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War Blog By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, November 04, 2005


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BAD MOON RISING

05.11.03.BadMoonRising-X.gif

www.coxandforkum.com

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RIOTING IN FRENCH SUBURBS 'WELL ORGANIZED'

So says Sarkozy, via the Drudge Report:

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday that the riots in several Paris suburbs over the previous night were "not spontaneous" but rather "well organized."

"What we saw in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis overnight was not spontaneous, it was perfectly organized. We are looking into by whom and how," Sarkozy told French news channel i-tele.

The interior minister also said the government would not allow "troublemakers, a bunch of hoodlums, think they can do whatever they want" in the country.

The rioting in Denmark was planned for three weeksThursday, November 3, 2005

http://jihadwatch.org

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MUSLIMS TRY TO OUTDO VON CHOLTITZ

As the Nazis started falling back in France, Hitler devised an insane plan to burn Paris to the ground before any possible withdrawal. He put General von Choltitz in charge of the city, who stalled Hitler for as long as possible before surrendering the city intact to invading Free French forces. The German general could have easily destroyed major parts of historical Paris, and nearly sacrificed both his life and those of his family in keeping the City of Light intact.

What von Choltitz preserved, Paris' own Muslim population appears intent on destroying now. For a full week, night has brought riots and destruction to the City of Light, while the French government seems paralyzed and unsure about how to stop it. It started when French police investigated a robbery in an area known to law enforcement as a "no-go" area, one in which even police dare not intrude on Islamist territory:

President Jacques Chirac warned yesterday of a "dangerous situation" and the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, called an emergency cabinet meeting after a wave of serious urban unrest spread to more than a dozen towns and housing estates around Paris.

"The law must be firmly applied in a spirit of dialogue and respect," Mr Chirac told ministers. "An absence of dialogue and an escalation of disrespect will lead to a dangerous situation. There cannot be no-go areas in the republic." ...

The unrest was triggered by last Thursday's accidental death in Clichy-sous-Bois, five miles from Aulnay, of two African teenagers who were electrocuted while hiding in a power substation from what they believed, apparently wrongly, was police pursuit.

The riots typify French reaction to Islamism, and spring from a European approach to the Islamic wave of migration into Europe. After WWII, the French built so-called "sink estates" for the workers they encouraged to emigrate to help rebuild the nation, as did Germany. Most of these workers came from Turkey and colonies in North Africa. Instead of planning for their integration into society, however, the French allowed these communities to grow and fester in economic and social isolation. After two generations, the sink estates have proven to be nothing more than preplanned ghettoes, and the workers have no future except as second-class citizens of the nations they helped rebuild from devastation.

Even absent radical Islamism, the French should have foreseen the disaster that has presently come upon them, and had a plan to handle it. After 9/11, the French should have responded proactively to counter the push for French Muslims to join efforts with al-Qaeda and other kinds of terrorist groups. Whether through fatalism or Gallic arrogance, the French has refused to acknowledge the danger -- and now the economic frustration has joined with the religious lunacy of Islamofascism to turn parts of one of the capitals of the West into little more than Fallujah-sur-Seine.

The police have long avoided patrols in these areas, preferring to leave the Muslims there to their own devices -- and they have understood the message: France will not fight for her own territory. Even responsible Muslims have no choice under those circumstances to work within the power structure that arises in these ghettoes, thanks to French surrender. The result has not been rioting, as understood by the press, but rather a series of running battles between France's belated response to the violence and proto-terrorists using the same hit-and-run field tactics seen by Coalition forces in Fallujah and other cities in Iraq. The only weapons they lack are explosives for IEDs, and so the fatality rate has stayed low -- at least thus far.

The French still dither when they should act instead, sending the message even more clearly that they will not act in their own defense. The Muslim Uprising will soon become an al-Qaeda rallying point; not an intifada, as some have surmised, but an actual military front in AQ's war on the West. They intend to turn the sink estates into holy land and ensure that their bloody rule cannot be dislodged. If the French do not act quickly, they may soon find out what happens when fascists without the humanity of a von Choltitz will do to their beloved Paris once they have enough power.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

www.captainsquartersblog.com

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MUSLIM RIOTING IN DENMARK - WORST RIOT IN YEARS

"Several days of Muslim Riots in Denmark (Not only in France)," a translation of this Jyllands Posten piece from Free Republic (thanks to Shiva):

For several nights in a row, there has been the worst riots in Århus for many years.

"This land belongs to us", declared the young rioters. Another arson attack took place sunday night.

Sunday evening the fire department needed police escorts to get in and extinguish an arsonist fire in Søndervangs Alle.

The words of the young Muslims sound like an open declaration of war against Danish society. The police must stay away. This area belongs to immigrants.

Four youngsters sit at the wall in the Rosenhøj center, sunday afternoon, self decleared spokesmen, for those groups who three nights in a row has rioted, and put business on fire.

All around the parking lot, there are swarms of cars with youngster from the immigrant community, who are celebrating the worst riots in Århus in several years.

Every night, 30 to 40 immigrant youngsters participated. Only two are under arrest.

It was a victory.

"We knew that you would come. We are the spokesmen", said one young man with his face covered.

He was angry. Very angry.

Petrol though the window.

At the back of the house was a window broken, and the fire was burning wildly, probably because of petrol that had been thrown in.

The fire engines waited for police escort so they could enter in and try to put out the fires.

Bricks from the street have been thrown and crushed windowns all up the street.

The police reports that the youngsters came to the area armed with rocks that they brought in.

Rocks against a bakery.

Saturday, a 16 year old from Somalia was jailed for comitting dangerous violence, because he attacked a bakery with large rocks. One rock barely missed the baker's face.

Raids.

"We are tired of being oppressed. We are tired of the police raiding our parents. We are tired of the police stopping our cars, and raiding us in public and damaging our honour."

"We are tired of the police beating up our friends, like they did this afternoon", screams the young man with his face covered.

He calles himself 100 percent palestinian, born in a refugee camp in Lebanon, 19 years ago, and is now unemployed in Denmark.

"The police has to stay away. This is our area. We rule this place."

And then comes the cartoons of Mohammed.

"We are angy to what has happened to our prophet. We are tired of the Jyllands Post (Danish paper who published cartoons of Mohammed). I know that it wasn't you, but we are not going to take this, what the Jyllands Post has done towards the prophet", he states aggressivly, and the others nod in agreement.

Planned for three weeeks.

Two of them are Turks, and it is the first time that Turks and Palestinians have joined forces, according to the spokesman.

"We have planned this for three weeks. That's why only two were arrested on Saturday. Police tried to block us in, but we now how to get out", he states and dissapears chewing on a piece of pizza that he has looted from Fun Pizza.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

http://jihadwatch.org

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AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Paul Cruce, an American now attending school in Paris to become a baker (great idea!), has written me some fascinating email about his surprising experiences over there in the midst of all the conflagrations:

What I have found to be far more common is a real warmth for the U.S. and I have found it in surprising and unexpected ways. Examples:

* October a year ago I was here for a week. I had been invited to a Hallowe'en dinner party prepared by a couple I know, both of whom are chefs. During the dinner, I was asked by another guest if I supported Bush or Kerry. With a smile, I quickly and firmly replied "President Bush." To my surprise, the entire table - about 30 people altogether - burst out in applause. One woman said, "The U.S. did the right thing in Iraq. Chirac is on Saddam's payroll. That's the only reason our government has opposed yours there," and all the other heads at the table nodded in agreement. This group included some people whom I know usually vote for the Socialist Party rather than Chirac's UMP.

* This past May while in Paris preparing for my move here, a woman whom I did not know approached me and asked if I am an American. (It both amazes and frustrates me that they know I am an American before I even open my mouth! I WANT to blend in.) When I replied in the affirmative, she said: "I apologize for our government. We don't hate Americans! We love you! God bless President Bush!"

* Last week before the rioting began, I found myself in a conversation with a Frenchman in the Starbucks between Forum des Halles and (the architecturally hideous) Centre Georges Pompidou. He said, "Don't believe what the TV and the newspapers say about the French hating Americans. The TV and the newspapers hate Americans and our government is not your friend, but WE are your friends. You did the right thing in Iraq."

Three examples do not necessarily tell the whole story, but the fact that all three of these things happened spontaneously and most unexpectedly, when combined with my total experience in France, tell me that the notorious French anti-Americanism is centered in the incestuous mindset of the bureaucrats who all came out of the same school and in the media, who here, just as in the U.S., have a symbiotic relationship with the political left.

He also writes this about the current situation:

The government has quietly put a lot of AK-47-toting soldiers on patrol in Paris, especially around key public transportation points and at the monuments and high-traffic areas such as Forum des Halles. I think there are three reasons for this - 1) to reassure the public - and the tourists, 2) to take some pressure off the Police Nationale, who have been deployed in greater numbers to the north-eastern suburbs and 3) to send a message to would be trouble-makers.

The French have the reputation of being wimps, but in my experience, when they crack down, they crack down HARD. For one example, ChIRAQ's crony in the OFF scandal, Merimee, was quickly imprisoned in la Conciergerie which has the reputation of being one of the toughest prisons in France, despite its scenic location by la Seine and adjacent to the gothic stained glass splendor of la Sainte-Chapelle.

The laws here in France are very different than in the U.S. Despite the Napoléanic Code revisions, French law is still rooted in Roman law. That means you are guilty until YOU can prove yourself innocent. The judges act as something of a grand jury with sentencing powers and can decide whether or not you get a jury trial. Thus the muslims who were arrested last Thursday night in Clichy-sous-Bois went to prison on Monday! None of that Miranda merde here!

UPDATE: More interesting views on the French situation at Instapundit.

FROM the BBC on the escalating situation: Wednesday night's violence erupted in 10 areas across the Paris department of Seine-Saint-Denis, home to poor, largely immigrant communities with high levels of unemployment.

Locals officials said rioters set fire to 177 vehicles across the region. In the flashpoint town of Aulnay-sous-Bois, youths set fire to a car showroom and damaged two primary schools, a post office and a shopping centre

Two live rounds were fired in the town of La Corneueve, and fire fighters in Saint-Denis and Noisy-le-Sec were also shot at, a senior local official said.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

www.rogerlsimon.com

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THE ARREST OF ABU MUSAB AL-SURI?

By Bill Roggio

Reports from Pakistan indicate that senior al Qaeda operative Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri (the Syrian), has been arrested in a raid. Andrew Cochran has a roundup of links at The Counterterrorism Blog, including a profile by Evan Kohlmann and a discussion by The Investigative Project’s Lorenzo Vidino on al-Suri’s relationship al Qaeda in Iraq commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Athena of Terrorism Unveiled has further background information, including a profile of al-Suri.

al-Suri has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the Taliban, al Qaeda, the European Tawhid network and Jund al-Sham, which morphed into Ansar al-Islam. He is a prime suspect in the Madrid 3/11 bombings. He was responsible for developing al Qaeda’s chemical weapons program in Afghanistan and ran a terrorist training camp to school operatives in the uses of such weapons.

Pakistan is often accused of being a less than reliable ally in the War on Terror, and has been accused of staging high profile arrests at opportune times to “prove” they are in our camp. Pakistan's reluctance to dismantle al Qaeda affiliate Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) gives Pakistan’s critics good reason to question their commitment. One thing is clear: Pakistan, along with Iran, is a major hub for al Qaeda’s operational commanders.

But the arrest or death of high profile al Qaeda commanders such as Khalid Sheihk Mohammed, Abu Farraj al-Libbi, Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi Binalshibh, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani and Amjad Hussain Farooqi, along with over 700 al Qaeda operatives cannot be discounted. These are senior, experienced, well connected leaders, many of whom are directly related to the planning of 9/11 and other al Qaeda led attacks worldwide.

The arrest of al-Suri, if true, is a welcome development in the War on Terror. There is no word on whether laptops, data storage, notebooks or other data storage devices pertaining to al Qaeda’s operations were seized. If he can be cracked, he can possibly divulge intimate knowledge on al Qaeda’s WMD programs as well as its networks throughout Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

http://billroggio.com

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TWO SUSPECTED AL-QAEDA FIGURES ARRESTED IN PAKISTAN

This could be a major victory. From AP, with thanks to Cindy:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistani security agencies have arrested two al-Qaeda suspects and are investigating whether one is a Syrian believed to be a key figure in Osama bin Laden's terror network in Europe, two intelligence officials and a senior government official said Thursday.

The two suspects were captured this week during a raid on a house in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, said one of the intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

A senior government official confirmed the arrests and said authorities were investigating whether one of the suspects was Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, alleged to have had a key role in the March 11, 2004, Madrid bombings that left 191 people dead and more than 1,500 people injured. That official also declined to be named, saying he was not allowed to comment on the investigation.

Neither the intelligence officials nor the government official had information about the identity of the second suspect.

Pakistani government spokesmen and the U.S. Embassy said they could not immediately confirm the arrests.

The U.S. government last year announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

http://jihadwatch.org 

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TERROR CELL BUSTED IN CANADA

Canadian intelligence has arrested four Algerians, including an Al Qaeda bomb maker. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

TORONTO - Canadian counter- terrorism investigators have dismantled a suspected terrorist cell in Toronto whose members included an al-Qaeda-trained explosives expert, the National Post has learned.

The cell consisted of four Algerian refugee claimants who had lived in Canada for as long as six years and were alleged members of a radical Islamic terror faction called the Salafist Group for Call and Combat.

The central figure of the Toronto-area cell was a former al-Qaeda training camp instructor who studied bomb-making at Osama bin Laden’s Al Farooq and Khaldun training camps in eastern Afghanistan.

The group was watched by intelligence officers before being broken apart in an inter-agency operation involving the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada Border Services Agency and police.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog

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ABLE DANGER UPDATE: SHAFFER LOSES HIS APPEALS

Earlier today, I received a message from Mark Zaid, attorney for Able Danger whistleblower Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer. The Defense Intelligence Agency has decided to proceed in revoking Col. Shaffer's clearance, a necessary component for his civilian job at the agency, and will likely terminate his employment. Zaid says:

Ed, in record breaking speed that to me clearly denotes selective retaliatory attention, the DIA's SAB has affirmed the revocation of Tony's security clearance. Unfortunately DIA has seen fit to completely disregard our submissions, and Cong Weldon and Hunters' formal requests to refrain from acting against Tony. This was the final stage of the process. There are no more administrative appeals left with respect to the clearance. A response to the indefinite suspension will be filed tomorrow. I expect that Tony will receive a notice of termination also in record breaking speed. That will take effect no sooner than thirty days from when received.

Since the Judiciary Committee has decided to schedule the Alito hearings in January, that gives them some free time between now and the end of their work sessions to haul the DIA in front of them and demand some answers. Given the old and picayune nature of the infractions that the DIA has used to challenge Shaffer's security clearance, their haste in closing this case strongly suggests that Zaid has it pegged; this termination surely comes as a vindictive ploy to warn other potential Able Danger witnesses not to cooperate with Congress.

That sounds like a terrible message to allow to pass unnoticed by the American public. While we understand the need for secrecy in dealing with some issues about the war on terror, we need to know that we have all the effective assets of intelligence work on line and functioning properly. We need to know exactly what Able Danger found, and what information got passed along and which got blocked by the DIA and Pentagon lawyers. Mostly, though, when the people's representatives demand that a government agency opens its books, it damned well better cooperate.

ALITO SMEAR #2: THE DRAFT DODGER

CNN weighed in last night with an AP story that will probably crank up the anti-Alito smear artists on the Left for the next 24-48 hours -- the fact that Samuel Alito went into the Army Reserve rather than wait to get drafted. Faced with a low draft number, Alito chose to enlist as an officer instead and spent a few months on active duty before starting an eight-year career in the Reserves:

Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito joined the Army Reserve while he was a college student because his lottery number had made it likely he would be drafted for the Vietnam War, college roommates said Wednesday.

Alito was part of the Army's ROTC program during his years at Princeton -- 1968 to 1972 -- a period when the war in Southeast Asia escalated and more American men were drafted. ...

With graduation looming, the student deferment gone and Yale Law School waiting, Alito joined the Army Reserve.

"It was draft-related," college roommate Mark Dwyer said of Alito's decision. "I joined the teacher preparation program. We were all focused on the draft lottery when those numbers got called. We thought about where we were.

"Sam looked like he was sure to be drafted. He said, 'If I'm going into the Army, I might as well be an officer.'"

The AP story makes sure to give a couple of paragraphs of George Bush's now-controversial record of serving his country through the TexANG, and also mentioning Dick Cheney's student and family deferments. Although Alito is not running for office and his military service does not relate to Alito's nomination, the AP and CNN seem determined to toss anything at Alito to see if it sticks. This particular story has the added bonus of restarting the tired and long-debunked mythology of Bush's supposed "desertion".

Expect to see this get run into the ground for the next few days, as people start postulating about who got Alito into the Reserves, whether it be the Mob or some rich benefactor -- maybe Richard Mellon Scaife? -- who secretly controlled the system so that Alito could one day become a powerful jurist. The CNN headline, "Facing Draft, Alito Joined Army Reserve" already suggests that Alito chose the Reserve out of something less than a smart decision to enter the service as an officer -- for which he had already trained as an ROTC student during his undergrad years, before student deferments ended.

Needless to say, Alito's entire life shows a commitment to courageous public service, including the dangerous business of prosecuting organized-crime figures. This pseudostory on Alito's military career smells suspiciously like a chickenhawk smear, aided and abetted by the same news organizations that brought us the "covenant" story on John Roberts that turned out to be totally false, even based on its original reporting. The AP needs to determine whether it wants to keep a reputation for objective news reporting or create a new one for bias and spin that it rapidly has acquired over the past few years.

LYING LIARS LOVE JOSEPH WILSON

Today's Wall Street Journal has a can't-miss editorial published in its open-to-all OpinionJournal website. It excoriates the "Clare Luce Democrats," those who have again appointed Joe Wilson their poster boy for the Bush-lied meme that went down to defeat in 2004 when their party used it as the only plank in their platform. Harry Reid took up that strategy himself when he led the Senate into secret session, the first time in 25 years Rule 21 had been used without agreement between the two parties:

Harry Reid pulled the Senate into closed session Tuesday, claiming that "The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq." But the Minority Leader's statement was as demonstrably false as his stunt was transparently political. ...

We are now seeing the spectacle of Bush-hating Democrats adopting a similar slander against the current President regarding the Iraq War. The indictment by Patrick Fitzgerald of Vice Presidential aide I. Lewis Libby has become their latest opening to promote this fiction, notwithstanding the mountains of contrary evidence. To wit:

• In July 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan 500-page report that found numerous failures of intelligence gathering and analysis. As for the Bush Administration's role, "The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," (our emphasis).

• The Butler Report, published by the British in July 2004, similarly found no evidence of "deliberate distortion," although it too found much to criticize in the quality of prewar intelligence.

• The March 2005 Robb-Silberman report on WMD intelligence was equally categorical, finding "no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. . . .analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments."

Most commentators missed the final bullet point. The Robb-Silberman report was the "missing" Phase II that Reid demanded. He and the Democrats refused to accept it because it doesn't help them raise money or gather voters for elections.

Kerry had the good sense to drop Wilson like, as the WSJ says, a Paris Hilton boyfriend once Wilson's lies came to light. His delayed adoption by the rest of the Democratic leadership shows just how ethically empty and bereft of ideas they have become.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

www.captainsquartersblog.com

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WHAT'S THE POINT?

The Democrats appear to be putting all their eggs in the pre-war intelligence basket, but why? Certainly not because they actually believe it's a legitimate issue. Several investigations have already concluded that the Bush administration didn't manipulate pre-war intelligence, and the Democrats, from Bill Clinton on, made all the same claims about Saddam's weapons, etc., that the Bush administration did. Moreover, the whole idea that the administration would use Iraq's WMDs as a "pretext" for war is stupid. If the administration knew Saddam didn't have the weapons, then it also knew its "pretext" would be exposed as soon as the invasion was complete. No one would be dumb enough to go to war on the basis of a claim that was not only wrong, but would quickly be shown to be wrong. So the Democrats aren't acting in good faith, they're playing politics.

But it's a funny kind of politics, isn't it? The point seems to be to drive down President Bush's approval ratings. To some degree the Dems' slander has succeeded in doing that, although it's hard to measure because so many of the polls are meaningless, like the new CBS poll I commented on last night.

But how does this strategy, even if it works, make sense? Bush doesn't have to run again. The Dems should be focused on next year's Senate and House elections. But it's hard to believe the "pre-war intelligence" theme will be effective next November. For one thing, conditions in Iraq are likely to be better by then, with troops coming home. More important, while the war was rightfully a pre-eminent issue in last year's Presidential race, it is at most a sideshow in any individual Senator's or Representative's race. None of the Republicans running next year bear any particular responsibility for the war, and there is unlikely to be much difference of opinion as to how the conflict should be handled going forward. If Democratic House and Senate candidates think they can win by running, McGovernlike, on an immediate withdrawal platform, they're badly misreading the American people.

So I can't see how the Dems' strategy makes sense in the context of next year's elections. If that's true, why are they focused so single-mindedly on the Iraqi intelligence red herring?

I think perhaps the Democrats in the Senate are trying to distract their activist base from the reality of their own impotence. Vital events are, of course, transpiring in the Senate right now, including ANWR drilling--approved today--and, most notably, President Bush's Supreme Court nominations. Nothing is more important to the Democratic base than preserving the liberal orientation of the Supreme Court. But the President has now dealt two hammer blows to liberal control of the Court--the only branch of the federal government still under liberal control--in the form of the Roberts and Alito nominations.

Democratic activists desperately want to block Judge Alito from ascending to the Court, but the reality is that Senate Democrats are powerless to achieve that goal. Alito's qualifications are unassailable, the Democrats are a minority party, and the Republicans are united in the conviction that Alito deserves a vote. A filibuster isn't out of the question, but if the Dems try it, it will fail.

So the Senate Democrats can't come through for their party where it counts. I doubt that the timing of the Month of Valerie is a coincidence; I suspect it is intended mostly to distract the Democratic base from the reality of the Senate Democrats' impotence.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

www.powerlineblog.com

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www.daybydaycartoon.com

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DEMOCRATS: RACISM OK FOR LIBERALS OPPOSING CONSERVATIVES

The Democrats in Maryland have decided that they like racism, especially racist stereotypes such as slave gibberish and minstrel-show caricatures of African-Americans, and have publicly come out in favor of their use in political campaigns. While such imagery would get a Republican immediately denounced as a hatemonger, Democrats feel free to use them as long as their targets are conservative African-Americans, such as Michael Steele:

Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.

Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log. ...

"There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

"Party trumps race, especially on the national level," she said. "If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."

Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.

One of the excuses used by these Democrats is that Steele refused to object when Governor Robert Ehrlich met with supporters at a club that has no black members in its history. The Elkridge Club held a fundraiser attended by Ehrlich and widely decried by the Democrats as an indication of GOP pandering to racist whites in the south. They failed to mention, however, that several Democrats have made their own use of the Elkridge Club, including the brother and chief political advisor to their gubernatorial candidate to replace Ehrlich.

That shows the leadership of the Democrats as they truly are -- a hate-based faith system that takes any means necessary to win elections. Cheating, violence, smears, and now racism are all acceptable as long as Republicans are the targets. If the Republicans happen to be members of minority communities, so much the better.

After all, it's not discrimination when you hate someone more because of the color of their skin or their ethnic background, is it?

Not if you're a leftist Democrat, it isn't.  Wednesday, November 2, 2005

DID CORRUPTION KILL NEW ORLEANS?

New testimony suggests that the flawed levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain from the New Orleans basin may have failed not only due to design defects, but also from decades-old corner cutting during their construction. The New York Times reports that interviews with the workers themselves that built the levees suggest that the construction crews failed to build the levees even to the faulty design specifications, leaving them inadequately anchored for resistance to large storms:

"These levees should have been expected to perform adequately at these levels if they had been designed and constructed properly," said the expert, Raymond Seed, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Not just human error was involved," Professor Seed said. "There may have been malfeasance."

Professor Seed, whose team was financed by the National Science Foundation, did not offer hard evidence to back up his accusation. But he said after the hearing that the team had been contacted by levee workers, contractors and, in some cases, widows of contractors who told stories of protective sheet pile being driven less deeply than plans called for and corners cut in choosing soils for construction, among other problems.

The news that corruption may have played a role in building levees in New Orleans should shock few, if any, familiar with the reputation of the city. It didn't get the nickname The Big Easy without a reason. With both the design and the construction now shown or suspected to fall below standard, it again shows that the levee failures could not easily have been predicted by the people on the ground, especially as Katrina turned father to the East and hit the city with the Category-3 force that all systems were designed to withstand.

Senator Susan Collins, who chairs the committee dealing with Homeland Security, promises to ask the Army Corps of Engineers "tough questions". Better that Congress ask a few of itself and the state of Louisiana. Over the years, the government has allocated more public-works funds to Louisiana than almost any other state. Has Congress done much to determine where that money gets spent? Has it demanded progress reports on its project monies? Besides, grilling the existing Corps may not tell them much; most of the work on those sections were done decades ago, with modern improvements only being additions onto the early work.

We need to fix the levee system around New Orleans, but this time, we need much better oversight than we have realized in the past. That can only come if Congress takes responsibility for its own part in ensuring the cash flows properly and gets used effectively.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

www.captainsquartersblog.com

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ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF BOSTON SUES EVERYBODY

The Islamic Society of Boston is suing everyone who criticizes them, starting with the David Project, a local Fox News channel, the Boston Herald, and Steven Emerson.

The Islamic Society of Boston has charged a local Israel advocacy group with defamation and conspiring to violate its civil rights in a lawsuit filed in Suffolk County Superior Court Oct. 31.

To a complaint filed in May against the Boston Herald and Fox 25 News, ISB added Anna Kolodner, the David Project’s director of education. It also named author and lecturer Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project, Steven Cohen and Dennis Hale of the group Citizens for Peace and Tolerance and William Sapers as defendants in the defamation lawsuit.

The suit also adds to charges of defamation allegations that the defendants conspired in “a concerted, well-coordinated effort to deprive the Plaintiffs, who are members of the Boston area Muslim community, of their basic rights of free association and the free exercise of religion.”

The 58-page complaint alleges an elaborate web of connections between the groups newly named in the suit and Fox 25 News and the Boston Herald, all aimed at undermining the ISB’s $22 million mosque and cultural center project under construction in Roxbury. Among the items cited as evidence of a conspiracy are meetings between Kolodner, Emerson and reporters for the Herald, and e-mails describing the need to find someone to file a civil complaint against the ISB. The suit alleges that this is how the suit filed by neighborhood resident James Policastro against the ISB in the fall of 2004 was originated.

ROP LEADERS STILL PREACHING HATRED IN AUSTRALIA

Clerics still preaching hatred of West.

MUSLIM clerics in Sydney and Melbourne - led by radicals Sheik Mohammed Omran and Sheik Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud - are still preaching hatred against the West, urging followers in Arabic to resist peace and support insurgents waging war against Australian soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In open defiance of John Howard’s proposed new terror laws and the Prime Minister’s demand that Muslim leaders desist from inflammatory rhetoric, Lakemba cleric Sheik Zoud has used his Friday prayer meetings over the past month to praise Muslim fighters.

“Allah yinsur el-mujaheddin fe-Iraq (God grant victory to the mujaheddin in Iraq),” he repeatedly screamed during a 35-minute Arabic sermon at Lakemba’s Haldon Street prayer hall in Sydney’s southwest last week.

In further contempt of Mr Howard, Sheik Zoud’s high-profile counterpart in Melbourne, Sheik Omran, also declared last month: “No victory (for Islam’s brothers and sisters) can be stopped by George Bush or Tony Blair or John Howard.”

Under expanded sedition provisions, people face up to seven years’ jail for promoting feelings of ill will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and government of the commonwealth. This would include urging another person to engage in conduct that supports an organisation or country at war with Australia.

A third cleric - Harun Abu Talha, editor of contentious newspaper Mecca News - has also used Friday prayers at Sheik Omran’s Brunswick mosque in Melbourne to attack “the criminal government of Israel that has been hurting our brothers and sisters in Palestine for so many years”.

And during a prayer meeting last month, Abu Talha said: “We should not compromise our dean (religion) for the sake of peace.” He concluded his sermon: “May Allah help the mujaheddin in Iraq.”

The message the fundamentalist clerics are delivering to their supporters - mostly in Arabic - is in dramatic contrast to their public statements.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

IRAN'S MANHATTAN PROJECT NEARING COMPLETION?

Disturbing developments in Iran, where “president” Ahmadinejad has purged “reformers” from his government, including the ambassadors who have been negotiating with Europe over Iran’s nuclear scheming: Iran sacks diplomats in purge of reformers. (Hat tip: rantwraith.)

THE President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has ordered an unprecedented purge of senior ambassadors who are regarded as too liberal for the policies of his administration, The Times can disclose.

At least 20 heads of mission and other top diplomats have been sacked or reassigned in the biggest shake-up since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The majority were appointed during the decade of rapprochement with the West that Mr Ahmadinejad has abruptly reversed.

Four of the envoys, the ambassadors to London, Paris, Berlin and the representative to the United Nations in Geneva, were involved in months of delicate mediation between Iran and Europe over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

This news of a purge comes as Iran prepares to process more uranium.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Iran will process a new batch of uranium at its Isfahan nuclear plant beginning next week, despite pressure from the United States and European Union to halt all sensitive nuclear work, diplomats said on Wednesday.

“Beginning next week, the Iranians will start a new phase of uranium conversion at Isfahan. They will begin feeding a new batch of uranium into the plant,” a European diplomat familiar with the result of inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

MORE PURGES IN IRANIAN GOVERNMENT

Iran Continuing Purge of Reformers.

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s government announced Wednesday that 40 ambassadors and senior diplomats, including supporters of warmer ties with the West, will be fired, continuing a purge of reformers as the regime takes an increasingly tough stance at home and abroad.

The diplomatic changes are part of a government shake-up by ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that includes putting Islamic hard-liners in key posts at security agencies. Some Iranians worry the president will bring back strict social policies.

HAMAS "ACTIVISTS" VOW REVENGE

In the weird inverted reality of AP Palestinian stringer Ibrahim Barzak, the terror gang Hamas has actually been observing a “truce,” despite firing rockets into Israel ... and even weirder, he says Hamas is going to “end” this “truce” and put their “activists” back to work: Hamas: No Renewal of Truce With Israel.

(Sorry for all the scare quotes. Sometimes you just gotta.)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The militant group Hamas said Wednesday it would not renew an informal 9-month-old truce, which expires at the end of the year, after Israel killed one of its leading activists in an airstrike in Gaza.

The truce was brokered by Egypt, which is expected to invite militant groups, including Hamas, to Cairo in the coming weeks to discuss extending the agreement.

In the past nine months, violence has dropped sharply, and Hamas refrained from carrying out suicide bombings in Israel. But it has repeatedly fired rockets from Gaza at Israeli towns, in what it said was retaliation for Israeli truce violations, such as airstrikes and deadly arrest raids.

On Tuesday, a Hamas activist and a top fugitive from another armed group were killed in an Israeli airstrike in a Gaza refugee camp.

“In the face of this Zionist aggression, no one should dream about the renewal of this truce,” said a Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri. Hamas reserves the right to retaliate for the attack, though it won’t pull out of the truce right now, he said.  Wednesday, November 2, 2005

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog

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BRITAIN'S LETHAL TRANCE 1

Much comment today about the fact that the government’s anti-terrorist bill only scraped through the House of Commons yesterday by one vote, which means that it’s in trouble. The Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, is apparently now preparing to water down the provision to hold terror suspects for up to 90 days; a 28-day compromise is now being talked about. The comment has almost all been along the lines of the wheels coming off the Blair government bus. That may or may not be so. Much more important is the fact that powers that are needed to fight the menace of Islamist terrorism will not now be provided.

At present, the police can hold terrorism suspects for up to 14 days before charging them. As a wholly convincing paper written by the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorism Branch argued, the police need much longer because Islamist terrorism is a completely different beast from any previous terrorism. In the past, the police waited before making arrests until at or near the point of a terrorist attack, so that they could assemble enough evidence to make the case stand up in court. But unlike previous terrorists, the Islamists give no warnings and seek to inflict as many casualties as possible. So the police can no longer afford to take the risk of waiting. To protect the public, they are therefore forced to arrest suspects well before they have finished their investigations. Given the global nature of the terrorist networks, those investigations can involve inquiries on several continents, involving hundreds of computers and with many different languages to be translated. So clearly, unless they can hold suspects for much longer than 14 days, they cannot protect the country.

Yet this is precisely the risk that our parliamentarians have now endorsed, thanks to a bone-headed alliance between the supremely irresponsible left of the Labour party and — get this — a Conservative opposition that is making common cause with it. Dean Godson says what needed to be said in today’s Times:

The most unedifying aspect of the passage of the Terrorism Bill through the Commons has been the pleasure with which the Tory home affairs team, led by David Davis, has entered into a kind of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with the do-gooding classes and Campaign Group crusties to dilute key elements of the Government’s response to the 7/7 suicide attacks...Yet despite a briefing from the Met on Privy Council terms, Mr Davis breezily waved aside such points at the second reading — asserting that government should not simply go along with what the police want. Instead, like some anguished Islingtonian from Matrix Chambers, he frets about draconian measures creating more 'martyrs'. Why?

Partly, it is because Mr Davis himself is a fairly crude beast who likes opposition for opposition’s sake. In his opportunistic way, he no doubt thinks he is pulling a brilliant stunt by citing such ultra-liberal judges as Lord Steyn — the retired law lord who has taken over as chairman of the civil liberties group, Justice. But there is a broader intellectual failure, too. Much of the Conservative Party has not fully grasped — as did the Prime Minister — the changed nature of the world after 9/11. Not even the murder of more than 50 Londoners has shaken it out of its torpor.

Just to complete this bizarre picture of a Conservative party in denial, David Davis is supposed to be the hard man of the Tory right-wing in the current leadership contest. But it’s not just the Tories who are in denial here. It’s most of the rotten establishment. The former head of MI6 gave the starkest imaginable warning this week in the Telegraph:

Sir Richard Dearlove, who retired last year as head of the Secret Intelligence Service, said chemical, biological and genetic terrorism was in prospect and a nuclear attack could not be ruled out. Acknowledging that the July bombings had been 'very lethal', he said they did not amount to a 'strategic terrorist event'.

Sir Richard, who was taking part in a debate on terrorism arranged by the City law firm Ashurst, said the July attacks 'bore the characteristic of a locally planned and carried-out event'.However we probably had to conclude that 'the clock is running on some much more dreadful events that could occur'.

In the medium to long term, terrorists would have access through the internet to 'some quite frightening dual-use technologies,' he said. These had not yet been used in the context of terrorism, but Sir Richard thought that they would probably eventually be used.'There is no question that bits of al-Qa'eda would have been extremely interested in biological weapons technology, chemical weapons technology, radiological devices and, ultimately, nuclear devices.'

Sir Richard expressed 'some sympathy' for the Government's approach to fighting terrorism through legislation, adding that there was 'extensive complacency' in Britain about the nature of the terrorist threat.'

Indeed. They just don't get it.

BRITAIN'S LETHAL TRANCE 2

A demonstration has been taking place in Rome today against the declaration of intent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to ‘wipe Israel off the map’. Ha’aretz reports that it is being backed by politicians from left and right (although the left is split – of course). The demo is reaffirming Israel’s right to exist -- prompting Iran, incredibly, to complain through diplomatic channels! Similar demonstrations have been held in France (even), Vienna, Austria, and Budapest, Hungary, where protestors ‘drew up signs that read “Israel today, Europe tomorrow?”’ Indeed.

The one country conspicuous by the absence of any similar demonstration on its streets reaffirming the right of Israel to exist (and how appalling that this should be necessary at all) is of course Britain. Instead, two days after Ahmadinejad’s genocidal outburst thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of London -- to demand that Israel be wiped off the map.

As RealityGaps has observed, this was a pro-terrorism march:

Looking through the video footage the rally comes off as an incredibly pro-terrorism march, with the slogans moving between the classic ‘Palestine will be free... from the river to the sea’ to the more recent ‘Zionism...Terrorism’ (repeat ad infinitum at top of voice). What was more surprising was the amount of Islamic chanting going on at the rally, about one in five chants was an ‘Allah Akbar’ or a ‘La’ila’lail’Allah’. These were often followed by ‘We are all Hezbollah’ chants and a couple of token anti-war slogans.

And yet all the people who had expressed revulsion shock and outrage two days before at the outburst from Iran suddenly lost their voice when confronted not merely by calls from British jihadists and fellow-travelling leftists for Israel’s annihilation, but the spectacle of supporters of Iran’s terrorist army on the streets of London calling for the destruction of a lawfully constituted, democratic country.  Thursday, November 3, 2005

www.melaniephillips.com/diary

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MAPES POUNDS THE $250K TABLE

Don’t miss Jim Geraghty’s take-apart of Martyr Mapes.

I recall this feeling from arguing with CBS last summer. They would say, “the sky is green, our experts said so.” Bloggers would then go back and check with the experts, who would say, “no, we told CBS the sky is blue.” Days later, CBS would go back to reasserting the sky is green, pretending the counterarguments never happened. It was as if their worldview was surrounded by an impenetrable shield, powerful enough to repel facts of any magnitude.

You’re familiar with the old legal strategy: If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts; if you have the law on your side, argue the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law on your side, then shout a lot and pound the table. We get a lot of shouting and table-pounding in Mapes’s article. Among the things we learn:

Bloggers are “far-right.” Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, and Power Line are “hard-core, politically angry, hyper-conservative sites loaded with vitriol about Dan Rather and CBS.” The recollections of the folks who actually used typewriters in the Texas Air National Guard in the 1970s who doubted CBS’s report have “questionable recollections.” (As opposed to the ironclad recollections of “Lucy Ramirez,” wherever she is.)

Buckhead’s original posting saying that the memos matched nothing he had ever seen in National Guard memos or documents written on typewriters in the 1970s is a “screed.” He’s a lawyer affiliated with two conservative groups, the Southeastern Legal Foundation and the Federalist Society, so he obviously must be lying.

She writes, “the attack on CBS News and the story we aired was just another part of the Bush supporters’ aggressive pattern of sliming anyone and everyone who raised questions about the president.”

She writes, “If I am an elitist liberal, I have to blame it on my privileged background. I grew up in an elitist-liberal hothouse, a tiny farm in Washington State, where for generations my family worked from daylight to darkness, feeding cattle, raising crops, and watching the skies obsessively, hoping for good weather. The people who attacked my story are more gifted at working with fertilizer than facts.”

Pound that table, Mary, pound that table!

Mapes complains that newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times (ah, those noted propaganda rags of the vast right-wing conspiracy) “were reading the blogs and repeating their talking points without questioning them.”

What “talking points”? LGF typed the text of the memos into Microsoft Word and they matched perfectly! That’s not an assertion; it’s evidence that everybody can see with their own two eyes; no dubious anonymous sources to trust there. What’s to question? If the LGF guys used Windows XP or 2000?

Actually, it was Mac OS X, with Office 2004.

EGYPT THREATENED BY GEEKS WITH KEYBOARDS

The Egyptian government is cracking down on bloggersThursday, November 3, 2005

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog

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