Day by Day

Thursday, December 30, 2004

French hostages, an Iraqis' thoughts

Recently I posted about the release of the French hostages in Iraq and asked "kidnapping or con?"

A new Iraqi blogger has some thoughts.

Diplomacy wins!

At last
the two French journalists have been released by their kidnapers. See, these terrorists (errr..freedom fighters) are not dangerous at all! They don't kill you if you don't mess up with them and if you support their just cause. They only kidnap you, hold you for few months and "treat you well" and then release you. That's not bad, is it? I dare say it's even a good reason to celebrate.

I don't know why this whole thing reminds me of what happened in 1991 when Saddam held entire American and European families as "guests of Iraq" and then after long and hard negotiations, he released them. This is the key; NEGOTIATE you idiots! Even if there was no reason for those fighters to hold any hostage, as in the end and if you behave and prove that you're not American, British, Australian, Dutch or Italian and have not dealt with any American company and never visited America and that you're against the war and you hate Israel and support the resistance and have not, and will not say anything that criticize it or that might give any credit to America...you would most likely (and with the right people addressed by your government on negotiating) get released after few months! The French government must be very proud now, and so are the terrorists.

Rejoice France, you've been rewarded by the terrorists for your refusal to oppose (dare I say support?) those who murder our children everyday.

This guy is good!
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Iraq - Answers

Answers from a new Iraqi blogger.

We almost always talk "about" them, so it's good to hear from Iraqis themselves.

In Iraq, we longed for a revolution to save us from what we suffered at Saddam's days. We made feeble attempts, but some Iraqis in the south and the north sacrificed and risked much more for the sake of our freedom, and the end was horrific. After that we almost went into total despair, and then the Americans came and our joy was beyond description. Still we do need a revolution, a revolution on the level of minds which without it, all the help we are getting from others and all the sacrifices that were given for Iraq to be free from tyranny, all these would be in vain. I still enjoy my freedom tremendously despite all the problems and dangers, and I have full trust in my people but I'm not ashamed of saying that we still need your help.
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Bin Laden's last stand part 2

I recently posted why I thought Iraq will be bin Laden's last stand and said this:

The AP misses or more accurately over looks the point here. Bin Laden "needs" Zarqawi because of bin Laden's impotence. While bin Laden has been failing to kill Americans, the US consulate in Saudi Arabia for example, Zarqawi has been killing lots of Americans in Iraq. Zarqawi is "succeeding" where bin Laden is failing. Zarqawi releases bombs while bin Laden releases tapes.

And this.

The recent elections in Afghanistan are the beginning of the end for bin Laden. He cannot survive as the leader of Al Qaeda when Iraq holds similar elections. He will lose all credibility and be seen as the loser that he is.


Powerline has similar thoughts.

The terrorists, perhaps emboldened by their suicide bombing last week, tried to launch an actual military attack on a small American outpost in Mosul earlier today. The result was predictable: most of the terrorists, at least 25, were killed, compared to zero Americans:

[T]he troops were attacked by a coordinated force of about 50 insurgents who fired rocket-propelled grenades and semi-automatic weapons. At that point, two F-18 and two F-14 military jets swooped down on strafing runs and firing Maverick missiles, wiping out much of the insurgent force. "That's when the close-air support came in and did a job on them," [Lt. Col. Paul Hastings] said.

The Iraqi terrorists are growing increasingly desperate as next month's elections draw closer and closer. Osama bin Laden has issued a tape recording denouncing the elections and condemning any Iraqi who votes as an "infidel," which means that he or she is threatened with death. But the clock is clicking on the terrorists. They hoped to defeat the U.S. Army militarily, but failed. They hoped to defeat President Bush in last month's election, but failed. They hoped to generate enough violence to force, with the aid of their allies in the American press, postponement of the January elections, but failed. When millions of Iraqis go to the polls one month from now, it will mark the beginning of the end of the Islamofascist campaign of terror.



And earlier today I posted about the noose tightening around Zarqawi.

I think it is worth noting how these terrorists are being captured and not killed. One would think they would fight to the death. This would indicate to me that they are being surprised when captured and suggests we are getting good intelligence, most probably from local Iraqis.

I sense we are reaching critical mass soon. The Iraqi people are probably sensing it too and see America winning and, as everyone knows, that region of the world will only tolerate winners and not losers. Very soon we may see the Iraqis rise up, en masse, and turn on the terrorists full tilt. That will be the final humiliation for bin Laden.

As they say, it is not really necessary to defeat the man, you only need defeat his idea.
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Conservative students fight back

Fed up with the liberals running American colleges Conservative students are taking back the campus.

(AP) -- At the University of North Carolina, three incoming freshmen sue over a reading assignment they say offends their Christian beliefs.

In Colorado and Indiana, a national conservative group publicizes student allegations of left-wing bias by professors. Faculty get hate mail and are pictured in mock "wanted" posters; at least one college says a teacher received a death threat.

And at Columbia University in New York, a documentary film alleging that teachers intimidate students who support Israel draws the attention of administrators.


Seems like a lot of "allegations" out there.
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Zarqawi aide captured in Baghdad

The noose is tightening on Zarqawi.

BAGHDAD, Dec 30 (Reuters) - U.S.-led forces in Iraq have captured a senior member of the al Qaeda-linked network led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a raid in Baghdad, the Iraqi government said on Thursday.

It said Fadil Hussain Ahmed al-Kurdi was captured along with two other suspected insurgents. It said Kurdi, a 26-year-old Iraqi Kurd also known as Ridha, was the brother of Umar Baziyani, a Zarqawi lieutenant captured in May.

"Ridha was responsible for facilitating communications between al Qaeda and the Zarqawi terror networks as well as coordinating the movement of terrorists in and out of Iraq," a government statement said.


And tighter.

The government said this week another senior member of Zarqawi's network was captured in Mosul.

Soon, hopefully, very soon.

I think it is worth noting how these terrorists are being captured and not killed. One would think they would fight to the death. This would indicate to me that they are being surprised when captured and suggests we are getting good intelligence, most probably from local Iraqis.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

WaPo: 18 Errors about Memogate

Here is a priceless fisking of a Washington Post article about Rathergate.

Update: Now it's 18 and counting....

Tom Shales of the Washington Post makes 10 errors in writing about CBS's Memogate...

...All in a single paragraph:


I wonder if main stream media are ever going to wake up to the fact that the public is not as dumb as they thought we were?

Apparently not.


A Unified Theory of the Old Media Collapse Asymmetrical tolerance and the collapse of Big Media credibility: How 2004 brought doom to legacy media. by Hugh Hewitt 12/28/2004 8:30:00 PM

IF OLD MEDIA--the "legacy media" of the big papers and old networks plus the newsweeklies--was a city and not simply a set of gasping institutions, it would look like Stalingrad circa 1944. Parts of most of the virtual buildings are still standing, but the devastation is pretty complete.

And the pummeling just keeps coming. On Sunday last, Power Line's John Hinderaker
undressed the New York Times biggest big foot, Thomas Friedman, for all the blogosphere to see, The Belmont Club was scissoring the Associated Press's credibility, and I was pointing out the many defects in a Washington Post front-page story on an "Intelligent Design" controversy--in the process discovering that reporter Michael Powell, who came from a background of tenants' advocacy, had written extensively on tenants' issues without disclosing to the reader his past background.

And that was just three posts on a single day of the new world of accountability for the old media.

In my new book,
Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That is Changing Your World, I devote a chapter to how the old media went left into a deep ditch of agenda journalism, forfeiting the trust of a large portion of their audience and, in the process, opening the door to Rush Limbaugh, the second generation of radio talkers, Fox News, and, of course, the blogs.


I wish the same could happen here in Britain.
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WHY CANADIANS FEAR AMERICA

Here is one bloggers take on the differences between Canada and America. This one is filled with bias and prejudice.

He starts by dispelling, what he claims are, two existing myths; both of which imply American ignorance.

That most Canadians and Americans are really very similar, and that Canada couldn't exist without American support and forbearance.

I've always thought of Canadians as closer to France or California. And I've never met anyone, anywhere in the world, who thought "Canada couldn't exist" without the US.

If these two myths exist, they exist in Canada not America.

Next he wants to show why the Canadian way is the right way and America is the wrong way.

Americans are unilateralists, Canadians are multilateralists: The latest Environics poll shows that 70% of Canadians still oppose the attack on Iraq, not because they think Saddam was a great guy, but because they think military action against another country must have international support.

Fortunately, making a claim doesn't make it a fact. "Americans" are not unilateralists, some in government might be while others are not, but you can't make such broad statements about "Americans". This is just plain ignorance on his part. Is he claiming that the Democratic party, headed lately by John Kerry, is "unilateralists"? Kerry believes in a "global test" and millions of "Americans" voted for Kerry. And how many UN resolutions were there over how many years before the US took action with the backing of over 40 nations? The only hold outs in the UN to declaring war were he ones bribed by Saddam, France, Russia and China. Is the rest of the world to be held hostage by a few corrupt nations aided and abetted by a corrupt UN?

The very concept of a pre-emptive unilateral attack on another nation is anathema to most Canadians.

The implication is that it is not in the US. Which is strange given that the US pays 22% of the UN's bills and Bush made one last attempt to get the corrupt UN to back up its' words with deeds.

And having the majority of a country right beside you support a regime that relishes pre-emptive unilateral military adventures is terrifying.

Whose true colours are showing now? While the definition of "Regime" is a government, it is usually used to describe a dictatorship and the implication here is that the US is a dictatorship.

Note the war mongering accusations of "relishes" and the use of "adventures" as if sending US troops to die to satisfy Bush's "relishes" is fun. Americans and Canadians may not be all that alike but this guy and Michael Moore certainly are.

The US is arguably the only developed country in the world where conservative views are sufficiently prevalent today to elect a government.

Now he is really showing is ignorance. Unless he doesn't count Australia as a developed country. Their elections were very similar to the recent US elections; a war time PM was soundly re-elected and Howard's government gained in both houses.

Americans like hierarchy and structure, Canadians like heterarchy and diversity

Whenever anyone uses the term "Americans" to describe how the entire country, or even the majority sometimes, you can bet they don't know what they are talking about. The implication here is that "Americans" don't like diversity. The people of California who elected Swarchenegger, an Austrian immigrant, might beg to differ. Muslims serving in the US military and fighting in Iraq might also have a problem with that statement. Diversity is one of America's greatest strengths.

Americans' fanatical patriotism and flag-waving is seen by Canadians as xenophobia and intimidating zealotry rather than as pride and respect for their country and authority.

Here is one instance when you can most probably use the term "Americans" to describe most Americans. Since when did patriotism become a bad thing? It's not our fault if you no longer believe in your country.

It is tripe like this and MSM that causes frictions between two great friends.
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Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, a Marine

Great joke via Instapundit.

Funny and true.
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Pro-military demonstration at the Pentagon

Captain Ed needs help in orgainizing a "PEACEFUL pro-military demonstration at the Pentagon Metro entrance".

Wish I could help but I'm in Scotland.

I'd like to see more of these but you can bet MSM wouldn't report on them.
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America Tsunami relief stingy?

Instapundit blows that nonsense away.

I don't normaly repost an entire post but this one is too important.

AMAZON.COM is accepting donations for Tsunami relief. The total is currently $112,000.00, but it's rising very rapidly. "Stingy," eh?

UPDATE: Reader Jared Phillips writes:

I am absolutely amazed at what I am seeing - if you go to the amazon site you'll see the click to donate. On that next page you see the amount collected and the number of donors.
Now click refresh on your screen.

It is increasing literally every single second. I am totally blown away. In the 5 minutes since I donated it has increased by 1,000 donors.

Yeah, I just looked and it's headed toward $400,000 already. Doesn't look stingy to me. I wonder if any of 'em were U.N. employees . . .

MORE: Jeff Jarvis says that Amazon is already sending more money for tsunami relief than the French government.

STILL MORE: Holy crap, it's just broken a half-million bucks, less than four hours after it was at $112,000. Donations are about fifty bucks each. Stingy, eh? Well, here's some more stinginess:

The Everett-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is headed to the Indian Ocean to help with tsunami relief efforts.

And there's this:

More than 5,000 military personnel of the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group 5 will skip their New Year's holiday on Guam to fulfill a humanitarian mission in Sri Lanka.

The USS Bonhomme Richard docked in Apra Harbor yesterday for what was originally planned to be a five-day stay, but was called to bring relief aid to the inhabitants of Sri Lanka who were devastated by a tsunami this past weekend.

Stingy, indeed.



Once again, America shows her greatness.
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Iran - “Imprisoned Bloggers were tortured”

Persian Students reports on the torture of Iranian bloggers. Via Day by Day

I decided to translate Abtahi's latest blog entry from Persian into English because I believe it is one of the most important actions that he (as part of Khatami's government) has taken during the past 8 years. Abtahi, as the ex VP in Parliamental Affairs, and a member of the Constitutional Supervision Committee, has published some details of interrogation and torture that has happened in prisons, and I'm sure by doing so he is seeking public and international attention to this subject. It is very important to let the world, the media, and human rights organisations hear about it. FYI Abtahi is the only Iranian government official who blogs daily in his famous personal weblog Webneveshteha. (apologies for my poor command of English, this is going to be a quick translation).

The article details some of the torture they suffered. I found these items interesting.

3- The interrogations were managed by a formerly arrested blogger. A few other bloggers who had [given up and] repented before were under less pressure, and were in a way helping the interrogators who had lack of technical knowledge on the subject [of internet and blogs]. This proves that weak people cannot be trusted in politics. However, we understand the situation they're in and can't really blame them for what they've done.

And

5- The interrogators lacked technical knowledge [on the subject].

These guys lack technical knowledge about blogging and they will soon have a nuclear weapon!! How scary is that?

On the plus side, their lack of technical knowledge of the net may allow the bloggers to stay one step ahead.

The revolution is bubbling but not yet boiling. A free and democratic Iraq will be too much for the youth of Iran who yearn for freedom.

The great Islamic revolution has failed and the days of the mad mullahs may be numbered. The defeat of radical Islam in Afghanistan and Iraq and failure of the Islamic revolution in Iran, are proof that Islam will never conquer the world as Khomeini wished.

No matter what religion you practice or if you have no religion at all, there is one human trait that supersedes all religions and unites us all as a species, the desire for freedom.
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Iraq is not Vietnam

The New York Post reports on the latest poll from the US military on our troops feelings about the war in Iraq.

Seems the only ones against the war are the Democrats. Who would have thought it?

Support for the war inside the military stands at 60 percent, 25 percent higher than the latest Gallup measurement of the American people as a whole.

When it comes to President Bush's handling of the war effort, the results are even more lopsided. Only 42 percent of Americans approve, according to ABC News. In the military, Bush garners 63 percent support.

In other words, support for Bush's Iraq policy is an astounding half again as big in the active military as in the American body politic.

And, in the words of the Army Times report on the poll, "Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting."

It seems that the people who are actually putting their lives on the line believe in what they are doing — and that those who have spent the most time in harm's way are the most passionate of all.

Job satisfaction in the military, the poll found, is a breathtaking 87 percent, and only a quarter of those polled say they want out.


While there are problems in Iraq, guess who the soldiers blame?

Note, too, that the active military is angrier at Congress than at the Pentagon.

In the wake of the publicity surrounding the National Guardsman's question to Donald Rumsfeld about the supposed failure to provide appropriate armor, it is instructive to note this poll's conclusion about the matter. Quoting from the Military Times again: "60 percent blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone."


And the post has this warning.

This is not only a partisan divide. It's a cultural divide. As the year 2004 ends, the rank and file of the Democratic Party has turned decisively and profoundly against the military effort in Iraq. And there is reason to believe it won't be long before they turn on the military as well. [...]

If they really want to fight a culture war rather than this just war to advance democracy and retard Islamofascism, we're more than ready for them.


We certainly are!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Bin Laden's last stand?

Is Iraq to be bin Laden's last stand?

Routed from Afghanistan and on the run he has been unable to mount any attacks on the US. Even his latest attack on the US consulate in Saudi Arabia ended in a debacle. Now in an attempt to maintain what little influence he has left, bin Laden has decided to make Iraq his last stand. And it will be his last stand.

The recent elections in Afghanistan are the beginning of the end for bin Laden. He cannot survive as the leader of Al Qaeda when Iraq holds similar elections. He will lose all credibility and be seen as the loser that he is.

All the cheerleading by Al Jazeera and the Associated Press will not save bin Laden. In this article, The AP, try to shore up bin Laden's influence but reach the wrong conclusions.

In his most recent audio tape, Bin Laden urges Iraqi Sunnis to boycott the upcoming elections in Iraq. Something they had already indicated they would do months ago. How pathetic is that?

How desperate is bin Laden? Well the AP reports that he has accepted Zarqawi's offer to join Al Qaeda.

Bin Laden could benefit from allying himself with an anti-American fighter who gets daily publicity. Al-Zarqawi may get more financial assistance and support from bin Laden's backers, the experts said.

The AP misses or more accurately over looks the point here. Bin Laden "needs" Zarqawi because of bin Laden's impotence. While bin Laden has been failing to kill Americans, the US consulate in Saudi Arabia for example, Zarqawi has been killing lots of Americans in Iraq. Zarqawi is "succeeding" where bin Laden is failing. Zarqawi releases bombs while bin Laden releases tapes.

"Bin Laden gets the benefits of Zarqawi's notoriety," said Vince Cannistraro, former CIA counterterrorism chief. "He (al-Zarqawi) has got the pre-eminent insurgency in Iraq. He's the one who is the bloodiest, who carried out the most dramatic and public suicide bombings."

While bin Laden plays the ghost of Christmas past. Bin Laden needs the benefit of Zarqawi's notoriety? I thought bin Laden was suppose to be the devil himself? So the devil is in need of some "notoriety" and publicity now? Sounds more like the Wizard of Oz than the devil.

"I think bin Laden wants to leverage off of Zarqawi's cachet and popularity amongst radial jihadists," he said. [...]

Which would indicate that bin Laden can no longer command the following he once did. The Afghanistan elections are proof of that.

And yet the AP continues to draw the wrong conclusions.

Ben Venzke, president of the private IntelCenter in Alexandria, Va. and a consultant to government agencies, said the alliance does not demonstrate any weakness by bin Laden. Rather, it enhances his public message.

Actually it highlights bin Laden's weakness; he needs Zarqawi, that is a weakness. Bin Laden needed the Taliban and the US defeated them. Now he needs Zarqawi and the US will defeat him. How long will jihadists continue to follow a loser?

"Al-Qaida is very savvy when it comes to understanding public perception, its media campaign and messaging and its image," he said.

Yes they are and the world press are happy to wage jihad with them.

In calling for a boycott of elections, bin Laden appears to also be speaking as a political leader, not just a terrorist going into battle.

But calling for the boycott after the Sunnis had already said they would boycott the elections, bin Laden is seen more as a follower than a leader. And a recent poll of Iraqis showed that 80% of the people were in favor of holding the elections on time, which shows the people of Iraq are already ignoring bin Laden.

The AP let the mask slip a little with this bit.

"If he can show he's more than just a rank-and-file terrorist, that will help his message."

So the AP admit that bin Laden is no longer the worlds number one terrorist, he is reduced to a "rank-and-file terrorist".

The AP sums up with the overall wrong conclusion.

With the release of still another bin Laden tape, Bergen said, "The tapes are coming thick and fast, which means they (the terrorists) are feeling secure."

No, it means they are desperate, very desperate. The fact that bin Laden and Zarqawi need each other is proof of that. When the war in Iraq is finished, bin Laden will be finished to. Make no mistake, like any wounded animal about to die, he will be most dangerous at this point but he will be finished.

Bin Laden should have learned from Admiral Yamamoto and not awakened the sleeping giant. It's ironic, but because of bin Laden's hate for America, Afghanistan and Iraq are now free from dictators and tyranny. Like a TNT blast that blows up rock to allow water to flow, bin Laden's destructive force blasted America awake and allowed freedom to flow.

UPDATE: 16:49 28 Dec 04

Seems I was right and surprisingly this comes from Al Reuters.

But Iraqis dismissed the Saudi-born militant's threats as outside interference.

And

"Bin Laden knows nothing about Iraq; he is an extremist who lives in caves. He lost 75 percent of his support in Iraq by making everyone who votes in elections an infidel."
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Islam and The Millennium War

Austin Bay writes about the Millennium War.

One of the problems we face in defining what constitutes an American victory or acceptable End State in the global war on terror is the war's dirt-stupid name. One might as well declare war on exercise as declare war on terror, for terror is only a tactic used by an enemy. In this case the inept name has led to needless political confusion and loss of clarity about long-range goals.

In September 2001, I suggested we call this hideous conflict the Millennium War, a nom de guerre that captures both the chronological era and the ideological dimensions of the conflict. If there is one mistake we've made in fighting this war, it's the way we've soft-pedaled the ideological dimensions, and that soft-pedaling has blurred our goals. This really is a fight for the future, a battle between our free, open political system and the unholy alliance of despots and millenarian Islamofascists whose very existence depends on denying liberty.


The 9/11 commission understood this when they named radical Islam as our enemy.
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Monday, December 27, 2004

Iran - Islam fails

The LA Times reports on Islam's failure in Iran.

As their government squares off against the West and vague rumors of outside intervention run in the streets, the youth of Tehran move through the months as if dreaming, passing moodily from pop culture to Persian traditions, groping for their place in the world. Conversations with dozens of young adults in Tehran painted an overwhelming picture of a generation lost, disaffected and stained by longing.

The west is blamed for rise in Islamic terrorism and the root cause identified as rising "unemployment, widespread drug addiction and gnawing religious disillusionment." It would seem Islam is not the answer to these same problems.

A quarter of a century ago, Iran's fiery youth drove a revolution in the name of Islam and anti-imperialism. But those students grew up, and their zeal faded as they softened into graying bureaucrats. The babies they birthed en masse at the feverish urging of the clergy have inherited a legacy of double-digit unemployment, widespread drug addiction and gnawing religious disillusionment.

What is Islam's answer to the problems in Iran? Blame Israel, the US and get a nuclear weapon as fast as they can. As if Israel and the US created their problems and the bomb will solve them.

Despite all the praises heaped on it, in Iran, and indeed in most countries, Islam continues to fail to live up to its' reputation as the "religion of peace".

We should not be surprised at what has happened in Iran, given what they were promised by Khomeini.

Khomeini led the 1979 Iranian revolution that overthrew the corrupt shah and replaced the government with a brutal Islamic theocracy that today is locked in battle with reformers seeking to end a quarter century of repression. Khomeini preached worldwide violent Islamic revolution, thundering that "those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world."

"Why do you only read the Quranic verses of mercy and do not read the verses of killing?" Khomeini challenged fellow clerics in a 1981 speech. "Qu'ran says: kill, imprison! Why are you only clinging to the part that talks about mercy? Mercy is against God." The tyrant also exhorted his followers to "kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all."


This is what Khomeini delivered.

And this is the result.

This apathetic, youthful mass is a powerful, albeit untapped, force: Three-quarters of the population is younger than 35. They are enough to shape an election; in a truly representative system, they would decide their government.

If they had a free press and news media there might be another revolution and they could take heart from what is happening in the Ukraine.

Ukraine opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has won the re-run of Sunday's presidential election, election officials have said.

Whatever the answer to their problems is, Islam, at least as practiced in Iran, doesn't seem to be it.
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Old Media and the year of the bloggers

Tech Central Station reports on the year old media met it's match - its' readers.

So…from the home office in San Jose, California, allow me to present, via my 1972 IBM Selectric and my jammies, the top ten events that ricocheted through the Blogosphere in 2004. They're presented in order of importance, not chronologically; no doubt, you'd assemble a very different list; but I trust you'll agree with at least some of these choices.

A great round up of the top blogger stories of 2004 complete with links to the bloggs of note.
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Sunday, December 26, 2004


Christmas in Iraq. Soldiers from the Florida Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, brought Christmas to the children of Baghdad this year.
Members of the unit distributed more than 300 toys to local children in the Iraqi capital during Operation Toy Soldier on Dec. 25. The toys were given to the unit by Toy-R-Us and family members, and passed out to the Iraqi children at the Maghrib Youth Center near the unit’s compound in Baghdad.
 Posted by Hello

Al Qaeda smack down

Bad day at black rock for the bad guys.

2 al Qaeda leaders in Iraq nabbed

Islamic militant suspect arrested in Barcelona

12 suspected militants held in Russia

Police arrest Afghan suspect after shootout

Kashmir Rebel Leader Arrested in Raid

And a little icing on the cake.

Israel Defense Forces killed a senior Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades leader

Hat tip Rantburg
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Afghanistan - women in the Cabinet

The Telegraph is reporting "Karzai appoints three women to Afghan cabinet."

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has announced a new cabinet that excludes leading warlords and drug traffickers and includes three women for the first time in the Islamic country's history.

Just a few years ago under the Taliban, these women couldn't even work and were treated like property.
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UK adopting sharia law

At least for tax purposes.

Is killing the kafir (un believers) where you find them, next?

THE Inland Revenue is considering recognising polygamy for some religious groups for tax purposes. Officials have agreed to examine “family friendly” representations from Muslims who take up to four wives under sharia, the laws derived from the Koran.

Existing rules allow only one wife for inheritance tax purposes. The Revenue has been asked to relax this so that a husband’s estate can be divided tax-free between several wives.

The move is bound to create controversy if it leads to a change in the rules. It is seen as a breakthrough by Muslim leaders who have been campaigning to incorporate sharia into British domestic law.


And here is more proof the government is caving in to muslims.

(NAO) recently concluded that the tax system inadvertently penalised devout Muslims. An NAO inquiry into inheritance laws found that devout Muslims were not able to take full advantage of British tax law, which allows spouses to inherit an entire estate from their husband or wife tax free.

There is nothing "inadvertent" about it! Polygamy is illegal in the UK regardless of faith, creed, colour or any other background.

Are muslims going to be allowed to beat their 4 wives next?

Sadiq Khan, a leading Muslim politician, says "this is not the thin edge of the wedge".

Really? Then read this Mr Khan.

Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has already made one significant concession to adapt to the dictates of sharia. In the 2003 Finance Act he spared Muslims from paying stamp duty twice on their properties when they took out “Islamic mortgages” that complied with the sharia ban on paying interest.

The wedge is already in and being hammered home.
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Saturday, December 25, 2004

Jihad by the world press

Is the world's press conducting a world wide jihad? One would think so based on some of the reporting out there these days.

Earlier today I posted about Iraq, Vietnam and the media and discussed how the media lost the Vietnam war for the US and is intent on doing the same in Iraq.

And recently I posted about so called "kidnapping" in Iraq. In that post I talked about the differences between those hostages released and those killed. The former appear to have helped the terrorists while the later helped ordinary Iraqis. I said British aid worker Margret Hassan was in the latter and I questioned the "kidnapping" of the French journalists. Here is what I said.

Well, the Syrian driver, Mohammed al-Jundi, is to sue US for alleged torture in Iraq and Jo Wilding gets to act like a hero and adds fodder to her anti war mill. Which is probably what we will see from the French jounalist sometime soon.

Well that didn't take long, did it? From Jihad Watch.

From the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), with thanks to Kemaste:

PARIS - An insurgent guarding two French hostages told them his group supported President George W. Bush in the US November election because his policies help Islamic extremism expand, the French daily Le Figaro reported Friday.


Former hostage Georges Malbrunot, 41, told the paper that sometime between September 26 and October 15, he asked his guard if he wanted Bush or Democratic Party challenger John Kerry to win the US presidential election.

“We want Bush,” his guard told him. “We want Bush because with him, the American soldiers will stay in Iraq, and this way we will be able to expand.”

Malbrunot, a journalist employed by Le Figaro, said the guard also told him that the American attack on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States enabled Islamic extremism “to spread throughout the world”.

The French are doing a pretty good job of getting the Jihadists message out.

Jihad Watch makes this observation.

For that very reason, a realistic appraisal of the jihad ideology also indicates that a long stay in Iraq for the US would most likely be counterproductive. The Wilsonian project of democratizing Iraq may somehow ultimately succeed, but the odds are prohibitive, and the January elections will not determine the outcome of the project as a whole. This will be a work of decades -- at least. Democracy in Iraq faces an obstacle far greater than those faced by post-World War II Germany and Japan: the vitality of political Islam, which has not been discredited or disavowed by any of the many Islamic groups in the country. This force can only be neutralized not by military might, but by a large-scale ideological effort that has not been undertaken, because the need for it has not been understood.

That lack of understanding is due to the liberal world press.

Here is how the Associated Press is helping the jihadists.

And here is Al Reuters doing it's part.

These are but a few, search this site for more and read Biased BBC to see how the BBC are helping out.

Where are moderate muslim voices in all of this? Nowhere it would seem.

So, what happens if a non muslim speaks out?

What happens to those who dare speak out?

Two Christian pastors from the Catch the Fires evangelical ministry, Daniel Scot and Danny Nalliah, were found to have committed religious vilification against Islam. Their crime? Quoting the Koran in a way that got "a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter".The judge, Michael Higgins, said they had 'made fun of Muslim beliefs and conduct'. Ridicule in Victoria is thus now a crime. And as Andrew Bolt observes in the Herald Sun, the pastors have been convicted essentially for telling the truth.

So, what is the UN doing while all of this is going on?

Fighting for it's own survival it would seem.

UN oil for food scandal - heads roll and UN sex scandal widens.

Meanwhile, the Islamic press is busy doing it's own propaganda. The latest round accuses the US of harvesting body parts from dead Iraqis and Israelis stealing Palestinian eyes.

Iran and Saudi Arabia's Frankenstien

Like an illusionist making things appear out of thin air or disappear as fits their need, the world press are part of the jihadist "show".

And while the world watches the show Iran practices some nuclear illusion tricks.

Will the world awaken from the illusionists spell in time? If we defeat our greatest enemy, the liberal press.
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Rumsfeld and loyalty

Roger Simon notes this letter from an injured American soldier in Iraq on the occasion of Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq.

Then remarkably, the young soldier, who had just lost his left hand and right eye from an explosion, came to the defense of the Secretary of Defense, stating "Mr. Rumsfeld, I want you to know, that you are doing a fantastic job. I know that you are taking a lot of heat for the problems with getting armor for vehicles. I want you to know that things are vastly improved. Our vehicles are great, and I have never searched through junk piles for scrap metal."

At this point, Rumsfeld looked choked up, and I had a lump in my throat and and watery eyes. It was moving. What makes a man who has been so close to death, and maimed for life, come to the defense of the Army's highest ranking official? Loyalty, I dare say. Did Rob think Mr. Rumsfeld was having a self-esteem problem? In his greatest hour of need, his thoughts went to the emotional needs of another. I found it quite amazing, and moving. The Secretary took out a coin and gave it to a bystander for him, as if he didn't know he could touch him. Finally, the soldier said, "Man, Donald Rumsfeld, I wish I could shake his hand."


There are many other stories of loyalty from Iraq. Here is another one.

In his birthday message to Marines this year, the Commandant, Gen. Mike Hagee, related a story about a Marine who had been wounded in Iraq earlier this year. A squad leader, he refused evacuation until he finally passed out from a loss of blood. When he woke up in an Army hospital in Germany, he talked the staff into releasing him. He borrowed some utilities from a Navy corpsman and then talked his way aboard an Air Force transport that was flying back to Iraq. But before boarding the plane, he called his wife to tell her that he was O.K. but that he wouldn't be home because the Marines in his squad needed him. As the old question goes, where do we find such men?

You find them in the United States Armed Forces.
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Iraq, Vietnam and the media

Sometime ago I posted about how the anti war movement, think John Kerry, aided by the left leaning media, had lost the war in Vietnam. Here is what General Giap of North Vietnam had to say after the war ended.

Even Giap admitted in his memoirs that news media reporting of the war and the anti-war demonstrations that ensued in America surprised him. Instead of negotiating what he called a conditional surrender, Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp.

So instead of surrendering the North Vietnamese fought on. How many more thousands died because of John Kerry's lies and the left leaning media?

While our military learned a great deal from the Vietnam war the media learned nothing as evidenced by a soldier's question to Rumsfeld during his recent visit to Iraq.

Question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, how do we win the war in the media? It seems like that is the place where we're getting beat up more than anybody else. I've been here -- this is my third tour over here, and we have done some amazing things. And it seems like the enemy's Web sites and everything else are all over the media, and they love it. But the thing is, is everything we do good, no matter if it's helping a little kid or building a new school, the public affairs sends out the message, but the media doesn't pick up on it. How do we win the propaganda war?

RUMSFELD: That does not sound like a question that was planted by the press.

(LAUGHTER)

RUMSFELD: That happens sometimes. It's one of the hardest things we do in our country. We have freedom of the press. We believe in that. We believe that democracy can take that massive misinformation and differing of views, and that free people can synthesize all of that and find their way to right decisions. [...]

I was talking to a group of congressmen and senators the other day, and there were a couple of them who had negative things to say, and they were in the press in five minutes. There were 15 or 20 that had positive things to say about what's going on in Iraq, and they couldn't get on television. Television just said we're not interested. That's just sorry. So, it is, I guess, what's news has to be bad news to get on the press.


It's worse than sorry. It's aiding and abetting our enemies.
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Associated Press aiding terrorists?

Yesterday I posted about the Belmont Club's questions concerning how an AP cameraman just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture on film the murder of Iraqi election officials.

Here was where the killers really lucked out. The AP photographer, though caught at unawares, who definitely had no "foreknowledge" of what was going down and at the worst expected a street demonstration, did not take cover, even as soldiers and Marines are trained to do when shooting starts. He was made of sterner stuff and held his ground, taking pictures of people he did not know killing individuals he did not recognize for reasons he would not have known about. This -- in the midst of "30 armed insurgents, hurling hand grenades and firing guns" -- as the Associated Press report says. And he continued to take photographs for a fairly long period of time, capturing not just a single photograph, but a sequence of them

The Belmont Club notes the results of the AP cameraman's "luck".

Two or three dozen people, at the most, would normally have witnessed these events. But due to the great good fortune of the killers, a photographer from the Associated Press was present and pictures of the execution were carried on newspapers throughout the globe, sending the executioner's message not merely to a handful of bystanders to hundreds of millions of readers throughout the world.


Roger Simon points to another disturbing article about the AP's "good luck".


"A group called the Islamic Movement of Iraqi Mujahideen announced that it had killed an Italian hostage called Salvatore Santoro," the Qatar-based broadcaster said, showing footage of Santoro with a blindfold and a gun pointed at his head.

The group read a statement in the tape accusing Santoro of working for the United States, Al Jazeera said. Images of his passport showed an Iranian tourist visa.

The channel said it obtained the videotape from the Associated Press.


The Associated Press videotaped the execution of a hostage and gave the tape to Al Jazerra? So now the AP is more welcome to the jihadists than Al Jazerra. Maybe this explains how the terrorists are able to produce their snuff films.

What are the odds the recent bin Laden tapes were produced by the Associated Press?

UPDATE:

From Poynter comes a reply from the AP.

From JACK STOKES, director of media relations, Associated Press: [This is a solicited letter regarding Salon's "The Associated Press 'insurgency.'"] Several brave Iraqi photographers work for The Associated Press in places that only Iraqis can cover. Many are covering the communities they live in where family and tribal relations give them access that would not be available to Western photographers, or even Iraqi photographers who are not from the area.

Insurgents want their stories told as much as other people and some are willing to let Iraqi photographers take their pictures. It's important to note, though, that the photographers are not "embedded" with the insurgents. They do not have to swear allegiance or otherwise join up philosophically with them just to take their pictures.

No, they do not want their "stories" told, they want to terrorize the world with their video taped murders of innocent people and the AP seems only too willing to oblige.

How many more innocent people will be murdered "for the camera" so the terrorists can get their "story told"?
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Planet Bin Laden

Some would link the war in Iraq with the Palestinian troubles and others say the terrorists are freedom fighters fighting for their country.

One of the recently released French hostages reports on what his captors are really after.

"We were very aware of the fact that it wasn't the Iraqi agenda that motivated our kidnappers, but the internationalist jihadist agenda.

Which backs up my earlier post.
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Friday, December 24, 2004

Moderate Muslims - a myth?

Jihad Watch notes some disappointing signs.

First off he points to The Dallas News (thanks to Anthony) speaks out about the Khomeini tribute held recently by Muslims in Dallas.

Khomeini led the 1979 Iranian revolution that overthrew the corrupt shah and replaced the government with a brutal Islamic theocracy that today is locked in battle with reformers seeking to end a quarter century of repression. Khomeini preached worldwide violent Islamic revolution, thundering that "those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world."

"Why do you only read the Quranic verses of mercy and do not read the verses of killing?" Khomeini challenged fellow clerics in a 1981 speech. "Qu'ran says: kill, imprison! Why are you only clinging to the part that talks about mercy? Mercy is against God." The tyrant also exhorted his followers to "kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all."

That's some vision. Yet a Muslim group based in Irving hosted a seminar earlier this month paying "tribute to the great Islamic visionary." It's chilling to think that any local Muslim would be willing to honor such a man, especially with the United States under the threat of attack by Islamic terrorists.

Dismayingly, the list of speakers at the Irving event included some of North Texas' best-known mainstream Islamic figures, including Dr. Yusuf Kavakci of Dallas Central Mosque, widely considered a moderate. He and other leaders shared the roster with Mohammed Asi, a radical Washington imam whom, according to The Washington Post, U.S. officials suspect to be an Iranian agent.


Texas isn't the only place in America where some muslims look to the teachings of Khomeini. Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan recently marched carrying pictures of Khomeini.

But the most arresting image was of a Muslim woman carrying a large sign featuring the face of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Jihad Watch also notes things are not promising north of the border in Canada.

Ron Csillag of Religion News Service (thanks to Anthony) makes much of this mosque where women pray together with men. And gee, it all sounds swell -- until one realizes that the article says absolutely nothing about these modern, progressive Muslims addressing and fighting the roots of Islamic terror. We have yet to see a story about that.

He then points to Sistani's website which has this list of "The following ten things are essentially najis:"

Urine
Faeces
Semen
Dead body
Blood
Dog
Pig
Kafir
Alcoholic liquors
The sweat of an animal who persistently eats najasat

As he notes, Kafir is an umbeliever. Are you in this group?

Go here to see what 25 years of the religion of peace has done for Iran.

And Frontpage exposes The Muslim Student Association as a Pro-Terror Organization.

What about Europe?

Turkey threatens EU over membership and Returning jihadis new risk for Europe.

What happens to those who dare speak out?

Two Christian pastors from the Catch the Fires evangelical ministry, Daniel Scot and Danny Nalliah, were found to have committed religious vilification against Islam. Their crime? Quoting the Koran in a way that got "a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter".

The judge, Michael Higgins, said they had 'made fun of Muslim beliefs and conduct'. Ridicule in Victoria is thus now a crime. And as Andrew Bolt observes in the Herald Sun, the pastors have been convicted essentially for telling the truth.


Some people think a war between the west and Islam can be avoided.

It started a long time ago.
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Iran and Saudi Arabia's Frankenstien

In an attempt to demonize the west, the Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia and Iran have teamed up to portray the west as a Frankenstien.

First the Saudi Government Daily Accuses U.S. Army of Harvesting Organs of Iraqis.

In the Saudi government daily Al-Watan, a n article from Brussels written by Fakhriya Ahmad charges that, based on alleged secret European military reports, the U.S. military in Iraq is harvesting and selling human organs. The following day, the story was also published in the Iranian daily Jomhouri-ye Islami, [1] as well as the Syrian daily Teshreen. [2] The following are excerpts from the article: [3]

"Secret European military intelligence reports indicate the transformation of the American humanitarian mission in Iraq into a profitable trade in the American markets through the practice of American physicians extracting human organs from the dead and wounded, before they are put to death, for sale to medical centers in America. A secret team of American physicians follow the troops during their attacks on Iraqi armed men to ensure quick [medical] operations for extracting some organs and transferring them to private operations rooms before they are transferred to America for sale.

I guess the "dead" terrorists shot dead again by a US forces and caught on tape by NBC didn't have blue eyes or otherwise fit the bill.

Seems the Iranians decided to go a step further and make a movie about it.

Iran's Sahar 1 TV station is currently airing a weekly series titled "For You, Palestine," or "Zahra's Blue Eyes." The series premiered on December 13, and is set in Israel and the West Bank. It broadcasts every Monday, and was filmed in Persian but subsequently dubbed into Arabic.

The story follows an Israeli candidate for Prime Minister, Yitzhak Cohen, who is also the military commander of the West Bank. The opening sequence of the show contains graphic scenes of surgery, and images of a Palestinian girl in a hospital whose eyes have been removed, with bandages covering the sockets.

In Episode 1, Yitzhak Cohen lectures at a medical conference on the advances being made by Israeli medicine regarding organ transplants. Later in the episode, Israelis disguised as UN workers visit a Palestinian school, ostensibly to examine the children's eyes for diseases, but in reality to select which children's eyes to steal to be used for transplants.

In Episode 2, the audience learns that the Israeli president is being kept alive by organs stolen from Palestinian children, and an Israeli military commander is seen kidnapping UN employees and Palestinians.


Now, add this to the mix and you begin to see what the Iranians are up to.

Iran has arrested more than 10 people since March for spying on its atomic projects, the intelligence minister has said.

Ali Yunesi claimed the spies had been working for America and Israel and said three of them were working within the state nuclear programme.


All of which leads to this:

The official said: "This is a way for the regime to bolster support at home. The last time they uncovered a 'great spy ring' was when they were under great pressure. This is always a good way for them to justify their policies at home."

Demonize them and then "catch" them spying on you to prove it.

With the growing call for Kofi Annan to go, they even managed to portray the west attacking the UN.

Nice, huh?
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Merry Christmas!!

Just in case many of you are not going to be reading blogs tommorrow, I'll wish you and your family a merry Christmas today.

And if it is already Christmas where you are,

Merry Christmas!!
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AP anti American bias

The Belmont Club wonders how the AP just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture on film the murder of Iraqi election officials.

After some critisism, they posted a follow up.

Here was where the killers really lucked out. The AP photographer, though caught at unawares, who definitely had no "foreknowledge" of what was going down and at the worst expected a street demonstration, did not take cover, even as soldiers and Marines are trained to do when shooting starts. He was made of sterner stuff and held his ground, taking pictures of people he did not know killing individuals he did not recognize for reasons he would not have known about. This -- in the midst of "30 armed insurgents, hurling hand grenades and firing guns" -- as the Associated Press report says. And he continued to take photographs for a fairly long period of time, capturing not just a single photograph, but a sequence of them.

I posted about the AP's reporting on Bush being named Time's person of the year.

Kelly said Bush has changed dramatically since he was named Person of the Year in 2000 after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency.

Really? What about the millions who voted for him? The only thing the Supreme Court did was stop the continual recounting by the Democrats. They didn't "award" anyone anything.

Remember, it was the AP who reported the crowd at a Bush rally booed when it was announced that Clinton was in hospital for a heart operation. It was a lie. The reporter who reported it wasn't even there.

The Free Republic has an audio clip of the event.

AP was forced to retract the story.

"This is a correction to an incorrect story posted by AP on Friday stating the crowd booed the President when he sent his good wishes. The crowd, in fact, did NOT boo."

And the beat goes on.
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Syria - has time run out?

The Jerusalem Post reports "US may strike at Ba'athists in Syria".

The US is contemplating incursions into Syrian territory in an attempt to kill or capture Iraqi Ba'athists who, it believes, are directing at least part of the attacks against US targets in Iraq, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

The official said that fresh sanctions are likely to be implemented, but added that the US needs to be more "aggressive" after Tuesday's deadly attack on a US base in Mosul. The comment suggested that the US believes the attack on the mess tent, in which 22 people were killed, may have been coordinated from inside Syrian territory.


Seems they may have some solid evidence.

The senior official said US anger increased substantially after a prolonged incursion into Fallujah last month, which revealed "how much of the insurgency is now being directed through Syria." The US has not publicly detailed the evidence it has regarding the extent to which attacks are being organized from within Syria. But a report in The Times of London on Thursday suggested not only that Syria is becoming a base for Iraqis to operate, but that Syrian officials are themselves involved.

The newspaper said Iraq had confronted Syria with evidence that included photographs of senior Syrian officials taken from Iraqi fighters captured during the Fallujah offensive. It also said US marines in Fallujah found a hand-held global-positioning system receiver with waypoints originating in western Syria and the names of four Syrians in a list of 27 fighters contained in a ledger.


This is long overdue.
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Santa radar tracker

If you have kids NORAD has a great radar site to keep track of Santa.

Make sure you have the correct viewer to watch the movies. The site has tools to check for you and help you get the right viewer.

Pssst, he's left the North Pole already!!!
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Britain contemplates religious hatred laws

Melanie Phillips reports on Islam's crusade against Christians in Australia.

Anyone in Britain who wants to know what is likely to happen as a result of the proposed law against incitement to religious hatred should look at the first verdict handed down in Australia's state of Victoria last week under a very similar law. Two Christian pastors from the Catch the Fires evangelical ministry, Daniel Scot and Danny Nalliah, were found to have committed religious vilification against Islam. Their crime? Quoting the Koran in a way that got "a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter".

The judge, Michael Higgins, said they had 'made fun of Muslim beliefs and conduct'. Ridicule in Victoria is thus now a crime. And as Andrew Bolt observes in the Herald Sun, the pastors have been convicted essentially for telling the truth:


I eagerly await the trial of the imams who call for the death of Christians.
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Iran plays nuclear poker

World Net Daily has a great article on how Iran fooled the EU and the IAEA over their nuclear programs.

The mullahs of Iran have given the E.U.-3 and the International Atomic Energy Agency their word that they will stop enriching uranium and, after negotiating back and forth for weeks, they are allowing for IAEA verification. That was the word at the end of November. So, we can all stop worrying, right?

Not so fast. Not even one month later, and the mullahs have created enough exceptions to fly a Shahab-3 through.

First, the Iranians insisted they needed to keep some 20 or 30 centrifuges running, for "research purposes," of course. Besides, the centrifuges wouldn't have any uranium in them, or if the centrifuges had some low-grade uranium in them, that would be the uranium already in the pipeline, not new uranium, just the old stuff already there. Not to worry, the IAEA could run cameras on a 24-hour basis to watch the centrifuges real-time, just to make sure nobody cheated. The IAEA bought it. Why not? Sounds fully verifiable, doesn't it?

Sure, but what was the real point the Iranians were after. Intelligence specialists in the United States pointed out that our satellites are able to detect the unique sound centrifuges make. The Iranians needed to keep some centrifuges running, somewhere, somehow – just so they could keep the secret ones going, the ones they had always planned to keep running no matter what the agreement said, to enrich the uranium they hadn't disclosed.


There's lots more.

The Telegraph reports on how Iran is bolstering support at home for their desire to get a nuclear weapon.

Iran has arrested more than 10 people since March for spying on its atomic projects, the intelligence minister has said.

Ali Yunesi claimed the spies had been working for America and Israel and said three of them were working within the state nuclear programme.


So, what's the plan?

A senior Israeli official said he knew nothing about the arrests but added he suspected the timing of the revelation was intended to whip up fears about a "Zionist threat" to distract from the mounting pressure on Iran.

The official said: "This is a way for the regime to bolster support at home. The last time they uncovered a 'great spy ring' was when they were under great pressure. This is always a good way for them to justify their policies at home."


And the game continues.
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UN sex scandal widens

The London Times reports "Sex scandal in Congo threatens to engulf UN's peacekeepers".

HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib.

The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UN’s $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.


France again.

When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation. Three home-made porn videos and more than 50 photographs were found.

The case has highlighted the apparently rampant sexual exploitation of Congolese girls and women by the UN’s 11,000 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians at a time when the UN is facing many problems, including the Iraqi “oil-for-food” scandal and accusations of sexual harassment by senior UN staff in Geneva and New York.


I'll say it again, time for Annan to go.
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UN oil for food scandal - heads roll

The New York Sun is reporting "Key Aide to Annan Retires Abruptly Amid U.N. Scandal"

In an announcement that surprised even the U.N. spokesman, Fred Eckhard, who made it at a regular press briefing after a note was passed to him from upstairs, Mr. Annan said that he accepted a request from his chief of staff, Iqbal Riza, to retire "with very mixed emotions." His retirement will take effect on January 15, Mr. Annan said in the statement.

Some say Riza was impeding the oil for food scandal.

A U.N. insider said Mr. Riza leads a group of advisers who have called on Mr. Annan to take a hard line, urging him to refuse to share information with the congressional oil-for-food investigations.

And even the UN staff wanted him out.

Mr. Riza has raised the ire of the U.N. staff union recently at a meeting in the aftermath of allegations against the head of the U.N.'s internal investigative arm. Some said that the chief of staff had worked to squash the investigation into allegations of abuse of power. When the union voted for a resolution that expressed no confidence in Mr. Annan's senior management, many privately said this was directed at Mr. Riza.

Time for Annan to go as well.
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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Iraqi bloggers speak out

Dean Esmay has the latest Carnival of the Liberated posted.

Here's a sample.

Finally, there's a new Iraqi blogger in Iraq: Husayn of Democracy in Iraq (is coming):

It was very sad for me to hear that these election workers were killed. For you who do not know, three election workers were executed yesterday on Haifa street by some brazen terrorists in daylight. Clearly they are tring to scare Iraqis into not voting. I have seen some people who have been scared by this, which is unfortunate. I hope that the government will give more security to the election workers in the future, and more importantly that the killers are hunted down and punished.


I must say though, not all of us are shaken by this. In my neighborhood, the election council had a meeting a few hours ago, and decided to not be dettered by this murder. I was present, and we have decided if anything to perhaps be quiet for now about who will be administering the election, but not to cancel it. We have asked the government for more security when elections do happen next month. I am confident that this act will be isolated, and will not deter people.
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Iraq and Iraqi resolve

People are always talking about Iraqis as if they weren't in the room. This is especially true when there are horrific attacks like the recent weekend bombings that killed over 60 innocent Iraqi civilians.

How do ordinary Iraqis respond to such horrific attacks? With resolve.

The Washington Post details their resolve.

"These attacks aim to destroy the country and the holy sites. This is terrorism against Shiites," said Fadhil Salman, 41, the owner of the Ghufran Hotel in Najaf. "They want to foil the elections, but this won't deter us."

"God saved us," said Abu Ahmed, an employee of Kawther Transportation Co., whose office was just 10 yards from the blast. He was cut by flying glass.

"All the dead and wounded were civilians," he said by telephone. "But this won't stop the people from returning to their normal lives."


"I swear to God, even if they burn all the elections centers, we will still go and vote," said Ali Waili, 29, a taxi driver reached by telephone in Karbala. "We have been mistreated for a long time, we have been tortured for a long time."

"It is clear that there are some trying to impose conflict and civil war in Iraq," said Ali Yassiri, a top aide to Sadr. "Deceiving Iraqis is difficult. . . . These attacks will result in nothing but insistence on proceeding toward the Iraq of the future."

Those responsible "must be trying to incite sectarian strife, but this will not happen," said a mosque caretaker, Ali Mashhadani.

Doesn't sound like the terrorists are winning to me.

Be sure to read Chrenkoff's Good News Iraq for all the latest good news from Iraq that MSM fail to report on.
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Mosul - Where's the outrage

The war in Iraq continues and some would say the attack on American forces in Mosul was justified. What you might not know is that the second wave of the attack targeted medical personnel trying to treat the wounded and that is not justified.

The Belmont Club has an excellent article with links to a chaplin who was there.

Of the first three factors, the advantage of choosing the weakest point of attack has been a combatant's right from time immemorial. That is a purely military condition. But the enemy ability to exploit the limits of American response and attack medical personnel with public relations impunity are examples of military advantages that arise from political restraints. To the extent the blogosphere can dispel the propaganda cover willingly provided by the Left, people on the home front can help the soldiers in the field. It is necessary to link the war criminal behavior of the enemy with the studied blindness of 'sophisticates' towards their most heinous crimes. They are twinned; with the former made possible by the latter. The Daily Telegraph describes how some European agencies actually refuse to look at mass grave sites to avoid being party to the punishment of war criminals.

Where is the outrage?
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Dutch Muslims - old vs new

The Weekly Standard has some thoughts.

Most of these immigrants are Muslims. Muslim immigrants had begun to scare people long before Pim Fortuyn, the charismatic populist, turned himself into the country's most popular politician in the space of a few weeks in 2002, by arguing that the country was already overloaded with newcomers. (Fortuyn was assassinated by an animal-rights activist in May of that year.) Already in the 1990s, there were reports of American-style shootouts in schools, one involving two Turkish students in the town of Veghel. This past October, newspaper readers were riveted by the running saga of a quiet married couple who had been hounded out of the previously livable Amsterdam neighborhood of Diamantbuurt by gangs of Muslim youths. There were incidents of wild rejoicing across Holland in the wake of the September 11 attacks, notably in the eastern city of Ede. The weekly magazine Contrast took a poll showing that just under half the Muslims in the Netherlands were in "complete sympathy" with the September 11 attacks. At least some wish to turn to terrorism. In the wake of the van Gogh murder, Pakistani, Kurdish, and Moroccan terrorist cells were discovered. The Hague-based "Capital Network," out of which van Gogh's killer Mohammed Bouyeri came, had contact with terrorists who carried out bombings in Casablanca in 2003. Perhaps the most alarming revelation was that an Islamist mole was working as a translator in the AIVD, the national investigative service, and tipping off local radicals to impending operations.

Well worth a read.

Britain is in the same boat.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Iraq - kidnapping or con?

This sure is a puzzling case.

Their Syrian driver, Mohammed al-Jundi, was found in Falluja by US troops, tortured and chained to a wall. Syria is helping the terroritst, so why take him hostage in the first place?

Then there is this.

The men's [French journalists] captors said they were freed because of France's anti-war stance.

Again, then why take them hostage in the first place?

The ransom theory doesn't make sense either. Why take civilians hostage for ransom from a country that is helping your cause?

Doesn't make sense, does it? At least not from a straight forward kidnapping point of view.

This isn't the first puzzling hostage case in Iraq. Take the case of Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun for instance.

Marine 'hostage' charged with desertion

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. Marine who disappeared in Iraq -- and then showed up in a purported hostage video before later appearing as a free man in Lebanon -- has been charged with desertion, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

And then there is the curious "kidnapping" of anti war activist Jo Wilding. I exposed her in this article. The BBC dropped the kidnapping part of the original story when her kidnapping could not be confirmed. Then, after I complained, they dropped her story all together and sent me an apology. But as you can see, by clicking on the link in my original post, the page is still available.

Jo Wilding writes articles for the UK's anti war and anti American newspaper The Guardian.

Here is what she says about the "kidnapping" now.

"Then they took us to the local tribal sheiks for them to decide whether we were going to survive or not. It wasn't like a kidnapping for ransom or for demands; it was them taking us prisoner to see if we were spies.

And she was "released" 24 hours later? To put this in context, look at who she was traveling with.

They weren't really violent with us. I remember the guy who was first in the car with us directing us and asking us where we were from. I wasn't really sure what to say, but I was thinking "God David don't tell them you're American". But Jenny had said she was English and Donna had said she was Australian, both countries having troops over there, and he [one of the captors] said "Allah Akbar", which is like "God is great, you're very welcome", and Jenny said "I think he just said he's got the four most valuable hostages in the world". And Ms Wilding is British.

These Americans, Australians and British citizens were in Falluja, in April 2004, when the coalition made it's first incursion into the city. They were "kidnapped" and released within 24 hours?

Doesn't make sense, does it?

Unless of course you are an anti war activist and a wannabe writer. She portrays the terrorists as freedom fighters quite well don't you think?

She ends with this.

They took us because we were foreigners acting strangely in the middle of their war. They found out what we were doing and let us go. On the way out we were able to open up the checkpoint which meant people were able to get out of Falluja to safety. If that was all we did it would still have been worth it. But still in a quiet moment later on I whisper a thank you to the cheeky angels who look after clowns and ambulance volunteers.

Sounds like a rallying call to other anti war activitsts to me. And there is this odd bit "They found out what we were doing and let us go."

Really? Then why did they murder Margaret Hassan, director of Care International's Iraq operations and "who had lived in Iraq for 30 years, was filmed by her captors asking Tony Blair to pull British troops out of Iraq."

What are we to make of all this?

Well, the Syrian driver, Mohammed al-Jundi, is to sue US for alleged torture in Iraq and Jo Wilding gets to act like a hero and adds fodder to her anti war mill. Which is probably what we will see from the French jounalist sometime soon.

As for Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, a muslim deserter from US forces is good propaganda for the terrorists on it's own.

What is the difference between all of them and Margaret Hassan? Margaret Hassan was murdered for helping ordinary Iraqi people, the others are helping the terrorists.

Lite blogging

Sorry for the lite blogging.

Busy with all the Christmas festivities!

Only 3 more days and the kids are wound up like tops.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Monday, December 20, 2004

Ayman al Zawahiri arrested - rumor

The Corner is reporting this rumor. Let's hope it's true this time but I doubt it.

HEARD A RUMOR [Jim Robbins]

Al Aribiyah TV reports arrests of six al Qaeda operatives in Lahore, Pakistan. Ayman al Zawahiri said to be among them. This isn't the first such rumor about Zawahiri -- it usually turns out to be somebody else.
Posted at 02:28 PM


Way too early to tell but let's hope.

UPDATE:

VOA has more but they don't say it is him.
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Saddam's 'Chemical Ali' speaks

But I bet he didn't expect anyone to hear these tapes.

Anti war types should be required to listen to them.

Gruesome tapes of Saddam Hussein's most feared henchman threatening to cut up his thousands of victims "like cucumbers" have been disclosed as Iraqi war-crimes judges began court proceedings against him yesterday.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam's cousin and the man nicknamed "Chemical Ali" for gassing up to 5,000 Kurds, is also heard vowing to swamp Kurdish villages with clouds of poison for up to 15 days as part of his brutal campaign of suppression in the late 1980s.


And

"As soon as we complete the deportations we will start attacking them everywhere according to a systematic military plan," he says. "I will not attack them with chemicals just one day but I will continue to attack them with chemicals for 15 days."

Al-Majid even criticises his master for being too lenient when he orders that the families of Kurdish resistance leaders should not be harmed. "A message reaches me from that great man, the father [Saddam], saying 'Take good care of the families of the saboteurs…' Take good care of them? No, I will bury them with bulldozers."


What if the UN speaks up?

Until now only a few short but notorious excerpts have been made public, including al-Majid's infamous reaction to a suggestion that he risks censure for using chemical weapons: "Who is going to say anything? The international community? F*** them!"

Indeed.
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Iran - Freedom in Farsi blogs

The Guardian critisizing Iran? Will wonders never cease?

In September 2001, a young Iranian journalist, Hossein Derakhshan, devised and set up one of the first weblogs in his native language of Farsi. In response to a request from a reader, he created a simple how-to-blog guide in Farsi, thereby setting in motion a community's surreal flight into free speech; online commentaries that the leading Iranian author and blogger, Abbas Maroufi, calls our "messages in bottles, cast to the winds".

With an estimated 75,000 blogs, Farsi is now the fourth most popular language for keeping online journals. A phenomenal figure given that in neighbouring countries such as Iraq there are less than 50 known bloggers.

The internet has opened a new virtual space for free speech in a country dubbed the "the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East", by Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF). Through the anonymity and freedom that weblogs can provide, those who once lacked voices are at last speaking up and discussing issues that have never been aired in any other media in the Islamic world. Where else in Iran could someone dare write, as the blogger Faryadehmah did, "when these mullahs are dethroned ... it will be like the Berlin wall coming down ..."?

In the last five years up to 100 media publications, including 41 daily newspapers, have been closed by Iran's hardline judiciary. Yet today, with tens of thousands of Iranian weblogs there is an alternative media that for the moment defies control and supervision of speech by authoritarian rule. Even though the subject matter of many weblogs may seem tame by universal standards, most surpass the limitations imposed by state censorship. There is an endless variety of bloggers who are fans of everything from
Harry Potter to Marilyn Manson.


You would think with that many blogs, The Guardian could have come up with some better examples. On the other hand the mad mullahs probably read the Guardian.
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Michael Moore flip flops

Tim Blair on "Moore" lies.

First it was about the election and then it wasn't. Go figure.
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Iraq - Good News Part 17

Chrenkoff's Good News Iraq - Part 17 is up!

This might be his longest one yet, but well worth the read. Everything good happening in Iraq that legacy media don't want you to know about.
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Brain Bliss