Day by Day

Monday, May 31, 2004

A reader responds to my latest BBC posts

I posted here about the BBC's attack on Bush during American memorial day services.

One of my readers didn't like my comments and let me know it. Here is their comment and my reply.

Comments:
Er, it's the BBC.....BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation. Why should they temper their coverage to spare the sensibilities of Americans? They are reporting for a British audience. The British pay for the BBC not Americans. If you don't like it don't read it.

# posted by Anonymous : 9:02 PM

Er, unfortunately the Americans living here also have to pay for, "Er it's" The Baghdad Broadcasting Company.

I read it to expose nonsense like this article.

They are on the World Wide Web and Sky so they are not just "reporting for a British audience."

And they weren't "covering" anything. They used Bush's memorial to fallen US troops to attack him.

If you don't like my blog don't read it. But as a defender of the Baghdad Broadcasting Company you probably should. And read Biased BBC while you are at it. The link is on the left - under BBC Unspun.

Thanks for your comments.
The Iraq and Al-Qaeda connection

This is a long one so I will just post the first paragraph and link. Well worth the read if you need convincing; I don't.

From Dan Darling

Stephen F. Hayes on the Iraqi/al-Qaeda connection

Via the Weekly Standard. I'll definitely be buying his book, though I wonder if it'll be important enough to rate a "60 Minutes" spot?


"THE PRESIDENT CONVINCED THE COUNTRY with a mixture of documents that turned out to be forged and blatantly false assertions that Saddam was in league with al Qaeda," claimed former Vice President Al Gore last Wednesday.

This coming from one of the men who authorized the attack on al-Shifa ...

"There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever," declared Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism official under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, in an interview on March 21, 2004.

This coming from one of the primary architects of the attack on al-Shifa.

I've said this before and I'll probably say it again, but one cannot consistently defend the attack on al-Shifa while seeking to "debunk" the Iraq/al-Qaeda connection. ...

Uh, guys. Karahci is in Pakistan not Iran. Posted by Hello
More good news from Iraq

From Iraqi Press

Mosul, Iraq Press, May 29, 2004 – Iraq’s only asphalt refinery in Qayara has been rehabilitated after being idle for more than nine years.

The refinery used to supply the bulk of Iraq’s needs of asphalt, a commodity the country urgently needs to maintain and expand its networks of roads and highways.

Built in 1959, the refinery was bombed in 1986 during the war with Iran and had remained idle since.

US army engineers spent half a million dollars to breathe life into the refinery and currently churns out 300 tons of asphalt a day.

The refinery’s director, Mohammed Kadh, said until very recently Iraq imported asphalt from neighboring countries.

“We spent a lot of money and the asphalt we got was of low quality,” he said.

Qayara, south of Mosul, is a major oil center in the area reputed for its heavy crude.

The refinery employs 450 workers from the small town of Qayara, for which the refinery is named.

“Without help from the coalition (US troops) this refinery would have remained shut,” Kadh said.

“We still rely on the coalition engineers who provide all forms of support to our technicians and their efforts to sustain and boost production,” he added.


Day by day things are getting better for the Iraqis.
Iraq overshadows US Memorial Day

No. The BBC overshadows US Memorial Day.

They just had to do it. On the day America remembers its war dead the BBC use the opportunity to attack Bush. Just when you think the BBC can not get any lower.

President Bush has paid tribute to US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in a speech to mark Memorial Day, when America remembers its war dead.

He was speaking at Arlington National Cemetery, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Mr Bush praised the "fierce courage" of the soldiers involved in the US-led "war on terror", who he said had made America safer and freed millions.

Mr Bush has been criticised for not attending any funerals of the war dead.


Criticised by whom? The anti-war movement, the left, the New York Times and the BBC.

Presidents do not normally attend the funerals of fallen members of the military. I cannot speak for them but I can think of many good reasons for them not to.

For example:

Which Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airmen's funeral should he attend? Some of them or all of them?

Does he go to the ones that were killed in battle and or the ones killed in accidents unconnected to battle? Their loss is no less meaningful.

The media would turn a family's moment of grief into a circus.

I'm sure there are many other good reasons but that is enough for me.

So, how have other modern day presidents handled the situation?

From History News Network

Lyndon Baines Johnson

According to the Johnson Library, LBJ attended two funerals for soldiers who died during the Vietnam War. The first funeral was for Captain Albert Smith, son of White House correspondent Merriman Smith, which was held February 28, 1966. The second was for Major General Keith R. Ware, held September 17, 1968. LBJ had met Ware while visiting Vietnam.


So, LBJ two funerals out of 55,000 and he knew the two men or their families personally.

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon does not appear to have attended the funerals of any soldiers killed in Vietnam. He did award posthumous medals of honor to the families of several soldiers on 22 April 1971 and on several other occasions. On Veterans day in 1971 he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. In 1973 he met with the family of Colonel William Nolde after the colonel was buried in Arlington Cemetery. Colonel Nolde was killed on January 27th, the night before the cease-fire went into effect.


Nixon attended zero of 55,000 funerals. He visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as Bush did today.

Jimmy Carter

According to the New York Times, Jimmy Carter attended a memorial service for the soldiers killed in the failed rescue of America hostages in Iran in 1980.


Carter, memorial service but no funerals.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan attended memorial services on several occasions for American soldiers. In 1983 he attended a service at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in connection with the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which cost the lives of 241 people. In 1987 he attended a service at Mayport Naval Station in Florida for the sailors killed on the USS Stark.


Regan, memorial services but no funerals.

George H.W. Bush

President George Herbert Walker Bush does not appear to have attended any funerals for American soldiers. (The NYT, citing Marlin Fitzwater as a source, indicated that the president did attend several such funerals. But no details were provided.)


George Bush Sr., no funerals of record. Maybe that is how they do it; in private.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton attended a service in October 2000 in memory of the 17 sailors killed in the attack on the USS Cole.

After the terrorist bombing the Murrah building in downtown Oklahoma City he publicly grieved with the families of the victims at an event that was regarded at the time as a turning point in his presidency.

Like many other presidents he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Clinton, no funerals but a publicity stunt.

And how does the BBC end their "shadow" over our remembrance day? With this stunning insensitivity and ignorance.

President Bush is due to visit Italy in a few days' time.

Italian peace activists are threatening anti-war demonstrations over Iraq.

Our Rome correspondent David Willey says 60 years on, some Italians are asking whether America's armed forces should still be classified as liberators.


So, Willey, "some Italians" is it? Would they happen to be the anti-war activists?

The BBC are a public disgrace.
The Guardian backs Kerry

No surprise there but "so called" newspapers are suppose to, well, report the news. Opinions are for the editorial or letters page. Not so at the Guardian.

You can almost feel the glee in this article, can't you?

Statesman in Seattle

Leader
Monday May 31, 2004
The Guardian

Do not put the champagne on ice yet - there are, after all, five months to go before the election - but it is beginning to look as if Senator John Kerry may have the beating of President George Bush in November.


Shameful.
A brave Iraqi soldier.

From Iraq the Model

While most of the press want us to believe that the new Iraqi army is full of cowards, Omar tells a different story. One of Iraqi bravery in the face of battle.

I received this mail from one of the readers including a mail from an American soldier posted in his home page sent to his father. He has a story about an Iraqi soldier that I think needed to be read. Here is part of the mail:

I could tell you stories of individual heroics of Iraqi soldiers. One specific example is of an Iraqi SgtMaj who came into our lines during the first days of fighting in Falluja. He made his way through the mujahadeen and risked being killed by us to tell us that he was concerned about the ICDC (Iraqi Civil Defense Corps) armory in town. He knew it was only a matter of time until the muj went for the armory to take the weapons.

Honestly, I would have thought that they had already done it as the police stations and every other good piece of ground seemed to be occupied by the muj by that time. In short, he wanted to let us know that he was going back into the town to get the weapons. The Marines asked him if he wanted us to help. No. He only wanted us to take the weapons from him when he came back through. This guy took a couple young Iraqi soldiers with a truck and drove back through our lines into the hornets nest of Falluja. He went to the armory, emptied the weapons and ammo stored there and brought it back out through the fighting to us. We expected him to want to stay with us or to move on to Baghdad or some other safe area. He refused and stated that he was going back into the city as that was where his duty was.

We had a group that showed up shortly thereafter. You have probably heard about them as they came out of Baghdad and on the way were ambushed a couple of times. By the time they made it here only 200 of 700 were in their ranks. I know that the public story is that they folded after a couple of days of fighting and disintegrated. They actually made it through three days of fighting. Not just taking a few rounds, they held through accurate machine gun fire, mortars and multiple assaults. They also moved forward and occupied positions on the Marines' flanks. After three days, we pulled them out. The Marines will tell you that they did a hell of a job.”

Bravery has a face in every culture, in every land.

(The soldier/author Major David G. Bellon, USMC)
What freedom sounds like in Iraq

From Iraq the Model

...The guy sitting next to me was a She’at who hates all clerics except Sadr! He thought that he was the least hypocrite of all. This guy however was funny and not a fanatic. I looked at him and said,

-Now how am I supposed to have my dinner with this person [picture of Sadr] pointing at me!? Do you really think this is a picture that should be put in a cafeteria??

My friend smiled and said,

-Shh, lower your voice! I’m your friend but if some of his followers heard you say that, I really fear for your safety. I told you that they have instructions to kill anyone who talks badly of Sadr.

- I won’t lower my voice. All my life I had to lower my voice whenever I wanted to speak about Saddam. I couldn’t have the joy of at least tearing one of his pictures because of the chaos that followed the liberation. I want to tear this one.

- No, please don’t. This is for your own sake.

- I promise you I won’t touch his fathers face or the old Iraqi flag, although I don’t like it. Besides I have the freedom to say my opinion in anyone.

-Yes, but what about your friends, the Americans, do they allow anyone to curse bush? Didn’t they hit Al-Rasheed hotel because of the picture of Bush the father was painted on the floor of the entrance? Another friend interfered.

-Are you serious!? And for your information many Americans hate Bush, and the Americans -even if they don’t like it- don’t prevent anyone from saying his opinion, and I want to scream in contempt and rejection for any tyrant and this fool is a tyrant project.

-Can you really swear at Bush? I don’t think so. My Shea’at friend said.

-Ok, just to show you that I fear no one and that we are free: S**T ON BUSH, S**T ON SADDAM AND S**T ON YOUR MUQTADA AL-SADR. I screamed as loud as I could.

Some of my friends laughed and others looked around to see if there was anyone of Sadr supporters there. They couldn’t believe what they heard.


Freedom is a beautiful thing that we all too often take for granted.
Ireland's smoking ban 'a success'

From The BBC

The Irish Republic has hailed a smoking ban as a success, with 97% of inspected premises complying with the law.

A report on the workplace ban, by the Office of Tobacco Control (OTC), found one in five smokers now choose not to smoke at all on a night out.

[...]

The report also found more non-smokers were now venturing out to the pub.

[...]

Meanwhile, Norway is set to follow suit, becoming the second nation to ban smoking in public from a minute past midnight on June 1 (Monday, 2200 GMT).

Prior to its introduction, the hospitality industry was vocal in its opposition to the plan, claiming it would result in a loss of business.

But OTC chief inspector Dave Molloy said that those arguments had proved to be unfounded.


Like I've been saying all along. Hopefully Scotland will follow suit soon.

UPDATE From Canadian Press

TORONTO (CP) - The chair of Toronto's public health board says the city's stepped-up ban on smoking in bars could help revitalize the industry.

City councillor John Filion says "there may be a few people who get mad and don't come in again," but there are many others who don't go to bars - even for live entertainment - because of the smoke. The tougher rules take effect at midnight tonight.
Blast rocks Karachi Shia mosque

From The BBC

A bomb blast has killed at least six people and injured many others at a Shia mosque in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, correspondents say.

The blast comes a day after the Sunni Muslim cleric, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, was shot dead as he drove to his religious school.


Shoddy reporting from the BBC again. One has to wonder why they always downplay these terrorist.

As I
posted earlier:

Mufti Shamzai was the head of the Jamiat ul-Uloom il Islamiyyah mosque, also known as Binori Town, which is one of the most radical Deobandi seminaries in all of Pakistan

This was where the majority of the "officer corps" of the South Asian branch of bin Laden's International Front were indoctrinated, from the Taliban leadership to members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Sipah-e-Sahaba, the Harakat ul-Mujahideen, the Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, and lastly the Jaish-e-Mohammed, which regarded Shamzai as its spiritual leader.

Religious school indeed! That is like saying Al-Jazeera is Sesame Street.

Why does the BBC not want its' readers to know the facts?

UPDATE CNN downplays this terrorist as well.
Law change scuppers Turkey trial

I just posted this: Terror Suspects Beating Charges Filed in Europe, two hours ago for christ sake.

From The BBC

The Turkish trial of dozens of suspects charged over November's suicide attacks has been halted indefinitely.

Defence lawyers claimed Istanbul's State Security Court was not fit to hear the case as it was recently abolished in pro-EU government reforms.

Prosecutors later announced they agreed. The full trial cannot now start until parliament creates a new court.

More than 60 people died in the blasts, which targeted two synagogues, the HSBC bank and the British consulate.


How much you want to bet Hamza never leaves Britain?

You would think the Turks would have noticed that their State Security Court had been abolished.
Freedom fighter - Terrorist, Torture - Religious training

One mans freedom fighter is anothers terrorist and to Iran torture is religious training.

From FrontPage

Earlier this month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi wasted no time denouncing the abuse of prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison, accusing the United States of "systematically killing, torturing and raping Iraqis." Echoing this statement, President Mohammad Khatami said, "The painful torture inflicted by the occupying forces on Iraqis is a great tragedy." Top Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Janati went even further with his own invective saying "the pictures shown on the television showed the US criminal essence, which emanates from American savagery."

While the leaders of Iran’s tyrannical regime have shamelessly jumped on the band wagon to take the moral high ground in the midst of the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco, they conveniently forget to mention the real "systematic" killing, torture, and rape practiced in their own prisons against Iranian dissidents during the twenty five years of their rule.

They neglected to mention the bloodbath they created during the infamous 1988 massacre of political prisoners at Evin prison—in which somewhere between 4,000 and 30,000 prisoners were methodically executed in several months. Sixteen years after this tragic slaughter, the families of those prisoners still have not located the graves of their love ones.

"The massacre continued until October 1988," testified Hossein Mokhtar’s, a political prisoner who survived the Evin prison. "But they killed more than 90% of prisoners during the first 10 days. So many times we heard the heavy machine guns which were shooting to the victims in the ‘Shooting Execution hall’ of the prison. These were in addition to hanging on cranes and other hanging stands," he said. French daily Le Monde wrote that many of the executed were only between 12- and 14-years-old when they were jailed for taking part in public demonstrations years before.

Last month, perhaps in light of the increasing concerns about Iran’s rampant human rights violations, particularly the torture death of Canadian photojournalists Zahra Kazemi last summer, the Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Shahroudi ordered a ban on the use of torture. The Iranian-borne Kazemi, 54, died from a brain hemorrhage caused by a blow to the head while in custody. She was arrested for taking photographs outside Tehran's notorious Evin prison.


Presumedly you do not ban something that does not exist, eh?

[...]

Iran has not yet joined the Convention Against Torture, a convention that was introduced in 1975 and has been ratified by several countries, including Libya, China and Sudan. Article 1 of the convention bans most of the existing practices that fall under the "religious punishment" of Iran’s Sharia-based penal code. It is a system of laws that codifies lashes, amputations, eye-gouging, and stoning for charges ranging from robbery, drinking alcohol, and adultery to anti-government political activities. In the perverted lexicon of the mullahs, these "punishments" are not considered torture.

Inside prisons, on any given day, a religious judge could issue an order for "Tazir," a religious term for physical punishment of the detainee that ranges from lashing the victim for hours to solitary confinement and electric shock. The ban does not apply to "Tazir".


Amputations and eye-gouging? Seems Kilroy was right after all.
D-Day 1899 and President Denzel Washington is leading liberation..

Yesterday I posted about an article By Charles Moore writing in The Telegraph wherein he said:

This picture of the United States was not all wrong, but it was notable for what it missed out. I learnt very little about the vigour of the freedom provided for under the American Constitution, the country's encouragement of large-scale immigration, its rising living standards. I did not know how well America had reconstructed Germany, Japan and the economies of western Europe after the war.

Moore put the blame on:

As with most British people, my first impressions of America were formed by television. For my family in the 1960s, this meant the BBC alone.

While that remains partially true even today, the problem is much deeper. Again from
The Telegraph

It is 1899 and Denzel Washington, the American president, orders Anne Frank and her troops to storm the beaches of Nazi-occupied New Zealand.

This may not be how you remember D-Day but for a worrying number of Britain's children this is the confused scenario they associate with the events of June 6, 1944.

A survey of 1,309 pupils aged between 10 and 14 and from 24 different schools found alarming levels of ignorance about the invasion of Normandy 60 years ago.

Only 28 per cent of primary and secondary pupils who sat the quiz last week were able to say that D-Day, involving the largest invasion force ever mounted, was the start of the Allied liberation of occupied western Europe.


[...]

Dr David Starkey, the historian and television broadcaster, said yesterday that the survey had uncovered what he called a climate of "unfortunately reduced horizons and expectations".

It was "absurd", he said, that children were spending so much time discussing Hitler and Stalin to the detriment of everything else connected with the war.


And for those who complain that our children spend too much time playing computer games comes this gem:

There were some exceptions to the general ignorance. One teacher at Great Addington Church of England Primary school in Northamptonshire was amazed to find that one of his pupils had scored 100 per cent in the test.

He said: "I asked him how he knew material which we had not covered in school. He told me he had picked it up from a D-Day game he played on his computer."


Priceless!
Terror Suspects Beating Charges Filed in Europe

From The Washington Post

While most of Europe condemns the US for Guantanomo Bay they struggle to convict terrorists. Terrorism has changed the rules of engagement, so maybe it is time to change the rules.

The trial already bears the hallmarks of many other failed terrorism prosecutions across Europe that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. European governments have rounded up hundreds of suspects, claiming to disrupt numerous spectacular attacks in the making, only to see the cases collapse months or years later in the courts.

Officials say that difficulties in investigating secretive terror cells, limited cooperation from intelligence agencies and judicial safeguards of defendants' rights have all contributed to this outcome. Muslim spokesmen and civil liberties groups say that police and prosecutors under intense pressure for results often simply go after the wrong people.

European governments have deeply criticized the Bush administration's decision to keep hundreds of terrorism suspects out of the civilian judicial system and put them instead in the custody of U.S. military or intelligence agencies in places such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Such tactics are gross human rights violations, many officials here say. But their own approach has produced few convictions.
Canadas connection to the US 7 most wanted

From Winds of Change

Anyone else notice that 3 of the 7 US most wanted terrorist have connections to Canada?

1. Adnan El Shukrijumah

His al-Qaeda nom de guerre is Jaffar al-Tayyar, which means "Jaffar the Pilot," which makes sense given his purported pilot's license. A Saudi national with American, Canadian, Moroccan, and Trinidadian passports...


Abderraouf Jdey

A Canadian citizen of Tunisian background, Jdey obtained Canadian citizenship in 1995 and near as I can tell dropped out of sight soon afterwards.


Amer El Maati

The brother of an associate of Canadian Maher Arar, El Maati is a Canadian citizen of Egyptian-Syrian descent who is also believed to be a licensed pilot.


The Shamzai Assassination

Shamzai was not just another militant cleric who hated the west.

From Winds of Change with plenty of links.

Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai was assassinated today in Karachi. This may not sound too terribly important, but allow me to add some context to his assassination. Mufti Shamzai was the head of the Jamiat ul-Uloom il Islamiyyah mosque, also known as Binori Town, which is one of the most radical Deobandi seminaries in all of Pakistan. Paul Moloney posted a pretty good bio of Binori Town over on Rantburg and there's also a very chilling description of the place in Bernard Henri Levy's book Who Killed Daniel Pearl? that basically explains what it was for the Deobandi Pakistani jihadis. Paul regards it as the ground zero of global terrorism, but I'd say a more apt description would be to compare Binori Town to America's own Command General Staff College (CGSC) in Leavenworth or the Army War College in Carlisle. This was where the majority of the "officer corps" of the South Asian branch of bin Laden's International Front were indoctrinated, from the Taliban leadership to members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Sipah-e-Sahaba, the Harakat ul-Mujahideen, the Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, and lastly the Jaish-e-Mohammed, which regarded Shamzai as its spiritual leader.

In addition to his other duties inciting violence and indoctrinating jihadis in South Asia, Mufti Shamzai was also a member of the Supreme Council of Global Jihad, the body of radical clerics that appears to serve as al-Qaeda's brain trust. When the US demanded that the Taliban extradict bin Laden to the US in September 2001, Mufti Shamzai was part of the delegation of Pakistani religious leaders and ISI officials that met with his former student Mullah Omar. While the Pakistani government sent them there to tell the Taliban to cough up bin Laden, Shamzai and the rest of the delegation reportedly told Mullah Omar to fight.

The perpetrators of the Shamzai assassination are unclear at this point, but the usual suspects are likely to range from Shi'ite sectarian groups, Musharraf loyalists, rival Deobandi or Wahhabi Islamists, moderate Pakistani Sunnis, Indian intelligence, the CIA, or any combination that one desires to create. I note that Shamzai's students and the usual rent-a-mob have already rioted in protest over the mufti's killing. Understand this, however: Shamzai was an integral part of the terror machine in South Asia and while his assassination doesn't mean the end of Binori Town by any means, it is every bit as significant within the framework of the war on terrorism as the Israeli assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Christian beaten to death in hospital by Muslim cop

From
World Net Daily

More from the religion of peace.

Samuel Masih was buried in Lahore, Pakistan, yesterday following injuries he received from a Muslim policeman who beat the 27-year-old Christian with a hammer as he lay in his hospital bed recovering from a bout of tuberculosis.

Masih had been in jail since Aug. 23, 2003, awaiting trial on charges of blasphemy under Pakistan's strict "Law 295" – which forbids desecrating the Quran and "defiling" the name of Islam's prophet, Muhammad. On the day of his arrest, Masih was collecting garden rubbish, which he heaped temporarily against the wall of a mosque in Lahore's Lawrence Gardens section while collecting more that he planned to burn later. This action brought the blasphemy charge, which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.


Arab Report: Iraq Situation Improving

From AP

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Despite war and occupation, Iraq has seen a surge in human rights organizations, political parties and independent newspapers - entities almost unheard of under Saddam Hussein, said a report by an Arab think tank.

Why "despite war and occupation"? How about "becuase of...". And what do you mean "almost unheard" of? Name one human rights organization, political party (besides the Bath party), or independent newspaper under Saddam.

The report by Egypt's Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies welcomed the promise of elections, the freedom of expression and independence of the media but was careful not to credit the Americans for the progress.

No surprise there.

"Even though all indications of political rights and human rights mentioned in this report clearly illustrate that the situation in Iraq after occupation is much better than Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the truth remains that any situation would have been better than Saddam Hussein," the report said.

Yes, but it was the US led coalition that got rid of Saddam so the situation could get better.

Saudi jailed for battering wife - Rania al Baz

 Posted by Hello
Rania's tale touches global nerve

From The BBC

The story of Rania al-Baz, the Saudi television presenter who released photos of the injuries she says she sustained in an assault by her husband, has received an overwhelming response from BBC News Online readers.

Note that Rania's husband has been convicted of her beating since this article was written.

Readers from Saudi itself said Rania had made a great impact by speaking out on a normally taboo subject.

"I am Muslim, divorced and a recovering victim of domestic violence," one US woman wrote.

"We need more sisters from Saudi Arabia to come forth and go public with their stories. I have been a victim - it destroys and hurts long after the scars heal."


"These are all things of the past and should not be allowed to continue."

Kedija from Morocco said all Muslim women had to make a stand "against these primitive acts".

"We are oppressed, we have rights as men have. We should change the mentalities of our society about women, specially among Islamic men."


Now that her husband has been convicted and sentenced to 6 months prison and 300 lashes, it will be interesting to see if more women come forward. Remember though, they have to be accompanied by a male member of the family to report abuse by their husbands.
Saudi jailed for battering wife

From The BBC

I wonder how often this really happens and if she was not a celebrity would the Saudis have done anything at all?

A Saudi man who severely beat his TV presenter wife has been sentenced to six months in prison and 300 lashes, a Saudi newspaper reports.

Ouch!

Mrs al-Baz suffered 13 facial fractures and agreed to let papers print images of her injuries to raise awareness of a problem affecting the whole kingdom.

I'll try and post the picture. I'm still learning this photoblogging thingy from Blogspot.

Earlier, an attempted murder charge against al-Fallatta was dropped.

Well, after all it was only 13 facial fractures. I mean it wasn't like the guy was trying to kill her; he just wanted to "keep her in line". Religion of peace at work again.


Paragraph 3 of this article says "others managed to break through a security cordon using hostages as human shields. " But on the same page on the top right under Watch and Listen it says "

The BBC's Juliet Dunlop"Saudi authorities have been unable to explain how some of the gunmen escaped"
 Posted by Hello

"Wake up call for Dunlop", "Wake up call for Dunlop"
More good news from Iraq

From OxBlog

Quoting a USA Today poll:

FASCINATING NONSENSE: I have absolutely no idea what to make of the polls coming out of Iraq. The most comprehensive poll, conducted by USA Today/CNN/Gallup, starts out sounding like a White House press release. More Iraqis say they are better off rather than worse off since the invasion. More than 60% think Iraq will be better off in five years than it was before the invasion.

Then the news gets even better: 40% of Iraqis identify democracy as the best form of government for Iraq, with only 12% preferring an Iranian model. 50% think that five years from now Iraq will be a democracy, with no other form of government getting more than 12 percent. (Imagine asking Americans the same question!) Finally, and almost unbelievably, an overwhelming majority of Iraqis favor constitutional provisions protecting freedom of religion (73%), freedom of assembly (77%), and freedom of speech (94%).

Now here's the bad news: The CPA approval rating is just 23%, with 46% against it. The split for the US as a whole is 23-55. The UN split is 33-23 with 37 undecided. 50% say the US isn't serious about establishing a democratic system, while 37% say it is. 55% say the US won't leave unless it is forced out. When it comes to occupation forces, 45% want them gone after June 30th while another 45% don't.


Link to the poll and to the February Poll
Mark Steyn on Iraq

From The Telegraph

I say yes. It is already worth it for Iraq. There are more than 8,000 towns and villages in the country. If the much predicted civil war had erupted in any of 'em, you'd see it. Not from the Western press corps holed up with its Ba'ath Party translators at the Palestine Hotel, but from Arab television networks eager to show the country going to hell. They cannot show it you because it isn't happening. The Sunni Triangle is a little under-policed, but even that's not aflame. Moqtada al-Sadr, the Khomeini-Of-The-Week in mid-April, is al-Sadr al-Wiser these days, down to his last two 12-year-old insurgents and unable even to get to the mosque on Friday to deliver his weekly widely-ignored call to arms.

Meanwhile, more and more towns are holding elections and voting in "secular independents and representatives of non-religious parties". ...


[...]

... If the media manage to drag the Senator, a very weak candidate, over the finishing line, it will be seen as a humiliating verdict on Bush's war. There will be no stomach for further neo-con adventuring. The House of Saud can relax and resume its buying off of al-Qaeda. Pakistan's ISI can get rid of General Musharraf. The IAEA can go back to sleep and let Iran get on with its nuclear programme. And, after months and months of experts telling them that they didn't have enough troops in Iraq, Washington will realise all the extra troops they needed are sitting around twiddling their thumbs in Europe, guarding against enemies who no longer exist on behalf of allies who are no longer allies.

Such a world would be a more dangerous place, but not necessarily for Americans. It is Europe that's closer and more vulnerable to terrorists, dysfunctional states and other enemies. That is why I'm a relatively relaxed hawk. The US may be forced to suffer the perception of defeat, but it is Europe that will live with the consequences. Be careful what you wish for.
Clerical error - Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr

From US News

While fighting still erupts from time to time in Najaf, it looks like Sadr is on his last legs.

In the past two months, hundreds have done so. Fighting between Sadr's men and U.S.-led coalition forces has claimed the lives of over 350 Iraqis, a heavy toll on the ad hoc militia, and 21 coalition soldiers. With his losses, Sadr started looking for a way to bow out gracefully, approaching high-ranking Shiite politicians and clergy to help him cut a deal with the United States. Finally, last week, in the latest of on-again, off-again cease-fires, Sadr agreed "to put an end to the tragic events in holy Najaf, and the violation of the holy shrines in it," by disbanding his troops.

[...]

The last paragraph sums it all up.

Publicly furious with the occupation, the citizens are also privately blaming Sadr for bringing the fighting to the holiest Shiite city, and they say that they will be grateful when he and his ragtag bandit army leave. "Things were very good two months ago. It was a peaceful town. Then people from outside our city came in [and] the majority of the fighters came from outside of Najaf," said Ali Nasser, 25, while eating a lunch of stewed lamb and rice in the emptied bazaar. "When the Americans first came here, they played soccer and dominoes with us. They were just like our friends. We didn't even see a tank."

Sunday, May 30, 2004

My childish view of a nasty America is still popular

By Charles Moore writing in The Telegraph

[...]

This picture of the United States was not all wrong, but it was notable for what it missed out. I learnt very little about the vigour of the freedom provided for under the American Constitution, the country's encouragement of large-scale immigration, its rising living standards. I did not know how well America had reconstructed Germany, Japan and the economies of western Europe after the war.

The BBC did not preach to me about the Soviet threat with the same ardour that it preached about racial prejudice. I therefore thought that America was very violent and very backward, and I could never quite understand why such a country was by far the most powerful in the world. If I asked people why, they would say, "Oh well, it's because it's so rich," as if wealth were something that simply descended upon you without the contribution of human effort. As a result, I understood very little about America.

Today, we are presented with a similar narrative - so powerful that I find that 90 per cent of people here believe it, even those who think of themselves as conservative. The narrative is that America is bullying and naive about the outside world. It is very keen on killing people. George W Bush is taken to embody these characteristics, since he wears cowboy boots and is inarticulate and prays a lot. (Fine for Muslims to pray, not for Christians.)


[...]

Suppose that the reports accusing UN officials of corruption in the oil-for-food programme had been made against America. Suppose that it was Halliburton, the company for whom Vice-President Dick Cheney once worked, which had taken 10 per cent off the oil-for-food contracts. Suppose that America were accused of the sort of behaviour that has been alleged, on the basis of Iraqi official documents, against France and Russia. I think we would have heard of little else. As it is, though, the oil-for-food story has somehow drifted away in a muddle about who's going to run the next bit of the investigation.

[...]

So what is actually happening while we, the British public, follow the narrative, half-bored, half-horrified, desperately wanting to be told that something good will turn up? I think the answer is that the people who have long made it their business to run these things, reassert control. Their universal doctrine is that the nasty people - Mugabe, Brezhnev, Milosevic, Arafat, once upon a time, Saddam himself - are the ones to prop up in the interests of "stability".

[...]

As King Abdullah of Jordan - a "moderate", but also someone whose country was economically dependent on Saddam - recently put it, Iraq should be ruled by "somebody with a military background who has experience of being a tough guy". Remind you of anyone?
'We should have done it ourselves'

The papers wonder why it took US intervention to bring about his arrest

I like this; The Guardian, sister to The Observer, quoting "real newspapers".

Saturday May 29, 2004
The Guardian

Simon Heffer
Daily Mail, May 28

"It has taken the Americans to act to prosecute Abu Hamza for the offences he has committed against their country and citizens, while we seem blithely unconcerned about great harm he has done to us ... It was important that our authorities should move against him, not merely to show that justice would be done, but to send a message to others of the same ilk. It is too late for that now ... The government has shown itself to be cowardly in its resolve to deal with an internal enemy ...

"One fears the last indignity is yet to be played out. It will be the appalling sight of a British prime minister or foreign secretary grovelling to our 'coalition partners' not to put to death a man who has revelled in calling for the deaths of millions of others. And that, like the rest of this dismal tale of cowardice, hypocrisy and stupidity, could - and should - so easily have been avoided."

Times
Editorial, May 28


"Yesterday's announcement begs serious questions about why Britain has been so dilatory in prosecuting Abu Hamza, when it was in possession of some of the same information five years ago ... Britain's incitement laws have meant that Mr Hamza's fiery sermons and open support for the Bali bombings could not be found illegal unless they could be linked to a specificaction ...

"Britain must remain a staunch defender of civil liberties, especially of the vast majority of law-abiding Muslims. But it must also rid itself of the reputation that it has become a haven for suspected terrorists with sharp lawyers. The truth is that we are in uncharted territory. Western law is constantly being made and remade: that is one of its strengths. If the new allegations against Mr Hamza force society to address these issues, that must be a positive development, whether or not he is found guilty. Justice must be seen to be done."

Daily Telegraph
Editorial, May 28


"Now, at last, Mr Hamza has been apprehended, at the specific request of the US ... But the international collaboration seems to have been rather weak on a critical point of law. During his press conference, [the US attorney general] John Ashcroft specifically pointed out that Mr Hamza would face the death penalty if convicted. His statement could have disastrous consequences for the extradition procedure. British and European law categorically rules out extraditing any accused person whose conviction might result in the death penalty. Home Office spokesmen were anxiously insisting late [on Thursday] that they expected little difficulty in getting the necessary assurance from the American authorities that the death penalty would be ruled out in this case.

"But the publicly funded human rights lawyers who are likely to be available to support Mr Hamza's fight through the courts will no doubt make much of Mr Ashcroft's unguarded words. Legal appeals against [Mr Hamza's] removal from Britain are likely to stretch far into the future. We are not rid of him yet."

Daily Mirror
Editorial, May 28


"Mr Hamza does not deserve to live in this country and enjoy its great privileges. He is contemptuous of the nation which has been home to him for half a century ... Now the Americans want us to deport him ... They have agreed he would not face the death penalty, so there can be no real obstacle to his removal from Britain ... In the past it might be said that those who preached hatred were only harmless eccentrics. That can't be claimed today when we have seen what fanatical terrorists are capable of doing. Britain will be better off when he's gone."

Sun
Editorial, May 28


"The sooner Captain Hook is off British soil, the better. Abu Hamza has been a disgusting stain on this country for too long.

"The Sun, which has led the campaign to have the fanatic kicked out, is today delighted that he will now face justice. The long list of charges against him in the US is a shocking catalogue which, if proved, should see him behind bars until the day he dies ... But what an indictment of our own legal system that we had to rely on America to rid us of this pestilent priest ... Thank God the Americans are our allies and have got us out of the terrible mess we were in over Mr Hamza.

"It makes you wonder how many more dangerous men could be walking the streets of Britain like Mr Hamza was. We must stop giving succour to the enemy within so we can win the war on terror."

Daily Star
Editorial, May 28

"Hook-handed, one-eyed Abu Hamza is behind bars. For legal reasons we can't say much, so we will keep our comments brief: fantastic! But how come he's been arrested on a US warrant? It's not as if he hasn't been causing mayhem here. He has actively campaigned for the complete destruction of the west. His rights to British citizenship stem from a bogus marriage. Mr Hamza has been closely monitored by Scotland Yard and MI5. It's extraordinary they've been unable to come up with evidence for any charges. There's a suspicion they've failed to act for fear of upsetting the Muslim community. But the vast majority of Muslims will welcome his arrest. We really should have banged this man up ourselves."

Is Abu Hamza really Britain's Bin Laden?

More trash from The Observer, defending Hamza again. What else would you expect from a "so called" newspaper that has George Galloway as their poster boy.

...Few in radical Islamic circles or the intelligence community seriously believe he is 'the bin Laden of Britain', or 'the real [terrorist] deal', as New York police chief Ray Kelly described him. Domestic security sources have consistently referred to him as 'a clown' and say that his public profile was so high that it rendered him useless to any genuine terrorist organisation.

The Observer seems to be well connected to "radical Islamic circles".

I suppose bin Laden is now "useless to any genuine terrorist organisation" due to his high profile. Are there "fake" terrorist organisations as opposed to "genuine" ones?

[...]

...So Abu Hamza joined many activists making their way to London where they could exploit a tradition of tolerance to continue their campaigning.

And we pay for the privilidge.

[...]

Abu Hamza was not a well-known figure in 'Londonistan' in the early Nineties but his ousting of the moderate leaders of Finsbury Park mosque, once a community project sponsored by the Prince of Wales, gave him a base to work from. After consolidating his hold on the 2,000-capacity religious centre - and its funds - Abu Hamza began preaching his violent brand of Islam.

[...]

As investigators reconstructed the al-Qaeda networks behind the attacks in New York and Washington, they discovered a series of connections that ran through Finsbury Park. Zacarias Moussaoui, a French Algerian who has been charged with being part of the team that hijacked the planes which hit the twin towers (the authorities say he was arrested on other charges before he could join the hijackers on the planes), had worshipped there. So had Richard Reid, the British-born convert to Islam who tried to blow himself up on a transatlantic jet in December 2001, and Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian-born former professional footballer and drug addict who was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Belgian court for plotting to blow himself up outside the American embassy in Paris. Many of the Britons who ended up in Guantanamo Bay were found to have spent time at the mosque - as had a series of other militants picked up around the world.

[...]

The American authorities hope his trial will provide a view of a genuine terrorist. But experts point out that, even if proved true, the acts alleged in the indictment took place some time ago. 'If they consider the imprisonment of Abu Hamza a genuinely significant achievement in the war on terror, then we should be very worried,' one analyst said. 'Serious terrorists don't stand in streets and lead prayers.'

So, by the Observers standards, bin Laden should go free because 9/11 "took place some time ago". And, according to the Observer, Hamza is a terrorist, just not a "serious terrorist".

I'd say the Observer did a good job of making the case against Hamza.
Abu Hamza speaks for the Archbishop of Canterbury

According to Richard Ingrams writing in The Observer

Maybe it is all the pints I had last night but this is just too funny for me.

Quite apart from any acts of terrorism, the so called preacher of hate, Abu Hamza, now facing extradition to the States, is also accused in the media of having consistently mocked and derided our British values.

Why the qualifier Ingrams? He is a preacher of hate; nothing "so called" about it. Why do you and the Guardian continue to defend this terrorist?

[...]

The cleric, let it be said, has been a bit more specific and outspoken on the question than the Prime Minister. Speaking of our once great nation he says: 'They want only to look at nude pictures, go to football matches, have a few pints and go to sleep. They have become slaves.'

So Hamza says Britain is not great anymore and that is enough for Ingram.

[...]

In the past - 40 or 50 years ago, perhaps - one could imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing the same sort of concerns as Abu Hamza...

Can you believe this guy? Ingram would rather listen to Hamza than Blair and now he equates Hamza to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Read the rest if you want. I found it hilarious.
Hamas leader killed in Israeli helicopter strike

From CNN

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- An Israeli Apache helicopter fired two rockets at a motorcycle in Gaza City Saturday, killing a civilian and two Hamas militants, one of them a senior leader of the military wing of the group, according to Palestinian sources.

Seven other civilians were wounded in the attack that killed Wael Nassar, head of Izzedine al Qassam, Hamas' military wing. His assistant and a bystander also died in the strike.

Nassar was a former bodyguard for Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was killed in an Israeli missile strike in early May.


Another terrorist bites the dust.
My reply to Reggie Rivers reply

Mr. Rivers, thanks for your reply.

I am a veteran of 30 years and I just cannot believe you do not understand the American serviceman. Your reply shows just how little you know of our service men and women.

You seem to think the military is a job. That is bad enough but to make the leap to equate military service to “slavery” is beyond the pale. I am not black so I cannot and would not pretend to know how deeply the memory of slavery must hurt. But I do know how deeply offensive it is to service people to be called slaves.

Mr. Rivers, did you know Pat Tillman? You may have played with or against him in some NFL game. Did you consider him a slave? Why do you think he gave up a multi-million dollar contract with the NFL to go and serve his country? He was a patriot who believed in his country and what it stands for – freedom. He wanted the “real slaves” of the world to be free.

Look at your third paragraph. That question is answered by millions of American service personnel every minute of every day and that answer is a resounding yes. It is called patriotism Mr. Rivers. As I said my family and I devoted 30 years of lives, living in foreign lands, facing many hardships and we would gladly do it all over again. Many of us veterans continue to serve as best we can; volunteering our time to bases around the world.

Your entire response if filled with misconceptions. You say most of us would put our families before our careers. All of the military do put their careers before their families.

The war on terror is unlike anything the world has faced before. America and the world are in mortal danger and that is no exaggeration. Today more than ever we need the brave men and women of the US military. The brave men and women I call patriots and you call slaves.

Mr. Rivers, I urge you to go spend some time with some military people. Get to know them and their families. Go visit Pat Tillman’s family.

If someone wrote a racial article you would demand a retraction, an apology and that person to resign. On behalf of all veterans who have been deeply offended by your article, I ask the same of you Mr. Rivers.
Rivers replies

In an earlier post I condemned Reggie Rivers for calling US troops "slaves" and I emailed him to ask for a retraction and apology. The following is his response.

Rivers just does not understand what the US military person stands for. He assumes we would put our family and jobs before our country. The exact opposite is the case. For without our country there would be no job and family. All over the world at this very minute millions of American troops sacrifice themselves, putting their country above their personal wants. Rivers is incapable of understanding Americas most valuable resource - patriotism.

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the message. I'm sure that some soldiers are happy to be in Iraq, and I'm sure that some feel a duty to serve their agreed terms. But I'd bet that most soldiers are like the rest of us. If they had the choice, they would quit a job the moment it became too dangerous. I'm not criticizing soldiers, because I believe they are brave, hard-working individuals who do the best they can in often impossible situations.

My criticism is aimed at policies that make military service compulsory, no matter how unattractive it becomes.

If your boss (at whatever job you currently hold) asked you to relocate to the Iraq office, leave your family, possibly throw your personal finances into disarray and risk death or injury, would you do it? Or would you quit your job and find another one?

Most of us would put our families before our careers. Most of us wouldn't deliberately accept a job in a war zone. You may believe that soldiers have some gene that makes them different from the rest of us, but research shows that more than 80 percent of the people who join the military actively seek non-combat positions. That suggests they're like the rest of us. They have no desire to get shot at. They want to come home to their families at night.

The argument that they're volunteers only works to a point. Suppose you were a volunteer at Children's Hospital. If the demands of being a volunteer became too great or if some other cause became more important to you, you could quit being a volunteer. The moment someone tells you that you can't quit, then you're no longer a volunteer.

Sadly, people who join the U.S. Military become slaves, because they're not allowed to quit their jobs. Most serve bravely and try to make the best of a bad situation, but where they get sent, how long they stay there and whether they die is usually out of their control. They're not like the rest of us, because they can't exercise free choice about where they live and the work that they do. If they quit they face dishonorable discharge, lengthy investigations, accusations of cowardice, difficulty finding future employment, possibly court marshal and possible prison terms.

The military also has instituted stop-loss policies to keep people from getting out of the service after their terms are up. Men and women who have served more than 20 years and have firm release dates are being told that they can't get out. They have to stay for another year, or two, or three. So even when people have done everything they agreed to do and they're ready to move on with the next part of their lives, the military is reluctant to let them escape.

You and I can quit our jobs. The President can quit. Secretaries Rumsfeld and Powell can quit. Members of Congress can quit. But soldiers have many barriers that force them to stay in the face of bullets and bombs whether they want to or not.

If that's not slavery, I don't know what is.

Thanks again,

Reggie

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Beyond Madrid: Winning Against Terrorism

From Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker: Goh Chok Tong, prime minister, Republic of Singapore

Moderator: Richard Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations

Council on Foreign Relations
Washington, D.C.
May 6, 2004
(Note: The question-and-answer session has been transcribed from the meeting. Prime Minister Goh's remarks appear here as prepared for delivery.)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PRIME MINISTER GOH CHOK TONG: The terrorist attacks in Madrid in March this year could become a turning point in the war against terrorism. Unless we make the right moves, I fear the turn could be for the worst.

The choice of the target and the timing of the attack were strategic. The Spanish Socialist party had made the withdrawal of troops from Iraq part of its election platform. Attacking Madrid just before the election was obviously calculated to achieve a strategic effect; as indeed it did when the new government so quickly confirmed its intention to pull out of the U.S. led coalition in Iraq.

This will only encourage the terrorists to exploit political differences within countries and divisions between the U.S. and Europe. We must not let them succeed.

Any lingering doubts about the terrorists' strategic intentions should have been put to rest by a statement attributed to Osama bin Laden in April wherein he offered a "truce" to Europe if it stopped "attacking Muslims or interfering in their affairs including [participating] in the American conspiracy." And, notwithstanding what some critics of the war in Iraq have alleged, this statement also demonstrates that Osama bin Laden himself sees the war in Iraq as part of the larger struggle against terrorism. He pointedly said "the killing of Europeans came after their invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan."

The war against terrorism could shape the 21st century in the same way as the Cold War defined the world before the fall of the Berlin Wall
. To win, we must first clearly understand what we are up against. I am grateful to the Council on Foreign Relations for the opportunity to share my views on this important subject.

Terrorism is a generic term. Terrorist organisations such as the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka or ETA in Spain are only of local concern. The virulent strain of Islamic terrorism is another matter altogether. It is driven by religion. Its ideological vision is global. It is most dangerous. The communists fought to live, whereas the jihadi terrorists fight to die and live in the next world.


Read the whole article.

Does anyone doubt that Al-Qaeda will strike before the US elections? Or, possibly, before the Indonesian elections in July?
More proof of the Iraq and Al-Qaeda connection

From The Weekly Standard

Six days after September 11, Shakir was captured in Doha, Qatar. He had in his possession contact information for several senior al Qaeda terrorists: Zahid Sheikh Mohammed, brother of September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, the Iraqi who helped mix the chemicals for the first World Trade Center attack and was given safe haven upon his return to Baghdad; and Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, otherwise known as Abu Hajer al Iraqi, described by one top al Qaeda detainee as Osama bin Laden's "best friend."
Keep our slaves safe

From a moron writing in The Denver Post

Reggie Rivers is a former Denver Bronco football player that should have stuck with football.

Our military is one of the last bastions of slavery in the United States. At the moment, our slaves are stuck in a combat zone, getting killed and maimed, and there's nothing they can do about it except hunker down and pray.

Not quite Reggie. They can and they do stand up with courage and patriotism and fight for their country. What they don't do is sit on their ass back home in a cozy safe place like you and write crap like you. You could use some of their backbone.

Yes, our slaves signed up of their own free will, but most of them were as misled about their job as the rest of us were about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

So, according to Reggie, not only are they slaves but they are idiots as well. And what is this bullshit "our slaves"?

And I don't think "slave" is too strong a word to describe someone who is not permitted to quit his job no matter how dangerous it becomes or how much he hates it. For most of us, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and guaranteed that we have the right to withhold our labor. It doesn't protect soldiers.

The 13th amendment has nothing to do with the military you moron. Slavery is about owning other people; the military does not own people. Military personnel are allowed to vote Reggie or did you forget that. They can write to their representatives if they feel victimized. If you had ever been in the military and defended your country you would know that.

Well now which Reggie is talking here? The Denver Post Reggie or The Advocates Reggie.

History shows that free people can be counted on to defend their homes and their country. But the draft is slavery, and slaves make lousy defenders of freedom. I like knowing I'm being protected by people who are in the military because they want to be there, not because they were forced against their will to be there.

Tell us, Reggie, are they "slaves" or are they good "defenders of freedom"?

Can you believe this guy? "I like knowing I'm being protected...". By "slaves" Reggie?

For a black person to use slavery as an issue to further his agenda is about as low as you can get.

UPDATE Please wirte to the Denver Post and demand an apology and retraction. Here is their contact information
How dare Al Gore disgrace this nation

From The boston Herald

He never mentioned Nicholas Berg. Or Daniel Pearl. Or a single person killed in the World Trade Center. Nor did former Vice President Al Gore talk of any soldier by name who has given his life in Iraq. And he has the audacity to condemn the Bush administration for having ``twisted values?''

Gore spent the bulk of a speech before the liberal group MoveOn.org Wednesday bemoaning Abu Ghraib and denouncing President Bush's departure from the ``long successful strategy of containment.''

Yes, the very same strategy that, under Gore's leadership, allowed al-Qaeda operatives to plan the horror of Sept. 11 for years, while moving freely within our borders.

Gore even had the audacity to defend the perpetrators of the prison abuse - by name - while denouncing President Bush [related, bio] for ``humiliating'' our nation.


[...]

And this man - who apparently has so much disdain for the nature of the American people - wanted to be elected to lead it?

It is Gore who has brought dishonor to his party and to his party's nominee. The real disgrace is that this repugnant human being once held the second highest office in this great land.


First Dean, then Kennedy and now Gore; the Democrats are a disgraceful bunch. And Kerry is the leader of the pack.
The Guardian joins the BBC with "so called" reporters

The BBC is not alone in having "so called" reporters who do not have a clue what they are talking about. Take this article from Polly Toynbee in The Guardian.

Scott Burgess takes her entire article apart and exposes all the factual errors. Here is a smaple but read the whole thing.

"America has by far the most unequal society..."

No it doesn't. Latin American and African countries have the most unequal societies - by far. A quick look at the Gini Index figure (a measure of income inequality) for countries worldwide shows that of the 30 most "unequal societies," only three (Phillipines, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia) aren't in Africa or South/Central America. The United States comes in at number 41, with a Gini index of 40.8, very close to the worldwide average of 39.48.

"... and by far the fattest."

No it doesn't - Pacific Islanders have by far the fattest. Among non-Pacific Islanders, residents of Greece, Jordan, Palestine, Panama, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are also fatter than Americans.

"Britain and Australia come next."

No they don't. The following countries rank ahead of England (which has the highest rate in Britain):

Albania (urban), Argentina, Bahrain, Barbados, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Malta, Mexico and Paraguay.

"... the Scandinavian countries best of all."

No they're not. Finland is in a statistical dead heat with England (22.5% each). If we define "Scandinavian countries" as Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, and average the obesity rates in those countries, we see that the following countries are slimmer (I have excluded countries where famine and starvation are endemic):

Austria, Brazil, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Looks like oriental countries are actually "best of all" - and, interestingly enough, Denmark ranks third worldwide in "Mortality: Obesity (per capita)," with a rate nearly double that of the US, according to the WHO.


Makes you wonder what other "errors" feature in their "reporting".
Cicadas drive BBC reporter insane

Matt Frei, a "so called " BBC Washington correspondent, has been driven insane by the emergence of cicadas during their 17 year life cycle. How else do we account for this incomprehensible rubbish from his most recent ramblings from the US.

From The BBC.

In his latest column for BBC News Online, Matt Frei talks about the invasion of the 17-year cicadas in Washington and the swarm of bad news for President Bush.

Frei devotes over half of this article to how his kids have reacted to the emergence of cicadas in Washington and tries to tie this "biblical plague" with Bush and Iraqi oil. These guys have far too much time on their hands, The BBC is paying them too much and they don't have a clue what they are talking about.

You want proof they have too much time on their hands?

I am still waiting for the day when the cicadas swarm around the windows of the Oval Office.

Now comes the "mating" of the cicada swarm with Bush. Sorry, I couldn't resist and had to join in the insanity.

This is just as well since it is dealing with its own swarm - of bad news.

Wow! A swarm you say? Wonder what "swarm of bad news" Frei is referring to?

Who would have thought a year ago that Iraq would turn to be the Achilles' heel of this administration, that the economy would be booming, but no one would notice, and that the biggest single gripe of the American people would be the rocketing prices at the gas pump.

While the nation may be split on the Iraq war, just as they are on the candidates, it is hardly an Achilles' heel.

Frei must be the only one in the US who hasn't noticed the economy booming. Jobs, spending and consumer confidence are up. source

If rising gas prices are the "biggest single gripe" of Americans then obviously Iraq cannot be an Achilles' heel.

Do you think Frei is being impartial here? Even he admits he is not impartial.

An irony as sweet as the Basra "sweet, light" crude!

Notice the exclamation point? See, insanity can make you giddy.

In my last article I chastised the BBC's "so called" reporters for not knowing what they are talking about. Frei obliges us with more ignorance.

This oil, essential, as it is for making petrol, is now not flowing in sufficient quantities through US refineries due to a number of clinically precise terror attacks on a very important pipeline in Iraq.

Really? Well I guess the folks at Bloomberg just don't know what the hell they are talking about then.

Iraqi Oil Exports Unaffected by Sabotage to Southern Pipeline

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Iraqi oil exports are unaffected by an explosion on a pipeline caused by saboteurs in the south of the country, said Kifah Numan, deputy director-general of the South Oil Co., which operates oil production and exports in the area.

Saboteurs attacked a pipeline south of Basra, the country's second-largest city, causing a leak and fire, Numan said. The fire is now out, he said, without giving more details.

``Exports have not been affected,'' Numan said by telephone from Basra. ``There was an explosion, which caused a leak and a small fire, but the fire is out.''


That's it, that is the swarm of bad news? Get a grip Frei, the cicadas are swarming in your head mate.
The BBC defends Hamza

More evidence of just whose side the BBC is on in the war on terror.

In a puff piece on Hamza, Peter Gould an alleged BBC News Online correspondent, tries to imply that the only evidence against Hamza is a tenuous link to a satellite phone.

From The BBC

It was in a sweltering courtroom in Yemen that I first saw the satellite phone that is now a key part of the US case against Abu Hamza.

With a flourish, the state prosecutor pulled it from a tatty plastic bag that must once have held groceries.

The court was told that the phone demonstrated the involvement of the London-based cleric in terrorism in Yemen.


The phone is only one piece of evidence among the many charges against Hamza. There are 11 charges in all but Peter wants to ignore the rest.

Notice the use to the phrase "with a flourish", implying the prosecutor produced the phone like a "rabbit out of a hat". How does that add any information to this story Peter Cottontail? Ooops! My bad. Peter Gould.

Later on he produces his own rabbit out of a hat.

The Yemeni authorities were anxious to establish a link between the London-based cleric and the kidnappers, whose trial was taking place separately in Zinjibar.

Where is the proof that the authorities were "anxious to establish a link"? Peter is trying to imply that they were out to get Hamza. Yet he offers no proof of this. Just says it is so and we are expected to believe him.

It was alleged that the hostages were taken to try to secure the release of the British Muslims.

In the gang's camp, they had seized what they regarded as a damning piece of evidence.

It was an expensive satellite telephone, allegedly supplied to the terrorists by Abu Hamza.


Peter, an alleged correspondent, is representative of the inept reporting we have come to expect form The BBC; an alleged news organization.

Notice how the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army have gone from an army to terrorists and are now simply a gang.

Also notice the "it was alleged" the kidnapping was to secure the release of British Muslims. Here again Peter demonstrates his lack of investigative skills.

From The Yemen Gateway and attributed to the Guardian:

A statement in the name of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army claimed responsibility for seizing the tourists last Monday and said the action was partly aimed at freeing Islamic Jihad members under arrest in Yemen, but also at ending 'Western aggression against Iraq'.

Peter goes on to say that the satellite phone was "allegedly supplied" by Hamza. Maybe he supplied it and maybe he didn't but one thing is for sure he was linked to it.

From The Guardian

The tourists who survived the shoot-out said they were abducted by up to 23 men, some of whom spoke English. Hours after the kidnap Abu Hassan liaised by satellite phone with Abu Hamza. It is not known if Mr Hamza also spoke to his son.

And why weren't charges brought against Hamza then?

In a case such as this, any intercepts of satellite phone conversations would not be admissible in a British court.

There's a loophole that should be closed.

One can only speculate that the BBC bars its' "alleged reporters" from reading news from other news organizations. How else can you explain Peter's complete lack of knowledge of the case against Hamza. The BBC could use a little help from news sources such as CNN.
BBC denies weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq

From The BBC

In another "so called" Analysis By Nick Assinder, The BBC denies WMDs have been found in Iraq despite the finding of two chmeical shells.

Saddam Hussein has been captured, but his weapons of mass destruction have still not been found.

I guess Nick doesn't read the news much, at least not CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The recent discovery of two chemical artillery shells in Iraq has raised concerns among weapons inspectors that other shells may turn up in the hands of insurgents battling American troops, the head of the U.S. search team said Wednesday.

[...]

The Iraq Survey Group reported last fall that it had found evidence of weapons research that Iraqis had concealed from U.N. inspectors.


And CNN reported that three days ago! The BBC seem to get more incompetent everyday.

Later in the article Nick has this to say:

Now there is genuine speculation over whether he [Blair] will actually fight that election as leader.

To be a little fair to Nick, his article was posted at 3:38 AM UK time. Barely five hours later there is this news ticker update at the top of the BBC main web page.

LATEST: Tony Blair confirms he intends to lead Labour at the next election. More soon.

There is no analysis here; these are the ramblings of a guy who couldn't sleep at three in the morning. Yawn!

Friday, May 28, 2004

The BBC and the 'so-called war on terror'

By Kerry Buttram in Biased BBC

Frank Gardner, so-called 'BBC security correspondent' provides an 'analysis' asking
Is US winning its war on terror? [emphasis added]

Much has happened in the past 12 months. Some of al-Qaeda's leading lights have been caught and interrogated. Saddam Hussein is no longer in power in Baghdad. Numerous plots and attacks have been thwarted. And yet, depressingly, the so-called war on terror is still with us. [emphasis added]

If we were to look at this purely in terms of military gains the answer would be obvious. The US has swiftly toppled two governments it considered to be rogue regimes - first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq. The Pentagon's supremacy on the battlefield is unrivalled and unstoppable. Its troops are holding down a sort of peace in both countries. But waging a war on terror is a complex business. In fact many in Britain are convinced that the regime of Saddam Hussein, brutal as it was, had little to do with terrorism per se. ….

I would suggest that those who are of Gardner's view read former Clinton advisor and anti-terror expert Laurie Mylroie's article as well as new documentary evidence showing a definite link between Iraq and al Qaeda. Why is the Beeb so determinedly disinterested in that sarin which has been confirmed?


There is more and the article ends with this:

Christopher Hitchens wonders why there is such indifference to stories which disturb the anti-war group-think which the BBC articulates so effortlessly.

So a Sarin-infected device is exploded in Iraq, and across the border in Jordan the authorities say that nerve and gas weapons have been discovered for use against them by the followers of Zarqawi, who was in Baghdad well before the invasion. Where, one idly inquires, did these toys come from? No, it couldn't be.…


What will it take for the BBC to be convinced that this is a real war?


I would add, it seems the BBC didn't consider the previous regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq as "rogue regimes". Otherwise why this comment?

The US has swiftly toppled two governments it considered to be rogue regimes - first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq.
Ethnic cleansing rages in Sudan

From The BBC

It is being called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Arab militia men have driven an estimate one million black Sudanese villagers from their homes and there have been massacres on an unknown scale.

The crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan has finally caught the world's attention.


[...]

Every time I asked why they thought this was being done to them they said the same thing: "It is because we are black."

It may seem strange that here in the middle of Africa, one type of black person - they call themselves Arabs - would drive another blacker type of person from their homes.

But then remember, the Hutus massacred the Tutsis in Rwanda. And whites ethnically cleansed whites in Bosnia.

Ethnic cleansing always seems to be rooted in dark historical feuds and it is the same here.


It is not "dark historical feuds" that spark these ethnic cleansing massacres. It is rooted in religion.

Hilary Andersson goes on to describe the horrors of yet another humanitarian crisis and leaves us with this thought:

I woke up when the moon finally rose at three o'clock in the morning. I watched as it cast its pale ghostly light across the cursed land we had seen and wondered, after Rwanda and Bosnia, why Darfur is being allowed to happen?

Because, Hilary, whenever we try and stop things like Darfur, the left, the anti-war movement and the appeaseniks do everything in their power to stop us. And once the rescue mission is underway the media, especially the BBC, descend on the rescures like vultures; picking at every little bit of bad news like it was a delicious bit of flesh.

Is it any wonder countries are relutant to get involved in these conflicts. You want someone to stop the atrocities but you want it done with a magic wand that does not exist. As Bisrmarc said, you are like a sasuage lover who doesn't want to know how it is made.

Why do you ask "why Darfur is being allowed to happen?" when the BBC does everything in its' power to stop the US in Iraq. Witness what the BBC and the Guardian have done during the Iraq conflict. You spin, leave out pertinent information, use anti-war activists as sources for stories and you let reporters make stories up.

The BBC went as far as to rigg a poll against the US:

The BBC reported the poll’s results in a web article on the 9th of April 2004, titled: 'US is bigger threat than terror.

The BBC and The Guardian have been in the forefront condemning Bush and Blair for going to war against Saddam. The BBC have been screeming for Blair's head, demanding to know where the weapons of mass destruction are. Yet when they are found you will not cover the story. Where are the BBC headlines when the link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam is proven?

Likewise the BBC condemned santions against Saddam and accused the US of causing the deaths of thousands of innocent lives. Now that we know the truth, that the UN itself via the oil-for-food scandal was responsible, the BBC will not cover the story.

The BBC, The Guardian, the left, the anti-war movement and the appeasenicks all bemoan the atrocities committed around the world. But what do you do about it? You give it lip service and do not lift a finger to help. You look to the UN as your saviour. The same UN that let Rawanda happen, the same UN that caused thousands to die in Iraq via their oil-for-food scandal.

But what do you do when the US tries to stop these atrocities? You condemn us, call us impearlist, war mongers, it's all about oil, the evil empire, and Satan.

So, Hilary, the question is not why don't we stop atrocities like Darfur, the questions is why does the BBC condemn those who try and help?

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Bali bombing prosecutor shot dead

In my last post I asked is "Al-Qaeda to strike in Indonesia?".

Lo and behold look what we get today:

From ABC

A prosecutor who helped send three men to jail for their role in the Bali bombing has been shot dead in the Indonesian province of Sulawesi.

The shooting comes at a time of growing extremist violence in Sulawesi and a terrorist threat against Western interests in the area.

Fery Silalahi worked on a range of cases involving corruption and terrorism in Sulawesi, among them helping to convict three Jemaah Islamiyah members for their connections to the Bali bombings.

The three men were just last week acquitted by an appeals court but Mr Silalhi had been quoted as saying the men would not be released until a prosecutor's appeal had been heard.

Mr Silalhi was in a car in the town of Paelu yesterday when he was shot dead by gunmen who then escaped on motorcycles.


I would imagine bigger attacks are on the way.
Al-Qaeda to strike in Indonesia?

Since "regime change" seems to be Al-Qaeda's favored plan of attack lately, (see here) is an attack in Indonesia on the cards?

From Antara

Jakarta, May 26 (ANTARA) - Thousands of Moslem clerics gathered for a grand prayer service at the As-Shidiqiyah boarding school in Batu Ceper, Tangerang, on Wednesday to show support for Megawati Soekarnoputri and Hasyim Muzadi who will run for the presidency and vice presidency in the election on July 5.

And what about the opposition?

From The BBC

As Indonesians prepare for their first direct presidential election on 5 July, the latest opinion polls suggest a retired general is the frontrunner.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, also known by his initials SBY, is drawing support from his image as a man of integrity, a strong communicator and firm leader in times of crisis.

Mr Yudhoyono is probably best known internationally for his leading role in Indonesia's fight against terrorism in the wake of the Bali bombing in 2002.

His speech on the anniversary of the attack was seen as one of the strongest delivered by any Indonesian leader on an issue which is still politically sensitive.


This might be an opprotunity that Al-Qaeda cannot pass up.
Four key U.N. nations ask for changes in Iraq resolution

From The Star Tribune

Guess which four? Aw, go on, guess. You already know.

Four key nations proposed major changes Wednesday to the U.S.-British draft resolution on Iraq, moves that would give the new government control over the Iraqi army and police and require the multinational force to consult on military actions except for self-defense.

A three-page proposal by China -- which diplomats said was supported in large part by Russia, France and Germany -- would give the interim government that takes over on June 30 the right to decide whether foreign forces remain in the country and limit the multinational mandate to January 2005.


Now there's a shocker.
Al-Qaeda will strike the US prior to elections

Emboldened by their success in changing the Spainsh government to one more sympathetic to their wishes, "regime change" is now Al-Qaeda's favored plan of attack. Fresh on the heels of the Spanish attack, Al-Qaeda tried to influence the South Afican elections.

From Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa foiled an al Qaeda-linked plot to disrupt last month's general elections and passed along information that resulted in arrests in Jordan, Syria and Britain, Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi has said.

"We arrested some people who had evil intentions against this country -- we did not tell anybody -- five days before the election," Selebi said in comments to a parliamentary committee broadcast on national radio on Thursday.

"The result is that you saw in Jordan, in and around those days, a number of people arrested who were called al Qaeda. A number of people were (also) arrested in Syria as a result of our operation," Selebi said.


For John Kerry to critize Bush for issuing warnings about possible Al-Qaeda attacks in the run up to the US elections, shows how desperate the Democrats are. The Democrats appear happy to suffer an attack by Al-Qaeda if that would result in victory for Kerry. You can not get any lower than that.
 
Brain Bliss