Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Muslim leader speaks out

Well there you have it. A muslim leader, sorry I didn't catch his name but is was Shiek somebody, speaking on Sky news at 12:40 pm this afternoon, talking about the letters and leaflets to be passed out to mosques in the UK.

When asked if he thought the mosques here in the UK are doing enough help fight terrorism, he replied "most definately".

Well I have yet to hear public denunciations against Al-Qaeda, bin Laden and Islamic terrorist and untill I do as far as I am concerned the Muslim community as whole has a lot to answer for.

He went on the explain how Islam means peace and it is their duty to report crimes and terrorist. But he doesn't stop there; oh no. He went on to blame terrorism and the threat to the UK on the UK's policies towards the middle east. He specifically mentioned the two gulf wars.

Oh really? I seem to recall the first gulf war was to kick Sadam out of Kuwait after he murdered and raped thousands of Muslims. As for the second gulf war, weren't the people he murdered, tourtured, and raped Muslims? And Mr Shiek what about the Balkans? Didn't NATO, including Britain, save 1.8 million Muslims from genocide?

We need to get this fact ingrained into the publics brain, the terrorist attacks will come no matter what our policies are. The goal of the Islamic terrorist is to turn every country into a fundamentalist Islamic state and take us back to the stone age.

I keep yelling at the TV presenter, go on, ask him some hard questions. Denounce Al-Qaeda or bin Laden - SOMETHING!

People like this guy make me sick. The people of this country and world better wake up to what is going on here.
Muslims urged to prevent terror from SCBBC ("so-called BBC).

British Muslims are being urged by community leaders to help safeguard the UK from a terrorist attack.
The Muslim Council of Britain has taken the unprecedented step of sending letters of appeal to every mosque in the country.

Hundreds of thousands of special booklets are also being printed advising Muslims to be vigilant, in light of recent threats.

Letters and booklets? The bad guys are using bombs damn it!

The move comes following the Madrid bombing which killed 191 people.

Oh, so 3000 people in New York wasn't enough! Or was it because it was in America. Or are you guys starting to feel some heat? You better feel it and quick.

Mainstream Muslim leaders fear fringe elements are using political struggles to mislead young people.

Gee, you think so uh? They don't "fear" it - they no damn well what is going on.

Not good enough; not by a long shot!

Folks, there is a comment section at the end of the article. I urge you to make your thoughts known and while at it I gave them my thoughts on their anti-US rants.
Terror and Tolerance from Little Green Footballs. Hat Tip to danS, one of my regular commentors.

The morning of Jan. 29, upon hearing about the attack on a bus in Jerusalem, I did not experience the expected emotion. It seemed such a “normal” thing, and I have not enough tears to shed for people I do not know.

The next day, on Jan. 30, I read an article about one of the victims — Avraham Belhassen, 26 years old, a young father — and realized that I could tolerate no more. I can no longer tolerate terrorist folly, Islamist hatred, the passivity of Muslims, the blindness of the West. (my empahsis)

For me the time for political correctness is over. If they Muslim community and it's leaders will not go on national TV, Radio and the press and denounce al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorists then they deserve to be considered as one. Silence is the sames as approval.

When 9/11 happened, I turned to my wife (I am American and she is Scottish - neither Muslim) and said, "the world as you know it just ended. Everyone will be PC and go out of their way to say this is not a war between the West and Muslims. It would be so tragic and sad if that happened. But I fear that is just what this will be all about."

Maybe, as someone said in an earlier article, their religion is being hijacked by radicals. If that is the case it is up to them to get it back and I see almost no attempts in that direction.
Is the BBC really that dumb?

I was watching the 10 o'clock BBC news last night. Hold on, hold on, I'm not a traitor. You have to know your enemy. Anyway, the newsreader was talking about the terrorist suspects arrested yesterday. At the end of the piece she notes that while the suspects are of Asian decent they were all born right here in the UK. She ponders how could this be; how could we possibly have "home grown terrorist" (my words)?

I almost fell out of my chair. Hello. McFly (thumping her on the forehead). Have you not heard of "Hamza the Hook" or Fintry Mosque (I believe that is the correct spelling)? He is still preaching his hate of the west, including the UK, to all who will listen.

While on the subject of the arrests. The article went to great lengths to point out that this was a huge operation involving over 700 officers operating in many cities. The newsreader looked almost pained when she pointed out over and over again at how much local Muslim leaders were consulted during the raids. To reassure them this was not an attack on Muslims.

Flash. Here is a suggestion for you. How about having some prominent Muslim leaders go on the newshows, chat shows and the like and reasure us that they are not attacking us? How about renouncing al-Qaeda and Islamic fundamenatlist terrorist on TV, Radio and in the newspapers. I'll say it over and over, the silence is deafening!
The So-called BBC from The American Thinker. Hat Tip to Natalie over at Biased BBC

By now, the reader should be wondering why I insist on using the term “so-called” - in relation to the BBC.

This is in order to highlight just how powerful semantics are, and how they convey a negative or positive implication in the word or phrase to which they are associated. I haven’t had to come out and say: “I don’t like the BBC”. Using semantics, I can convey to the reader – without having to spell it out – that there is something fishy about the so-called BBC.

They do it all the time and prominent targets of this semantic treatment are President Bush, the war on terror, and the Iraq war.

A frequent example is the so-called BBC’s: “so called war on terrorism”. It keeps coming up again and again on their online, radio and TV news output.

Isn’t there a war on terror going on right now?

If you go to the front page of The American Thinker you will find several other good articles on the BBC. Seems they don't like John Simpson much and with good reason.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

New evidence of Egyptian nuke program
Inspectors confirm suspicions of secret trade between Cairo, Tripoli - from
World Net Daily.

Is there anybody on this planet that doesn't have a Nuclear program?
Ottawa Muslims held in global terror sweep from - Ottawa Citizen

A handful of Ottawa Muslims were being questioned last night in what authorities described as an international terror probe that saw heavily-armed Mounties storm the home of one of the city's most prominent Muslims.

The phrase "global terror sweep" caught my attention. Wonder what that is all about? And does this mean Canada is finally getting it's act together?
And What about Iran? From Jihad Watch

While the "News Cycle" focuses its attention on a mid-level functionary's startling revelation that, had only everyone listened to him, this whole terror thing could have been averted (that is, had they listened then to what he's saying now, not to what he said before… oh well, never mind), let us avert our eyes from the posturing and finger-pointing for a moment and consider what to do about the next threat: a nuclear-armed Iran.

Ever feel like the little Dutch boy trying to plug all the leaks? Now, what was that about North Korea?

The Marmot's Hole has you covered.
The Voice of Youthful Idealism from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Hat Tip to Inoperable Tehran

Misha explains EUrope to someone who doesn't understand.

Not for the faint hearted! But wow!
Wow! Folks, I am humbled and blown away by a recent visit. Blogging can be a lonely pursuit but for me it's therapy. At least I feel I'm hitting back at the biased media and not just yelling at the TV or radio. And yet you do want some feedback so you feel like you are possibly making some impression.

Well today Chris Muir of Day by Day paid a visit and left a comment. Just a thank you for plugging his site. Heck all I said was put a little humor in your day and visit Day by Day.

If you haven't visited his site I urge you to do so. Great wit with a host of funny characters. I could see some kind of TV show with these characters.

If you like what you see and want it in your local paper, you can help Chris get syndicated. Instructions are on his website.

Good luck Chris and thanks for the visit!
One day, Germany will have had enough
By Mark Steyn in The Telegraph. Hat Tip to Inoperable Tehran

Great article about Germany getting nervous about America's plans to pull maybe as many as 50% of their troops out of Germany.

He goes on to expand on many issues involving US "allies".

America's main "overstretch" lies not in Afghanistan or the Horn of Africa, but in its historically unprecedented generosity to its wealthiest allies. "The US picks up the defence tab for Europe, Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, among others," I wrote. "If Bush wins a second term, the boys will be coming home from South Korea and Germany, and maybe Japan, too."

Well, the second term is not quite here. But America has already quit Saudi Arabia, and plans for South Korea and Germany are well advanced. When scholars come to write the final chapter in the history of the European continent, the six-decade US security guarantee will be seen as, on the whole, a mistake. Not for America, but the Continentals.

I live in Scotland near a former US base. The base closed in 1997 and the meltdown began almost immediately.

There are 3 nearby towns; all within about a 5 mile radius. One of those towns has only two remaining "factories" (each employs less than 30 people) and is now a virtual ghost town. The largest town lost two major factories (employing over 100 each) and the largest factory cut its' staff by 700. The result to local economy is devastating.

So, to those countries that want America to "go home" - be careful what you whish for, you may just get it.
Great read!
Iraq is free at last from, you are not going to believe this, The Guardian! Hat Tip to Harry's Place

by Ann Clwyd MP

Some will continue to argue that internal repression is not a matter of legitimate concern for other countries. I disagree. There are basic human rights that must be defended. The strict adherence to state sovereignty as the defining factor in international law, far from being a guard against acts of aggression, has become a barrier that allows oppression to continue unchecked by the international community. Who would now say that it was correct not to intervene in Rwanda?

For seven years, Indict, the organisation I chaired, collected detailed witness statements on Iraqi war crimes. Our QC, Clare Montgomery, was firmly of the opinion that we could have indicted the leading members of the regime in a European court of law. Indeed, we were advised that short of getting Saddam to sign a confession in his own blood, we had all the evidence we needed.

We tried to get indictments in Norway, Spain, Belgium and the UK. When the then attorney general referred the case against Tariq Aziz to Scotland Yard, I accused him of kicking the issue into the long grass. The indictment was not taken seriously. But Slobodan Milosevic was indicted while head of state by the UN war crimes tribunal. Why did the UN fail to do the same in the case of Iraq? My understanding is that the US and Britain were blocked at the security council by China, Russia and France.

Great article - read the whole thing.
Spain arrests three more suspects over Madrid blasts from

Spanish police have arrested three more people, including two Syrians, in connection with the March 11 Madrid train bombings, Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes revealed.

Syria again!

Side note on Yee and Halabi. Remember this from CNN just over one year ago.

FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky (AP) -- When Sgt. Asan Akbar was taken into custody on suspicion of killing a fellow serviceman with a grenade, an Army spokesman said he may have acted out of resentment. But where such bitterness may have come from remains a mystery.

The deadly attack at a Kuwait base also wounded 15 other soldiers Sunday, three seriously.

The attack happened in the command center of the 101st Division's 1st Brigade at Camp Pennsylvania at 1:30 a.m. Sunday (5:30 p.m. EST Saturday).

One grenade went off in the command tent, Blumenfeld said. The tent, the tactical operations center, runs 24 hours a day and would always be staffed by officers and senior enlisted personnel.

Names of the wounded were not released. But a newspaper photo of the 1st Brigade's commander, Col. Frederick Hodges, showed him with blood on his uniform and his arm in a sling.

He tried to kill the commanders. Maybe the military has some reasons to be a little on guard.
'He is not guilty and he is not innocent' - from The Guardian Spin Machine

When Guant¡namo chaplain Captain James Yee was arrested allegedly with secret documents about the prison, he was threatened with execution and branded a traitor. So why after 200 days in jail was he only charged with adultery and quietly released? Oliver Burkeman on a strange and troubling tale from the new American era of homeland security (my emphasis)

In order to pick apart articles in the Guardian spin machine you have to write and article 5 times as long as the original. But here goes a stab (pun intended) at it.

There is no 'allegedly' about it - he had classified documents with him, it is just the charges were dropped in a plea bargain deal.

Every American service member knows the punishment for espionage. But when was the last soldier executed? 1961 - for rape and attempted murder.

And he was not just charged with adultery, he was also charged and convicted of downloading porn as well. Don't forget he is suppose to be a Muslim.

Quietly released? Implies the military was embarrassedd and wanted it to go away 'quietly'. Anyway, how do you noisily release someone'?

Captain James Yee became a prime target in the war against terror one morning last September

Oh please.

Yee was up to no good, and may have been plotting a jailbreak of barely comprehensible audacity.

Are you laughing yet?

Now the Guant¡namo chaplain seemed to have confirmed the worst anti-Islamic prejudices, and imperilled his country at the same time.

Fanning the flames aren't they?

Pentagon lawyers threatened the death penalty, which was unsurprising, because Yee's case was deeply alarming. It still is, but for different reasons.

Remember the UK is overwhelming opposed to the death penalty. Flames are getting higher.

President Bush's war was not Yee's first

Look how it is "Bush's war". Attacks are happening all over the world; the UN has just apponinted a new terrorst czar and the EU has done the same.

He was raised a Lutheran, but had drawn close to Islam, and after the conflict he left the army to study the Koran in Damascus for four years.

Damascus - that would be in Syria right. There's that word again - Syria.

From paragraph 2 of the article we get this

The military has offered no evidence for its allegations that he was a spy or a traitor

But in paragraph 7 we get this

In the middle of trial preparations, military prosecutors accidentally delivered some of them to the home of Eugene Fidell, Yee's defence lawyer.

It goes on and on so I won't. The US is still trying to find out if there is a connection to Yee and Senior Airman Ahmad al-Halabi (earlier post). When Halabi was arrested he was on his way to - wait for it - Syria!

Who knows what really went on here but the Guardian just used this case to bash Bush and fan anti-American sentiment. Read the article as an ordianary citizen here in the UK would without going to other sources and look at the picture of America you get.

Disgusting and biased. Shame on the Guardian. Keep your eyes out for Syria.
Terror suspects held in raids - from The BBC

Eight British men suspected of being involved in terrorist activity have been arrested in a series of raids across the south of England.
More than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertiliser was also seized from a self storage unit in west London.

This is a breaking story and too soon to tell what is really going on here. But look at this tidbit at the end of the story.

Tuesday's operation is the latest in a series of raids carried out by anti-terror police, most of which resulted in suspects being released without charge.

and then the very next paragraph

Some raids have led to prosecutions which are waiting to go to trial. No further details can be given for legal reasons.

Most and some, released and prosecutions. The article was posted at 11:28 UK time so I guess the writer was in a hurry to get to that G&T at lunch time. No time to be accurate or thorough.

Or, is it more subtle than that. Looks like the Beeb maybe pouring cold water on Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir John Stevens. Remember his recent comments that an attack was inevitable? here
Put a little humor in your day and visit Day by Day
Syrian on multiple Madrid charges - from CNN

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Syrian man has been charged with 190 counts of murder and nearly 1,500 counts of attempted murder in the Madrid train bombings. (my emphasis)

Have you noticed how often Syria keeps comming up in these posts? Maybe it is time for Colin Powell to visit them again for a wee chat.

Monday, March 29, 2004

For Sloppy Reporting, See Page One

Page one of today's Guardian is dominated by a story headed:
Muslims: we are the new victims of stop and search

More on the Guardian's shoddy reporting from Scott Burgess over at The Daily Ablution.
Last rites for the Bush doctrine - from The Guardian Spin Machine.

Check out some of this garbage.

The ruling conservative Popular party and the Bush administration instantly staked the Spanish election on the presumed identity of the terrorists.

Never did and never have read anything like that about the Bush admin. They kept saying all along that it was too early to tell. So lie number one.

Within hours of the attack, George Bush and his secretary of state Colin Powell helpfully pointed their fingers at Eta.

No source and no link. Lie number two.

On the eve of the Spanish election, Bush's first wave of campaign spots on television - featuring a flag-draped coffin at Ground Zero - had failed. By more than a two-to-one majority, voters felt the ad was inappropriate and it was hastily withdrawn.

Clever little git isn't he? Trying to tie one with the other. The ads had been made and the release planned long before the election.

Voters? What voters? He's trying to make it sound like the electorate voted them down. If it was a poll why not say so and link to it?

Featuring the coffin? It was probably about a tenth of second. And it was a hit - it was not withdrawn. Again, no sources and no links. What are we up to now - 5 lies now.

I won't go on, it is just too long and filled with false information in just about every sentence. Complete and utter garbage.

Here is the really sad part. This article is number 9 on the Top 12 articles most viewed on their website with almost 12,000 views.

Again, this is why people have a negative view of Bush and the US. I wonder if the Guardian's editor even checks these stories for accuracy.
Iraq's oil for food program scandal.

I've pulled together just a few links on the topic. Do a Google search on "oil for food scandal" and select news articles from the top of the list and you will find 109 articles.

The US was blamed for killing 10's of thousands of Iraqi babies due to the sanctions. We now know what really happened. Sadam stole the money and he had help.

This will be a growing scandal and is already being called Koffigate. Many people and countries are involved and the center of gravity might just be at the UN itself. No wonder they did not want the war. They were going to lose the biggest cash cow in history. And how many innocent people died as a result? So why do we not hear more on this from the BBC or maybe even the Guardian. Are you listening Galloway? Why not a few headlines that read "US wrongly accused over sanctions"? Do a Google search on that and you will get zero. (you get 4 unrelated hits)

This is how the rest of the world has been turned against the US. Sure the US makes its' share of mistakes but how about correcting the record when they are wrongly accused. And make the correction as big and bold as the accusations.
Kuan Yew: Moderate Muslims need to make stand on terror - from The Star.

He explained it thus: “I am saying that moderates in the Muslim world, by not being able to take a stand and take the lead and start the argument with the extremists in the mosques, in the madrasah, they are ducking the issue and allowing the extremists to hijack, not just Islam, but the whole of the Muslim community.”

As for whether Lee thought the war against terror could widen the gulf between Islam and the West, he acknowledged there was that danger.

However, it was not necessarily inevitable – provided the Muslim moderates take a stand, he added.
(my emphasis)

I've said it before, the silence deafening. If this war on terror is going to be won then the Imams, Mullahs and leaders of Muslim countries had better "hijack" their religion back. All over the world they are letting their hate of the west be taught in their Mosques, in text books and in schools.

'We're at Your Service,' Hizbollah Tells Hamas from

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told Hamas's new leader on Saturday to consider the Lebanese guerrilla group under his command following the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin this week.

and Syria occupies Lebanon
Fire cuts off 130,000 phone lines - from BBC.

Emergency services have been affected, and police say it is a major incident.

Fire crews had to climb down 30 metres and then crawl 150 metres to get to the fire.

BT says it does not yet know how the fire started in the early hours of Monday or how long the problems will take to fix.

Telephone lines have also been affected outside Manchester, with problems with Cheshire's 999 service.

Phone lines are also down in Merseyside, Lancashire and north Derbyshire.

Greater Manchester Ambulance Service said it had been put under "extreme pressure" after the blaze damaged its radio network.

A horrible thought, but how hard would it be for terrorist to plant a few strategic bombs in telephone exchanges around London (insert city of choice) and have a Madrid style attack? Or, blow up Grangemouth. Remember the petrol shortages during the strike. I've said it before, you don't have to have a 9/11.
The Secret Pictures of Senior Airman Ahmad al Halabi

From Jihad Watch.

Daniel Pipes reveals some extraordinary information about Guantanamo interpreter and US Air Force Senior Airman Ahmad al Halabi at FrontPage:

Halabi, a 25-year-old translator of Syrian origins, says he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen after joining the Air Force in January 2000, though this is a disputed matter. He spent nine months working as an Arabic language interpreter in Guantánamo and was arrested on July 23, 2003, at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, on his way to his own wedding ceremony in Syria. When apprehended, he had 186 unauthorized classified documents on on his laptop computer.

There's the Syria connection again.
Taliban Leader Omar Wounded in U.S. Bombing Raid, DPA Reports


Al-Qaeda spy chief killed, number 10 hurt in Pakistani siege: military

From AFP News

Pakistan hunting al Qaeda band in border mountains

From Reuters

I hope it is all true. Ok. Now go get these guys

Powell: Madrassas breeding grounds of terrorists

From Jihad Watch
Osama bin Laden captured?

From Northeast Intelligence Network.

I don't want to post something that might be entirely speculative but this would just be sooooo good if true.

(scroll down to this 28 March 2004 Who's in Control of Qaeda-al-Jihad? )

A HVT (High Value Target) of al Qaeda was scooped by special forces and removed from Iran. The sources would not identify the "target," but refused to deny that it was bin Laden. We were advised that other al Qaeda captures have been and would continue to take place, many from new information obtained from recently captured al Qaeda sources. Subsequently, a total of 5 independent sources were acquired who corroborated the information that Osama bin Laden was captured by US SOF on or about 20 January 2004 inside of the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US SOF forces operating in that Aera of Operations (AO) is known as Task Force 121, or TF-121. On December 13, 2003 this same US Special Operations Forces unit captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Why not announce the capture? Maybe some political, military, or intelligence reasons? Surely the terrorist "chatter" would give this one away. Interesting article anyway.
Arab Summit Collapses Amid Differences



In preliminary talks by Arab foreign ministers, Syria sought to block proposals for political reform and for endorsing Libya's move to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs, Arab diplomats said.

Syria also wanted to block a summit declaration advancing the 2002 Saudi initiative, they said.

"The Syrians acted as if they want to turn the tables on the whole summit," one Arab diplomat said on condition he not be named.

Syria is feeling the heat. Iran should to.
I had just posted the article from the Guardian on the BBC's WMD probe when I found Ed had already posted it over at Talking Hoarse. Maybe the BBC will get the message we are watching them and will hold them accountable.
Top BBC staff threaten to walk out over WMD probe

Marr, Paxman and Humphrys said to be concerned at corporation's 'Guantanamo'

From the Guardian.

Another senior member of BBC staff said that 'screens would go blank' if further attacks were made on respected staff for their part in Gilligan's original report and the subsequent battle between the BBC and Downing Street over its veracity (my emphasis)

Best idea they've had yet! It really riles me that we have listen to their lies and pay for the privilege.

Is Syria getting ready to "pull a Libya"?

From Tigerhawk.

'Report: Syria asks Australia's aid repairing ties with U.S.' - headline, Haaretz.
No room for manoeuvre in Iraq

more garbage from The BBC by Tim Franks

This guy is moaning about not being able to jog in Baghdad! That's right, jog. Not a typo for blog.

A year ago, Iraq was in the middle of a war, which, it was hoped, would bring the Iraqi people new freedom.

Iraqis are certainly enjoying freedom of expression, but freedom of movement is quite another matter.

Wonder how those pesky insurgents manage to do it with all those weapons.

This year, at the Olympics in Athens, Shihab is hoping to compete in the marathon. But training now is tough

It was sooo much easier under Sadam's brutal son. Just ask the soccer team.

The guy goes on to try and make the case that since the coalition has failed to make jogging in Baghdad safe the coalition has failed in Iraq. Total internet bit pollution.


Rantingprofs has some good points on the al-Qeada Heathrow plot.

One of the first posts I ever put up, back when I was still on blogspot, was a reminder of something very few people to this day are even aware of -- on September 11, 2001 al Queda had a hijack team in place at Heathrow to attack the British Parliment, but when the Brits grounded all their planes the team was stranded. How was that attack about Blair supporting Bush's response to September 11th?

Sunday, March 28, 2004

No sooner had a posted the article about Blunkett playing down the terror threat here in the UK, when my Sunday Times newspaper arrived. There are four stories on the front page. The lead article at the top is about Charles Kennedy's drinking problem. Give me a break! The next three articles pertain to al-Qaeda (one indirectly). Here are the three important articles.

Note: you may have to register to read The Times online. Sorry, but it is free and well worth it. Or you can buy the paper.

Al-Qaeda leader says: Heathrow our target

The article is about al-Qaeda's operations chief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and his interrogation. While a little dated I don't think we are any less of a target now.

PM told dirty bomb defence ‘catastrophic’


If an attack is "inevitable" we are not prepared.

Memo traps migrant row minister


THE immigration minister Beverley Hughes personally authorised a policy to allow tens of thousands of migrants into Britain without adequate checks, according to a leaked Home Office document.

Yes yes, people, the Titanic is still boarding. Ice in my wiskey? Well, yes I will, thanks.
Blunkett plays down terror threat

From the BBC Website.

Home Secretary David Blunkett has rejected suggestions that an attack in Britain by al-Qaeda is "inevitable".

I'm sure we all hope he is right but I feel that one day, unless the world gets better at fighting terrorism, it is "inevitable". I think the only reason we have not been "hit" yet is because the UK is one of their better bases. The benefits are good and fraud is even better. Even if you are outed as a terrorist, ala Hamza the Hook, they can't even deport you.

For me the problem doesn't lie with al-Qaeda the organization as much as al-Qaeda the movement. I keep reading how they have morphed into autonomous, regional cells, making their own decisions locally. All we need is for some al-Qaeda wanabe group to learn from others as in Spain. As Darth Vader so aptly put it "all too easy". Substitute Osama or your favorite terrorist for Vader.

There are lots of lessons to be learned from the Spain bombings. One that stands out for me is, you don't need a 9/11 when a 3/11 will do nicely. Why? Because 9/11 galvanized a nation while 3/11 changed a government and that is, after all, al-Qaeda's only goal. On 3/11 terrorist all around the world had a "eureka" moment - so, that's how you do it. No need to kill thousands and become hated by the west.

UK elections are due in about one years time. Now is not the time to quibble over words Mr. Blunkett. Believe it or not but I am an optimist. However, in this case, my money is on Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens.
All eyes on Ireland's smoking ban

From The BBC Website.

Ireland becomes the first country in Europe to ban smoking in public places on Monday.

Fantastic! I hope Scotland will do the same as soon as possible. I don't smoke but I don't mind if other people do. I just hate having to smoke their tobacco.
Another pair of eyes to keep watch on the BBC can be found over at Talking Hoarse. If you know of any other "eyes" on the BBC let me know and I'll add a link.

Ed, I put your link under the main blog roll. Let me know if you would rather have it under the BBC Unspun section.


Saturday, March 27, 2004

Muslim culture has contributed little for centuries, says Carey
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 26/03/2004)

From The Telegraph.

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, launched a trenchant attack on Islamic culture last night, saying it was authoritarian, inflexible and under-achieving.

In a speech that will upset sensitive relations between the faiths, he denounced moderate Muslims for failing unequivocally to condemn the "evil" of suicide bombers.

He attacked the "glaring absence" of democracy in Muslim countries, suggested that they had contributed little of major significance to world culture for centuries and criticised the Islamic faith.

The silence from the Muslim community on terrorism is deafening...
UN counter-terror chief to play "bigger role" against global terrorism
Times of India:

The UN Security Council has created a new post for director of its counter-terrorism committee as the United Nations tries to take a bigger role in the global fight against terror.
“The United Nations cannot remain passive, cannot play a secondary role in such a big threat as terrorism,” said Spanish ambassador Inocencio Arias, who heads the committee.

From The Command Post.

Funny how you can see Spain from the UN but not ground zero.

So, the EU is creating a Terrorist czar and the UN is creating a director and the terrorist are creating - well terror!
'I met Osama Bin Laden'

Osama Bin Laden's journey from moderate Islamic youth to ruthless leader of world jihad has been traced in a BBC Two programme that uses only the testimony of people who have actually met the al-Qaeda figurehead.

So goes the introduction to a BBC Two programe on the BBC Website.

From this little nugget you can already tell it will be a whitewash.

He was happy to learn English - according to his teacher - but unlike many of his half-siblings who were educated abroad and embraced a Western lifestyle, he did not.

Instead Osama stayed in Jeddah where he went to university, to study economics, and first encountered radical Islamic thinkers.

Excuse me? I seem to remember him studying somewhat in Beirut (terrorist tactics possibly) and having a fine old western style life. Seems others do as well.

From World Net Daily

In his youth, bin Laden frequented flashy nightclubs, casinos and bars in Beirut and was known as a drinker and a womanizer who frequently ended up in bar brawls.

and here and here

I Met Osama Bin Laden will be shown in the UK on BBC TWO, Sunday 28 March at 2000BST

I'll try and catch it but Sunday is my day at the pub.
Coalition 'misanalysed' Iraq mood

Reads the headline on the BBC Website

Sir Jeremy told the BBC's correspondent in Baghdad, Caroline Hawley: "We misanalysed at the beginning, both before and during the conflict."

But here is the quote in it's entireity from the transcript:

Q: Looking back over the past year, what do you believe the coalition's biggest mistakes have been in Iraq?

Everybody's always asking me that and then they just dwell on the mistakes. We misanalysed at the beginning, both before and during the conflict.

The conflict was over very quickly and some of the remnants of the army were left to do a certain amount of damage. But I think that the good decisions have been much more numerous than the bad ones.

Now you see why the BBC used only part of the quote. We are constantly subjected to this nonsense. The average person just does not have the time to find out the whole truth. Shame on the BBC.

Another thing, notice the Transcript webpage is titiled "UK envoy ponders Iraq's future" and the News webpage is titled "Coalition 'misanalysed' Iraq mood". Both are published within 30 mins of each other. The "UK envoy ponders Iraq's future" webpage came first at 1313 gmt and the second page at 1401 gmt. Why two pages? Why create a second page to highlight only the negative? Why? Why?
What is wrong with this picture? Check out this article by Tony Karon ( ) writing, after the Madrid bombings, about the growing Al Qaeda threat.

Where next? Italy, France, Australia, Japan and others are tightening up security procedures; the New York City Police Department, mindful of the vulnerability of the city's mass transit system, has sent experts to Madrid to study the mechanics of the train bombings that killed more than 200 commuters there.

“Where next” should have been asked after the embassy bombings, the USS Cole, the Bali bombing, Turkey bombings and many others. Why did they need another reminder like Madrid? There is no "where next" – it is everywhere next!

"Attack on London is Inevitable," screamed one British headline on Wednesday, quoting British security officials.

Replace London with any capital or major city you want

How then to reconcile the apparent contradiction of bin Laden and his lieutenants being on the ropes in western Pakistan, while the deadly shadow cast over the West by his movement grows longer? The answer lies in the nature of al-Qaeda itself, and how it has evolved in response to the U.S. war on terror.

Yes, that’s right blame the US. Maybe if the rest of the world helped more, quicker and in concert with the US they would not be able to evolve.

Last week, CIA director George Tenet told the Senate that al-Qaeda has morphed into a loose and expanding association of regional terror cells linked less by chains of command and communication than by a common vision of jihad against the U.S.

See, blame the US again. You see, Al Qaeda’s tactic is an old military one – divide and conquer. Get the rest of the world against your most powerful enemy – the US. Remember, Al Qaeda’s goal (you did know they had one – right?) is to turn every country into an Islamic fundamentalist state. So the common vision is jihad against the entire western world not just the US.

When terror outrages from Madrid and Casablanca, through Istanbul and Baghdad, to Bali and Jakarta, are described as the work of "al-Qaeda," the name describes a broad franchise of terrorist jihad against the U.S. and its allies adopted by scores of local Islamist groups

The US and its allies to blame again. What about the recent threats to France and to Germany’s president during his recent travels? Or, are they are allies again?

Diverse groups, some of them launched by veterans of the Afghan camps, others entirely local may be bound together less by organizational loyalty to bin Laden than by a commitment to the ideas he personifies — global jihad against the U.S. and its allies.

Anybody keeping count how many times it is the US who is to blame? It is global jihad against the western world! Mr Karon, have you ever read any of Bin Laden’s or Al Qaeda’s statements?

Even such establishment voices as London's prestigious International Institute of Strategic Studies, which supported the Iraq war and hosted President Bush's during his recent state visit to Britain, concludes that the hostility sparked by the Iraq war has substantially increased the growth potential for jihadi terror groups. Rather than isolating the jihadis in Arab public opinion and starving them of support, the effect of the war has been to move their view of the U.S. closer to the mainstream.

Really? Then why do over 70 percent of the Iraqi people in a recent ABC poll feel better off today the before the war? Why are we seeing anti-government protests in Syria and Iran? Something that was unheard of before. Why is Libya getting rid of it’s weapons of mass destruction and renouncing Al Qaeda? Why was a recent hardline Islamic government voted out in favor of a more moderate one?

Now that al-Qaeda and its supporters are directly attacking Europe's cities rather than simply using them as staging areas, European leaders are looking to ramp up their own efforts to fight terror.

Great, just great! Three years too late! What about 9/11 did they not understand? So 9/11 wasn’t good enough for them; they had to have their own 9/11 in Madrid. “Ramp up their own efforts” – yeah, so long as it was perceived as a US problem no need for Europe to do anything.

But as the Spanish election result shows, this may put them more sharply at odds with the Bush administration. That's because there's a widely held belief among the Europeans that while police and intelligence cooperation across the Atlantic (and across the Mediterranean, with Arab security services) has been highly effective in eliminating al-Qaeda cells, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has been not only ineffective, but actually counterproductive in the fight against terrorism.

Ok, so now he has the Europeans as well as Al Qaeda blaming the US. Nice one Mr. Karon. Terrorism would have continued to grow and spread without the Iraq war. Remember the Islamic fundamentalist goal – destroy western civilization and return to the Stone Age. Every time I see or hear this lame excuse that the Iraq war is to blame for increasing terrorism I want to scream – 9/11 happened before the war! Wake up people! And, if, as you just said, the European leaders are looking to ramp up their own efforts to fight terror, how would they know what is productive or counterproductive?

"Terrorism is now more powerful than ever before," he says. And most European leaders believe the al-Qaeda phenomenon will not be defeated until the anti-U.S. grievances in the Arab world on which it feeds have been addressed.

Which grievances would that be Mr Karon? The return of “all” Islamic lands? They claim many countries. The creation of Islamic fundamentalist governments around the world? The return to the Stone Age? No women’s rights?

And March 11 in Madrid has given the Europeans a greater claim to a leading role in defining the West's response to terrorism

Why did it take March 11 to get the Europeans motivated? They have set back for 3 years and let the terrorist operate from their soil. Spain was the last meeting place of the 9/11 terrorist. Hamburg, Germany played a key role in the attack. Britain has long been a safe base for them. The Madrid terrorist phoned Britain many times just days before the bombings. France has recently arrested many terrorist suspects.

So, Mr Karon, in answer to “Why the Qaeda Threat Is Growing” is because we let it! We play the blame game, bury our heads in the sand and hope it won’t happen in my neighborhood. Because writers like you join the blame America gravy train to make a few dollars. Shame on you and the people who write like you.

Friday, March 26, 2004

FBI Tracked Kerry, But Failed to Stop Him - from Scrappleface

(2004-03-23) -- Questions about the reliability of U.S. intelligence services grew today as documents revealed that the FBI tracked Democrat presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry as early as 1971, but did nothing to stop him.

"This looks like another tragic intelligence failure," said an unnamed aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. "FBI agents knew Kerry was in the country and they even attended his anti-war speeches, but apparently their reports never reached the highest levels of the agency. He was literally within our grasp and we let him slip through."

The aide blamed the failure on the Nixon administration, which he said was too distracted by the war in Vietnam to devote full attention to homeland security.

"If John Kerry is elected president of the United States," he said, "Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves."

Here is a good suggestion from Rex Hammond on what Mr Clarke can do with his apology to the 911 victims families.

Okay, Mr. Clarke. The government that failed those families has now dedicated billions of dollars and hundreds of lives of its courageous military to stamp out those who threaten our shores. In all theaters of battle, young American soldiers and sailors have printed the the words, "We shall never forget" on weapons, vehicles and military aircraft in honor of those who died on 9/11.

Mr. Clarke, what similar level of resitution have you displayed for your failure other than an attempt to cash in on that tragedy with your book promotion? And now, on the graves of those victims, you grandstand an apology to promote its marketing efforts.

So therefore, Mr. Clarke, I suggest you do this: Announce today that ALL PROCEEDS of the book (not just a portion of the profits, but ALL PROCEEDS) will go to one of the funds that have been set up for the families of the victims...or another specific charity that will help give meaning to your disingenous apology.
This is the kind of biased reporting we are subjected to here in the UK everyday. People wonder why Europeans have a bad image of the US. Here is some of the garbage people are fed over here - from the Evening Standard

9/11 evidence rocks Bush - goes the headline. "Rocks Bush"? They had Clarkes book and new he was going to testify. Just a sensational headline but gives the impression Bush was unprepared for what came out at the hearings. Bull!

Referring to National Security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, the article says
"After refusing to give evidence to the hearings, she now faces growing pressure to explain her conduct in public."

Which is completely and utterly false! She did appear - in private - as did President Clinton and others.

And then there is this little tid bit

" In a further attempt to discredit Mr Clarke, White House officials also revealed that he had praised Mr Bush for his prompt reaction to the threat from terrorism in a background briefing for reporters two years ago."

There is alot more evidence discrediting Mr Clarke than this little morsel.

Mr Clarke is doing a fine job of discrediting himself. He is on record saying exactly the opposite of everything he said in his book and testimony.

and this

"They are hinting that Mr Clarke is making his sensational claims to boost sales of his book and is also hoping for a top job under Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry if he wins the election. "

They are not hinting they are yelling it and so all of us. It is irresponsible for a news organization to put this garbage out and not give some details on Mr Clarke. Such as his relationship with the Kerry campaign, his job record under Clinton (Embassy bombings, USS Cole bombing, failure to get Osama, etc etc), and his on the record statements that are contradictory to his book and testimony.

And I suppose it was just a coincidence that he published his book just before the hearings. Yeah, right.

Believe who you want but at least give us the truth and all the truth!
"War left Iraqis worse off, says Short" - Claire Short of course - in The Guardian as usual.

Seems soneone forgot to tell the Iraqi people. Nearly 70 percent feel their lives are better today. ABC poll here
"US sinks UN resolution on Yassin" reads the headline on the BBC's Website

Yes, it was a UN resolution but look who sponsored it "The resolution's sponsor Algeria said it seemed the Security Council was "doomed to fail" when dealing with Middle East issues." Algeria, which is having it's own Islamic terrorist problems at the moment.

If the UN is going to have a resolution on Yassin what in the world are they going to do when Osama gets his?

The big questions is - is Israel's policy of killing Palestinian terrorist leaders working?

Here are some thoughts from the Middle East Forum

As a result, the nature of Palestinian terror organizations is that they are secretive and compartmentalized. People hardly know each other. There are no headquarters, files, computers, radio equipment, or organizational memory. Removing one activist can handicap or destroy an entire cell, but removal of one cell does not necessarily bring down the entire organization.

Despite defiant Palestinian rhetoric, Palestinian activists' fear of being on Israel's target list is paralyzing, and that is exactly what Israel wants. Explained Sharon:

The plan is to place the terrorists in varying situations every day and knock them off balance so that they will be busy protecting themselves.[22]

While on the run, the Palestinian terrorist's energy is devoted to survival rather than to planning the next attack. The terrorist detaches himself from his close circle of friends and family and begins to live a fugitive's life. He is forced to spend each night in a different location, often sleeping in the open field. Hours each day are wasted looking for a safe haven to spend the coming night. Most difficult is the distance from his home and family. He knows that any contact with his wife or parents could cost him his life. Consequently, he is completely at the mercy of his confidants, not knowing which one of them might be an Israeli collaborator.

Booby-trapped cars and telephones increase the feeling among Palestinian militants that the long arm of the Israeli security forces reaches their most intimate surroundings. They become nervous and suspicious of collaborators who might live among them. A Palestinian journalist conveyed the atmosphere of fear and confusion in the Palestinian street after Shihada's killing:

People are now looking for wanted men. They are stopping them in the middle of the street and will now begin asking for their identification before they enter a specific residential neighborhood. … No one feels safe. … How do you know who will be Shihada number two, and where the missile will come from? … Someone must have told the Shin Bet (GSS) that Shihada was visiting his house; that someone must live among us, and now everyone is looking for collaborators.[23]

And they should. Despite the deep animosity toward Israel, many Palestinians are still willing to face the risk of the death penalty the PA imposes on collaborators and provide valuable information to the Israelis. In a society where more than half of the families live below the poverty line, one can always find people willing to collaborate with the enemy in exchange for money or other benefits.

Assassinations of military leaders are traumatic events in the lives of their organizations, often leading to a change in organizational behavior. Commanders become extremely suspicious and cautious. They leave few traces of their whereabouts; restrict information about operational planning to small groups of secret keepers; and recruit new members more selectively. The paranoid environment in which terrorists operate reduces their effectiveness drastically. Trust is the bedrock of any human activity, including terrorism. Without it, the organization becomes disjointed; information cannot be disseminated; people do not feel part of a team; lessons are not learned properly.

Additionally, communication between the different cells breaks down. Following the killing of Musawi, Hizbullah squads began to maintain strict radio silence, preventing Israel from monitoring the organization's action. In the territories, Palestinian militants who fear Israeli eavesdropping refrain from using the telephone to communicate with each other. This leads to further confusion and misunderstandings. Such a dynamic has a cumulative, holistic, negative influence on the organization's effectiveness. The influence cannot be precisely measured or even assessed by empirical tools, but it is certainly profound.

Somehow, someway, we have got to get together and solve this problem. Biased UN resolutions and biased BBC reporting is not going to help anybody.
Brain Bliss