Here’s some news that will make you feel really safe; Al Jazeera is producing a documentary on the shabby state of American border security: Al-Jazeera to look at open U.S. border. (Hat tip: RJ_in_Reno.)
The Arab TV news network criticized by the new Iraqi government and others for its anti-American bias and willingness to carry the messages of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, is headed for the U.S.-Mexico border to document how easy it is to enter America illegally.
Al-Jazeera has contacted Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leader Chris Simcox to try to arrange interviews. Simcox, who rejected the request for cooperation with the TV network, says al-Jazeera, seen by millions throughout the Arab world and elsewhere, is producing an hour-long documentary news special on lack of security at the U.S. southern border.
Al-Jazeera reporter Naisser Hssaini mentioned the increase in apprehensions of illegal aliens known as OTMs – other than Mexicans. These foreigners increasingly include Arabs, Muslims and others from the Middle East. The reporter also mentioned his familiarity with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement police of catching and releasing OTMS – particularly those not specifically known to be on any terrorist watch list.
“The group has been denied requests for interviews by Minuteman Civil Defense Corps organizers but they still insist on filming the groups’ activities along with the rest of the media during a July 4th weekend mission near Arivaca, Arizona,” said Simcox.
Simcox has contacted the offices of Arizona’s two Republican U.S. senators – John McCain and Jon Kyl – to invite them to do interviews with al Jazeera, “so perhaps they can explain to the viewers of this news outlet just how secure America’s borders really are.” Sunday, June 26, 2005
Great news from New York, where Governor Pataki has come out with a strong statement against the left’s sneaky plans to coopt Ground Zero: Nutty 9/11 art nixed. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)
Gov. Pataki drew a line in the sand yesterday, declaring he will tolerate no America-bashing on the sacred soil of Ground Zero.
Hours after the Daily News disclosed that a museum set to rise on the site had displayed kooky and anti-American art, the governor said there can be no place where nearly 3,000 innocents died for an institution that attacks the United States and the heroes of 9/11.
His voice rising and his resolve steely as he compared the World Trade Center tract to the bloody beaches of Normandy and the black waters of Pearl Harbor, Pataki vowed:
“We will not tolerate anything on that site that denigrates America, denigrates New York or freedom or denigrates the sacrifice and courage that the heroes showed on Sept. 11.”
He added, “The Daily News did a good service by pointing out some of these things. We do not want that at Ground Zero; I do not want that at Ground Zero and to the extent that I have the power, it’s not going to happen.”
At issue are two controversial cultural groups that were picked to occupy a major building at the heart of the site - and have enraged 9/11 family members who say their murdered loved ones are being disrespected.
The larger museum, the International Freedom Center, has sparked fears it will focus on acts of U.S. wrongdoing, like slavery and treatment of American Indians, while the Drawing Center, now based in SoHo, was exposed in The News as displaying graphic and vulgar art attacking America’s war on terror.
“Sure, there can be debate,” Pataki said when asked if his tough stance jeopardized free-speech rights. “But I don’t want that debate to be occurring at Ground Zero.” Saturday, June 25, 2005
WHAT A DIFFERENCE ACTUAL RESEARCH MAKES
After blathering on for weeks about the supposed gulag-like conditions at Guantanamo Bay, members of Congress finally visited the facility for themselves this week. To no one's great surprise, they left with a considerably change in their attitude after having done some actual research:
During a tour of the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists on Saturday, House Republicans and Democrats, including one who has advocated closing the facility, said the United States has made progress in improving conditions and protecting detainees' rights. ...
"The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.
Still, lawmakers from both parties agree more still must be done to ensure an adequate legal process is in place to handle detainee cases. In the meantime, said Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Mich., "I think they're doing the best they can to define due process here." ...
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (news, bio, voting record), D-Texas, is one of many Democrats who have called for an independent commission to investigate abuse allegations and have said the facility should close. She said she stood by that position, but acknowledged, "What we've seen here is evidence that we've made progress."
No, Congresswoman Lee and Congresswoman Tauscher, what we see is that the two of you and most of your colleagues shrilly slander the US military without doing anything to check your facts beforehand. Prior to this delegation, only eleven Senators and a handful of Representatives had visited Camp X-Ray at Gitmo, despite having access to the facility since the war started. Instead of taking advantage of their opportunity to travel on official business to investigate this "hellhole", as one Democrat called it during open debate, the Leftists like Tauscher and Lee simply regurgitated slanders and accusations from hysterics like William Schulz at Amnesty International, who later admitted that he didn't have any idea whether what he said was accurate or not.
No one wants to muzzle dissent, especially not in Congress. But before our elected representatives at any level start making accusations of systemic abuse at places like Gitmo, where they have access to review the facilities for themselves, then we expect them to have made that trip and gathered the facts before launching broadsides at the armed services and our intelligence community. Shame on them for jumping to conclusions and publicly condemning them without making that effort -- and for playing into the propaganda of our enemies during a time of war just to play partisan games on Capitol Hill.
THE DREAMS OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN
Manuela Dviri of the Telegraph follows up on the story of Wafa Samir al-Biss, the young Palestinian woman who tried to repay the Israelis for their generosity in providing her medical assistance for her burn scars by becoming a suicide bomber for Fatah. Dviri interviewed Biss about her attempt to kill Israelis and the motivation for suicide bombing:
The girl had big, brown eyes and her black hair was tied in a ponytail, but it was the strangeness of her gait that attracted the attention of the security officials at the Erez crossing, the main transit point between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
When a soldier asked her to remove her long, dark cloak, she turned to face him. All her movements were taped by the military surveillance camera at the checkpoint: calmly, deliberately, she took off her clothing, item by item, until she looked like any normal young woman in T-shirt and jeans. It was then that she tried to set off the belt containing 20lb of explosives hidden beneath her trousers. To her horror, she did not succeed. Desperate, she clawed at her face, screaming. She was still alive, she realised. She had failed her martyrdom mission.
That afternoon, on June 21, the 21-year-old, Wafa Samir al-Biss, was brought before the press by Israeli intelligence. Her neck and hands were covered with scars caused by a kitchen gas explosion six months earlier. The ugly scars - which had been treated in a hospital in Israel - had probably helped turn her into the perfect would-be huriia (virgin), the ideal martyr, since they would make it difficult for her to find a suitable husband.
Biss told Dviri that she had not decided to kill herself over her scarring, but that martyrdom had long been a dream of hers. "I believe in death," she tells Dviri, in an admission that perfectly encapsulates the entire problem with the Palestinians in charge of the territories. Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad -- these groups have never offered anything else other than death for decades. When one scans the political landscape of the Palestinian Authority, no one argues for life; one only finds varying degrees of support for terrorists and militias that teach nothing but hate and death to their children.
That's why a young woman like Biss dreams of killing children rather than bearing them. She told Dviri that her attempt to blow herself up was intended to kill twenty or fifty Jews, even babies at the hospital which the attack targeted. In almost the same breath, she asks if the Israelis will have mercy on her because she still hasn't killed anyone. It's this dislocation from reality, the disconnect between their obscenity of indiscriminate bloodthirstiness and their expectation of mercy from their enemies that also gives the best representation of the difference between the two societies, and why the notion of statehood for the Palestinians holds out little hope of creating a peace between them.
Dviri then extends her interview to other women who tried to become martyrs and failed, held at the same facility that Wafa Biss will no doubt spend a significant portion of her life. When Dviri interviewed a would-be bomber named Kahira, the conversation suddenly turned uncomfortably personal. Kahira actually did conduct a successful attack, one that did not kill her but did kill a pregnant Israeli and her husband, and wounded 80 others:
Kahira was given three life sentences and another 80 years. She looked pale, sad, anguished. I asked her if the dead tormented her during the night. "No," she said. "Anyway, the actual attacker would have blown himself up even without me. I didn't kill anyone myself, physically."
Who do your children live with? "With my mother-in-law, my husband is in jail, too."
Aren't you sorry you ruined their lives as well as your own? "I did it to defend them. I'm not sorry, we're at war. But perhaps I wouldn't do it again. It was an impulse," Kahira answered balefully. ...
What did you do? "I helped the attacker to get into Jerusalem. I gave him some flowers to hold in his hands."
When? "I don't remember the exact date, only that it was Mother's Day. That's why I prepared him some flowers."
Then it was February, I told her.
"How can you remember it so well?" she asked.
Because my son was killed on Mother's Day, I said, and I watched as she grew pale and seemed to stagger.
No, it wasn't you, I explained. He was killed in 1998, while your attack was in 2002. But we certainly have an anniversary in common.
At this, Kahira gave me a look that I'll never be able to describe. She didn't utter another word.
Incredibly and to her credit, Dviri ends with the statement that neither side should be punished as a group for the acts of their extremists. However, Dviri doesn't have the courage to acknowledge that the difference between the two sides is that the Palestinians have allowed their extremists to take charge for decades, and now have no other voices to lead them away from their culture of death. Sunday, June 26, 2005
MAKING SADDAM LOOK LIKE A PETTY THIEF
Now that the subject of Africa has re-emerged as a central issue in international politics, especially in terms of how best to get the perennially struggling continent back to self-sufficiency, the question of corruption has become a central sticking point once again. Unfortunately for those of us who would like to find a way to do something effective, the question got a big answer in today's London Telegraph, which reports that the previous leaders of Africa's most prosperous nation stole more than $400 billion dollars over the last several decades:
The scale of the task facing Tony Blair in his drive to help Africa was laid bare yesterday when it emerged that Nigeria's past rulers stole or misused £220 billion.
That is as much as all the western aid given to Africa in almost four decades. The looting of Africa's most populous country amounted to a sum equivalent to 300 years of British aid for the continent.
The figures, compiled by Nigeria's anti-corruption commission, provide dramatic evidence of the problems facing next month's summit in Gleneagles of the G8 group of wealthy countries which are under pressure to approve a programme of debt relief for Africa.
Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, has spoken of a new Marshall Plan for Africa. But Nigeria's rulers have already pocketed the equivalent of six Marshall Plans. After that mass theft, two thirds of the country's 130 million people - one in seven of the total African population - live in abject poverty, a third is illiterate and 40 per cent have no safe water supply.
The sheer scale of this theft boggles the imagination. It's as if Nigeria conducted twenty Oil-For-Food scams in 39 years, between 1960 and 1999, when the money disappeared. As bad as Saddam Hussein's corruption got, it pales in comparison to the sinkhole of Nigeria -- and that's just one nation on the continent.
Where were the Western nations who fed this enormous scam? Perhaps they took too much time appeasing the do-gooders at home to put the appropriate safeguards on their aid payments. It could also be that during the Cold War, the realpolitik of the region forced both sides to issue bribes and inducements to Nigerian rulers in the form of "aid" that we knew would not reach its intended recipients. The most likely explanation lies deep under Nigerian soil to its rich fields of oil reserves, proven out at 35 billion barrels.
What cannot be argued at all is that the Western nations knew nothing about $400 billion in currency and assets simply disappearing from the economy over four decades. Even offering that argument would imply that capitalists could lose $400 billion, a laughable assertion that no one will ever accept. The industrialized nations enabled Nigeria's rulers to steal its citizenry blind, leaving the nation more destitute than ever while enabling the ruling class to tighten its grip on the poverty-stricken nation.
Now that the country has thrown off that ruling class and its leaders have attempted to give an honest assessment of its position, the G8 now tries the Captain Louis Renault gambit of being shocked, shocked! to find its generosity raided by the kleptocrats it feted and supported for access to its oil. They refuse to include Nigeria in its debt-forgiveness plan, which might be the correct action economically but appears to be a case of locking the barn door after one has helped the thieves make off with the horses, tackle, and most of the barn itself. Given that most of this money appears to have been dispersed back into the banking systems and economies of the West -- where it would have the best rate of return and most stringent safeguards -- the reluctance to assist Nigeria in at least some preliminary manner seems odd indeed.
The Nigerian scam shows the absolute necessity of on-the-ground verification of aid distribution and a requirement for the positive political reform that will make future aid unnecessary, not just for Nigeria but for all African aid. It also demonstrates that Africa's problems aren't due to Western neglect, although Western exploitation certainly didn't do anything to help. The reason why an entire continent can't feed, clothe, or shelter itself is because of the political corruption that Western aid ironically enabled. It doesn't absolve us of our need to get Africa on its feet now, but it does demonstrate that just throwing money at the poorest continent won't do anything but make the situation worse. Saturday, June 25, 2005
THE ONLY STORY THAT STOOD OUT
in the media outlets to which I was paying attention during my vacation last week -- the Boston Globe and the cable news channels -- concerned Karl Rove's description of the difference between the liberal and reactions to 9/11. I agree with John's take -- Rove provided "a pretty accurate, if slightly hyperbolic, characterization of the opposing camps." As applied to liberal politicians, Rove's description was a bit ungenerous. Most of them went along with preparing for war for a while before their distaste for a sustained struggle manifested itself.
During last week's mini-flap, I came across this passage in Richard Posner's excellent book Preventing Surprise Attacks:
A defining mark of the modern liberal is an instinctive hostility to the police and the military, and more broadly to governmental use of force both internally and externally, and an abiding belief that threats to national security, expecialy when they emanate from left-wing regimes or groups, or from non-Western or formerly colonized nations, are systematically exaggerated.
Judge Posner's statement is more refined and precise than Karl Rove's, but I think they were both talking about basically the same phenomenon.
A BLAST FROM THE PAST AND AN OMEN FOR THE FUTURE?
Yesterday, President Bush devoted his radio address to the situation in Iraq. Zbigniew Brzezinski responded on behalf of the Democrats, opining that the war has been conducted with "tactical and strategic incompetence." Brzezinski added that "patriotism and love of country does (sic) not demand endless sacrifice on the part of our troops in a war justified by slogans."
I haven't found a transcript of his statement so I don't know what, if anything, Brzezinski said about what tactics or strategies we should have used in the past, or what we should do differently going forward. It sounds like he opposes "endless sacrifice" but what amount of sacrifice does he consider appropriate for a war "justified only by slogans?" The Democrats lost the last election partly because John Kerry was incoherent on the war. How do Brzezinski's statements advance the ball?
But there are several more pressing questions. First, where does Brzezinski, the top foreign policy adviser during the harrowing Carter years, get the nerve to accuse anyone of incompetence? Carter/Brzezinski presided over our greatest setback ever in the Middle East, the rise of a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iran, which they basically invited by signaling their lack of support for Shah knowing that his strongest enemies were fundamentalist clerics. They also presided over and basically invited a Communist takeover in Nicaragua. Under Brzezinski's tutelage, Carter was shocked, betrayed, and unprepared when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. And who can forget what may be the worst piece of incompetence the U.S. has been associated with in its modern history, the failed rescue attempt of our hostages in Teheran?
The second question flows from the first: can't the Democrats find someone more credible and contemporary than Brzezinski to deliver their address on a subject as vital as Iraq? Some of Hillary Clinton's supporters suggest that she could fill the void that has plagued the Democrats since 9/11 by providing tough-minded, non-squeamish leadership in the war on terrorism. This view is plausible, though not necessarily correct. But even if it is correct, the party's reliance on Brzezinski tends to confirm that a second President Clinton wouldn't be able to staff her administration with tough-minded, non-squeamish foreign policy officials. Sunday, June 26, 2005
The hate, that is. Victor Davis Hanson recapitulates the liberals' hate campaign against President Bush, ranging from Charlie Rangel ("This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed") to John Glenn ("It's the old Hitler business") to Amnesty International. Like us, Hanson worries about where all this will lead:
As a result, the bar is lowering. In today's climate, Alfred Knopf has already published a novel about killing the president. Charlie Brooker writing in the Guardian in London prayed for another Lee Harvey Oswald to take out George W. Bush. Comedians, New York plays and art exhibits also bandy about assassination.
Each time a public official evokes Hitler to demonize the president, the American effort in Iraq or its conservative supporters, cheap rhetorical fantasy becomes only that much closer to a nightmarish reality where the unstable, here and abroad, act on the belief America really is Hitler's Germany.
We will all soon reap what the ignorant are now sowing.
Let's hope that somber prophecy doesn't prove true. Michelle Malkin notes more evidence of the same phenomenon. She links to the Huffington Post, where, in response to a rumor that Vice-President Cheney was hospitalized in Colorado, Democratic commenters openly wish for Chency's death, much as some (to be fair, not all) liberals recently cheered for conservative commentator Laura Ingraham to die of breast cancer.
It's not a pretty picture. Meanwhile, to put all of this in perspective, Gateway Pundit has a good roundup of developments in the trial, in Jordan, of 13 al Qaeda terrorists for plotting to perpetrate the worst chemical weapons attack in history. (We most recently commented on the Jordan trial in "Pay No Attention to the Terrorists Behind the Curtain".)
The Jordan trial is significant in part because it shows what an important base for al Qaeda-directed terrorism Saddam's Iraq was. But this is of little interest to the left; as best I can tell from a site search, readers of the New York Times don't even know the Jordan trial is going on. Liberals are convinced they know who their enemies are, and they're not talking about the al Qaeda terrorists who, directed from Iraq, schemed to kill tens of thousands of Jordanians and Americans. Saturday, June 25, 2005
You may think you’ve seen the ultimate absurd dead end of touchy-feely politically correct inverted thinking, but in Australia’s Herald Sun, Andrew Bolt describes a left-wing Aussie editor-in-chief’s reaction to freed hostage Douglas Wood that you are not going to believe: How the Left gets loonier. (Hat tip: Tim Blair.)
Andrew Jaspan is editor-in-chief of The Age, Australia’s most Left-wing daily newspaper, and on ABC radio on Wednesday said how “boorish” and “coarse” Wood was at his press conference this week when he called his captors “a—-holes”.
You might wonder whether Jaspan, the Englishman whose paper on that same day published a big picture on page one of naked girls from Big Brother, has the right to call anyone else “coarse”.
But far more shocking was his apparent demand that Wood be more grateful to the men who’d snatched him, kicked him in the head, kept him blindfolded and bound for 47 days, shaved him bald, killed two of his colleagues, made him beg for his life, and — says a fellow hostage from Sweden — shot several other prisoners in front of him.
Let’s run the tape.
Said Jaspan: “I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood’s use of the a—-hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.
”The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive."
Australia’s Sunday Times has a report on US exchange students being harassed by moonbat America-haters at Australian universities: Students quit over anti-US slurs. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)
One university has launched an investigation into claims an American student returned to the US after suffering six months of abuse at a residential college in Brisbane. American students have told The Sunday Mail the verbal attacks are unbearable and threatening to escalate into physical violence.
Griffith University student Ian Wanner, 19, from Oregon, said abusive Australian students had repeatedly called him a “sepo” – short for septic tank. “It is so disrespectful. It’s not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere here,” he said.
The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission has described the abuse as “horrible” and says it could be classed as racial vilification. The abuse problem is so prevalent that US students are being given formal briefings before leaving home on how to cope with abusive Australians.
Mr Wanner said even female Australian students were verbally abusive. He warned the problem could “escalate into a very large brawl”.
“There has already been confrontations between people,” he said.
A female American student from Griffith, who wished to remain unnamed, said she had met some “exceptional” people in Australia – but was leaving this month in shock over her treatment. She said she was desperate to go home after the slurs, which also spilled over at pubs in central Brisbane.
“They basically picked on me,” she said. “At first, I thought it was a joke. Then I just had it out with them and told them I came here to be treated respectfully. I have had a few incidents in bars. I had a guy and he heard my accent and he said: ‘I hate your president. I hate your country.’ ”
Another Griffith student has already returned to the US after enduring six months of abuse at the university’s residential college in Brisbane.
All the students received counselling before arriving and were warned of the backlash against the US. They said they were advised not to carry any items that would identify their nationality.
This is another similarity between Australia and the US; the universities are hotbeds of far left hatred.
IRAN'S MANHATTAN PROJECT TO CONTINUE
Iran’s Ahmadinejad committed to nuclear program.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Hardline president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday Iran would press ahead with its controversial nuclear program and said the Islamic Republic had no real need for ties with arch-foe, the United States.
The only question left at this point is whether Iran has already succeeded in assembling nuclear bombs. Kenneth Timmerman’s highly-recommended (and terrifying) new book Countdown to Crisis : The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran argues that it’s too late to stop them. Sunday, June 26, 2005
LEADING IRANIAN DISSIDENT IN SOLITARY, ON HUNGER STRIKE
Iran’s most prominent jailed dissident, journalist Akbar Ganji, is being held in solitary confinement and has been on a hunger strike for 16 days, his lawyer said Sunday.
“Despite the judiciary’s denial, Ganji has been on a hunger strike to protest that he has not been allowed to seek treatment outside prison,” Yusef Molaee said in a press conference.
He said the reporter was being held in what the judiciary calls a “suite”, “which in legal terms is solitary confinement.”
Ganji was sentenced in 2001 to six years behind bars over articles he wrote linking senior regime officials, including ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, to the serial murders of several intellectuals and writers.
He had complained of suffering from chronic asthma and was granted just over a week of sick leave from May 29 before being ordered back to north Tehran’s Evin prison.
“We have been told if he hadn’t talked to the press while he was out, his leave could have been extended,” said Ganji’s wife, Masumeh Shafii.
“His situation is critical and is worsening,” she added, explaining that her husband was only drinking water and nibbling a few sugar lumps.
“He has not been allowed to have fresh air and phone calls since June 11 in punishment for his hunger strike,” she told reporters. Sunday, June 26, 2005
ALICE IN REALITYLAND
Nowadays, you meet Republican voters in the strangest of quarters (hat tip: Al):
INTERVIEWER: A lot of people in rock and roll, it's very fashionable to despise George W. Bush. That's not a view you subscribe to, is it?
ALICE COOPER: Well, I think if you're in a war, you don't want a poodle in there, you want a pit bull. I don't think that you want a guy in there going, "Gee, I don't know. Maybe. Could be." I think you want a guy in there who's either going to win it or lose it.
INTERVIEWER: Are you referring to Iraq or the broader war against al-Qaeda?
ALICE COOPER: I just think that that war's going to go on for a long time, whoever is the President. If it would have been Kerry, he would have been just as knee deep in it. I don't think Bush got us into that war. I think that started 9/11 and I think somebody had to take it from there.
INTERVIEWER: It doesn't worry you, the false connection that was made between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein, all that stuff that's been shown?
ALICE COOPER: No. It doesn't bother me because I honestly think it's all connected.
INTERVIEWER: The one thing we do know about 9/11 is that nobody involved in it actually came from Iraq. That's probably the one thing we absolutely know.
ALICE COOPER: Well, it's probably true, but I can't see them going, "Oh, gosh." The guys in Iraq going, "Gee, how horrible for America." I think there's a general feeling in that world that if America falls they'll be in a much better state, so we have to view those people in the same boat. I don't see much difference between the al-Qaeda and Iraq - not the people, I'm talking about the governments. The people, the poor people, are the victims.
INTERVIEWER: Saddam and Osama bin Laden actually hated each other.
ALICE COOPER: Hated each other a lot, I'll bet. They traded Rolls Royces. You don't think there was a cigar going around when that happened at 9/11. I'll bet you there was.
INTERVIEWER: I think a lot of people are surprised to learn that you're a Christian, they're surprised to learn you vote George W. Bush, but they're absolutely shocked to discover you're a keen golfer.
ALICE COOPER: That's the biggest shocker, I think. And that I'm a pretty good cook.
Alice Cooper, the godfather of shock rock, the pioneer of outrageous stage behavior, and the bane of moral crusaders throughout the 1970s. Who would have thought? Anyone wants to take a bet for Marilyn Manson, Republican for the Senate '26?
By the way, you have to be worried when a guy with too much mascara and a snake wrapped around his neck has a keener grasp of basic new millennium geopolitics than so many leading lights of the Democratic Party. Sunday, June 26, 2005
FoxNews reported last week: House Passes Flag-Burning Amendment and Dems Fear Flag-Burning Debate.
Mark Steyn writes: Don't worry, Old Glory can take the heat. (Hat tip Tom Pechinski)
For my own part, I believe that, if someone wishes to burn a flag, he should be free to do so. In the same way, if Democrat senators want to make speeches comparing the U.S. military to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge, they should be free to do so. It's always useful to know what people really believe. Sunday, June 26, 2005
MEMORY SLAM THE DOOR
Reader RD writes to say that "Michael Ratner, the guy leading the fight to free Guantanamo's prisoners has signed petitions in support of NPA and its leader, Jose Maria Sison". Jose Maria Sison is the leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the highest person in the chain of command which ordered the execution of Colonel James Rowe. The Anti-Protester blog writes:
On May 30, 2005 the NY Times reported on an increasingly successful effort by the Center for Constitutional Rights,(CCR) which it described only as "a group based in New York," to enlist lawyers to represent detainees being held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The story focused on CCR's success in recruiting prominent law firms to the effort including Clifford Chance, Dorsey&Whitney; Allen & Overy; Covington & Burling and Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering Hale & Dorr a firm that, oddly enough, also does business with companies involved in the U.S. defense, national security and government contracts sectors. ...
In order to fully understand CCR's publicly stated reasons for advocating for prisoners at Guantanamo, which center on the concept of "civil rights," and to understand its lesser known but much more important reasons for wanting interrogations there halted, it is necessary to briefly examine the history of the CCR and its leadership ... and a thorough examination of CCR's current president, Michael Ratner, who is the driving force behind the Guantanamo shut-down effort, is absolutely vital to understanding the position that CCR takes today regarding the rights of prisoners captured in the War on Terror. ...
Besides providing legal support for terrorists and enemies of the U.S., Michael Ratner and CCR endorse communist, fringe leftist and radical groups with anti-U.S. agendas. Ratner himself often signs petitions on behalf of such groups. A typical example of this involves the case of Dr. Jose Maria Sison, the head of the communist New Peoples Army (NPA) of the Philippines ... the NPA eventually turned on itself and killed approximately 1000 of its members in a paranoid orgy of bloodletting. Sison, who headed the NPA at the time, is widely believed to have ordered the purge. Sison and NPA are on terrorist lists in both Europe and in the U.S., which has frozen NPA's assets. Michael Ratner, along with Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Clark, Leslie Cagan, C. Clark Kissinger, Michael Steven Smith, the NLG and others signed a petition demanding that Sison and the NPA both be removed from Europe's list of known terrorists. The group also voiced its opposition to any attempts that might be made to extradite Sison from the Netherlands, where he currently lives.
Readers who remember my piece on Colonel Rowe will recall that I regarded his assassin, Danilo Continente, as a cog in the wheel. (See the comments on the post). Although I regarded Continente's sentence of 16 years imprisonment too light to fit the crime, I believed that justice was best served by going after the masterminds and enablers of the crime rather than punishing the triggerman further. Rowe, it will be recalled, successfully concealed his status as a Special Forces soldier while a POW in Vietnam until
students in a so-called anti-war organization in the United States researched public records and formulated biographies on Americans captured in Vietnam. After reading Lt. Rowe's biography, his Viet Cong captors became furious. They marched him into a cramped bamboo hut and forced him to sit on the damp clay floor. Several high ranking Viet Cong officials were staring down at Lt. Rowe. They held out a piece of typed onion skin paper.
"The peace and justice loving friends, of the National Liberation Front, who live in America, have provided us with information which leads us to believe you have lied to us," they informed Lt. Rowe. "According to what we know, you are not an engineer . . . you have much military experience which you deny . . . You were an officer of the American Special Forces."
The passage from Anti-Protester, substantially echoed by Front Page Magazine shows why I felt this way. The same people who betrayed Colonel Rowe in Vietnam and who subsequently ordered his execution in the Philippines are still in business. The same "peace and justice loving" activists, or people of their ilk, are working to free as many terrorists as possible from Guantanamo Bay. And the same Jose Maria Sison who commanded the Communist force which killed Colonel Rowe is still resisting extradition from Europe, from which he has presided over the murder of thousands. They are laboring ceaselessly to bring to us what we so richly deserve. We owe them no less than to return the favor. Sunday, June 26, 2005