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FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 06, 2008


By Charles Johnson

Coming soon to the most jihad-friendly university in America, UC Irvine: a leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, to spread disinformation about the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to achieve “democracy.”

It’s an odd form of democracy they want—the freedom to vote in a regime that would end voting forever.

And notice: this isn’t being sponsored by the Saudi-funded radical Muslim Student Union. It was organized by the UC Irvine Department of History and two UCI research centers.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Title: Religion and Democracy in the Middle East
Office: International Studies
Event Date: 10/8/2008 - 10/8/2008
Details: The Department of History, Middle East Studies Student Initiative (MESSI), Center for Research on International and Global Studies (RIGS), and Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS) present:

“Religion and Democracy in the Middle East: A New Generation of the Muslim Brotherhood Takes the Stage”

with Ibrahim El Houdaiby, leading young member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Cairo

Wednesday, October 8, 2008,
1:00-2:30 p.m.
Humanities Instructional Building, Room 135

El Houdaiby will discuss the history and current positions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the situation of democracy in Egypt today, the rise of a new generation of secular and religious cyber-activists, the challenges and successes they’ve encountered in struggling for democracy, and the role of U.S. policy in furthering or stifling democracy in the Middle East.

Ibrahim El Houdaiby is a leader of the emerging generation of political and social activists associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest religiously-founded group of its kind in the Middle East. He is a board member of ikhwanweb.com, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English Website. A graduate of the American University in Cairo, he holds a B.A. in political economy, and is currently working towards an MA in Islamic Studies at the High Institute of Islamic Studies in Cairo. He is a freelance columnist and researcher, with published articles and research papers in Arabic and English periodicals and journals. His Arabic works were published on IslamOnline.net, IkhwanOnline.com, Weghaat Nazar Monthly, Contemporary Muslim Quarterly, Al Badeel Newspaper and Al Dostoor Newspaper. His English works were published in th Guardian, Daily News Egypt, Jewish Daily Forward, World Politics Review, CommonGroundNews.org, Conflics Forum and CEPS.  Saturday, October 4, 2008




By John Hinderaker

Barack Obama's fundraising has been riddled with fraud from the beginning. In a case of "better late than never," the McCain campaign announced in a press conference today that it will file a complaint with the FEC. The sort of blatant criminality from which Obama has benefited is suggested by this report by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff:

The Obama campaign has shattered all fund-raising records, raking in $458 million so far, with about half the bounty coming from donors who contribute $200 or less. Aides say that's an illustration of a truly democratic campaign. To critics, though, it can be an invitation for fraud and illegal foreign cash because donors giving individual sums of $200 or less don't have to be publicly reported. Consider the cases of Obama donors "Doodad Pro" of Nunda, N.Y., who gave $17,130, and "Good Will" of Austin, Texas, who gave more than $11,000—both in excess of the $2,300-per-person federal limit.

In two recent letters to the Obama campaign, Federal Election Commission auditors flagged those (and other) donors and informed the campaign that the sums had to be returned. Neither name had ever been publicly reported because both individuals made online donations in $10 and $25 increments. "Good Will" listed his employer as "Loving" and his occupation as "You," while supplying as his address 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard, which is shared by the Austin nonprofit Goodwill Industries. Suzanha Burmeister, marketing director for Goodwill, said the group had "no clue" who the donor was. She added, however, that the group had received five puzzling thank-you letters from the Obama campaign this year, prompting it to send the campaign an e-mail in September pointing out the apparent fraudulent use of its name.

"Doodad Pro" listed no occupation or employer; the contributor's listed address is shared by Lloyd and Lynn's Liquor Store in Nunda. "I have never heard of such an individual," says Diane Beardsley, who works at the store and is the mother of one of the owners. "Nobody at this store has that much money to contribute." (She added that a Doodad's Boutique, located next door, had closed a year ago, before the donations were made.)

These crimes came to light because the people who made the illegal contributions made no effort at concealment. There is no easy way to know how much of Obama's loot is in fact illegal.

The issue of illegal foreign contributions is one that the mainstream media have successfully kept out of the news, but it is a serious concern:

In a similar case earlier this year, the campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T shirts in bulk from the campaign's online store. They had listed their address as "Ga.," which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.

This pattern of criminality is not accidental. It is, rather, an indictment of the scofflaw character of Obama's campaign:

This summer, watchdog groups asked both campaigns to share more information about its small donors. The McCain campaign agreed; the Obama campaign did not.

The rampant fraud that supports Barack Obama's campaign is a serious matter--a criminal matter, in fact. But not in the eyes of the Associated Press. An AP reporter participated in today's press conference and wrote this report, reproduced here in its entirety to show what an utter whitewash of the Obama campaign it is:

The Republican National Committee plans to file a fundraising complaint against Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign Monday, alleging it has accepted donations that exceed federal limits as well as illegal contributions from foreigners.

RNC officials acknowledged Sunday that they do not have a list of foreign donors to Obama's campaign. Instead, the complaint is based largely on media reports, including one from the conservative Web site Newsmax.

The complaint asks the Federal Elections Commission to audit Obama's campaign fund, RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross said in a conference call with reporters.

Cairncross said little is known about many of Obama's donors because the campaign is not required to disclose detailed information about people who give less than $200.

The Obama campaign, which is not accepting public funds, has raised more than $468 million. About half has come from small donors, a point of pride for the Obama campaign.

The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Note, in particular, the absurdity of this observation:

RNC officials acknowledged Sunday that they do not have a list of foreign donors to Obama's campaign.

It is illegal for foreigners to donate to an American political campaign, and Obama has refused to release information about his "small" donors. So how, exactly, could the Republican Party possibly have a "list of foreign donors to Obama's campaign?"

Running interference for criminal fraud: that's the role of the Associated Press since it became a liberal advocacy organization.


By John Hinderaker

It's a contender, anyway: the Associated Press claims that Sarah Palin's criticism of Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers was racist!

The AP's article is an "analysis" by one Douglass K. Daniel, described as "a writer and editor with the Washington bureau of The Associated Press." It has to be read to be believed:

By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign. And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret. ...

Her reference to Obama's relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, was exaggerated at best if not outright false. No evidence shows they were "pals" or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career. ...

Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?

In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.

Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American.

Most troubling, however, is how allowing racism to creep into the discussion serves McCain's purpose so well. ...

John McCain occasionally looks back on decisions with regret. He has apologized for opposing a holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. He has apologized for refusing to call for the removal of a Confederate flag from South Carolina's Capitol.

When the 2008 campaign is over McCain might regret appeals such as Palin's perhaps more so if he wins.

When the McCain campaign ran an ad that had a white woman in it, it was denounced as racist. When it ran an ad that had an African-American man (Franklin Raines) in it, it was denounced as racist. Now the McCain campaign links Obama to a white man, the former terrorist, and still anti-American, Bill Ayers. That's racist too. I think we've exhausted just about all the possibilities. The only non-racist thing McCain can do, apparently, is concede the election.

There once was a time when the Associated Press was a respected news-gathering agency. Some years ago, it began to abandon that mission in order to transform itself into a liberal advocacy organization. That transformation is now pretty much complete.

2008 will be remembered, I think, as the year in which the collapse of traditional American media became irreversible. The AP has plenty of company.  Sunday, October 5, 2008




By Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel




By Charles Johnson

Barack Obama was much older than 8 when William Ayers was photographed stepping on a US flag in 2001, for an article in which Ayers said he had “No Regrets” for his violent actions in the Weather Underground.

In fact, at the same time Ayers was in a Chicago alley desecrating the flag, he and Barack Obama were serving on the board of the Woods Fund together: PolitiFact | Obama served on board with Ayers.

Deborah Harrington, president of the Woods Fund, a philanthropic organization in Chicago, said Obama was a director from 1994 through 2001. That overlaps Ayers’ time as a director by three years. It also means Obama served with Ayers for the final months of 2001, after Ayers made his comments to the New York Times.


By Charles Johnson

The Associated Press seems to sense, in some dim way, that they may have gone a little over the line with that ludicrous “analysis” by Douglass Daniel that tries to accuse Sarah Palin of racism for mentioning Barack Obama’s association with former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.

In the latest revision, they’ve changed the headline from “Analysis: Palin’s words carry racial tinge” to: Analysis: Palin’s words may backfire on McCain.

Maybe not as much as this nasty bias will backfire on the Associated Press.

But the story also includes this unbelievably crass statement from “Democratic strategist” Jenny Backus:

“It’s a giant changing of the subject,” said Jenny Backus, a Democratic strategist. “The problem is the messenger. If you want to start throwing fire bombs, you don’t send out the fluffy bunny to do it. I think people don’t take Sarah Palin seriously.”

In an article about Sarah Palin’s subtle subtext of racism, this very unsubtle sexist slur against the Governor of Alaska goes unremarked, reported straight, as if it were a simple observation, nothing more. These people are completely beyond shame, both the Democrats who say these things and the Associated Press who enables them.

But remember, not all fluffy bunnies are as harmless as they seem.

(Hat tip: Sharmuta.)


By Charles Johnson

They’re relentless.

The latest Associated Press masterpiece of journalistic malpractice: a headline that goes right to the edge of saying Sarah Palin called Barack Obama a terrorist (which she did not): Palin defends terrorist comment against Obama.

They’re parroting Obama campaign propaganda, word for word, and doing eveything they can to minimize William Ayers’ terrorist acts.

But while Ayers and Obama are acquainted, the charge that they “pal around” is a stretch of any reading of the public record. And it’s simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts. Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weather Underground claimed credit for numerous bombings and was blamed for a pipe bomb that killed a San Francisco policeman.

Can you spot the world’s biggest straw man in that highlighted sentence?  Sunday, October 5, 2008




By Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy




By Paul Mirengoff

If it turns out to be the financial crisis that puts Barack Obama over the top in his quest for the White House, the irony will be difficult to overstate. First, the biggest driver of the financial crisis was not any conservative policy such as the kind of deregulation John McCain supports. Rather, as Diana West argues, the biggest driver was the “race-based social engineering” that “virtually created the sub-prime mortgage industry.” The implosion of that industry, in turn, triggered the present crisis.

The operative vision, then, was leftist and racialist, not free-market. As West puts it, the social engineers decided that not “enough” minorities had homes because not “enough” minorities were eligible for mortgages. The solution was to junk the bottom-line, non-racial markers of mortgage eligibility traditionally used by banks to distinguish between good and bad credit risks -- steady employment, clean credit, and a down payment. Obama, then, is the beneficiary of the terrible failure of affirmative action style policies in the mortgage banking sector.

But the irony extends further. For it turns out that intimidating banks into making bad loans to minorities was a major activity of “community organizations” during the 1990s. And, according to Stanley Kurtz, Obama himself trained and funded ACORN activists who engaged in such intimidation.

Using a combination of intimidation and white guilt to plunge the banking industry into the crisis that brings a radical activist to power – even Saul Alinsky couldn’t have drawn it up this well.  Sunday, October 5, 2008




Mustafa Abu Yazid from an al Qaeda tape released on Oct. 4. Pakistan claimed Yazid was killed in a battle in Bajaur last summer.

A senior Taliban or al Qaeda leader may have been killed in the Oct. 2 airstrike in North Waziristan, according to unconfirmed reports from Pakistan. But without confirmation from either the Taliban or the US, reports from Pakistani officials should be viewed as suspect.

The US carried out two separate strikes in North Waziristan on Oct. 2. Both strikes hit tribal areas in North Waziristan run by the Haqqani family. The strike in Mohammed Khel is reported to have killed 23, including 16 or more "Arab" al Qaeda members.

"The Taliban appeared extra-perturbed over the latest strike," the The Associated Press reported, based on anonymous Pakistani intelligence sources. "The anger was a signal that a senior militant may have been killed, but that has yet to be confirmed, the officials said."

Taliban fighters are "moving aggressively in the area while using harsh language against locals, including calling them "saleable commodities" — a reference to people serving as government spies," AP reported. The Taliban have surrounded the attack site and are keeping locals away.

The sources did not speculate as to who may have been killed. The US has been hunting Jalaluddin Haqqani, the legendary mujahideen fighter and leader of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, and Siraj, his son. The Haqqani family mosque was targeted in an airstrike on Sept. 9.

Both men have been behind major attacks in Afghanistan and lead the insurgency in Khost, Paktia, and Paktika provinces. The Haqqanis shelter al Qaeda leaders and fighters, and support training camps in their tribal areas in Pakistan.

Beware of Pakistani sourcing

The Pakistani government, the military, and intelligence services have been eager to show that senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders are being killed during Pakistani offensives in the tribal areas. The US has expressed concern over the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan, and has upped unilateral airstrikes inside Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas in an attempt to prevent attacks on US soil. Pakistani is under enormous pressure to show results in fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda.

But this year's reports of the death of senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders from Pakistani sources have almost always been false.

Since January 2008, nine senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri and Baitullah Mehsud, have been reported to have been killed inside Pakistan. Of those reported killed, only three have been confirmed killed. All three al Qaeda leaders were killed in US cross-border strikes, not in Pakistani offensive operations. The other six leaders who were reported killed by Pakistani sources have appeared in the media or on al Qaeda propaganda tapes.

Al Qaeda and the Taliban typically release a martyrdom announcement when senior operational leaders are killed. The reasons are twofold, a senior intelligence official told The Long War Journal. First, the terror groups want to celebrate the death of their leaders to help with recruitment. Second, the announcement serves to dispel any rumors within the organization and allows the replacement leader to take command.

Without independent confirmation from US intelligence and al Qaeda or the Taliban, reports of the death of senior terrorist leaders from exclusively Pakistani sources should be viewed with skepticism.

False reports:

The following al Qaeda and Taliban leaders were reported kill by Pakistani intelligence sources. These leaders later appeared in the media or on propaganda tapes.

Ayman al Zawahiri: Several large news outlets reported that al Qaeda's second in command was killed or seriously wounded in the May 14 airstrike in South Waziristan that killed al Qaeda WMD chief Abu Khabab al Masri. The Long War Journal was highly critical that Zawahiri was killed at the time. Zawahiri appeared on a videotape a week later urging Pakistanis to fight the government.

Baitullah Mehsud: On Sept. 30, several major news sources reported that Pakistani Taliban leader and South Waziristan warlord Baitullah Mehsud died of natural causes related to kidney problems. The Long War Journal was highly critical that Baitullah was dead, and intelligence sources said he was alive. On Oct. 1, the Taliban denied the report. Baitullah was seen visiting villages in South Waziristan to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr on Oct. 4.

Faqir Mohammed: The Pakistani military claimed Faqir Mohammed, the deputy commander of the Pakistani Taliban and the group's leader in the Bajaur tribal agency, was killed in a battle in Bajaur this summer. A Taliban spokesman immediately denied the report and Faqir appeared in front to the media a day later to dispute the claim of his death. The Pakistani military also claimed Faqir's son, Abdullah Mohammed, was killed, although no proof of his death has been offered.

Mustafa Abu Yazid: The Pakistani military claimed Mustafa Abu Yazid, al Qaeda's senior commander in Afghanistan, was killed in a battle in the Bajaur tribal agency this summer. The Long War Journal was highly critical of the reports of Yazid's death. Al Qaeda never confirmed Yazid's death, and the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies never presented evidence he was killed. Yazid has since appeared on multiple videotapes, including the Oct. 4 release that featured Adam Gadahn. The Pakistani military, who refer to Yazid as Abu Saeed al Masri, claimed Yazid was dead as recently as Sept. 26.

Adam Gadahn: Numerous Pakistani sources told multiple major news outlets that Gadahn was killed in the Jan. 28 airstrike in North Waziristan that killed senior al Qaeda leader Abu Laith al Libi. The Long War Journal was highly critical of the reports of Gadahn's death. Speculation grew after Gadahn failed to appear on al Qaeda propaganda tapes, As Sahab stopped producing English translations for the tapes, and some problems were reported with the release of videos and audio. Gadahn later appeared on a tape on Oct. 4, along with Yazid. Gadahn is the American al Qaeda spokesman who is wanted by the US for treason.

Qari Hussain: The Pakistani military claimed Qari Hussain, a senior lieutenant to Baitullah Mehsud who ran a suicide bomber nursery in South Waziristan, was killed during operations in January. Hussain held a press conference in South Waziristan on May 23, and mocked the Pakistani military. "I am alive, don't you see me?" Hussain said.

Confirmed kills:

Al Qaeda confirmed the death of all three leaders. The US killed the terrorist leaders in airstrikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Abu Laith al Libi: Abu Laith al Libi was killed in a US strike inside the North Waziristan tribal agency in Pakistan in late January. Al Libi was the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and served as a chief spokesman for al Qaeda. Al Libi also commanded al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan.

Abu Sulayman Jazairi: On May 14, a US airstrike killed Abu Sulayman Jazairi along with 13 associates in an attack against a Taliban and al Qaeda safe house in the town of Damadola in Pakistan's Bajaur tribal agency. Jazairi was a senior Algerian operative for al Qaeda's central organization who directed the group's external operations against the West. He is described as a senior trainer, an explosives expert, and an operational commander tasked with planning attacks on the West.

Abu Khabab al Masri: The US military killed Abu Khabab al Masri during a targeted strike on an al Qaeda safe house in the village of Zeralita in the Azam Warsak region of South Waziristan on July 28. Khabab was al Qaeda's chief bomb maker and headed its chemical and biological weapons programs.  Sunday, October 5, 2008




By Richard Fernandez

Samuel Johnson once wrote that “the prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully”. Although the onus for the recent financial crisis has been heaped upon one party by the MSM — the Republicans –  the very gravity of the situation can demolish frivolity and produce unexpectedly clear thinking. This YouTube video clip shows Alec Baldwin blaming Barney Frank and the Democrats in large measure for the subprime crisis. He is entirely correct in saying there’s enough blame to go around on both sides of the aisle.

Despite the power of the MSM, facts have the irresistable force of reality behind them. And when facts have serious consequences they can burn through bubble-headedness like nothing else. Hanging, concentrate, mind = unexpected clarity. Although the conventional wisdom is that the Wall Street Crisis will benefit the Democrats, as more information becomes available to the public, the eventual effect will be less dominated by spin than by sober thinking. It’s the sheer size of the stakes that is confounding the snake-oil salesmen. The usual snarky rules don’t apply. If Alec Baldwin can face the facts because he must face the facts then anyone can. The financial crisis, rather than benefitting the Democrats as a party may in the end curse the parties equally, rebounding on the entire political class in Washington, an outcome not altogether anticipated by political strategists.  Sunday, October 5, 2008


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