Distinguished service

April 30, 2008

If you’re like me, that last post about Hamas-Nazis and their lies about the Holocaust probably left a sour taste in your mouth. So, as a palate cleanser, let me offer the amazing story of Green Beret Master Sgt. Brendan O’Connor, who today received the Distinguished Service Cross for exceptional bravery under fire from the Taliban in Afghanistan:

As the Taliban machine-gunners zeroed in, Master Sgt. Brendan O’Connor pressed himself into the dirt.

Then he did something that the manuals don’t teach: O’Connor shucked his body armor to make himself a smaller target for the gunners. Small enough to crawl 200 feet in a shallow ditch to the aid of wounded soldiers.

O’Connor says he did it because it was a job that needed to be done. He doesn’t think of himself as a hero.

But his superiors disagree. They say that his courage stood out on a day when many members of a Fort Bragg-based Special Forces unit showed extraordinary bravery.

Four of the soldiers have already been awarded the Silver Star for valor. That’s the Army’s third-highest award.

O’Connor is to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony planned for April 30. Only the Medal of Honor ranks higher in recognition of courage in combat.

“Sergeant O’Connor’s extraordinary actions, performed at tremendous risk of life, successfully rescued two wounded comrades, saved the lives of 21 American soldiers and prevented his detachment’s destruction,” said Capt. Chris Augustine, a spokesman for the 7th Special Forces Group.

You can read the whole story here. If it doesn’t have your jaw dropping at least once, you’re not human. You can see video of today’s ceremony here, including his wife, who would probably kill him for being so foolhardy if she weren’t so glad to have him home. But don’t bother looking for this story in the major media; they’re not interested in uplifting stories from the war zone, which don’t fit their predetermined narrative of failure. Neither the Los Angeles Times nor The New York Times bothers with Sgt. O’Connor’s story, while the Washington Post carries the perfunctory AP wire story. A search of LexisNexis turns up just the AP article. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am disappointed.

But, enough of that. Master Sergeant O’Connor received a well-deserved reward, and his actions remind us that real heroes are often everyday people like us, the folks next door. They don’t make millions to throw a ball down-field or say a few lines in a movie, but they are terribly underpaid to put their lives on the line each and every day. I’m not ashamed to say I stand in awe of people like Brendan O’Connor.

Congratulations and welcome home, Sergeant O’Connor. This one’s for you: thumbs_up beer

 


But, of course!

April 30, 2008

Hey, kids! Did you know that the Jews planned the Holocaust so they could get rid of handicapped Jews? No? Then you must not be a regular watcher of Palestinian TV:

 

 

This is obscene on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin. There’s the monstrous distortion of the Holocaust itself, one of the great disasters of Human history. To argue with a straight face that Jewish leaders staged the massacre of their own people gain world sympathy and as part of some monstrous eugenics program boggles the mind. Then again, given the Nazi eugenics programs and the influence of Nazi ideology on modern Arab-Islamic society, perhaps we should be disgusted rather than surprised. This garbage, after all, is the predictable product of a death society.

My first reaction is that the  Palestinians can go rot, for all I care. But, the proper response in our modern world is to give them lots of money, a state of their own, and have a former US President visit their murderous leader.

Just amazing.

(hat tips: Jihad Watch and Israel Matzav)

 


Memo to Secretary Rice

April 29, 2008

Dear Condi,

Your boss seems to have no trouble using the word "jihadi" to clearly name our enemy. Maybe he has the right idea?

 

p.s., He should have been blowing up at the press like this for years.

 


She said what?

April 28, 2008

Unleashing the best example to date of her political “tin ear” (maybe that should be plural), Hillary Clinton, speaking before union members in Gary, Indiana, compared the outsourcing of jobs overseas to the Holocaust.

I’d hate to hear what she says when she really goes over the top.

Yeesh.


What’s in a name, continued….

April 28, 2008

A few days ago, I posted in frustration at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s apparent determination to ban the words "jihad’ and "jihadist" from the American diplomatic lexicon. It’s my belief that you cannot successfully fight something if you cannot even bring yourself to call it what it is:

It does us no good to pretend that the acts of terrorism committed against us are not rooted in mainstream Islamic theology; the terrorists themselves are well-versed in Islamic theology and law. The see themselves as holy warriors  –jihadis or mujahideen– waging jihad in the name of Allah and as the latest executors of a religious duty stretching back more than 1,300 years to Muhammad himself. For our leaders to pretend otherwise is an act of ideological appeasement and intellectual self-disarmament.

(Equal time: be sure to look in the comments section of that post, where a Muslim believer takes me to task.)

Sadly, we now have confirmation that the intellectual disarmament continues. According to the AP, "jihadi" and "jihadist are now verba non grata not just at State, but throughout the Federal Government:

And don’t call al-Qaida a movement.

The Bush administration has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language.

Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too.

The reason: Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates.

I should think the last thing jihadis need or want is credibility bestowed by us, when they take their whole reason for being from orthodox, mainstream Islamic theology and jurisprudence. This fear of causing offense or "hurting feelings" is ludicrous, because it circumvents open and honest discussion of the ideology that motivates those waging jihad against the West and against Muslims who want to live in peaceful coexistence. And it does no favors to moderate and secular Muslims to agree to avoid naming the problem plainly, for it cuts the legs out from any attempts they may make to stand up to the Salafists and their ideology of jihad.

Banning the use of words such as "Islamo-fascism" doesn’t make any less real the influence of Nazi thought on militant Islam, for example, and refusing to recognize the deep connection between Islamic thought and the renewed jihad is to bury one’s head in the sand so deep that an ostrich would be jealous.

(hat tip: Contentions, where Max Boot wonders what words we can use and has a suggestion.)

LINKS: In the newsletter of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy jabs at the willful blindness of many of our officials:

According to the State Department, the Intelligence Community,
the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the sundry other
components of government that are having our agents endure sensitivity
training from CAIR and its ilk, the "real" jihad has nothing to do with
violence. The real jihad is the internal struggle to become a better
person, right? Regardless of what such minor authorities as Mohammed
may have thought of it, and despite credible scholars who acknowledge
that jihad was ordained as a forcible, military struggle to establish
the supremacy of Islam, we very sophisticated, evolved geniuses now
know that jihad is really something we should all look at as a very
wholesome, positive obligation. Nothing to worry about.

(Original here.)

The Counterterrorism Blog, meanwhile, is justifiably sarcastic.

 


Sunday book review: Wrong on Race

April 27, 2008

This post is the first of what I hope will become a weekly feature here at Public Secrets: reviews of books I’ve read that I think will be of interest to you. Today we’re starting off with a book I just finished, Bruce Bartlett’s Wrong on Race:

I have to admit I was a bit wary of buying this book: not being familiar with Mr. Bartlett’s other work, just going by the title I was afraid this would be a red-meat tossing, conservative bomb-thrower of a book, meant more to entertain movement conservatives than educate and inform.

Fortunately, I was wrong.

Wrong on Race is an examination of the history of the Democratic Party with regard to the race question: How did the party respond to the challenge of dealing with non-White people? In the orthodox history we’re taught in school, written mostly by left-liberal historians, the Democratic Party is the party of civil rights, fighting for justice for the oppressed of all races. We learn of FDR’s push for non-discrimination in employment in the defense industry in World War II, Truman’s integration of the military, and LBJ’s ramming through of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. This is the legacy the Democrats celebrate today and is the basis of their claim to an almost monolithic hold on the African-American vote. In this history, Democrats are always for the victim of racial discrimination, while the Republican is largely uncaring, if not actively hostile.

Not so fast, writes Bartlett. The real history of the Democrats and race is a lot dirtier than we are told, while the Republicans, albeit not perfect, don’t get enough credit.

He begins by looking at the origins of the Democratic Party under Jefferson and Jackson, recounting both Jefferson’s bizarre views on race and the ethnic cleansing of the Indians from Georgia under Jackson, which was strongly supported by Democrats and opposed by Whigs. He looks at the various sectional compromises between the North and the South prior to the Civil War, with the Democrats always taking the position of preserving and expanding slavery.

Post-war, Bartlett looks at Reconstruction and how an early incarnation of the KKK and other White paramilitary groups opposed Republican efforts to guarantee civil rights for the new freedmen, in effect acting as the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party. Indeed, after the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the South became almost wholly Democratic as the Black vote and the Republican Party were suppressed by means legal and terroristic. Bartlett points out that Jim Crow, the racial segregation laws that can only be described as apartheid, was constructed in the 1890s by Democratic governors and legislatures in the South.

Bartlett then looks at specific important racist political figures in three states: Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi — Democrats all. He discusses the segregation of the federal government under Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and the failure in reality of the FDR administration to do much of substance for African-Americans. Later chapters briefly cover the administrations from Truman to Reagan, taking a similarly revisionist view.

Wrong on Race doesn’t paint all Democrats as racist blackguards. Far from it. The author recognizes that, beginning in the late 40s, the Democratic Party gradually came to embrace civil rights as it became clear that the racist “Southern bloc” was crumbling and that liberal Democrats didn’t have to pander to their Southern colleagues on issues of race anymore. He lauds Truman as an under-appreciated hero of civil rights and gives LBJ, who once ran on a platform as racist as any, credit for the seeing how the political calculus had changed.

The author also demands fair treatment for Republicans, pointing to the various civil rights acts enacted during Reconstruction (and voided by Democrats); the acts passed under Eisenhower and his willingness to use federal troops to enforce school desegregation; and Nixon’s aggressive enforcement of civil rights. (That last surprised me.)

In his conclusion, Bartlett argues, correctly, I think, that the almost total adherence of Blacks to the Democratic Party has been bad for African-American interests in US politics. Democrats take them for granted, and Republicans write their votes off as forever lost. He lauds the growing movement to encourage Blacks to register as independents to encourage both parties to compete for their votes. Finally, he makes an interesting proposal on the touchy issue of reparations for slavery: a grand bargain in which the Republicans would offer a one-time round of reparations in return for ending all affirmative action and other race and gender-based preferences. I’ve been staunchly opposed to reparations for various reasons, but I have to admit I find this idea intriguing.

Finally, another point in favor of this book is the footnoting: perhaps in recognition of the controversial nature of his topic, Bartlett extensively footnotes every chapter. I admit I’m a footnote nut; I like being able to check an author’s sources and read explications of various side issues. Mr. Bartlett is to be commended, and this practice is one I wish other authors were as devoted to.

In sum, I recommend Wrong on Race as a necessary corrective to the unbalanced presentation of our political history on the question of race. Bruce Bartlett performs a laudable service by presenting facts we have forgotten and forcing Democrats to face the truth about their party’s past, and for posing thought-provoking proposals. Do yourself a favor and at least check it out from your local library.

Edit: Cleaned up old post, fixed broken links. 11/7/2011.

Distractions: Obama-speak for "tough questions not allowed"

April 26, 2008

Charles Krauthammer had a great column yesterday about the Prophet Barack’s dismissal of any serious questions as “distractions” and his water-bearers in the media who echo his whine:

With that, Obama identified the new public enemy: the “distractions” foisted upon a pliable electorate by the malevolent forces of the status quo, i.e., those who might wish to see someone else become president next January. “It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and the tit for tat that consumes our politics” and “trivializes the profound issues” that face our country, he warned sternly. These must be resisted.

Why? Because Obama understands that the real threat to his candidacy is less Hillary Clinton and John McCain than his own character and cultural attitudes. He came out of nowhere with his autobiography already written, then saw it embellished daily by the hagiographic coverage and kid-gloves questioning of a supine press. (Which is why those “Saturday Night Live” parodies were so devastatingly effective.)

Then came the three amigos: Tony Rezko, the indicted fixer; Jeremiah Wright, the racist reverend; William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. And then Obama’s own anthropological observation that “bitter” working-class whites cling to guns and religion because they misapprehend their real class interests.

In the now-famous Pennsylvania debate, Obama had extreme difficulty answering questions about these associations and attitudes. The difficulty is understandable. Some of the contradictions are inexplicable. How does one explain campaigning throughout 2007 on a platform of transcending racial divisions, while in that same year contributing $26,000 to a church whose pastor incites race hatred?

What is Obama to do? Dismiss all such questions about his associations and attitudes as “distractions.” And then count on his acolytes in the media to wage jihad against those who have the temerity to raise these questions. As if the character and beliefs of a man who would be president are less important than the “issues.” As if some political indecency was committed when Obama was prevented from going through his 21st — and likely last — primary debate without being asked about Wright or Ayers or the tribal habits of gun-toting God-loving Pennsylvanians.

Read the whole thing. It’s worth the time.


Al Sadr: "T’is only a flesh wound!"

April 25, 2008

So, after losing control of Basra and the port of Umm Qasr to the Iraqi Army, after having his fighters beaten in central Iraq, and after seeing his stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad gradually reduced by the Iraqi and American armies, Muqtada al Sadr has decided to give the Iraqi government one last chance: stop hitting us or we’ll bite your legs off!

Less than one week after threatening to conduct an uprising against the Iraqi government and US forces, Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of the Mahdi Army, has called for his fighters to maintain the self-imposed cease-fire. The US and Iraqi military continue to strike at Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Baghdad. Ten “criminals” were killed in strikes in Sadr City, making 82 Mahdi fighters killed in the six days since Sadr threatened renewed violence. 

In a statement read during the Friday prayers at the Al Hikma mosque in Sadr City, Sadr called for his militia to halt the fighting. “You have been patiently committed to the freeze decision and magnificently obeyed your leader,” Sadr statement read, according to Voices of Iraq. “I hope you retain your patience and faith.”

Sadr also said he did not threaten the Iraqi government with “open war” last weekend, but was directing his threat against Coalition forces. “The open war we threaten is meant against the occupiers,” Sadr said. “There is no war between us and our Iraqi brothers regardless of their sect or ethnicity.” 

But Sadr then seemingly contradicted himself when he demanded the government “rein in the militias infiltrated” into the security forces. “I give the Iraqi government the last warning that we would wage an open war until liberation if it failed to rein in the militias infiltrated into it,” Sadr said.

Anyone else reminded of "Daffy" Gaddafi’s "line of death?" 

I think Monty Python, as they did so often, captured the essence of the situation best: 

 

LINK: Ed Morrissey relates how life is returning to Basra after the defeat of the Mahdi Army there, and points out that the Iraqi Army did something the British couldn’t do. Pros and Cons asks "give war a chance." I’m down with that; the only way a thug like al Sadr sees the light is when it comes shining through bullet holes.

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A little bit of history

April 25, 2008

I love old “slice of life” photographs and sound recordings of public figures; they give life to people we mostly know only from official portraits in in dull textbooks. I stumbled across the one below just this morning:

Ful-McK-Cle

The man in the middle is Governor William McKinley of Ohio, as he takes the oath of office to become president in 1897. Administering the oath is Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and to McKinley’s left is outgoing President Grover Cleveland.

Neat! thumbs_up


Historical revisionism, Kremlin-style

April 25, 2008

Little Green Footballs has uncovered a bit of “airbrushing” at the Obama campaign’s web site, involving the disappearance of a Hamas* fundraiser’s blog.

*(aka “Genocidal, fascist, anti-Semitic terrorists spawned from the Muslim Brotherhood.”)

 


Religion of Peace watch

April 23, 2008

These misunderstanders of Islam must have forgotten the parts in the Qur’an about peace and tolerance:

NIGERIA: MUSLIM RIOTERS ATTACK CHRISTIANS IN KANO

Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets of this northern Nigerian city on Sunday (April 20), attacking Christians and their shops and setting vehicles on fire on claims that a Christian had blasphemed Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

Thousands of Christians were trapped in churches until police dispersed rioters. Fearing that Muslims may attack again, many Christians have relocated to army and police barracks in the city.

An as yet unidentified Christian was said to have written an inscription on a shop wall that disparaged the prophet of Islam. Muslims at a market in the Sabon Garia area of the city reportedly attacked the Christian, whom police rescued and took to the area police station.

Muslims in large numbers soon trooped to the police station, threatening to set it ablaze unless officers released the Christian to be stoned to death in accordance with sharia (Islamic law), sources said. Police were able to disperse the mob.

“A Christian trader was accused of making some blasphemous inscriptions against Muhammad in his shop by his Muslim colleagues, who pounced on him,” Baba Mohammed, Kano police spokesman, said in a special radio broadcast.

He said the accused Christian escaped from being lynched and ran to the police station seeking protection, adding, “We had to move him to the police headquarters here in Kano for protection.”

(hat tip: Jihad Watch)

 

RELATED: Meanwhile, the Danes had to evacuate their embassies in Afghanistan and Algeria after peaceful, tolerant non-Lutherans threatened them with death expressed concern over a cartoon.


Iraqi Army gaining confidence

April 23, 2008

According to The Long War Journal, the Iraqi general in charge of operations to wrest the southern city of Basra from the control of the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army has given the Mahdists 24 hours to surrender:

The senior-most Iraqi general in charge of the security operation in Basrah has issued an ultimatum for wanted Mahdi Army leaders and fighters to surrender in the next 24 hours as the Iraqi and US military ignore Muqtada al Sadr’s threat to conduct a third uprising. US troops killed 15 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad yesterday and have killed 56 fighters since Sadr issued his threat last weekend.

In Basrah, General Mohan al Freiji, the chief of the Basrah Operational Commander and leader of the security operation in the province, has given issued warrants "for 81 people, including senior leaders of the Mahdi militia, and they have 24 hours to give up," The Associated Press reported.

Iraqi troops continue to clear Basrah, although the fighting has been sparse since security forces cleared the Mahdi Army-controlled Hayaniyah neighborhood in Basrah last weekend. Iraqi forces "seized a cache containing huge amounts of weapons and ammunition" in the Al Tanuma neighborhood in eastern Basrah, Voices of Iraq reported. "The cache contains more than (1000) mortar rounds of different calibers, explosive equipment, and improvised explosive devices," a source told the Iraqi newspaper.

Unlike al Sadr, and unlike itself even 18 months ago, the Iraqi Army now has the capability and the confidence to back up its threats. Ignoring declarations in the American and European press that the operations in Basra were a failure only days after they started, the Iraqis have wrested control of the city from Iran’s stooge (who bravely fled to Iran as his people were getting killed). Mahdi Army uprisings were defeated in central Iraq, and al Sadr’s plans for a big demonstration were called off when not enough people could be counted on to show up. Sadr now faces a government demand that he disband his militia or see his movement barred from the upcoming elections. With Kurdish, Sunni, and other Shiite factions backing the government, this threat has teeth; the Sadrist movement and its pudgy leader are clearly on the ropes.

This is the fruit of the change in American strategy at the end of 2006 –the origin of the so-called "surge"– and the outcome envisioned by Bush in his oft-stated answer to the question of when we would withdraw: "We’ll stand down as the Iraqis stand up."

The Iraqis are now seriously starting to "stand up." The operations in Basra and elsewhere were wholly planned by the Iraqis. While they made mistakes and hit bumps when a green unit broke, they’ve shown major improvement in the last year and a half in their operational skills and their reliability in a fight. They’ll still need our help with some things, such as logistics and air power, but the time when we can "stand down" is clearly a lot closer than it appeared even a few short months ago.

LINKS: I noticed this article by Austin Bay after putting up this post. He makes the same general point as I, but, as is to be expected, makes it much better:

Even attempting Knights Charge signals increasing Iraqi confidence
in their own capacities. Confidence does not ensure competence –
cockiness can get you killed — but experienced military trainers and
teachers know achieving trainee or student competence requires building
confidence.

Knights Charge, however, was much more than a confidence-building
measure; it may be the most decisive example of a country-building
measure we have seen since Saddam fell in April 2003.

Knights Charge involved 15,000 soldiers deployed in six Iraqi Army
combat brigades and one police brigade, or roughly two divisions of
troops. I have helped plan division-sized mobile operations. Basra and
Baghdad are complex urban terrain; moreover, they are politically
complex, which amplifies risks. Planning the movement of seven brigades
is itself a sophisticated task; executing the plan requires a
sophistication that only comes from experience.

Knights Charge put boots and wheels and tracks on roads and into
combat. Units coordinated supporting fires and maneuvered in close
combat. Sometimes they failed. They needed U.S. and British artillery
and air support — but note they called for it. Here’s the battle’s
bottom line: The various Shia gangs performed much worse. On April 20,
The New York Times ran a story that said the Iraqi Army had taken the
last Mahdi Army-controlled neighborhood in Basra.

The offensive put several serious Iraqi military problems on
display — tough, immediate medicine — but what matters is how the
leadership corrects them. Desert Storm demonstrated that some soldiers
in some Iraqi units are unreliable. In 1991 and 2003, American forces
exploited this moral flaw. During the early stages of Knights Charge, a
disgusting percentage of Iraqi soldiers fled combat. The Iraqis have
since sacked and publicly shamed 1,300 soldiers, which says Iraq’s
current leaders intend to fix the flaws.

When Knights Charge began, I wrote that the Maliki government knows
first and foremost it is waging a political war. Long ago, it decided
to isolate and "suffocate" Sadr. In the wake of Knights Charge, Sadr is
being publicly mocked
.

Which is the worst thing that can happen to a fascist thug such as Mookie.

 

 

 


The company you keep, one in a series

April 23, 2008

Power Line has more on the Prophet Barack’s friends and supporters, unrepentant former terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. In this case, audio clips of both damning the United States in no uncertain terms in 2007, twelve years after they had become associates and supporters of Obama.

So, Senator Obama has worked with Ayers and Dohrn since he entered politics in 1995, and for 20 years attended a church headed by the racist, America-damning Reverend Wright, whom Obama has described as a "spiritual mentor."

Since Obama has made character and judgment key selling points of his candidacy, what conclusions are we to draw?

 

LINKS: More at Hot Air, which covers Dohrn’s career as an accessory to armed robbery and murder.

UPDATE: Power Line has posted more of Ayers’ and Dohrn’s " greatest hits. Remember, the Prophet Barack, while distancing himself from their activities in the 60s and 70s (for which he can’t be held responsible, of course), he has defended them as now being "part of the mainstream" and "respectable." Keep that in mind, listen to the clips, and ask what that tells you about Obama.


Poor Pennsylvania

April 22, 2008

For the first time in years, maybe decades, their primary vote today counts for something. It could influence the nation’s direction for years to come. It could make history.

And their choice is between a serial liar and a patronizing pol who looks down on them.

D’oh!


What’s in a name?

April 22, 2008

First it was the British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, announcing that acts of Islamic terrorism would no longer be referred to as "Islamic terrorism," but as "anti-Islamic acts."  Now, via Jihad Watch, we learn that our Secretary of State –who is in charge of our foreign relations at a time when we are at war with Islamic jihadists– may be set to ban the use of the words "jihad" and "jihadist" at State:

The argument, of course, is the old Streusand/Guirard claim that by using the word jihad, we’re validating the jihadist claim to be waging jihad. Of course, it’s ridiculous to think that the U.S. State Department carries any validating authority within the Islamic world to determine what is Islam and what isn’t. This would be the first time that unbelievers have set the meaning of Islamic theology for Muslims.

Also, the claim is that by using the word "jihad," we are insulting the peaceful Muslims who are waging the daily jihad of the struggle against sin, the struggle against the dirty dishes, etc. And that’s great, if that’s what any Muslim actually believes is the sum and substance of jihad, but it is an understanding of jihad that is at odds with the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Will Muslims be insulted by a reference to other Muslims using the traditional primary meaning of jihad? Answer: probably. But that doesn’t negate the traditional status of that meaning, or the influence of that traditional view in the Islamic world.

This is the "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" approach: if we don’t mention the problem, it won’t be as threatening. Maybe it will even go away.

If I wanted Fantasyland, I know where I can go. But wishing on a star isn’t going to make the threat of jihadist Islam go away, nor will refusing to bluntly name it defuse it. We are at war with people –not an abstract "terror," but people– who take to heart the Qur’anic injunctions to make war on the unbelievers (us) until they either convert or submit:

And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do. (Qur’an 8:39)

Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). (Qur’an 47:4)

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Qur’an 9:5)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. (Qur’an 9:29)

That last is the famous "Verse of the Sword," which is widely held by mainstream Muslim authorities to abrogate all the peaceful verses that come before it in the Qur’an. It is even taught thus in children’s books. And these four are but a few of dozens of examples of verses in the Qur’an and tales in the Hadith that command offensive jihad against non-believers. Again, us.

It does us no good to pretend that the acts of terrorism committed against us are not rooted in mainstream Islamic theology; the terrorists themselves are well-versed in Islamic theology and law. The see themselves as holy warriors  –jihadis* or mujahideen– waging jihad** in the name of Allah and as the latest executors of a religious duty stretching back more than 1,300 years to Muhammad himself. For our leaders to pretend otherwise is an act of ideological appeasement and intellectual self-disarmament.

How are we supposed to fight, let alone win, if we lack the intellectual clarity and fortitude to name the enemy?

*(Sorry, Condi.)

**(Oops. Did it again.)

 


Blast from the past

April 21, 2008

Watch National Geographic footage of the 1946 atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. As Marvin Martian would say, “There was a ka-BOOM!”

Yeah, I want the Iranians to have one of these. I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about the possibilities.

Yeesh.

Fascinating observation: 50 years after the 1954 thermonuclear tests at Bikini, the corals are flourishing.

(hat tip: Contentions)

 


Weird

April 21, 2008

Why has one IP address at Symantec hit this site hundreds of times in the last 24 hours? Looking at the logs, it looks as if “they” scoured first the weekly archives, and now they’re hitting individual posts, one right after the other.

I’m being watched…

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No, this is not from Monty Python

April 20, 2008

This seems to be a genuine North Korean propaganda video full of praise and thanks to the “progressives” in the US who have stood up to the Bush Administration:

The criminal US imperialist Bush and his cabal of Klu Klux Klan capitalist warmongering oil-thirsty war criminal hegemonists who lord it over have turned the outside world into a dark pit of blackness devoid of dignity and human rights, without the slightest joy or laughter of children who had their eardrums stolen by the criminal Bush corporate vampire for sale in “Israel”.

But out of despair… Hope.

As we speak even in the “USA” enlightened progressive political dissident put their own lives in danger to rally against the criminal Bush, united in anti-US anti-imperialist socialist revolutionary struggle to build a world of peace.

This video is a tribute to US progressives of all walks of life who defend the cause of justice and peace in the world.

Thank you to all comradely progressive brothers and sisters.

And this video is just chock-full of …interesting… images of these comradely progressive brothers and sisters:

 

Fair warning: some of these images are not safe for work. Others will just give you nightmares.

(hat tip: LGF, which notes that the images are all stolen from the Zombietime blog.)

 


The company he keeps

April 20, 2008

There’s been quite a bit of talk in recent weeks about Senator Barack Obama’s various relationships and friendships. I think they’re legitimate questions to ask, given that the policy differences between Obama and Hillary Clinton are minimal and that the Obama campaign has made "judgment" and "character" central arguments for electing him to cover for his exceedingly thin record. Our choice of friends and associates says much about our character and judgment, and it can tell us much about someone who would be president.

Thus the questions that have arisen about Obama’s connections to William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, unrepentant former terrorists and members of the Marxist-Leninist Weather Underground. Obama has tried to minimize his connection to Ayers and Dohrn, claiming it is silly to hold him accountable for actions those two took nearly 40 years ago. While Obama is right, of course, that he can’t be held responsible for the bombings the Weathermen committed, he can be called to account for continued, regular association with them and for accepting their political support.

But what does this association tell us about Barack Obama? Certainly not that he himself is a Marxist-Leninist or that he endorses terrorism, but it does indicate that his own views are far enough to the Left that he is comfortable associating with people who are and do.

Doug Ross at Director Blue takes a long look at Ayers and Dohrn -and Obama’s connections to them- and finds enough disturbing information to pose some pointed questions:

  • Will Obama disclose his full relationship with Ayers and Dohrn?
  • Will Obama disavow his relationship with Ayers and Dohrn as well as return any money that they have donated to him in the past?
  • Were Obama’s representatives speaking directly or indirectly with the communist terrorists known as FARC?
  • Will Obama completely denounce Marxist-Leninist ideology, which was espoused by his father as well as friends like Ayers and Dohrn and groups such as FARC?

Couple Ayers and Dohrn with Obama’s racist and gay-bashing ministers, and I think we learn a lot about Obama from those whom he chooses to associate with.

And it’s enough to disqualify him from the presidency.

(hat tip: Fausta)


Let the France jokes begin….

April 19, 2008

Foul Smell Encircles London

Commuters in London and its neighboring towns and villages in southern England woke up to an unusual smell Friday morning: a stink that led many to wonder if the city’s sewers had overflowed.

Not even the queen was spared, as newspapers reported that Windsor Castle also suffered from the effects of the putrid smell.

The U.K. Meteorological Office (Met Office) was quick to assure callers that there was no reason to panic.

The foul smell was not English, Sarah Holland, a forecaster for the Met Office told the BBC. “The origins of the smell come from Europe,” she said.

See what Britain gets for joining the EU? See?

(hat tip: LGF)

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