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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for July 18th, 2007

History Will Harshly Judge Those for Iraq Withdrawal

Posted by Atilla89 on July 18, 2007

An article that is basically trying to say, stay the course, don’t withdraw from Iraq and hopefully many of the Republicans swapping sides on the issue will eventually see reason. See the rest at: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=29172

More Republicans have defected to the withdraw-from-Iraq Democrats. They have read the polls that show falling support among the American people for the war in Iraq, and have concluded that continuing to support the war will cost them their Senate or House seat.

Is it possible that some of these Republicans have simply consulted their consciences and decided to abandon positions they have held since the beginning of the war? It is possible. But consider this: If the American people continued to support the war, does one reader of this column believe that one Republican defector would have in fact defected?

The sad truth is that moral courage is rare — whether among private citizens or among political leaders. Even opponents of the war have to admit that, given the polls, it takes no courage for a politician to call for American withdrawal from Iraq. Whether or not you agree with those who want American forces to stay in Iraq, that is a far more courageous position in today’s America — just as, right or wrong, it admittedly took more courage for a politician to oppose the war when America deposed Saddam Hussein’s regime.

So with the mainstream media and the Democrats — often interchangeable entities — relentlessly pushing for withdrawal from an increasingly unpopular war led by an unpopular president, it takes a lot of courage to argue against what would be the most costly defeat for America in its history. And how often in history did the right thing not take courage? And how often was the right position the most popular position?

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Syria’s Ethnic Cleansing

Posted by Atilla89 on July 18, 2007

Read it and get disgusted with the UN. As you should all know, the UN has a special human rights board for Israel who are supposedly not towing the line in regards to human rights in the West Bank. However nothing is being done with Syria and a whole host of other countries for example North Korea or China. Here’s the link to read the rest of it: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=29132

While the world’s attention is focused on the war in Iraq, the internal Palestinian strife, the Israeli-Hamas confrontation in Gaza, and the clashes in Lebanon between the Lebanese army and Syrian supported Fatah al-Islam, scant attention has been paid to developments inside Syria.

The regime of Bashar Assad has used this opportunity to re-launch the campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Kurdish region of Hasakah. The Syrian press, controlled by the regime, prevents access to the foreign press and the abuses of the Kurds have gone practically unreported. News of the ethnic cleansing is arriving almost exclusively through letters and faxes from persecuted Kurds.

The champion of pan-Arabism, Egypt’s former President Gamal Abdel Nasser, was the first to consider the Arabization of the Kurdish region of Hasakah when he led the United Arab Republic (UAR) – a merger between Syria and Egypt that lasted from 1958-1961. In 1959, the UAR government began to settle Arabs in the Derrick area, located on the west bank of the Tigris River. Nasser had hopes of transferring 1.5 million landless Egyptians to the Kurdish region of Syria, and managed to establish at least two villages populated by Egyptians.

According to Sherkoh Abbas, President of the Kurdistan National Assembly-Syria, “The UAR government was determined to inflict maximum damage on the Kurds because they were viewed as agents of Israel. In 1960, the Syrian government issued a decree that denied the Kurds the right of grazing livestock on their own land. As a result, millions of livestock perished of starvation, causing the Kurds severe economic hardship.”

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The Coming War in Pakistan

Posted by Atilla89 on July 18, 2007

I didn’t really blog on the Red Mosque Assault in Pakistan mainly because I didn’t think that it was that important. However after reading this article from Frontpage, I’m going to have to change my view of this: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=29151

Here is an excerpt:

The Red Mosque, described as the Taliban’s “ideological heartland”, was closely connected with that radical religious group and other Islamist militias in the NWFP. The Islamabad mosque supplied the Taliban with money and recruits from its madrassa (religious school) system to fight the NATO troops in Afghanistan, while the two brothers who ran the extremist religious institution called for jihad and Islamic revolution in Pakistan.

In retaliation for the Red Mosque’s violent closure last week, twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb attack on Saturday in the NWFP, while about 50 other people, including three Chinese nationals, also perished violently there since the beginning of the siege. Further strikes brought the death count of soldiers over the weekend alone to 60. The Taliban and supportive tribes have also renounced their peace deal with the Pakistani government, which exercises little authority in this province, where 20,000 tribesmen with rifles were reported to have staged an anti-government demonstration.

In addition, a local, radical cleric, Maulana Fazlullah who is described as the head of the outlawed, Taliban-allied Tehrik-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law) in the NWFP’s Swat district has called for his men to prepare for jihad. Fazlullah has been called “Maulana Radio” since he gets his radical messages out via 107 small, illegal F M radio stations, according to Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad. TNSM fighters have already closed roads into the Swat region and seized the important Karakoram highway, part of the ancient Silk Road, which is Pakistan’s main transportation connection with China.

In response to the deteriorating situation in the NWFP, the Pakistani government has sent thousands of troops with heavy artillery to the area where an offensive into the Swat Valley is expected any day. The Red Mosque’s closure was regarded as an important first step for any military action to be taken there. It not only eliminated the heart of the Islamic extremism movement in Pakistan, but also destroyed a powerful center of resistance to the army’s coming campaign. In 2004, the Red Mosque helped undermine the army’s offensive against al-Qaeda in Waziristan when the two sibling leaders issued a ‘fatwa’ (religious decree), calling on people not to say prayers for dead army soldiers or bury them in Muslim graveyards.

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On the Front Line in the War on Terrorism

Posted by Atilla89 on July 18, 2007

An article that basically outlines what the two police forces in charge of NYC and LA have done since 9/11. Here’s an excerpt of the article which is here: http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_3_preventing_terrorism.html

Three time zones, 3,000 miles, and a cultural galaxy apart, New York and Los Angeles face a common threat: along with Washington, D.C., they’re the chief American targets of Islamic terror. And both cities boast top cops, sometime rivals—the cities are fiercely competitive—who know that ensuring that a dog doesn’t bark will determine their legacies. After investing millions of dollars in homeland security, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly of New York and Chief William J. Bratton of L.A. can both claim counterterror successes. What can we learn from their approaches? And will they be able to continue preventing terrorist attacks in their cities?

On the face of it, the nation’s two biggest metropolitan forces seem to have adopted kindred counterterrorism strategies. Both have roving SWAT or “Emergency Service Unit” teams, equipped with gas masks and antidotes to chemical and biological agents. Both have set up “fusion” centers to screen threats and monitor secret intelligence and “open-source” information, including radical Internet sites, and both have started programs to identify and protect likely targets. Both have tried to integrate private security experts into their work. Both conduct surveillance that would have been legally questionable before September 11. Both have sought to enlist support from mainstream Muslims and have encouraged various private firms to report suspicious activity.

Yet despite such similarities, the terror-fighting approaches of New York and L.A., like the cities themselves, reflect very different traditions, styles, and, above all, resources. New York, which knows the price of failure and thus has a heightened “threat perception,” sets the gold standard for counterterrorism—and has the funding and manpower to do it. Kelly, 65, views his highest priority as ensuring that al-Qaida doesn’t hit the city again. “When your city has been attacked, the threat is always with you,” he tells me. Deploying its own informants, undercover terror-busters, and a small army of analysts, New York tries to locate and neutralize pockets of militancy even before potentially violent individuals can form radical cells—a “preventive” approach, as Kelly calls it, that is the most effective way that police departments, small or large, can help fight terror.

In L.A., a city that has never been attacked, terrorism is a less pressing concern than gang violence and other crime. Lacking the political incentive, and hence the resources, to wage his own war on terror, Bratton, 59, has instead pooled scarce funds, manpower, and information with federal and other agencies—an approach that federal officials hold up as a model for police departments that can’t afford New York’s investment.

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George Galloway might get suspended!

Posted by Atilla89 on July 18, 2007

Rejoice! This guy is a bastard, I did a small post on him (must of been my third one on the other The Home of Atilla blog). Anyway, if he gets suspended, I’m going to be so happy. Here’s the article thanks to LGF – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=0A24DMQI10XR1QFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/17/ngalloway717.xml

George Galloway, the Respect MP, is facing suspension from the House of Commons for 18 days over his links to a charity which was financed by illegal deals involving Saddam Hussein’s government.

   
 

The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee, in one of its most damning reports against an MP, said today that Mr Galloway at best “turned a blind eye” to what was going on but was more likely to have been “complicit” in the concealment of the true source of funds for his Mariam Appeal.

Mr Galloway denounced the all-party committee of MPs as a “politicised tribunal” after it concluded unanimously that he had “connived” in the abuse of the United Nations oil-for-food programme which was set up to allow Saddam to sell Iraqi oil to buy humanitarian supplies to alleviate the effects of the long standing trade embargo.

The proposed Commons ban would be one of the most severe imposed on an MP. Any ban – which requires the backing of MPs – would take effect from October when the Commons returns from its summer recess.

The report today by Sir Philip Mawer, the parliamentary commissioner who began his inquiry in 2003, was delayed because of a libel case brought by Mr Galloway against The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Galloway was awarded £150,000 in libel damages.

The standards committee said that Mr Galloway should not only apologise to the Commons for failing to register donations to the fund but also to David Blair, the Daily Telegraph’s diplomatic correspondent, who discovered the documents linking the charity payments to the oil-for-food programme in a room in the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the fall of the Saddam regime.

Mr Galloway insisted that the documents were not authentic and accused Mr Blair, under the cloak of parliamentary privilege, of committing perjury in the libel trial over how he found the documents.

The committee said it had “no doubt” that Mr Blair’s account of how he had found them was to be preferred, and that they were authentic documents.

The committee found that Mr Galloway had breached the Code of Conduct by failing to register his interest in the Mariam Appeal, did not declare his interest in it whenever he should have, and used his Parliamentary office and staff to support the appeal “to an excessive extent”.

It said it would only have demanded an apology for those failings – saying the MP had “recognised his shortcomings” in those areas.

   
 

However, it added: “Mr Galloway’s conduct aimed at concealing the true source of Iraqi funding of the Mariam Appeal, his conduct towards Mr David Blair and others involved in this inquiry, his unwillingness to co-operate fully with the Commissioner, and his calling into question of the Commissioner’s and our own integrity have, in our view, damaged the reputation of the House.

“In accordance with precedent, we recommend that he apologise to the House, and be suspended from its service for a period of 18 actual sitting days.”

The committee rejected Mr Galloway’s claim that the oil-for-food programme could not be considered to be Iraqi government funding.

“This is purely a matter of semantics: those selling oil under the programme first required options granted by the Iraqi government, There was strong circumstantial evidence that the oil-for-food programme was used by the Iraqi government, with Mr Galloway’s connivance, to fund the campaigning activities of the Mariam Appeal.

“In acting as he did Mr Galloway breached the advocacy rule and damaged the reputation of the House. We believe he was complicit in the concealment of the true source of the funds for the Mariam Appeal.”

The appeal received £448,000 from Fawaz Zureikat, a Jordanian businessman, who was also a trustee of the appeal. It subsequently emerged that more than half of this money came from the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales.

The committee described Mr Galloway as “reckless” in the authority he gave to Mr Zureikat, the biggest donor.

It said that he was “clearly irresponsible” in refusing to look into the source of substantial donations to the fund and criticised his refusal to co-operate with the inquiry which was of the longest and the most complex ever undertaken.

But it found no evidence he had used any of the money for personal gain.

Mr Galloway claims he is the victim of a smear campaign. He says he had no idea that the money donated had come from Iraqi oil sales.

Mr Galloway said today: “I challenged everything that Sir Humphrey and Sir Bufton and Sir Tufton put to me because the points they were putting to me were false. I will not allow people to make false allegations against me.

“I am not a punch bag. If you aim low blows at me I will fight back. That’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’ve been suspended for.”

The Mariam Appeal, which raised more than £1.4m, has never filed any accounts

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