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FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 29, 2008


By Charles Johnson

Omar Bakri’s British followers, including Anjam Chaudhary, participated in a jihad conference in London on September 14, broadcast on Lebanon’s LBC TV, featuring a telephone visit by Bakri himself. (Courtesy of MEMRI TV.)

Click picture to play video. Requires Windows Media Player; Mac users should install Flip4Mac.

Following are excerpts from an LBC TV report on Muslims in London commemorating 9/11 which aired on September 14, 2008:

Reporter: Islamic activists in the British capital have chosen to mark the seventh anniversary of 9/11 in their own way. Once again, they called the attacks, which caused thousands of casualties, the “New York Raid.” They warned that new attacks would occur in the future, unless the U.S. reexamines its policy and attitude toward Islam and the Muslims.

Anjam Chaudhary, Secretary-General Al-Ghuraba Movement: Since the raid of Manhattan seven years ago, and the collapse of the twin towers in New York, many developments have taken place around the world. Many events similar to September 11, July 7, and November 3 [sic] have taken place in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Iraq, and Afghanistan since then.

Reporter: The event took place after the fast-breaking meal at a religious center in east London, and was attended by dozens of participants. The speakers focused on the lessons to be drawn from the attacks, and they derided the war on terror waged by Washington, and by Western and Islamic countries, saying that it had managed to strengthen Al-Qaeda, rather than weaken it.

Muhammad Seif Al-Islam, The Salafi Youth Movement: This is the consequence of your own actions an of every step you take. Wake up, wake up. So many times we have heard the warning of Sheik Osama Bin Laden, as well as the warnings of Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda, calling upon the Western peoples to awaken from their slumber, and to be on their guard so that their governments will not lead them to war, causing violence and aggression. [These peoples] should prevent their governments from inciting them to become the enemies of Islam and the Muslims.

Reporter: Sheik Omar Bakri, whose return to British soil has been denied, addressed the participants by phone from Lebanon.

Omar Bakri: “Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: Some of them have died, and others await their turn, but they have not changed [their religion].”

Reporter: From the support for Bakri’s words, it was clear that Bakri, founder of Hizb Al-Tahrir and the Muhajireen Movement, still enjoys the support and trust of his followers, who said their struggle against the British government’s policy would continue, regardless of the measures taken against them.  Sunday, September 28, 2008




By Robert Arial

Political Cartoons by Robert Arial




By Charles Johnson

According to Newsbusters, the family of the fallen soldier whose name is on a bracelet that Barack Obama wears asked Obama to stop wearing it.

Barack Obama played the “me too” game during the Friday debates on September 26 after Senator John McCain mentioned that he was wearing a bracelet with the name of Cpl. Matthew Stanley, a resident of New Hampshire and a soldier that lost his life in Iraq in 2006. Obama said that he too had a bracelet. After fumbling and straining to remember the name, he revealed that his had the name of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek of Merrill, Wisconsin.

Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son’s name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family.  Sunday, September 28, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

A source close to House Republicans has put out a Myth vs Fact rundown of the bailout compromise, announced early this morning.  This may answer some questions that have come up in the comments over the last few days:

Myth:  Windfall for ACORN.

Fact:  The Frank-Dodd proposal created an affordable housing slush fund and directed 20 percent of net benefits from the program to be directed to ACORN-type organizations.  The proposed compromise does not include any affordable housing slush fund and directs all net benefits back to the Treasury to pay down the national debt.

Myth:  Tax increase on financial industry.

Fact:  The proposed compromise imposes NO tax on the financial services industry.  The proposed compromise simply requires a proposal from the Administration to recoup any losses after five years.

Fact:  The proposed compromise includes tax cuts for struggling community banks.

Myth:  Blank check for $700 billion with little accountability.

Fact:  In general, the Treasury Secretary is limited to purchasing up to $250 billion outstanding at any one time.  If the Treasury needs to use another $100 billion, the President must certify this action and report to Congress.  Further spending requires Congressional action.

Myth:  Treasury plan is the only option available.

Fact:  Treasury is given multiple options to deal with the current economic crisis, including insurance, public/private auctions, loan guarantees, and direct support to financial institutions.

Fact:  Further, Treasury is MANDATED to create an insurance program (Section 102) that protects the taxpayers and requires companies that wish to participate in this program to have some skin in the game by paying risk-based premiums.

Myth:  The taxpayer is not adequately protected.

Fact:  The proposed compromise includes strong taxpayer protections.  Treasury’s proposal had minimal oversight to protect taxpayer dollars.  The proposed compromise enhanced the oversight structure by creating a Financial Stability Oversight Board, a Special Inspector General, and a Congressional Oversight Panel.

All AIG-type deals require mandatory equity interest in order to provide taxpayers with potential future benefits.  All auctions require a percentage of equity interest based on participation in the program.

Requires the Secretary to develop regulations/guidelines necessary to prohibit or, in specific cases, manage any conflicts of interest with respect to contractors, advisors, and asset managers.

Myth:  The taxpayer does not benefit from Treasury bailouts.

Fact:  The proposed compromise (Section 113) requires mandatory equity interest in scenarios like AIG.  The proposed compromise also allows Treasury to take an equity interest in the program generally.

Myth:  Treasury will never use the insurance option.

Fact:  Treasury is mandated (Section 102) to establish an insurance program and set risk-based premiums.  This will protect taxpayers by requiring the beneficiaries of the insurance program to pay risk-based premiums.  Treasury further shall collect premiums  mandatory equity interest in scenarios like AIG.  The proposed compromise also allows Treasury to take an equity interest in the program generally.

Will this resolve all of the concerns conservatives have in this plan? No, but it does address some of the most contentious issues. It also shows how much influence that the House Republicans had on the final draft, and for that they can thank John McCain for his intervention.  Sunday, September 28, 2008




By John Hinderaker

It happens quite often, actually. Most recently, Nancy Pelosi called House Republicans--the ones who were representing American taxpayers in negotiating the Democrats' bailout bill--"unpatriotic." This is because the Republican negotiators failed to attend a meeting of which they were not notified, and to which they were not invited.

I think the Democrats are deliberately pushing the envelope as far as they can. They've learned that they can get away with anything, so they're trying to redefine "anything."

PAUL adds: We won't really discover the meaning of "anything" until after the election, assuming Obama wins it.

JOHN HAS BEEN MULLING IT OVER, AND ADDS: Of course, it is out of the question to suggest that any Democrat is unpatriotic. Still, I can see how some evil right-wingers could be tempted.

I mean, on the one hand, we have the Speaker of the House saying that Republicans are unpatriotic because they failed to attend a meeting of which they had no knowledge because they were not invited. On the other hand, we have the Democratic nominee for President, whose spiritual mentor has declaimed, repeatedly, "God damn America," and whose political mentor tried to bomb the U.S. Capitol and still thinks it was a great idea. There is, one must admit, a certain contrast there.

I would never suggest, of course, that Barack Obama's history might indicate a lack of patriotism. That would be completely out of bounds in polite society. Still, if Pelosi wants to open the subject of who is patriotic and who is not, one can see why renegade right-wingers would think that a stronger case could be made against Obama than against the Republicans who weren't invited to the Democrats' meeting.

Nevertheless, however logical that inference might be, I join with the mainstream media in rejecting it. We all know that it is impossible for a Democrat to be unpatriotic. That is a vice of which only a Republican can be accused with impunity. There is a reason for this, I'm sure, but for the moment I can't quite remember what it is. When I recall it, I'll do another update.

For the time being, all you need to know is this: it's open season on Republicans, but Barack Obama is above criticism.  Sunday, September 28, 2008





US forces detained five members of the Hezbollah Brigades in Baghdad on Saturday as part of a renewed push to blunt the return of Iranian-backed Shia terror groups reentering Iraq. The Iraqi and US military have stepped up operations against the Special Groups over the past two weeks. Iraqi and US forces killed two Special Groups fighters and captured 107 since Sept. 16.

The latest series of raids in Baghdad netted five members of the Hezbollah Brigades in New Baghdad, a former stronghold of Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army. The Hezbollah Brigades is an Iranian-backed terror group that has been behind multiple roadside bombings and rocket attacks against US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad. The group films these attacks and posts them on the internet. More than 30 Hezbollah Brigades operatives have been captured over the past two months. The group is estimated at having several hundred members.

The US military says Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the "Special Groups." These groups train in camps inside Iran. The US Treasury Department placed sanctions on a senior Iranian general and a Mahdi Army commander for arming, training, and funding Shia terror groups in Iraq on Sept. 16.

Recently an Iraqi police chief said Special Groups fighters and leaders were beginning to return into Iraq from bases in Iran.

"The Special Groups are returning from Iran after receiving training in using new tactics," Brigadier General Sabah al Fatlawi, the chief of police in the southern province of Dhi Qhar, told AFP on Sept. 16. "We have seized 20 motorcycle bombs in Nasiriyah. Some groups have arrived in Nasiriyah ... They are crossing the border through Amarah." Amarah borders Iran and served as the Mahdi Army and Special Group's headquarters in the South.

One of the largest single roundups of Iranian-backed fighters occurred on Sept. 25-26 north of Nasiriyah. Iraqi forces detained 53 Special Groups operatives and found large weapons caches during a series of operations north of the city.

The Special Groups and the Mahdi Army fled to Iran after the Iraqi military, backed by Coalition forces, launched a series of operations against the Mahdi Army in central and southern Iraq in March 2008.

The Mahdi Army took heavy casualties while opposing the Iraqi security forces in Basrah and the South and against US and Iraqi forces in Sadr City during operations to secure the areas in March, April, and May. More than 1,000 Mahdi Army fighters were killed in Sadr City alone, according to a Mahdi Army commander in Baghdad. Another 415 were killed in Basrah. More than 400 were killed during fighting in the southern cities of Najaf, Karbala, Hillah, Diwaniyah, Amarah, Samawah, and Nasiriyah in late March and early April, according to numbers compiled by The Long War Journal. Thousands more have been wounded or captured.

In June, Sadr announced he would disband the Mahdi Army and form a small, secretive military arm to fight Coalition forces. He also withdrew the Sadrist movement from the political process and instead vowed to back independent candidates. The decisions caused shockwaves in the Mahdi Army, as some leaders wished to continue the fight against US forces in Baghdad and in southern and central Iraq. The Mahdi Army has been disbanded while Sadr still lives in Iran.  September 27, 2008

Recent operations against the Iranian-backed terror groups operating inside Iraq:

Sept. 27: Coalition forces captured five Hezbollah Brigades fighters in New Baghdad

Sept. 25-26: Iraqi and US forces captured 53 Special Groups operatives north of Nasiriyah. Large amounts of weapons were also uncovered.

Sept. 24: Coalition forces captured a senior weapons smuggler for the Army of the Righteous in Amarah.

Sept. 21: Coalition forces detained five Hezbollah Brigades operatives during two separate raids in New Baghdad.

Sept. 20: Iraqi and US forces captured two Special Groups fighters in Al Kut in Wasit province.

Sept. 19: US soldiers captured two Special Groups operatives in the Hayy Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad’s Rashid district.

Sept. 18: Iraqi security forces killed one Special Groups fighter and detained four during a raid in Hillah.

Sept. 16-18: Iraqi Special Operations Forces and Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics teams captured eight Special Groups fighters and killed one during operations in Hillah, Amarah, Diwaniyah, and New Baghdad.

Sept. 16: Iraqi police captured six Special Groups fighters behind an IED attack that killed a policeman in the Ur neighborhood in Baghdad.




By Scott Johnson

Former Minnesota state senator Doug Johnson was a powerful and long-time DFL (Democratic) legislator from Cook on Minnesota's Iron Range. He's a party-line voter, but he has announced that he is supporting incumbent Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman against Al Franken this year. The Mesabi Daily News reports:

"I’m strongly supporting U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman for re-election, the only Republican I will have voted for in more than 40 years as an eligible voter,” Johnson said in a telephone interview late last week. “I’ve never been a ticket splitter before, but the problems on the Range, state and country are too severe to just stick with one political party. I’m also strongly supporting Barack Obama for president and Jim Oberstar for Congress from the 8th District and have long admired Amy Klobuchar, our other current U.S. senator who is not up for re-election.”

Johnson said he is basing his decision for Coleman and not Democratic nominee Al Franken or Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley on temperament and who would be better for jobs in rural areas such as the Iron Range.

“Norm Coleman has a passion on issues without getting angry at the opposition. This way, Norm can work across party lines and get things done for the Range and state, similar to what I used to do in the Legislature. Al Franken appears passionate but angry. And if you go to Washington angry you might as well stay home as you won’t get anything done,” Johnson said.

Relentless negative advertising has taken a toll on Senator Coleman's support and made the Minnesota race competitive. It appears that the Franken/Democratic/union negative advertising against Senator Coleman hasn't done anything yet to increase support for Al Franken. Franken remains a particularly weak candidate in rural Minnesota. Nevertheless, Doug Johnson's endorsement of Norm Coleman is a somewhat surprising and potentially significant development in the race.  Sunday, September 28, 2008




By Ed Gamble

Political Cartoons by Ed Gamble




By Ed Morrissey

Tony Rezko has apparently seen enough of prison and wants to cut a deal, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Federal prosecutors have begun meeting with Rezko and getting information, according to at least one defense attorney connected to other defendants in the case.  This sounds like bad news for the Chicago Machine and Governor Rod Blagojevich:

Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a convicted influence peddler who was once one of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s most trusted confidants, has met with federal prosecutors and is considering cooperating in the corruption probe of the governor’s administration, sources told the Tribune.

Rezko’s possible change of heart—after years of steadfast refusal—has sent ripples through a tight circle of prominent defense attorneys who represent dozens of potential witnesses and targets in the wide-ranging probe.

His cooperation would give prosecutors investigating the governor and his wife access to someone they have described as an ultimate political insider at the center of a pervasive pay-to-play scheme.

Rezko’s sentencing hearing comes in October.  If he wants to cut a deal, he’ll need to make it before then, and he had better come up with enough to keep the feds interested.  Patrick Fitzgerald has been investigating Chicago politics for several years, and he will want a lot of scalps before allowing Rezko to see daylight again.

This probably puts Blagojevich on the hot seat first.  Rezko’s trial unearthed at least one potential corruption event directly involving the governor, and he may have much more to tell Fitzgerald.  Obviously, Fitzgerald would love to nail Blagojevich and his involvement in corruption, but something tells me he’s aiming more for Richard Daley.  Blagojevich would make a handy intermediate stop to this ultimate destination, and potentially a good witness against Daley if Rezko can deliver him.

Will this affect Barack Obama?  Maybe, maybe not.  While Obama was neck-deep in the Chicago machine, his role as a legislator probably kept him from getting too entangled in the cronyism and corruption that Rezko ran.  Obama would not have the direct power to reward corruption that Daley and Blagojevich had, and would have served better as window dressing, a reformist that could distract attention from the real rot in the public system.

Of course, we won’t know what tunes Rezko can sing once he starts.  Sunday, September 28, 2008


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