlikely without Tehran’s knowledge.Gates’ comments, coming after accusations by a State Department official, were the strongest by a Cabinet secretary about Iran’s support of the terrorist group in Afghanistan.

Basing his conclusions on new intelligence, Gates said “given the quantities (of weapons) that we’re seeing, it is difficult to believe that it is associated with smuggling or the drug business or that it’s taking place without the knowledge of the Iranian government.”

He said that the latest information indicates a “fairly substantial flow of weapons” is crossing into Afghanistan. …

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told CNN on Wednesday that “there’s irrefutable evidence the Iranians are now doing this.”

“It’s certainly coming from the government of Iran,” he said. “It’s coming from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps command, which is a basic unit of the Iranian government.”

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters “it certainly is hard to believe that the Iranian government isn’t involved in some way, shape or form in this.”

Gates and other defense officials would not go as far as Burns did. The Pentagon chief also said he was not as certain about the link to Iran’s Quds Force, which is accused of arming and training Iraqi militants.

In April, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disclosed that Iranian-made weapons intended for Taliban insurgents were intercepted by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Pace said at the time that it was not clear which Iranian entity was responsible for the arms, which included mortars and C-4 plastic explosives.

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Russia: Ex-Guantanamo detainee killed [in Russia]

Posted by Atilla89 on June 28, 2007

This is interesting, someone who went through Gitmo but still turned back to terrorism. Can’t say I blame him, if I was caught by the people I hated most and then released after X amount of time, I would still want to kill them or their allies. Anyway at least this guy is dead and good riddance.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070627/ap_on_re_eu/russia_guantanamo_3

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 27, 3:06 PM ET

MOSCOW – A man formerly held in the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was killed Wednesday in a shootout with security agents in a restive North Caucasus republic, Russia’s top security agency said.

Ruslan Odizhev was killed amid gunfire that erupted when agents tried to arrest him and another man in Kabardino-Balkariya, a region near Chechnya that is plagued by violence linked both to crime and to religious tensions, the Federal Security Service said in a statement.

The service, known by its Russian acronym FSB, said Odizhev had been held at Guantanamo Bay and was believed to have been a supporter of the Taliban. Odizhev was one of seven Russians released from the detention facility in 2004; his whereabouts recently had been unknown.

The FSB did not specify why agents were trying to detain him, but said he was a suspect in the 1999 bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk and that he took part in a 2005 insurgent attack on police and government facilities in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkariya.

That attack left 139 people dead, including 94 militants. Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who was killed in 2006, claimed credit for planning the attack.

The FSB said Odizhev was the “spiritual leader” of Yarmuk, an Islamic extremist organization connected to an array of violence in the region.

The office of the republic’s top prosecutor, Oleg Zharikov, said Odizhev was killed in Nalchik and that three homemade explosive devices were found on his body. It said he and a rebel named Anzor Tengizov were cornered by agents in the courtyard of an apartment building across the street from a mosque in the city.

Odizhev and six other Russians who had been detained in Afghanistan were released from Guantanamo in 2004 after investigators said they found no evidence of their involvement with the Taliban. Several, including Odizhev, were briefly jailed after returning to Russia.

It was not clear why the men were released then, especially if Odizhev had been considered a suspect in the 1999 bombings.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Odizhev’s mother had said her son had been kidnapped and tortured by security agents in 2000 in connection with the bombings. He fled the country thereafter, she said, according to the statement.

The bombings were blamed by Russian authorities on Chechen separatists and cited as justification for resuming the fight against insurgents in Chechnya.

However, some critics, including ex-KGB operative Alexander Litvinenko, claimed the agency carried out the bombings in order to create a pretense for resuming the war. Litvinenko was fatally poisoned in London last year.

In March, Human Rights Watch charged that the seven former Guantanamo detainees had been tortured or harassed and abused by Russian law enforcement agents since their return.

Another of the detainees, Rasul Kudayev, is in custody in Nalchik on charges of participating in the 2005 attack. His mother told The Associated Press this spring that he had been repeatedly beaten.

Two others, Ravil Gumarov and Timur Ishmuratov, were sentenced last year to prison terms of 13 and 11 years for blowing up a natural gas pipeline even though they had been acquitted of the charges in an earlier trial.

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Jimmy Carter, the worst former U.S. President

Posted by Atilla89 on June 28, 2007

There is so much stuff I could write about this guy, he did one good thing in life which was stepping down from power when voted out. Anyway with Carter’s new book ‘Palestine: Peace not Apartheid’ having been released a few months ago which led to him being even more criticized by many people it should not be a surprise to you that I don’t like this guy. In fact I think he should hid his face in shame and never mess with politics again. Then again I am not the one running the world…

So lets turn to what Carter has been doing since writing his last book…Now this is from FrontPage and here is the URL for those interested: http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=28842

“IT’S EITHER AN UNPRECEDENTED LOW IN PARTISAN DISCOURSE OR POLITICAL SURREALISM worthy of André Breton: on Tuesday, former president Jimmy Carter, speaking on foreign soil, denounced the policies of his successor as “criminal” because they fail to subsidize a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization that has killed Americans.”

Might I add that Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation under U.S. Law! What do you want now Carter, a change in law? Lets just forget about all those innocent people that Hamas have deliberately killed, eh?

“Then, he blamed internecine Palestinian warfare on Americans and Israelis. Speaking in Ireland at the eighth annual Forum on Human Rights – without an apparent hint of irony – Carter said the Bush administration had sinned against heaven and earth in its decision to withhold direct aid to Hamas once that group came to power in the Palestinian Authority. “That action was criminal,” he said. The Palestinian people had elected Hamas fair-and-square in elections his Center described as “orderly and fair.” (Carter said the same of Hugo Chavez’s election.) He deemed Hamas “shrewd in selecting candidates.””

In 2006, President Chávez announced that the operating license for RCTV—Venezuela’s second largest TV channel—would not be renewed. On August 3, 2006 Chávez ordered the Venezuelan chargé d’affaires to Israel to return from Tel Aviv to Venezuela, protesting the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Israel responded by recalling its Israeli ambassador to Venezuela. Chávez responded with statements comparing Israel to Hitler and describing their actions as a “new Holocaust,” and blaming the United States, which led to accusations of trivializing the Holocaust.

You can probably tell that I hate Chavez as well…

The world’s most famous Sunday School teacher further praised the genocidal terrorist organization, at a human rights conference, by citing its penchant for bloodshed. Hamas , Carter doddered, was more orderly than the rival Fatah organization, which Hamas demonstrated in military clashes that showed its “superior skills and discipline.” One can only imagine how impressed he would have been by the “efficiency” of the SS.”

What really gets me was this was at a human rights conference! Grrrrrr…

“Sounding like a junior anchor for al-Jazeera, the Nobel Peace Prize winner incredibly blamed the Palestinian civil war on Crusaders and Zionists. “The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine,” he said, “and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah.” He continued: This effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples now is a step in the wrong direction. All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but there’s no effort from the outside to bring the two together…I don’t see at this point any possibility that public officials in the United States, or in Israel, or the European Union are going to take action to bring about reconciliation (between Fatah and Hamas).”
Carter tells us that the fighting between Fatah and Hamas is inevitable given their desperation. It’s all the result of years of Israeli oppression. But why, then, is a very similar fight going on in Egypt between the Arab nationalist government and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood? And why are Hezbollah and the Syrians killing Lebanese ministers? This fighting isn’t about Israel. It’s a struggle to the death between two authoritarian forces. There can be no peace that lasts with Hamas while it remains a violent fundamentalist sect. But there won’t be peace with Fatah either until it embraces democracy and probity and civil order. Even if you let them have their own nation state there won’t be peace.

Now the next part is not by own words (and neither was the paragraph above, but it was a good response anyway from a different source…).

Thus concludes a rational progression for Jimmy Carter: in the 1970s, he blundered into establishing terrorists as Iran’s all-powerful theocratic rulers. In the 1980s and ‘90s, he wrote speeches for Yasser Arafat and defended extremists around the globe. Now, he calls the U.S. president a pariah for refusing to underwrite unrepentant jihadists dedicated to spilling as much infidel blood as possible. Thus, Man from Plains confirms what many long suspected: the Worst President of the 20th Century does not want the United States to end the War on Terror. He merely wants us to switch sides.

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Che Guevara

Posted by Atilla89 on June 28, 2007

I hate this Che, he was a Communist and a mass muderer, yet people still wear his face on T-shirts. Does that mean I should wear Stalin or Mao on a T-shirt? Both were Communists and mass-murders, they fit the profile, yet no one wears them. Why? I can tell, it is because Che is percieved to be the ultimate rebel, the renegade. Thumbs his nose at the establishment, listens to rock n roll, and when pushed creates a revolution in another country to show the society that he loves. Movies such as the Motorcycle Diaries have helped this image take hold over popular imagination for today’s youth. So I think that people should read this article called ‘Turning the page: The real Che’.

http://www.muckraked.com/wordpress/2007/06/07/turning-the-page-the-real-che/

“He’s the ultimate symbol of radical chic but was Che Guevara really a homophobic, racist square who personally ordered the jailing and executions of innocent men, women and children?That’s according to Humberto Fontova, the author of “Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him,” who claims that Guevara probably would have imprisoned or punished most of his celebrity fans, from Johnny Depp to Angelina Jolie.

Among the book’s claims:

– Twice, Che plotted terrorist attacks against New York City. In November 1962, the FBI cracked a terrorist plot by Cuban agents who targeted Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Bloomingdale’s and Grand Central Terminal. They planned to blow up those landmarks with 12 incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT the day after Thanksgiving. Several months before visiting New York in December 1964 and being feted by the toast of the city’s intelligentsia, Che hatched a plan with the Black Liberation Army to blow up the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument. The plotters were infiltrated in 1965 by a sharp-eyed NYPD cadet.

– Che detested rock and roll and railed against “long hairs,” “lazy youths,” and homosexuals. At one point, he wrote that the young must always “listen carefully – and with the utmost respect – to the advice of their elders who held governmental authority.”

– Che sidelined black Cubans and mocked those who were part of the revolutionary movement. He once told radio host Luis Pons, “We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing.”

– Che personally ordered 700 executions by firing squad, which he supervised at his jungle headquarters in Cuba. He also hosted book burnings, torching thousands of books owned by suspect intellectuals and librarians.”

I personally like this comment in the comment section:

Morgan
June 8th, 2007 00:34

“Whether this is true or not (I believe it is and is likely not a surprise to his fans), the ubiquitous red t-shirt will for decades serve as a simple way to tell if you’re looking at a moron or not.”

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Salman Rushdie and ‘The Satanic Verses’

Posted by Atilla89 on June 28, 2007

Salman Rushdie author of the Satanic Verses (a critique of Islam) was knighted by the Queen because of his contribution to literature (he has also written fiction as well). Now the problem is that many Muslims and Islamic countries are against this because they view it as an insult to Islam. My view is that people should be free to publish what they want as long as it doesn’t incite violence (example of the Chronicles of the Learned Elders of Zion incites violence against Jews) and doesn’t demonise people, countries or ideologies.

So the Mullahs in Iran and Pakistan are in a fit over this text “We will give 10 million rupees (165,000 dollars) to anyone who beheads Rushdie,” Islamabad traders’ association leader Ajmal Baluch told around 200 people in one of the Pakistani capital’s main bazaars. Just look at how nice these people are, encouraging free speech and opinion…not. This is why we need to stop Iran from building nekes because it will be in the hand’s of these nutters.
Later Afzal Sahi — the speaker of the Punjab province assembly and a member of the Pakistan Muslim League party that backs President Pervez Musharraf — said in a debate that he would “definitely kill” Rushdie if he could. During a protest against Musharraf by thousands of people in Lahore witnesses said a large part of the crowd briefly chanted, “Death to Britain! Death to Rushdie!”
His book, The Satanic Verses, was seen as so offensive to Muslims that he was forced into hiding, under threat of death. The latest controversy over his knighthood appears to have shocked the people involved in nominating and selecting him. Jonathan Heawood, director of the English branch of Pen, said: “We have argued for a long time that Salman Rushdie should be recognised by the government as a giant of world literature. “I’ve been struggling for a form of words that does not sound naive but we were taken aback, everyone was taken aback, by the scale of the reaction.”

Anyway Cox and Forkum have a great comic, here it is.

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Wacko Clerics

Posted by Atilla89 on June 28, 2007

Wacko Clerics

Interesting article from the Australian basically saying watch out for the more extreme clerics/religious leaders. I am looking at you George Pell as well (check the Chaser for a great segment on him and his ‘dislike’ of cloning).

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21952947-601,00.html

I support Hezbollah: Aussie cleric

  • Richard Kerbaj
  • June 23, 2007

THE nation’s most senior Shia Muslim cleric has attacked John Howard for backing Israel against Arabs and openly declared his allegiance to the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.

Kamal Mousselmani — head of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council of Australia — said yesterday his entire community considered Hezbollah a “resistance group”, not a terrorist network, and lashed the Howard Government over its support for Israel.

“They (the Australian Government) are encouraging terrorism,” the Lebanese-born cleric told The Weekend Australian in an interview conducted in Arabic. “Australia is encouraging Israel to kill our people daily. Write that down, we are not afraid of anyone.”

Sheik Mousselmani said all of Australia’s approximately 30,000 Shi’ites were avid supporters of Hezbollah (Party of God) and haters of Israel.

“Shia in Australia consider Israel a terrorist organisation and also view those who support Israel in the same light,” he said. “That’s what we believe.

“If Australia supports Israel, they are defending terrorism. Because we believe terrorists come from Israel — not from our people — I support Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah’s military arm, the External Security Organisation, is a proscribed terrorist organisation in Australia, and supporting Hezbollah’s political and military wings is illegal under UN counter-terrorist financing declarations.

Sheik Mousselmani said Hezbollah was responsible for financially assisting and providing food and shelter for victims of the 34-day war in southern Lebanon last year.

The cleric said neither he nor Hezbollah condoned suicide terrorism missions.

“We are against the suicide bombings going on around the world,” he said.

“And Hezbollah is against it.

“Our opinion is that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group. We consider Hezbollah a resistance group. Put those words down, we are not afraid to say that.” Sheik Mousselmani’s comments come as national security agencies step up their investigation into the Shia community in Australia, which until now has not been as closely monitored as the Sunni Muslims.

The Weekend Australian understands security authorities are monitoring financial transactions between community members and organisations abroad.

Sydney’s Arncliffe Mosque, the largest Shia place of worship in Australia, and Melbourne’s Fawkner Mosque are also understood to be of interest to the authorities.

Sheik Mousselmani confirmed his community sent money to war victims in Lebanon following last year’s conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, but said none of the money went to Shia militants.

“People send money to their families … just like Greek people and Chinese people send to their families,” he said.

“No one from our community sends money directly to Hezbollah. Hezbollah is not expecting us to send them money. They don’t need our money.”

Asked if his organisation would send money if Hezbollah were to ask for it, he said: “If they need it, that would be an entirely different matter.”

Sheik Mousselmani said there was no threat of his views radicalising young Shia men in Australia because Hezbollah’s ideology was limited to Lebanon. His community was law-abiding and would staunchly oppose any attack against Australia.

“None of our people think this way,” said Sheik Mousselmani, rejecting extremism. “We love Australia, we respect Australia, we are part of the multicultural society. We protect Australia and we work for Australia.

“But it does not mean we like Israel. If John Howard wants George Bush and Israel, that’s his problem. We’ve got nothing to do with him.”

Sheik Mousselmani said Hezbollah did not have a branch in Australia.

“Hezbollah is not operating outside of Lebanon,” he said. “Hezbollah is defending Lebanon against Israel. We either back Hezbollah or we back Israel, and Israel is killing our people.”

He said the Arncliffe Mosque, Al Zahra, in Sydney’s inner south, was strictly a place of worship and was never used as a political platform.

The 36-year-old cleric dismissed claims his community received funds from Iran to spread the ideology of religious hardliners in Tehran.

He said the Shia community in Australia took its religious orders and advice from Iraq’s supreme Islamic leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Husaini al-Sistani. “The Shia community has nothing to hide.”

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True or False: We Are Losing The War Against Radical Islam

Posted by Atilla89 on June 27, 2007

Good article about the war on terror. URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19389332/site/newsweek/

True or False: We Are Losing The War Against Radical Islam?
By Fareed Zakaria
Newsweek July 2-9, 2007 issue

Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, are strangely united on one point: the threat from global jihad is growing dangerously. Republicans use that belief as a way to remind the American people that we live in a fearsome world­and need tough leaders to protect us. For Democrats, the same idea fortifies their claim that the Bush administration has failed to deal with a crucial threat­and that we need a new national-security team. Terrorism experts and the media add to this chorus, consciously or not, because they have an incentive to paint a grim picture: bad news sells. Amid the clamor, it is difficult to figure out what is actually going on. In the two decades before 9/11, Islamic radicalism flourished, while most governments treated it as a minor annoyance rather than a major security threat. September 11 changed all that, and subsequent bombings in Bali, Casablanca, Riyadh, Madrid and London forced countries everywhere to rethink their basic attitude. Now most governments around the world have become far more active in pursuing, capturing, killing and disrupting terrorist groups of all kinds. The result is an enemy that is without question weaker than before, though also more decentralized and amorphous. Consider the news from just the past few months. In Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, the government announced that on June 9 it had captured both the chief and the military leader of Jemaah Islamiah, the country’s deadliest jihadist group and the one that carried out the Bali bombings of 2002. In January, Filipino troops killed Abu Sulaiman, leader of the Qaeda-style terrorist outfit Abu Sayyaf. The Philippine Army­with American help­has battered the group, whose membership has declined from as many as 2,000 guerrillas six years ago to a few hundred today. In Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which were Al Qaeda’s original bases and targets of attack, terrorist cells have been rounded up, and those still at large have been unable to launch any major new attacks in a couple of years. There, as elsewhere, the efforts of finance ministries­most especially the U.S. Department of the Treasury­have made life far more difficult for terrorists. Global organizations cannot thrive without being able to move money around. The more that terrorists’ funds are tracked and targeted, the more they have to make do with small-scale and hastily improvised operations. North Africa has seen an uptick in activity, particularly Algeria. But the main group there, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (known by its French abbreviation, GSPC), is part of a long and ongoing local war between the Algerian government and Islamic opposition forces and cannot be seen solely through the prism of Al Qaeda or anti-American jihad. This is also true of the main area where there has been a large and troubling rise in the strength of Al Qaeda­the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands. It is here that Al Qaeda Central, if there is such an entity, is housed. But the reason the group has been able to sustain itself and grow despite the best efforts of NATO troops is that through the years of the anti-Soviet campaign, Al Qaeda dug deep roots in the area. And its allies the Taliban are a once popular local movement that has long been supported by a section of the Pashtuns, an influential ethnic group in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Iraq, where terrorist attacks are a daily event, another important complication weakens the enemy. From a broad coalition promising to unite all Muslims, Al Qaeda has morphed into a purist Sunni group that spends most of its time killing Shiites. In its original fatwas and other statements, Al Qaeda makes no mention of Shiites, condemning only the “Crusaders” and “Jews.” But Iraq changed things. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, bore a fierce hatred for Shiites, derived from his Wahhabi-style puritanism. In a February 2004 letter to Osama bin Laden, he claimed that “the danger from the Shia … is greater … than the Americans … [T]he only solution is for us to strike the religious, military and other cadres among the Shia with blow after blow until they bend to the Sunnis.” If there ever had been a debate between him and bin Laden, Zarqawi won. As a result, an organization that had hoped to rally the entire Muslim world to jihad against the West has been dragged instead into a dirty internal war within Islam. The split between Sunnis and Shiites­which plays a role in Lebanon as well­is only one of the divisions within the world of Islam. Within that universe are Shiites and Sunnis, Persians and Arabs, Southeast Asians and Middle Easterners and, importantly, moderates and radicals. The clash between Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian territories is the most vivid sign of the latter divide. Just as the diversity within the communist world ultimately made it less threatening, so the many varieties of Islam weaken its ability to coalesce into a single, monolithic foe. It would be even less dangerous if Western leaders recognized this and worked to emphasize such distinctions. Rather than speaking of a single worldwide movement­which absurdly lumps together Chechen separatists in Russia, Pakistani-backed militants in India, Shiite warlords in Lebanon and Sunni jihadists in Egypt­we should be emphasizing that all these groups are distinct, with differing agendas, enemies and friends. That robs them of their claim to represent Islam. It describes them as they often are­small local gangs of misfits, hoping to attract attention through nihilism and barbarism. The greatest weakness of militant Islam is that it is unpopular almost everywhere. Even in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has some roots, it was widely reviled. And now, when Taliban fighters occasionally take over a town in southern Afghanistan, they disband the schools, burn books, put women behind veils. These actions cause fear and resentment, not love. Most Muslims, even those who are devout and enraged at the West, don’t want to return to some grim fantasy of medieval theocracy. People in the Muslim world travel to see the glitz in Dubai, not the madrassas in Tehran. About half the world’s Muslim countries hold elections­representing some 600 million people. In those elections over the past four or five years, the parties representing militant Islam have done poorly from Indonesia to Pakistan, rarely garnering more than 7 or 8 percent of the vote. There are some exceptional cases in places suffering from civil war or occupation, such as Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Hizbullah in Lebanon. But by and large, radical Islam is not winning the argument, which is why it is trying to win by force. If this sounds like an optimistic account, it is, up to a point. The real danger, and the reason this will be a long struggle, is that the conditions that feed the radicalization and alienation of young Muslim men are not abating. A toxic combination of demography, alienation and religious extremism continues to seduce a small number of Muslims to head down a path of brutal violence. And technology today­most worryingly the large quantities of loose nuclear material throughout the world­ensures that small numbers of people can do large amounts of damage. The current issue of Britain’s Prospect magazine has a deeply illuminating profile of the main suicide bomber in the 7/7 London subway attacks, Mohammed Siddique Khan, who at first glance appeared to be a well-integrated, middle-class Briton. The author, Shiv Malik, spent months in the Leeds suburb where Khan grew up, talked to his relatives and pieced together his past. Khan was not driven to become a suicide bomber by poverty, racism or the Iraq War. His is the story of a young man who found he could not be part of the traditional Pakistani-immigrant community of his parents. He had no memories of their Pakistani life. He spoke their language, Urdu, poorly. He rejected an arranged marriage in favor of a love match. And yet, he was also out of place in modern British culture. Khan was slowly seduced by the simple, powerful and total world view of Wahhabi Islam, conveniently provided in easy-to-read English pamphlets (doubtless funded with Saudi money). The ideology fulfilled a young man’s desire for protest and rebellion and at the same time gave him a powerful sense of identity. By 1999­before the Iraq War, before 9/11­he was ready to be a terrorist. Britain, the United States and most other countries have not found it easy to address the root causes of jihad. But clearly, they relate to the alienation, humiliation and disempowerment caused by the pace of change in the modern world­economic change, migration from Third World to First World, movement from the countryside to the city. The only durable solution to these ongoing disruptions is for these people to see themselves­and, most important, the societies they come from and still identify with­as masters of the modern world and not as victims. How to open up and modernize the Muslim world is a long, hard and complex challenge. But surely one key is to be seen by these societies and peoples as partners and friends, not as bullies and enemies. That is one battle we are not yet winning.

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