Wednesday, August 30, 2006

boot Murtha Rally

Those interested in or planning to attend should note this:

Hotel Wars in Johnstown, PA!

Congressman John Murtha is gearing up on all fronts. Not only has he got Max Cleland coming back to Johnstown to stage an Anti-War Rally the day before our Boot Murtha Rally (announced by Cleland on the HBO "Bill Maher Show" last Friday night)... But he's also laying siege to the hotel and motel rooms in Johnstown.

We have tried to get more rooms blocked out for us, but have been refused.


from Boot Murtha

RE: Next year - Next Door - Too Late?


My earlier post Next Year - Next Door - Too Late turns out to be optimistic. Just scroll down.

From the Washington Post, no less:

Despite contemporary public opinion -- or perhaps because of it -- Muslim Americans consider Islam their defining characteristic, beyond any national identity. In this way, their experience in the United States resembles that of their co-religionists in Europe, where mosques are also growing, Islamic schools are being built, and practicing the faith is the center of life, particularly for the young generation. In Europe and the United States, young Muslims are unifying around popular imams they believe understand the challenges they face in Western societies; these leaders include Yusuf in the United States and Amer Khaled, an Egyptian-born imam who lives in Britain. Thousands of young Muslims attend their lectures.
Read the Article

I've preserved the article in case it disappears behind their registration wall.

It's important to note the struggle against assimilation and/or integration.

In my years of interviews, I found few indications of homegrown militancy among American Muslims. Indeed, thus far, they have proved they can compete economically with other Americans. Although the unemployment rate for Muslims in Britain is far higher than for most other groups, the average annual income of a Muslim household surpasses that of average American households. Yet, outside the workplace, Muslims retreat into the comfort zone of their mosques and Islamic schools.

It is too soon to say where the growing alienation of American Muslims will lead, but it seems clear that the factors contributing to it will endure. U.S. foreign policy persists in dividing Muslim and Western societies, making it harder still for Americans to realize that there is a difference between their Muslim neighbor and the plotter in London or the kidnapper in Baghdad.

It is NOT too soon to say where the growing alienation of American Muslims will lead, but it seems clear that the factors contributing to it will endure.

Indeed, the article simply doesn't draw the reasonable conclusion... We'll have enclaves of folks, speaking Arabic (and Spanish) who do not consider themselves Americans.

I suggest that we already do!


By now everyone has seen Rumsfeld's comments about how he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners. See this if you haven't.

Let's examine the issue... The United States pretty much wrote the book on marketing. We have, arguably, THE experts in selling ice to Eskimos. Just what is he complaining about?

"The enemy is so much better at communicating," he added. "I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say - all of which are not true - is harmful. It's cumulative. And it does weaken people's will and lessen their determination, and raise questions in their minds as to whether the cost is worth it," he said alluding to Americans and other Westerners.

This line of reasoning approaches the bizarre. Or worse, it illustrates the lack of leadership exhibited by this administration. If Mr. Rumsfeld and/or President Bush can't get their story out, where does the fault lie? The MSM is certainly one culprit, but I don't think it is the only villain in the play.

It doesn't just make me sad... it makes me angry. I used to like Rummy, but this is just silly. The problem is that we don't need marketing gurus or word spinners, we simply need to tell the truth!

Rumsfeld is a master of nuance and maybe his words, in this case, have been taken out of context. But I suspect that's not the situation.

His reaction has a 'sour grapes' ring to it. Think about it - one of the most powerful people in the world is whining that the enemy doesn't play fair...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America


This article nicely collates things I've seen from other souces. And uses 'plain' language to do it.

Globalists and one-world promoters never seem to tire of coming up with ways to undermine the sovereignty of the United States. The most recent attempt comes in the form of the misnamed "Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America (SPP)." In reality, this new "partnership" will likely make us far less secure and certainly less prosperous.

According to the US government website dedicated to the project, the SPP is neither a treaty nor a formal agreement. Rather, it is a "dialogue" launched by the heads of state of Canada, Mexico, and the United States at a summit in Waco, Texas in March, 2005.

What is a "dialogue"? We don't know. What we do know, however, is that Congressional oversight of what might be one of the most significant developments in recent history is non-existent. Congress has had no role at all in a "dialogue" that many see as a plan for a North American union.

According to the SPP website, this "dialogue" will create new supra-national organizations to "coordinate" border security, health policy, economic and trade policy, and energy policy between the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States. As such, it is but an extension of NAFTA- and CAFTA-like agreements that have far less to do with the free movement of goods and services than they do with government coordination and management of international trade.

Read the Article

Not much to add, give a read and consider.

Next year - Next Door - To Late?

I can't vouch for the veracity of this source. While Ms. Mansfield has a web site here I'm at a disadvantage since DON'T speak or read Arabic.

At that point, another student took the podium. His name was Khaled, and he began to recount his recent trip to New York City. Khaled and three of his companions had gone to New York for several days in January. He told of how uncomfortable his trip up to NYC had been. He felt like he was being watched, and thought he was the victim of racial profiling.

Khaled and his friends were pretty unhappy about it, and while in New York, they came up with a plan to "teach a lesson" to the passengers and crew. You can imagine the story Khaled told. He described how he and his friends whispered to each other on the flight, made simultaneous visits to the restroom, and generally tried to "spook" the other passengers. He laughed when he described how several women were in tears, and one man sitting near him was praying.

The others in the room thought the story was quite amusing, judging from the laughter. The imam stood up and told the group that this was a kind of peaceful civil disobedience that should be encouraged, and commended Khaled and his friends for their efforts.

He pointed out that it was through this kind of civil disobedience that ethnic profiling would fail.

One of the other men, Ahmed from Kuwait, gave a brief account of his friend Eyad, who had finally gone to Iraq. Ahmed was in e-mail contact with Eyad, and hoped by the following week to be able to bring them more information about the state of the "mujahideen" in Iraq.

As the meeting drew to a close, the imam gave a brief speech calling for the protection of Allah on the mujahideen fighting for Islam throughout the world, and reminded everyone that it was their duty as Muslims to continue in the path of jihad, whether it was simple efforts like those of Khaled and his friends, or the actual physical fighting of men like Eyad.


The same imam who demanded that the men continue in the path of jihad did a complete 180-degree turn in this session, stressing instead the suras that promoted the "brotherhood" between Muslims, Christians and Jews. "After all, we worship the same God, and follow the teachings in the books he gave each of us. We are all the same, we are all People of the Book," he stressed.

The differences between the sessions were striking. Clearly the second session was a recruiting session.

Were the women aware of what was being taught in the first session? Certainly those women who spoke Arabic should have been.

The reason for concern is obvious: Two different doctrines are being promoted. One peaceful, friendly, warm and fuzzy doctrine is being used to draw people in, with a focus on the wellbeing of their children.

But the Arabic-speaking sessions clearly have an anti-American tone.

It shows clearly that as much as we'd like to pretend it hasn't, jihad has reached Small-Town, USA. This mosque isn't in Washington, D.C., or New York City. This is a small mosque in a small town in the deep South.

And if it's in this tiny little quiet southern town, it's probably in your hometown, too. [emphasis added]

Read the Article

I find myself in tanglefoot territory. Fred Phelps and his 'church' at least do their damage in English, and I do accept that dissent has a place in this country, and there's little doubt many politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths.

But how do we deal with efforts like those in the article? Burn the Mosques and the liberal/left would use that to take us even faster into Dhimmitude. I feel like I'm spitting into the wind.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Making the world safe for Sharia - part two

offered a lengthy post here on the first installment of Diana West's two part speculative piece What President Bush should say to us.

In Part Two she offers some further details that are of note.

At home, the line of defense is clear. It is our border. My new strategy calls on us to think of our border as more than just a line on a map. We need to see the border as a cultural line also, a defining line of freedom against proponents of Shariah, which, I cannot emphasize enough, poses a direct threat to our founding principles of liberty and equality. It is that simple. There is a crucial military component to the anti-Shariah defensive, which I will outline momentarily. But without taking civil precautions at the border, even a decisive military victory abroad could be nullified by non-violent means at home. [emphasis added]

The first element is easy to support. Multiculturalism as a corollary of Political Correctness has created an atmosphere of moral equivalence that continues to turn our melting pot into mush. Integration and assimilation are not dirty words. Does anyone doubt there will be time in the forseeable future when a city council (Dearborn, MI - maybe) will try to openly implement elements of Sharia Law?

Accordingly, I have directed our military to formulate a plan to redeploy American troops from Iraq's cities, where they have been operating at great risk to attain stability for the Iraqi government, to bases in the north. From there, they may assist as needed in our mission to neutralize the terrorism — and Shariah — exporting capabilities of freedom's enemies in the region. These would include nuke-seeking Iran and Syria, without whose support Hezbollah would not exist, and Saudi Arabia, from whose coffers comes global jihad.
Read Part Two here.

The second element is trickier in that there is a step left out. The Iraqi Government must be as stable as possible THEN doing as she suggests makes sense. If they move to direct Sharia law AND support terrorism then we deal with that then. It's simply still to early to place Iraq (and Afghanistan) in the same camp with Iran, Syria, and the others.

[update] My take on the Powerline post differs in one major area.

However, before supporting a blanket ban on immigration from particular states, I'd want to see better evidence that this country faces the prospect Diana describes.

Mirengoff seems to not have noticed the already parallel cultural pathways engendered by the influx of our neighbors from the south. There are areas of this country that are becoming more like Quebec. True, there is no 'Quebec' as such, but there are places where speaking Spanish is more important that speaking English. We do not need to look to Europe to foretell our future.

Dreams 'n Stuff

This isn't a generic Another Voice post.

A young friend is having trouble dealing with coming home from Iraq this past January.

So much of my Iraq writing has been moved to the private setting, as has much of my writing about the first few months when I got home. I've stopped writing about the dreams and about the desire to go back because I'm not sure that I know how to deal with it all.

There are times when I want to be out there, walking down the streets of Baghdad with some infantry unit or rattling along in the back of a Bradley. There are days when I want to wander down the flight line and find Dave and OB, and see if they'd mind if I tagged along on a mission.

There are days when I want to forget the stench of the slaughtering grounds, and the scorching heat, the pain that comes when you don't piss for 14 hours but you're still drinking enough water to float the Titanic.

There are days when I don't know what I want. There are days when I don't care about much and there are days when I just want to scream.

Anyone here that hasn't felt similar? The older I get the more the memory of dreams merge with real memories. What can one say other than she's not alone?

One of the things about Viet Nam and past conflicts is the way most vets have been able to compartmentalize and move on, others are still struggling. So I can't tell her it'll certainly get better.

I met WWII vets who still have nightmares, even helped a few with PTSD claims.

It comes down to this, I think, most (a huge majority) do get over it and move on. The overall experience most certainly will continue to shape our lives, but it's unlikely to be the prime mover for most.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

War or Slavery - your choice

Gates of Vienna has post up about a contest that's been running for a new slogan to describe our situation.

I disagreed with the winners and opted to use one of the honorable mentions for the title of this post.
Credit to Shoprat.

It's really that simple... I've posted about the visible lack of focused resolve in the west several times, not that it's secret to anyone.

Being simple minded I like a simple turn of phrase, un-muddied by nuance and hyperbole.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Call out the Marines!

The call-up will affect Marines in the Individual Ready Reserve, a segment of the reserves that consists mainly of those who have left active duty but still have time remaining on their eight-year military obligations.

Generally, Marines enlist for four years, then serve the other four years either in the regular Reserves, where they are paid and train periodically, or in the Individual Ready Reserve. Marines in the IRR are obligated to report only one day a year but can be involuntarily recalled to active duty.

Read the article.

Just a bit of curious news.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Other Shoe

August 22, 2006? Would that I were prescient, but no.

Iran has announced missile tests - to mask an actual offensive missile strike?

[update] Iran flexes military muscle and says uranium enrichment goes on

Iran has fired tactical missiles during army wargames, as part of its preparations to face up to any outside threat.

State television said surface-to-surface missiles with a range of up to 250 kilometres were tested and that surface-to-sea missiles were also being fired.

No lesser light than Bernard Lewis observes:

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

Always hoping to see the silver lining, I'll offer this; a direct strike against Israel, nuclear or otherwise, will rattle cages that should have been opened long ago. Candidly a non-nuclear strike would be so foolish as to be unlikely, but in that event I hope Israel will do what they failed to do recently.

While I can't see the future I can offer some scenarios for the next week or two:

1 - nothing happens external to Iran. Speeches, posturing, and maybe a few missile tests. Iran is fresh off a victory, perhaps that will serve in the short term.

2 - Iran launches missile or two towards Israel, either with conventional or inert warheads. This will demonstrate they can 'walk the walk', coupled with a successful nuclear test they have another 'notch on their belt. In the past Israel would retaliate, but just now... who knows if they even could, especially if Iran does less real damage than Hezballah did with thousands of rockets?

3 - Iran does the deed! Israel retaliates and turns parts of Iran into a few more middle eastern glassy spots.

There are many more possibilities, shucks, if I could see the future I'd go buy a lottery ticket.

Serious point is that there IS a clock of sorts ticking, and we'd be fools to ignore the sound because it may be the timer on a bomb.

Making the world safe for Shari’a

H/T to Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch . These are a bit dated (I've been busy). Collectively, they make up the eye opening equivalent of ice water in the face, or maybe a swift kick in the ass.

If you are concerned about your freedoms and the freedom of those who come after - take the time to read these.

There are several links involved, but let's start with What President Bush should say to us: Part 1 .

As President Bush:

Over the past few years, then, the United States has supported fledgling democracies in Afghanistan Iraq and the Palestinian Authority. We have proudly assisted in making free and fair elections possible in these places, and with excellent results -- at least with regard to the freeness and the fairness of the elections. But the fact is, when these peoples have spoken, what we have heard, or should have been hearing, in the expression of their collective will is that the mechanics of democracy alone (one citizen, one vote) do not automatically manufacture democrats -- if by democrats we mean citizens who believe first and foremost in the kind of liberty that guarantees freedom of conscience and equality before the law.

On the contrary, each of these new democracies has produced constitutions that enshrine Islamic law. Because Islamic law, known as "sharia," does not permit equality between the sexes or among religions, it is anything but what we in American consider "democratic." Indeed, sharia law endows Muslims, and Muslim men in particular, with a superior position in society. It also outlaws words and deeds that oppose this inequitable power structure for being "un-Islamic." From this same Islamic legal tradition comes the mandate for jihad (holy war, usually against non-Muslims) and dhimmitude, the official state of inferiority of non-Muslims under Islam.


The shift I am describing -- from a pro-democracy offensive to an anti-sharia defensive -- means a national course correction. Rather than continuing to emphasize the democratization of the Muslim Middle East as our key tool in the war on terror, I will henceforth emphasize the prevention of sharia from reaching the West as our key tool in the war on terror.

There's a history lesson of sorts from Andrew Bostom. Here's a couple of tidbits about Iraq:

Grand Ayatollah Sistani is said to be the most important friend the Coalition has in Iraq. But he is a troubling friend. Almost universally regarded as the most important figure in Iraq’s domestic politics, his 2003 fatwa urging Iraqis to not resist the invading Coalition forces helped make the initial conquest go smoothly. His confrontation with younger rival Muqtada al-Sadr helps keep the sometimes violent radical in line.


And this is what Sistani writes about gays:

His Eminence, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the supreme religious authority for Shi’ite Msulims in Iraq and worldwide, decrees that gays and lesbians should be killed in the worst manner possible, according to this news article from a London-based gay rights group. A rapid search through Sistani’s official website turns up a page, translated as:

“Q: What is the judgement on sodomy and lesbianism? A: “Forbidden. Those involved in the act should be punished. In fact, sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible.” Thus opines the Shi’ite cleric who was nominated by Iraqis for the 2005 Nobel Peace prize.


As a devout Shia Muslim and one of eighty-nine women sitting in the new parliament, she knows what her first priority there is: to implement Islamic law. When Dr Ubaedey took her seat at last week’s assembly opening, she found herself among an increasingly powerful group of religious women politicians who are seeking to repeal old laws giving women some of the same rights as men and replace them with Sharia, Islam’s divine law.

Read the article.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Our own Cold Civil War

We've been through 'The Cold War' and we've been though at least one 'Civil War'. [N.B: I used Wikipedia as a resource out of sheer laziness, it's accurate enough for my purposes.]

I'm about to suggest that we really need to start using labels that more accurately reflect reality. Also I'm treading lightly because OWD includes some genuine experts where I'm simply a layman forced to pose questions.

I posit that we are, and have been, in a Civil War since the 60's that has many of the earmarks of The Cold War.

Why is it important to accurately label such things?

We've had two 'hot' Civil Wars in this country (I include the War of Independence) both were clashes of ideologies and cultures. Both resulted in a new self identity for our country.

This Cold Civil War is no less important in shaping what we will become for all it's lack of major bloodshed. We have the liberal/left and the conservative/right, each with the ideal of burying the other, but that set of labels misses a larger point.

The analogy works on so many levels I'm surprised the label hasn't been explored by name by real experts.

But the imperative is that it is a WAR! I rather wish there were a stronger word, but, in fact, I'd call it anything to raise the awareness of those being used to fight it. Yep! One of the analogous elements is that many are being used as proxies by both sides and don't even realize it, or maybe don't care?

There is, at least, one major flaw in the analogy... The 'mutually assured destruction' element works backwards. Probably because it is a Cold Civil War. By avoiding a clear resolution we are heading for destruction.

I did a Google search before I began to see what others might offered about America's Cold Civil War and all I found was this book review from a year ago. The reviewer used a liberal/left frame of reference, but actually captured much of the idea, only to head off into hyperbole.

And Rurik's comment:

I see the situation resembling very much the domestic turmoil which preceded the Spanish Generals' revolt of July 1936, which turned their turmoil into a full civil war.
When we are finally pushed from Cold Civil War to Hot, the results will be much more like Spain, than our own earlier conflict, with its relatively contiguous territories and easily determined front lines. We will see a no quarter asked or given struggle. And we almost certainly will see foreign intervention and participation. The one thing that offers me hope - most of the Shit-for-brains on the other side are the same asswipes who are stridently opposed to having guns or knowing how to use them. And they take great pride in knowing nothing of tactics, operations, or other military matters. I think a gunfight with Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin could be a lot of fun - I just want a little warning so I can be sure to have some armor piercing rounds for Mikey.

presents a more realistic approach, but I don't think we really don't have the number of genuine anarchists to stir the pot, let alone bring it to a boil.

What we have in vast numbers (and on both sides) are those who are insulated from reality by the very circumstances they rail against. Said another way - I'll rock YOUR boat, but don't you dare rock mine.

Which leads me to the second major flaw in the analogy, closely related to the first flaw I mentioned above.

I suspect we will be witness to a sort of entropy. Entropy (also known as 'The Heat Death of the Universe') basically states that eventually the temperature of the universe will reach an average, and very low, temperature that can not sustain life.

The American Spirit is being diluted, or cooled down (if you will), by our own behaviors. We can no longer 'go west' to seek adventure. The American Dream, if it ever really existed as a single thing, is no longer a focus for most of our youth. Political correctness and multiculturalism have helped dampen the fire in our belly.

There seems to be no cause to unite us, nor causes powerful enough to stir us even to genuine action against each other.

It isn't even the 'decadence' outsiders have been fussing about for generations, although there is an element of that.

Our Cold Civil War seems likely to end without even the proverbial whimper let alone the bang.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Our Marines

Two stories, set in different times and places, both from AP. Neither needs much comment from me.

HADITHA, Iraq - A young Marine wonders if his superiors will support him if he shoots at perceived threats. An officer worries that civilians look at his Marines with more suspicion. The proud colonel acknowledges that his Corps has lost stature in the public's eyes.

Allegations that Marines deliberately killed 24 civilians — including women and children — last November in this rebellious city have prompted reactions ranging from shame and anger to disbelief within the Marine Corps.

In this intensely proud service, some say they're being prematurely judged. Others grasp for plausible explanations behind the alleged slaughter.

Read the article.


For years, authorities wondered about the identity of a U.S. Marine who appeared at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, helped find a pair of police officers buried in the rubble, then vanished.

Even the producers of the new film chronicling the rescue, "World Trade Center," couldn't locate the mystery serviceman, who had given his name only as Sgt. Thomas.

The puzzle was finally solved when one Jason Thomas, of Columbus, Ohio, saw a TV commercial for the new movie a few weeks ago as he relaxed on his couch.

His eyes widened as he saw two Marines with flashlights, hunting for survivors atop the smoldering ruins.

"That's us. That's me!" thought Thomas, who lived in Long Island during the attacks and now works as an officer in Ohio's Supreme Court.

Read the Article.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wish I'd said that...

Damn... how many ways need the truth be spoken?


Syria and Iran play a major role inciting violence in Iraq, yet remain immune from any consequences. In Iraq, as with Korea and Vietnam, the desire to avoid a wider regional conflict makes winning the local conflict more difficult, if not impossible. The conflict in Iraq, whether we remain or not, will continue so long as Syria and Iran go unpunished for their participation. In this respect, it is Vietnam all over again.

The War on Terror cannot be won as it is being fought. It is an extension of the War on Crime where policemen walk a beat outside the United States. Just as the War on Crime is perpetual, so too will be the War on Terror. Terrorist organizations have declared war on the civilized world and have brought the battlefield to places of their choosing. They have the initiative.

Read the article.

A practical overview

Maybe I should have titled this "Stating the Obvious", some things seem to be only obvious to a few.

Let me refresh everyone's memory... Terrorism is A threat, it's part of a much larger threat that most seem to ignore.

Islamic Imperialism is being promulgated by some Fascist Islamic states, who use terror as a tactic. I don't care to waste bandwidth (or my fingers) preaching to the choir, but this is my venue.

The liberal/left, here and abroad, stymie most efforts at acknowledging this threat. Political correctness and all that.

Here's the odd bit that is just plain painful to watch.

Again from Dhimmi Watch for emphasis and reference.

Dhimmitude is the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians. Dhimmis, "protected people," are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, is part of the law that global jihadists are laboring to impose everywhere, ultimately on the entire human race.

The dhimmi attitude of chastened subservience has entered into Western academic study of Islam, and from there into journalism, textbooks, and the popular discourse. One must not point out the depredations of jihad and dhimmitude; to do so would offend the multiculturalist ethos that prevails everywhere today.

I've been going a bit nutty trying to figure out how and/or why the liberal/left was seeming to embrace this position of servitude when it means that to survive they'll have to convert to Islam. Picture Ted Kennedy in a mosque, or John Kerry, These arrogant elitists on their knees several times a day. How could they embrace such subservience? Or the mostly Catholic illegal immigrants?

I keep asking the question and getting little in the way of answer, except that they're lunatics. I'm beginning to grasp the how; Our President and his administration have, for some reason, refused to deal with the threat realistically, or at least publicly. Most of the liberal/left elite are so insulated that they are convinced that their lifestyle is secure. There are many others who need to examine Sharia law and where they might fit, but nope!

But why do half the voting age citizens in this country (and a larger percent elsewhere) seem to feel as safe?

I'm working on it, because it seems reason has no impact on the questions.

Sort of a helpless rant, Sorry if you're offended.

Well rats... it ain't just me that's confused and concerned.

Sir Simon, along with the many other journalists and readers who share his view, is in denial. There is a serious terrorist threat to Britain — and not just Britain. India, Indonesia and Iraq suffer from it as much as the UK, the US or Spain. These terrorists are not bogeymen summoned up by politicians to distract us from the scrapes that they get into, or to seduce us into giving them more draconian powers. If more powers are needed — and that is a question for another day — it is because the threat is real.

Read the article.

Peace in our time - some perspective

An Op-Ed from Haaretz no less?

Israel has been cautious in Lebanon, fearing not only for the lives of its soldiers, but also that an overly aggressive military campaign will alienate world opinion and force its hand diplomatically at the UN. However, Israeli leaders ought to worry more about a different scenario, one in which American policymakers, analyzing the Israel Defense Forces' failure to defeat Hezbollah after 30 days effort, lose their faith in Israel's ability to "get the job done" on issues of shared strategic interest.

Should the IDF lose its aura of invincibility in American eyes, Israel's perceived value as an ally could decline sharply. This reassessment in Washington, when combined with a continuing and even heightened determination by Arab states and jihadists to destroy Israel, would be catastrophic for its security.


The fact that the United States has spent major diplomatic capital providing Israel with an unprecedented window of opportunity to deal with Hezbollah, facing down both its European allies and the Arab League, and complicating efforts to launch multilateral sanctions against Iran, makes matters even worse.

This is especially true when U.S. domestic political developments are taken into account. In the past, Israel could depend upon a basic consensus among both Republicans and Democrats that it was a valuable, indeed indispensable, ally that occupied the moral high ground. The political sands, however, are shifting. Anti-Israeli sentiments are rife among Democrats - 59 percent want the U.S. to be more "evenhanded" in the Middle East - some of whom appear to be convinced that the Bush administration's deposition of Saddam Hussein was masterminded by "neo-conservatives" in Israel's interest.

Senator Joseph Lieberman's August 8 loss in the Connecticut primary, and the evident triumph of the Democrats' neo-McGovernite wing, signal trouble ahead.

I have no idea how accurate the authors' assesment might be, but it certainly is food for thought.
Underlying all this is an undercurrent I can't quite put my finger on. However, no one, most certainly not Hezbollah/Iran/Syria, is likely to see this ceasefire as victory for Israeli/U.S. interests.

I'm not foolish enough to judge events before they're played out, and there's little doubt that things are going on in 'backrooms' around the world that might change everything overnight, but the hard fact is that perceptions can become a sort of reality.

Read more at Israel must win

Toooo early to judge, but...

Some have already have decided what the next few days will bring.

Caroline Glick writing in the Jerusalem Post observes we are seeing "An unmitigated disaster" unfold.

By handing a victory to Hizbullah, the resolution strengthens the belief of millions of supporters of jihad throughout the world that their side is winning and that they should redouble efforts to achieve their objectives of destroying Israel and running the US out of the Middle East.

Read the article.

And Ynet reports on the observations from a Senior Hizbullah official: "If a mere organization succeeded in defeating Israel, why would Arab nations not succeed in doing so?"

Ahmed Barakat, a member of Hizbullah's central council, said in an interview to Qatari newspaper al-Watan that "Today Arab and Muslim society is reasonably certain that the defeat of Israel is possible and that countdown to the disappearance of the Zionist entity in the region has begun."

Read the article.

I believe (okay, maybe it's wishful thinking) that the last shot has yet to be fired, and the old saw about 'counting your chickens before they hatch' has merit here.

BUT, there is no doubt what will happen if Israel falls and I hope, down to my toenails, others in the west are actually paying attention. Iraq will fall further under the sway of Tehran, it's the next logically target if Israel is no longer a factor. If Israel is a 'stick in the eye', the U.S. in Iraq is the 'pain in the ass'.

I dredge up this Bedouin proverb every so often "I against my brother I and my brother against our cousin, my brother and our cousin against the neighbors, all of us against the foreigner." Because history suggests that internecine warfare will be the next phase. And THAT is the only light at the end of the tunnel if Israel and Iraq fall.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Restating the obvious

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

"Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." Winston Churchill

Appeasement doesn't work. Ceasefires only work when there is a clear victor setting the terms.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." Sun Tzu

Lessons learned, and ignored - just sad.

The Sarge weighs in

The Sarge opines from Ar-Ramadi:

British antiterrorism chief Peter Clarke said at a news conference that the plot was foiled because "a large number of people" had been under surveillance, with police monitoring "spending, travel and communications."

I wonder, was this monitoring conducted with due regard for what in America would be these terrorist's 4th Amendment Rights, as interpreted by the ACLU, the Democratic Party, the New York Times, and other organizations who want Americans to be murdered because it would make George Bush look bad?

Oh, maybe that wasn't a fair spin.

Maybe the Democratic Party doesn't believe in using this sort of incident for purely partisan political ends.


I'm waiting for a suicide bombing at an airport. Imagine it: Hundreds of harried travellers standing in line behind a Middle-Eastern military-age male with a freshly shaved beard, smelling like flower water, mumbling prayers to himself (don't you DARE profile him, screams the ACLU) when, instead of emptying his pockets at the security counter into the nifty plastic tray, he shouts "Allahu Akbar", and blows himself to smithereens. How many would be killed by the ball-bearings he's carrying in his coat pockets and the 5 or 6 kilos of plastique he's wearing under his jacket?

What will the politicians do then? Require nudity when entering an airport?

There's more here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's all local - a 'cold' civil war?

"All politics are local" is a semi-famous quote attributed to Tip O'neill.

It turns out that Jihad has a local twist as well.

H/T Don Surber and others, including Our Own Bill Faith.

Investigators: Pair with passenger info, phones linked to terror

Investigators in southeast Ohio said they were working to unravel how two Michigan men charged with supporting terrorism came to have airplane passenger lists and airport security information.

Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, were being held at the Washington County jail on $200,000 bond each, which could be raised at a Thursday afternoon court hearing. Each was charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism.

As it happens I have a passing familiarity with the Washington County jail although I think it's been rebuilt since.

Marietta, with about 14,000 people, is about 90 miles southeast of Columbus and 12 miles northeast of Parkersburg, W.Va.

And I was born and raised in Parkersburg, but the point of my post is not to bore you with tales of my youth.

We are faced with an enemy that lives among us and is invisible save one small detail that we can't acknowledge - and in this case they're Muslim!

For years I've entertained the notion that a civil war between the liberal/left/communist/socialist and the rest of us was a distinct possibility, but, in fact, the ground work is being laid for what might be called a 'cold' civil war on two fronts. In an earlier post here I cited an article that mentioned some of the methods and tactics involved.

Let me re-post this bit for emphasis:

One of the hallmarks of the West is freedom of speech and freedom of expression, permitting critiques of claims about religion truths, but Islamic law does not allow such debate or criticism. The question many scholars as well as political leaders ask is whether Islam is compatible with democracy or whether Islam can be modernized? Specifically, can Islam tolerate freedom of expression in America? Under the United States Constitution the State and Church are separated at least by the principle, whereas Islam does not make this distinction.

In past 'hot' wars these elements have been set aside as needed (not always wisely), but the current environment will simply not permit these tools to be used to any beneficial extent. So where does that leave us?

It leaves us facing a reverse of the 'old' cold war in many ways. Similar to the collapse of the USSR the United States is apt to collapse because we can't take the steps needed to protect ourselves and, seemingly, maintain the illusion that our political system will survive anything. Of course, the 'cold' civil war analogy can be easily extended to illegal immigration.

The only real question, if we continue with this 'head in the sand' view, is whether we will be speaking Spanish or Arabic first. Neither threat will subside unless we stop them, and with the exception of folks like that small town deputy and a few others here and there - we don't seem willing to try.

With hardly a shot fired we're losing this 'cold' civil war, instead of a wall coming down the borders are! Instead of monitoring those who clearly present a threat they're coming to a small town near YOU!

The Islamization of America

The Islamization of America: From Mecca to Medina and conquering Americans from within

A longish history lesson, but well worth the time.

Many times the Ottoman Empire tried to take over the whole of Europe but failed to do so. The Ottoman Empire could not conquer the West by sword, but now Muslims are using a different strategy to conquer the West to bring it under the Islamic realm. Today the West is being the victim of their own values, such as freedom of speech and _expression, so that Muslims are using ‘Democracy’ as a tool and taking advantage of democracy to disseminate Islam to all the corners of the world.


One of the hallmarks of the West is freedom of speech and freedom of _expression, permitting critiques of claims about religion truths, but Islamic law does not allow such debate or criticism. The question many scholars as well as political leaders ask is whether Islam is compatible with democracy or whether Islam can be modernized? Specifically, can Islam tolerate freedom of _expression in America? Under the United States Constitution the State and Church are separated at least by the principle, whereas Islam does not make this distinction. For example, Italian journalist Fallaci in her book The Rage and the Pride, written after 9/11, criticizes Islam and its totalitarian forces in demolishing Western culture and civilization. She also criticizes the West for turning a blind eye to the threat of Islam. Ms. Fallaci argues that ‘Europe is no longer Europe. It is Eurabia,’ a colony of Islam where the Muslims have invaded not only in a mental or cultural sense, but in a physical sense as well. She cogently presents the case that Muslims have poisoned the meaning of democracy. Today, in Europe, there are more Muslims than Christians, and mosques are filled with devotees whereas the churches are filled with tourists. A clear denial of Judeo-Christian roots has become routine propaganda in schools and in media in Europe and now in America.

The piece is long and a bit rambling at times, but it serves up a view that we'd be foolish to ignore.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Reality Check!!

Don get's it right!

The surrender party

RNC chairman and future president, Ken Mehlman, gave a speech today to the City Club in Cleveland. The highlights:

“Joe Lieberman is no conservative. His lifetime rating from the Americans for Democratic Action is 78 percent. His lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, on the other hand, is an anemic 17 percent. He voted against drilling in ANWR, against the Bush tax cuts, and against banning partial birth abortion. But like the proud history of so many Democrats before him, Joe Lieberman believed in a strong national defense. And for that, he was purged from his Party.”

There it is!

Lieberman is a loss in a single area.

Moving the rest 'below the fold', but it's too important to ignore.

Is terrorism a valid threat?

There's a study making the rounds that will impact our daily lives. If not, it should!

All I've found is this .PDF file. It's titled "A False Sense of Insecurity?"

How does the risk of terrorism measure up against everyday dangers?

Skipping to the conclusion:

The policy perspective toward terrorism I suggest may not be more valid than other ones, and no one knows, of course, how the problem will play out in future years. However, the
policy advanced here seems to me a sound and sensible one, and for there to be a really coherent policy discussion, it should be part of the mix.

Deep concern about extreme events is not necessarily unreasonable or harmful. Thus, efforts to confront terrorism and reduce its incidence and destructiveness are justified. But
hysteria is hardly required. As always, there are uncertainties and risks out there, and plenty of dangers and threats. But none are existential. The sky, as it happens, is unlikely to fall anytime soon.

There are at least two significant reasons this study is of almost critical import. Firstly, the liberal/left have already started selectively quoting from it as further proof that The Administration has used terrorism is a tool to diminish our freedoms without need.

But the most important element is that the author is simply right!

The whole Global War on Terror thing has been a puzzle to me since I first heard it. GWOT has served to de-focus reality in some politically correct attempt to cover up what needed (and needs) to be done.

Shane's post here wonderfully states his (and mine, as well) case, and yet he uses 'terror' as a label for the threat. Just so there's no confusion - I agree with every word without reservation - save that one.

Terror IS a threat, not unlike lightening or drunk drivers, but it most certainly NOT the main threat facing us as a country and a civilization. In terms of war it's only a tactic.

In this case it prevents focusing on the broader scope of the threat. It saddens me that our government keeps waving a red flag about terror, while seemingly being prepared to ignore the threat of Islamic imperialism and/or a nuclear Iran. We can hope that their seeming disinterest is feigned in some way, but hope won't keep the Islamic wolf from the door.

Land and what I might have said

Not Just Land

I recently went on about 'time travel' a bit to make a point. Victor Hanson makes the same point and more. 'Great Minds' and all that? Well, maybe not.

Despite the claims of terrorist organizations, Israel's current two-front war is not just about land. After all, Hezbollah and Hamas fired rockets from Lebanon and Gaza well after Israel had withdrawn from both places. Indeed, if sacred Arab ground were the driving force of the Middle East crisis, then surely Syria itself would now be willing to risk a shooting war over the all important Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Cairo is still perhaps the nexus of virulent Arab anti-Semitism, even though Israel finished handing over Sinai to Egypt 1982.

The world prayed that after the unilateral departure of Israel from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005, and the recent elections in Beirut and the West Bank , it was witnessing an incremental evolution toward a lasting peace between rational democratic states. Gradually, Israel was returning to its 1967 borders. In response, gradually, it was hoped, Israel's Arab neighbors would vote into office reasonable statesmen who would renounce terror and get on with the business of crafting workable economies and governments. But all that optimism presupposed a radical change in the Middle Eastern mentality. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened.


Victimization turns out to be the real creed of the Middle East, uniting disparate Shiites, Sunnis, dictators, theocrats and terrorists. "They did it to us" offers an easy explanation of why Islamic states are now weak and offer little hope to millions of their poor, who, ironically, emigrate to the much pilloried West by the millions.

American cash aid, Israeli concessions, windfall petrol profits and, most of all, appeasement of radical Islamists can do nothing to alleviate these perceived grievances.

Instead, there will be no peace in the general Middle East until Iranians and Arabs have true constitutional government, free institutions, open markets and the rule of law. Without these reforms, they will continue to fail, seeking easy refuge in the shreds of mythical ancestral honor — and this pathetic neurosis of blaming nearby Israel for the loss of it.

Wish I'd said that...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Half-assed time travel part two

Or maybe I should have titled this piece "stating the obvious"? I'm just fascinated by the notion that someone MUST have discovered a time machine? It's only way I can understand the reasoning I hear spouted every day.

Another attempt to 'un-ring' a bell has been dealt with in a variety of forums and in a variety of ways, but try as I might I hear gibberish, mostly, and much to my chagrin, I still don't get it.

Let's accept for the moment that every argument against our going into Iraq is valid.

President Bush and his administration lied about a myriad of issues, the war was about oil, and Haliburton contracts, etc, etc.

All the conspiracy weenies are correct about whatever their particular notion might be.

Islamic imperialists can be dealt with in the UN, or as simple lawbreakers if need be.

Impeach the president, protest if you will, etc

But I can't help but ask SO WHAT?

Here's a couple of simple facts; we are in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we leave prematurely there will be chaos!

About the only way that quiting might be seen in a positive light is that the various factions may kill each other on a scale that may provide a short respite for the rest of the world.

This just ain't all that complicated! Is Islamic imperialism a valid threat? If not then we can pull the plug anytime, withdraw to CONUS, downsize the military and intelligence services, and forget about it.

If, however, the threat is real, trying to provide stable alternatives in the region just makes sense.

I'm lost here... we can't undo what IS, what's the point of trying to deal with the issues as if we can?

If your house is on fire do you call the Fire Department and try to save what you can - or do you call your local newspaper and begin a campaign to get the Fire Chief fired?

This is sophomoric in scope, what did I miss? That's not a rhetorical question - I'd really like an answer?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Half-assed time travel

One tale describes Israel as only existing because of some western efforts to impose borders and governments after WWII. Further, it has been said that Israel has illegally 'occupied' additional territory after later conflicts. I need no citations to support my 'weasel words'. Both positions are being re-stated daily, even in the UN and seemingly by our country's leaders as well. In the past Israel has been pressured to actually return some areas and some in Israel itself seem to be buying the position the 'land for peace' is a viable means of survival.

But... I find that logic foolish! And more than a little dangerous. How does one un-ring a bell?

Where does it stop? European borders have been drawn and re-drawn many times, by external forces and war. Indeed, I can't think of a single country where that isn't true, if we exclude a few small island states.

We should consider giving Texas back to Mexico because it was aquired mostly by warfare?

There is some strange vision at work here. A vision that ignores history and seems bent on traveling back in time try to undo things that have already happened.

If Israel has no right to exist then neither does any country, anywhere.

Think about it... most of the countries trying to cram the notion down our throats are or were themselves created in exactly the same way!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

stating the obvious

From Iran's Strategy Is Crudely Obvious--So Why Can't We Fight It?

The new Lebanon War, like much of the War on Terrorism, has a strange character. It is a war in which everyone knows the enemy's strategy, in which it is child's play to see through all of his ruses and propaganda tricks--and yet our leaders, rather than devising their own counter-strategy, fall for every ruse and play along with the enemy's game.

You hear a lot of talk these days about the "clever" Iranians and what good "chess players" they are in the contest of international diplomacy. But the Iranian strategy is, in fact, crudely transparent and obviously morally bankrupt. Everyone can grasp this--yet our leaders keep falling into the Iranian traps.

Everyone knows that Iran is using Hezbollah's war in Lebanon to distract attention from its nuclear weapons program. The Iranians were given a July 5 deadline to suspend uranium enrichment or face "serious consequences." The contemptuous Iranians declared that they wouldn't reply for another six weeks, on August 22. Then Hezbollah--a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran's Revolutionary Guards--initiated their war in Lebanon, and no one has paid attention to the Iranian nuclear program for the past three weeks. Now, finally, we are sending a new resolution to the UN Security Council--giving Iran until August 31 to agree to talks or face another months-long debate about whether we will impose sanctions against them.

Tooooo good to pass up. Read it and ask yourself about this aspect:

This is a strange kind of war, in which we have more than enough military capability to crush the enemy's "lousy army." Nor do we lack the intellectual power to understand and counteract the enemy's strategy. But we lack the moral confidence to use both our power and our knowledge.

Friday, August 04, 2006

semi-connected thoughts

Under the weather here, and somewhat medicated, but on occasion some synaptic activity rises above of the fog, I think (hope?).

I'm still troubled by the term FASCIST when talking about Islamic governments.

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

That definition could reasonably be used to describe any and every non-democratic government extant, or that ever existed.

So, yeah, it fits well enough, but misses the mark when describing the threat to the west.

Internal politics may be ugly, but it takes the added dimension of IMPERIALISM to generate a threat.

2 : the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly : the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence imperialism>

North Korea, for instance, may be fascist, but has severely limited imperial ambitions. Cuba has both a fascist government AND imperial ambitions, but still practically limited - it's unlikely Castro will attack Houston directly.

Islamic imperialism, however, is the greatest single threat since the USSR dissolved.

Said another way; if Iran wishes to live as a fascist state, so be it! I would prefer it didn't. but it's not a threat to me and mine.

Islamic Imperialism perfectly describes the threat.

It's of note (but a bit of a side issue) that historically those countries and cultures that have fallen to Islamic Imperialism have NOT been converted to Islam by force, but dealt with as Dhimmis.

From Dhimmi Watch

Dhimmitude is the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians. Dhimmis, "protected people," are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, is part of the law that global jihadists are laboring to impose everywhere, ultimately on the entire human race.

There were times in this country where we had a democracy but women and blacks couldn't vote. We could easily have a form of government that was a democracy, but non Muslims couldn't vote.

From Wikipedia: Spain under Islam.

Spanish society under Muslim rule became increasingly complex, partly because Islamic conquest did not involve the systematic conversion of the conquered population to Islam. At the same time, Christians and Jews were recognized under Islam as "peoples of the book", and so given dhimmi status. Christianity and Judaism shared with Islam the tradition of the Old Testament, and Islam considered Jesus Christ a major prophet. Most importantly, the Islamic Berber and Arab invaders were a small minority, ruling over a few million Christians. Thus, Christians and Jews were free to practice their religion, but they had to pay a prescribed poll tax. They were not permitted to build new churches or synagogues, and clothing conventions were used to mark them out. Conversion to Islam proceeded slowly at first but then at a steadily increasing pace, as it offered social and economic advantages and an escape from the humiliations of dhimmi status. Merchants, nobles, large landowners, and other local elites were usually the first to convert. By the eleventh century Muslims outnumbered Christians in Al-Andalus.

The Roman Catholic Church in Muslim Spain continued to function, although it lost contact with religious reforms in Rome. Muslim Spain came to include a growing number of Mozarabic Christians, people who adopted Arabic script and culture and preserved the old Christian rites from Visigothic times, that differed from the newer rites in Rome. Under some Muslim rulers, many Jews held prominent positions in commerce and the professions, and sometimes even positions in government.

The Muslim community in Spain was itself diverse and beset by social tensions. From the beginning, the Berber tribespeople of North Africa, who had provided the bulk of the soldiers, clashed with the Arabs of the Middle East, who formed the ruling elite. The Berbers, who were comparatively recent converts to Islam, accounted for the majority of Moors in Spain and they resented the sophistication and aristocratic pretensions of the Arab elite. They soon gave up attempting to settle the harsh lands of the northern reaches of the Meseta Central handed to them by the Arab elite, and, complaining of Arab duplicity, many returned to Africa during a Berber uprising against Arab rule. Over time the relatively tiny number of Moors gradually increased with immigration and cross marraiges. Large Moorish populations grew in the south, especially in the Quadalquivir river valley, the narrow but fertile Mediterranean coastal plain and in the Ebro river valley, south of Barcelona.

Like most parallels it isn't exact, but is useful because it offers a view of what we might expect. Imagine Islam laid over an existing democracy? Moorish Spain was NOT a fascist state.

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