“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Saturday, September 30, 2006
While we debate the need and means to expand the US Military, there has been a sea change in the role of Nato. Once formed as a static defence force to ward off Soviet agression, it has slowly evolved to become the combined tool for an entirely new mission. Currently Nato is taking the lead role in Afghanistan. NATO agreed Thursday to take command of military operations across all of insurgency-hit Afghanistan next month after the United States pledged to transfer 12,000 American troops in the country to the NATO force. The question is will the politics keep up with the force capabilities?
Pentagon officials said the transfer of troops currently in Afghanistan's eastern region would result in the biggest deployment of U.S. forces under foreign command since World War II. Nato describes the NRF as:
"The NATO Response Force (NRF) will be a coherent, high readiness, joint, multinational force package, technologically advanced, flexible, deployable, interoperable and sustainable. It will be tailored as required to the needs of a specific operation and able to move quickly to wherever needed. It will not be a permanent or standing force. The NRF will be able to carry out certain missions on its own, or serve as part of a larger force to contribute to the full range of Alliance military operations. The NRF can sustain itself for duration of up to one month or longer if re-supplied. Its precise size and composition is under study and will be the subject of further definition and refinement, up to its full operational capability."
The NATO Response Force will be operational as promised in time for its October 1 launch. Germany is contributing the majority of the soldiers for the alliance's new rapid deployment force.
The United States, NATO's leading member, had pushed for a thorough rebuilding of the Alliance after the terror attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 and the deployment of international troops to Afghanistan. Washington set out to convince its fellow alliance members that NATO should be remodelled in order to face new challenges.
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had developed the idea of using NATO as some sort of "tool kit" for the protection against global threats. In 2002, heads of states and governments decided to develop a quick response force, scheduled to be fully operational by October 1st of this year. The military dress rehearsal for the force took place this summer on the Capverdian Islands. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was quite satisfied with the test run. "I am convinced that we will be fully operational by October 1st, just as scheduled," he said at the time.
NRF’s 26,000 soldiers are now ready for action. The troops -- lead by Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, General James Jones -- are to be able to react to crises within a lead time of 5 days.
NATO member states will provide troops for the NRF on a rotational basis. The soldiers will stay in their home barracks until required for an emergency. They will be on duty for at least half a year, and 6 months prior to their deployment, will get trained on how to interact with other nations' armies.
Germany taking lead in NRF
Currently, the German Armed Forces are providing the largest amount of soldiers. German commander, General Gerhard Back, explained that not all of the 26,000 NRF soldiers are to be deployed at once. Rather, units with different abilities such as air transport, mine clearance or ground fighting, are to be available on request.
"I need all of those skills at my disposal so I can chose whichever unit I need when going on a specific mission," General back said. "I don’t know yet what my next mission, or the next crisis situation will look like. When the political decision is made, I can assemble my forces with what I need."
NATO will assess potential missions on a case by case basis. The response force is not designed to take part in permanent missions like United Nations peace keeping operations. Instead, its job is to clear the way for peacekeepers, so that they can take over afterwards.
Pakistan 'role in Mumbai attacks'
The attacks were planned by the ISI and carried out by the Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba, based in Pakistan, Mumbai's police chief said.
AN Roy said the Students' Islamic Movement of India had also assisted.
Pakistan rejected the allegations and said India had given no evidence of Pakistani involvement in the attacks.
"We have solved the 11 July bombings case. The whole attack was planned by Pakistan's ISI and carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operatives in India," Mumbai (Bombay) police commissioner AN Roy told a news conference.
Added Note from 2164th:
Sorry to interrupt your Ramadan celebrations, but this same terrorist group received training in the same madrasas, or Muslim seminaries, where Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters studied and continue to do so today . Some received military training at camps in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. The Kashmiri terrorists’ leadership has al-Qaeda connections.
The leader of the Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen group, Farooq Kashmiri Khalil, signed on to al-Qaeda’s 1998 declaration of holy war, which called on Muslims to attack all Americans and their allies. Maulana Masood Azhar, who founded the Jaish-e-Muhammad organization, trucked on over to Afghanistan several times to meet Osama bin Laden. Azhar's group is suspected of receiving funding and support from al-Qaeda.
If anybody is counting, there seems to be a trend here. As someone once said.
Earlier in the week after Georgia detained some Russian soldiers, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, ratcheted up the rhetoric when he threatened to "use all means available to us" to secure the release of the detained soldiers, raising fears of military confrontation between the two ex-Soviet neighbours.
The crisis began on Wednesday when Georgian troops surrounded the regional headquarters of Russian troops in the capital Tbilisi and arrested five officers and a driver on suspicion of espionage. This article from the London Telegraph provides the background and current situation.
Russia suspends Georgia pullout
The Russians are accused of spying on Georgia's military installations
A senior Russian army commander says Moscow is suspending the withdrawal of its forces from Georgia, amid a spying row between the two countries.
Russian forces were to pull out of two bases in Georgia by 2008, but the commander said the security of troops could not be guaranteed as they left.
War clouds gather in Georgian spy crisis.
By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
The crisis in the Caucasus escalated last night as Georgia accused Russia of advancing troops towards its borders after four Russian army officers were charged with spying.
Officers check papers at Russian Army headquarters in Tbilisi as Russia evacuates staff and their families
The worst breakdown in relations between the two ex-Soviet neighbours in 15 years seemed to worsen hour by hour on a day of high drama.
Flouting Kremlin demands for their immediate release, a Tbilisi court ordered the four Russian servicemen, whose arrest on Wednesday ostensibly triggered the crisis, to be detained for a further two months.
Georgian troops seeking a fifth officer, Lt Col Konstantin Pichugin, surrounded the headquarters of the Russian Army Group in the capital Tbilisi for a third day.
The crisis erupted when Georgia arrested the men, claiming they were members of a "very dangerous" network that had spied on the military, caused an explosion that had killed three policemen, and was planning a "serious provocation" on Georgian soil.
"Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, angry and sarcastic retorts, refrain from gambling and betting and gossip. Sexual intercourse during fasting in the day is not allowed but is permissible after the fast. All obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God."
Since I am not a Muslim, perhaps I can be a little angry and a tad sarcastic. Just for some Ramadam fun and while sexual intercourse seems to be off menu if not off topic, let's take a peak and see how the "Religion of Peace" is doing this morning.
- French critic of Islam flees threats. Oh dear, bad start.
- Suicide bomber kills 10 in Afghanistan Well that's hardly the spirit. The bomber probably had some legal training, was getting around the intercourse thing and was going for the 71 virgins. We all have felt the need to strap on an explosives belt when we wake up a little horny. Never mind.
- Baghdad locked down, but violence persists elsewhere in Iraq. Well, WTF, my father used to get a little drunk on Christmas Eve assembling bikes and things.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Convert from Islam to Christianity killed
Refused to join crowd chanting verses from Quran during lunar eclipse
Posted: September 16, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Michael Ireland
© 2006 Assist News Service
Somali Christian sources report Ali Mustaf Maka'il, a 22-year-old college student and cloth merchant who converted from Islam to Christianity 11 months ago, was shot and killed in the Manabolyo quarter of Mogadishu.
According to a report from the Barnabas Fund, quoting a Christian source inside Somalia, the gunman was loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts, the Islamist organization that took power in Mogadishu in early June and now controls much of southern Somalia.
The report states the gunman shot Ali in the back Sept. 7 after he refused to join a crowd chanting Quran verses in honor of the lunar eclipse. Solar and lunar eclipses are significant in Islam and are accompanied by special congregational prayers. The Union of Islamic Courts confiscated Ali's body for 24 hours before delivering it to the grieving family, the report said.
The Barnabas Fund comments: "It seems that under the new Islamist rulers, who include hard-line jihadi elements, the tragic history of persecution and martyrdom for Somalia's tiny Christian community is set to continue and most likely to worsen."
The group reports that in July there were unconfirmed reports three Christians had been shot and killed by Islamists as they returned home from a prayer meeting.
In October 2005, an evangelist and house church leader, Osman Sheik Ahmed, was shot dead by Islamist radicals, Barnabas said. Also, children of Christian Somali refugees in Kenya have been kidnapped by Muslim relatives and taken to Islamic institutions in Somalia for 'rehabilitation.'"
The Barnabas Fund pointed out the leader of the Union of Islamic Courts, Hassan Dahir Aweys, promised to implement Sharia, or Islamic law, in all areas he controls.
According to Sharia, the group explained, apostates – those who leave Islam for another religion – must be killed. Union of Islamic Court leaders even have threatened to kill as apostates Muslims who are lax in their prayers, claiming this is commanded by Sharia. Several Muslims have been flogged publicly for drug-related offences since the union took control.
The Barnabas Fund report states more then 99.5 percent of Somalis are Muslims and regard Christianity as a foreign religion of their historic enemies in Ethiopia and of their former colonial masters the Italians and the British.
It adds: "There is a long history of conflict between Muslim Somalis and Christian Ethiopians, so anti-Christian sentiment runs deep. Most Somalis take it for granted that a true Somali is a Muslim and converts to Christianity must be traitors. These prejudices, widely held by Muslim Somalis, seem to be used to justify violence against Christians, both indigenous and expatriate.
The group says the inherent hostility toward the West and Christians has risen since the U.S.-led military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and the recent Israeli campaign against Hezbollah.
Have a nice day.
Friday, September 29, 2006
More Wall News
Mexico warned Thursday that the U.S. proposal to build miles of border fence will damage relations between the two countries. The Foreign Relations Department said it was "deeply worried" about the proposal, which is working its way through the Senate, adding it will "increase tension in border communities."
"We just want to limit the activity of the drug pushers here. This isn't a wall in Palestine. It's just something that's harder for drug dealers to jump over."House Republicans Begin Playing Hardball
But those who live behind the wall say they feel like they have been imprisoned.
"The people on the other side of this wall don't want to know the people in here," said Ibude Agboneta , a Nigerian immigrant.
The House approved a bill Thursday that would grant legal status to President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program with new restrictions. Republicans called it a test before the election of whether Democrats want to fight or coddle terrorists.If Only He were President, Not!
"We have destroyed the world in the name of security," Stone told journalists at the San Sebastian International Film Festival prior to a screening of his latest movie, "World Trade Center."If Only He Had Never Been President
"I think he's one of the worst secretaries of defense we've ever had," the former president said of Rumsfeld. "Almost every decision he has made has aggravated his military subordinates and has also proved to be a mistake."Jane Fonda's Role Model - Dead At 90
Iva Toguri D'Aquino, widely known as Tokyo Rose, who has died in Chicago aged 90, remains the only US citizen convicted of treason and pardoned by her country.Human Rights Abuses in Pakistan - It's Bush's Fault!
Pakistan has been accused of detaining hundreds of alleged terror suspects without legal process by human rights organisation Amnesty International.
"Enforced disappearances were almost unheard of in Pakistan before the start of the US-led war on terror." Angelika Pathak, Amnesty International.
"America is generally slow to awaken to danger, but once roused it is a fierce fighter. A few voices are warning our potential foes. But they are not listening. Those of us who do not want to see a convulsive death struggle play out on the world stage, who want to see the drama go from a tragedy to a farce, have our work cut out."- Thomas Lifson
Comment: So ends a thoughtful piece written by Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of The American Thinker. His premise is that the Islamists have overplayed their hand, and at some point, they will trigger something in the American public that will be hard to stop. He bases this on the recent Islamic reaction to the Pope.
I am a relative neophyte to the blogging world, but have always been a news junky. Since the sixties, I have watched the Left set the political and social agenda. Much of what they started is being played out in the struggle between Islam and the West. It was the agenda of the Left that allowed for the thoughtless migration of Muslims into the US and Europe. It was their agenda and view on racial equality, moral relativism, multi-culturalism, civil rights and moral equivalency that allowed and encouraged Islam to set up camp in the West and not require them to adapt to their new homes and countries. Worse, this Western lack of certitude encouraged Islamists to take the position of moral superioity and religious hegemony over what they saw as Western decadence. The Islamists feel they can get away with anything, because they have. They are deadly wrong and perilously close to unleashing something in the American public that will give Islam a lesson it will not soon forget.
The Dark View of Islam and the American Street
By Thomas Lifson
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Strange as it seems, This is the work of ADOLPH HITLER. This was posted on the Daily Telegraph website. There is a real lesson for life in that the most evil among us can seem to be the most normal. No screaming Stukas, no tanks, no people. Maybe that is the clue.The appearance of normality and human life without the people. Silence. The hand that made these painting went on to become the leader of a once great nation. Given the choice between creating and destruction, he took the Germans into hell and destroyed nations, families, and his name is synonymous with the worst in mankind. His hatred knew no bounds and he came close to detroying all the Jews in Europe. Wonder why Jews are suspicious of the least hint of anti-semitism? Look at these paintings and see if you can find a hint of it. I can't.
Iraq Terror Leader Recruits Scientists
By PATRICK QUINN , 09.28.2006, 11:42 AM
"In a new audio message Thursday, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq called for explosives experts and nuclear scientists to join his group's holy war against the West. He also said that more than 4,000 foreign insurgent fighters have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
That comment was believed to be the first major statement from insurgents in Iraq about their losses.
"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir - also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri - the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. The voice could not be independently identified"...
Finger length 'key to aggression'
Finger length is linked to testosterone exposure in the womb
The length of a man's fingers can reveal how physically aggressive he is, Canadian scientists have said.
The shorter the index finger is compared to the ring finger, the more boisterous he will be, University of Alberta researchers said.
But the same was not true for verbal aggression or hostile behaviours, they told the journal Biological Psychology after studying 300 people's fingers.
The trend is thought to be linked to testosterone exposure in the womb.
It has been known for some time that there is a direct correlation between finger lengths and the amount of the male sex hormone testosterone that a baby is exposed to in the womb.
In women, the two fingers are usually almost equal in length, as measured from the crease nearest the palm to the fingertip. In men, the ring finger tends to be much longer than the index.
Other studies looking at finger length ratio have suggested that, in men, a long ring finger and symmetrical hands are an indication of fertility, and that women are more likely to be fertile if they have a longer index finger.
Finger length can tell you a little bit about where personality comes from
Researcher Dr Peter Hurd
One study found boys with shorter ring fingers tended to be at greatest risk of a heart attack in early adulthood, which was linked to testosterone levels.
Comment: Now I have heard a woman or two mention the size of a man's hand and his feet. It seems that they have some theories on that as well. The rascals further speculate that there is a correlation between car color, sizes and types to these various appendages. What does this have to do with Rumsfeld and the size of our military? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
President General Pervez Musharraf has been outright chatty lately:
"Madaris (madrassas) could not be closed on Karzai`s demand" -Musharraf
Thursday September 28, 2006 (0214 PST)
The Pak Tribune reports
"President General Pervez Musharraf has said that in his meeting with president George W Bush and Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, he will present the ’realities’ about Taliban.
"As far as Afghan president’s demand of closing Madiris within Pakistan is concerned, it is totally rubbish. We will not close Madaris on his (Karzai) demands. The religious seminaries are not involved in terrorist activities," he observed this while addressing a press conference at Roosevelt hotel here Wednesday.
The afghan president’s accusations against Madaris are baseless. He should speak openly. How could we shut down 10,000 Madaris. The Madaris are absolutely not involved in terrorism."
Musharraf decided he may as well irritate the living shit out of the Canadians while he was at it:
Liberals Condemn Musharraf's Commentsby SCOTT DEVEAU AND DANIEL LEBLANCGlobe and Mail Update"Interim Liberal leader Bill Graham condemned on Wednesday comments made by the President of Pakistan, who said Tuesday that Canadians should stop complaining about the number of casualties in the war in Afghanistan.
General Pervez Musharraf said in an interview aired on the CBC late Tuesday that his country has borne the brunt of the fighting in Afghanistan and that any country participating in the war should expect casualties.
"We have suffered 500 casualties, Canadians may have suffered four or five," he said in the interview. "You suffer two dead, and there's a cry and shout all around the base that there are coffins. Well, we've had 500 coffins."
In fact, 36 Canadians have been killed in the war in Afghanistan."
This is why we do not get any meaningful immigration reform:
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: Next Steps
The three leaders of North America agreed to advance the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) by focusing on five high priority initiatives:
1. The North American Competitiveness Council.
2. Advancing Cooperation on Avian and Pandemic Influenza.
3. North American Energy Security Initiative.
4. North American Emergency Management.
5. Smart, Secure Borders. Leaders agreed to complete the following activities, to contribute to smart and secure borders, over the next twenty-four months:
Collaborate to establish risk-based screening standards for goods and people that rely on technology, information sharing and biometrics. Develop and implement compatible electronic processes for supply chain security that use advanced electronic cargo information to analyze risk and ensure quick and efficient processing at the border; Develop standards and options for secure documents to facilitate cross-border travel; Exchange additional law enforcement liaison officers to assist in criminal and security investigations; Develop coordinated business resumption plans at border crossings to ensure legitimate trade continues. To address border violence, United States and Mexico signed an Action Plan to Combat Border Violence and Improve Public Safety. Officials of the two countries in Nogales, AZ- Nogales, Sonora and Laredo, TX- Nuevo Laredo completed protocols on border security and public safety.
Obviously, it would be very insulting to Mexico to discuss anything so crass as a fence or a wall or even a problem with the border. President Bush agreed to all this and there isn't a word here about immigration or control of borders. Congress huffs and puffs about immigration reform but the real work is being done behind the scenes by an "elite" of NGO's, academics and businessmen, or as Tiger labeled them, A Shadow Government. Unfortunately, their goals and vision seem to be in conflict with the rest of America's. Your country is being replaced with the North American Union. The pieces of the puzzle are begining to fall into place. It's time to wake up America.
ht: Tiger at Observanda
The Associated Press had this brief snippet earlier today:
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's president-elect says murder and mayhem fueled by drug smuggling have overwhelmed the governments of the nation's capital and key states across the country.The article goes on to report that "people are gunned down with automatic weapons almost daily, and dozens of Americans have been kidnapped" and more than 1,500 people have died in Mexican drug violence so far this year. Drug gangs battling for control of smuggling corridors are blamed.
Felipe Calderon said the wave of bloodshed is ravaging state governments controlled by each of Mexico's three major parties. He singled out Mexico City, the northern states of Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, the southern state of Guerrero and his home state of Michoacan, as being especially hard-hit.
"It seems to me that drug violence has overwhelmed the governments," Calderon said Monday in a radio interview.
The graft and corruption, murder and mayhem, kidnappings, carjackings are rampant particularly along the border and in Mexico City.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Latin America it's no better.
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - The leftist presidential front-runner in Ecuador said Wednesday that the devil should be insulted by comparisons to President Bush, whom he called a "dimwitted" leader who has done "great damage" to the world.And the Democrats in the Senate are blocking a fence while various groups forge ahead with the NAFTA Superhighway and the North American Parliament. It's all insane.
Rafael Correa, speaking to Channel 8 television, referred to a U.N. speech last week by his friend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who caused an uproar in the United States by calling Bush "the devil."
"Calling Bush the devil is offending the devil," said Correa, a U.S.-trained economist who leads 12 other candidates in polls ahead of the Oct. 15 election. He said "the devil is evil, but intelligent."
Political and Cultural Leaders Condemn Opera Cancellation DW
Buddha, Mohammed, Poseidon and Jesus all appear in the opera
"A violent scene with images of the Prophet Mohammed led Berlin's German Opera to take Mozart's "Idomeneo" from the schedule. The move has sparked a fierce debate on the limits of artistic freedom and religious respect.
Many religions could find director Hans Neuenfels' adaptation of Mozart's "Idomeneo" blasphemous. Although the opera itself makes make no reference to Islam, Neuenfels introduced the closing scene that depicts the decapitated heads of the Prophet Mohammed, Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Greek god Poseidon.
The director of the German Opera, Kirsten Harms, said she had made her decision in consideration of the "very agitated situation" caused by the remarks by Pope Benedict XVI. earlier this month."
Tolerance has been one of the virtues of western civilization. But virtues can be carried to extremes that turn them into vices. Toleration of intolerance is a particularly dangerous vice to which western nations are succumbing, both within their own countries and internationally.
Double standards are being wrapped in the mantle of morality. The drive to extend Geneva convention protection to terrorists who are not covered under the Geneva convention is one of a number of dangerous self-indulgences by people who seem to think that being morally one-up is the ultimate and survival is secondary.
Senator Lindsey Graham's comment that we are going to win in our struggle with terrorists "because we are better" was all too typical of this mindset.
It would be hard to know which would be worse -- if he said it as just some offhand political rhetoric or whether he is really fatuous enough to believe it and irresponsible enough to gamble American lives rather than extract murderous secrets from captured cutthroats. Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The other important thing that happened—also in the mid-20s—was the discovery of oil. With that, this extremist sect found itself not only in possession of Mecca and Medina, but also of wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. As a result, what would otherwise have been a lunatic fringe in a marginal country became a major force in the world of Islam. And it has continued as a major force to the present day, operating through the Saudi government and through a whole series of non-governmental organizations. What is worse, its influence spreads far beyond the region. When Muslims living in Chicago or Los Angeles or Birmingham or Hamburg want to give their children some grounding in their faith and culture—a very natural, very normal thing—they turn to the traditional resources for such purposes: evening classes, weekend schools, holiday camps and the like. The problem is that these are now overwhelmingly funded and therefore controlled by the Wahhabis, and the version of Islam that they teach is the Wahhabi version, which has thus become a major force in Muslim immigrant communities.Lewis goes on to discuss the possibilities for democratic change in the Islamic world:
So there is a good deal of pro-Western and even specifically pro-American feeling. But the anti-American feeling is strongest in those countries that are ruled by what we are pleased to call “friendly governments.” And it is those, of course, that are the most tyrannical and the most resented by their own people. The outlook at the moment is, I would say, very mixed. I think that the cause of developing free institutions—along their lines, not ours—is possible. One can see signs of its beginning in some countries.Most readers of the EB already know of the Wahhabist influence on mosques around the world and we know that the Saudis have financed virtually every mosque built in America. As Lewis’ words, “…we are weak and undecided and irresolute” ring in our ears let us consider today’s warning from Chuck Colson, What's hidden in the shadows
At the same time, the forces working against it are very powerful and well entrenched. And one of the greatest dangers is that on their side, they are firm and convinced and resolute. Whereas on our side, we are weak and undecided and irresolute. And in such a combat, it is not difficult to see which side will prevail.
I think that the effort is difficult and the outcome uncertain, but I think the effort must be made. Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.
Radical Islam and U.S. prisons
I don’t usually make predictions, but here’s one I’ll venture: If, God forbid, an attack by home-grown Islamist radicals occurs on American soil, many, if not most, of the perpetrators will have converted to Islam while in prison.
I am hardly going out on a limb here. I said this first in 2001. The spread of an especially virulent form of Islam within American prisons is obvious to those of us who have spent time in these prisons. It’s the rest of American society that is in denial. Now, thanks to a new study, ignorance is no longer an option.
The study, titled “Out of the Shadows,” concluded that “the U.S. . . is at risk of facing the sort of homegrown terrorism currently plaguing other countries.” The source of that risk, according to researchers from George Washington University and the University of Virginia, is “[America’s] large prison population.”
“Radicalized prisoners” within this population “are a potential pool of recruits by terrorist groups,” the study says. The sources of radicalization are incarcerated Islamic extremists and outside organizations that support them. The report notes that the absence of “monitoring by authoritative Islamic chaplains” permits “materials that advocate violence [to infiltrate] the prison system undetected.”
Colson reports that Christian groups like his Prison Fellowship Ministries which have been shown as effective counter measures to radical Islam are being hampered by lawsuits while the Islamist cancer grows. Colson doesn’t say it, but it’s a good bet, that the radical influence is Wahhabist. So far to my knowledge, we are undecided how to combat radical Islam in US prisons. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about our decades-old war on Christianity.
As long as we allow people like “the reverend” Barry Lynn and groups like the ACLU to dictate the meaning of the first sentence of the First Amendment, we will be, as Lewis said “… weak and undecided and irresolute.”
(Update) Hat Tip to Cutler for this
And as the previous post states we have to pay for them. Allen in the same post referred to this article published by Whit's partner Tiger at Observanda
The consensus for a larger Army is about as complete as it could be.
by Frederick W. Kagan & William Kristol
10/02/2006, Volume 012, Issue 03
"You can hardly read a story about Iraq these days without seeing an Army or Marine officer say he doesn't have enough troops to accomplish his mission. Senior officers respond that this is what junior commanders always say. That's not quite true. Commanders in charge of secondary missions often ask for more resources than they need, not recognizing their missions are less vital. But the calls for more troops in Iraq come from soldiers training Iraqis, from soldiers trying to secure Baghdad, from soldiers in Anbar. If all of these are secondary missions, where's the main effort? The truth is there are not enough ground forces in Iraq, and military officers are finally saying so in public."
Retired officers line up against Bush policy
"You know what they say: If there's enough smoke, there must be a fire.
For the umpteenth time some retired U.S. military officers have strongly criticized Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush administration for bungling the war in Iraq.
The forum on Monday had a strong whiff of politics to it, a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, but it's far from the first time that retired military leaders have blasted the conduct of the war. That's unusual, because retired officers rarely criticize the Pentagon while a military operation is under way.
Retired Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste, who once commanded the Army's 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, said he believes that “Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war.”
He also criticized Congress for failing to ask “the tough questions,” and said that, if the administration had fully considered the requirements for war, the nation likely would have stayed focused on Afghanistan, “not fueled Islamic fundamentalism across the globe, and not created more enemies than there were insurgents.”
Retired Army Maj. Gen Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military and police, went so far as to say that “Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision making.”
He also said that postwar planning was “amateurish at best, incompetent a better descriptor.”
And retired Marine Col. Paul X. Hammes, who was in charge of building bases for the Iraqi military and now is the Marine senior military fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University, strongly criticized the decision to send U.S. troops off to fight in Iraq without the best equipment.
He called it a “serious moral failure on the part of our leadership.”
Retired Maj. Gen. Eaton called the defense secretary “incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically...”
They're strong words, but Rumsfeld has been the target of such criticism from retired high ranking officers before. President Bush has always defended his embattled defense secretary, but with the Iraq war emerging as a central issue in November's critical congressional elections, one wonders if it isn't time for the commander in chief to cut Rumsfeld adrift.
It has long been my opinion that military matters should be left to the military professionals, not civilians like Rumsfeld who want to pretend they are generals who can out-general their own generals.
Retired Maj. Gen. Batiste related that Rumsfeld at one point threatened to fire the next military leader who mentioned that the Pentagon needed a postwar plan in Iraq.
That kind of arrogance doesn't serve the military or the nation well.
Let's face it. We're going to be involved in Iraq for a long time. There's no way we can just pack up and go home until the Iraqis are able to govern and defend themselves.
Republicans know that, and Democrats know that.
If Republicans continue to pursue a policy in Iraq that discounts the advice and needs of the military leaders in the field, Americans eventually will clamor for change.
If Democrats have a better strategy, and so far I haven't heard one that's clear and comprehensive, it might not be long before they get the opportunity to test it."
*Lou Sessinger is a columnist with The Intelligencer. He can be contacted at (215) 957-8172 or lsessinger@phillyBurbs.com.
OPEC considers drop in output
By Kevin Morrison and Javier Blas in London, The Financial Times
Published: September 25 2006
"Oil exporting countries may consider a cut in output after crude prices fell below $60 a barrel on Monday for the first time in six months.
The decline came as global demand fell back from its mid-year peak and tensions over Iran eased.
Ministers from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are understood to be concerned about the drop in oil prices, which are down almost a quarter from their recent peaks."
They have discussed the prospect of trimming production ahead of the oil cartels next ministerial meeting in Nigeria in December, according to OPEC officials"
Here we go again. OPEC is addicted to cash. They need it to harm US interests on a global scale and prop up corrupt repressive regimes from Saudia Arabia, Russia, Iran, Venezuela etc. Now is the time to take it away from them. We must tax imported oil to a level that maintains the current prices. This can be offset with tax reductions in social security taxes. The excess revenues can go to fund the military. It can be used to build a national highway system designed for trucks only. Oil is going to be "taxed" by OPEC market manipulation or the US Government, but it will be taxed. Which do you prefer?
Monday, September 25, 2006
To be sure, the Supreme Court was wrong in finding that CA3 was pertinent at all, even on the narrow issue of military commissions. By its own terms, CA3 relates only to civil wars, not international conflicts like the global war against jihadists. In addition, the Geneva Conventions themselves provide that alleged treaty violations are to be resolved diplomatically, not by litigation. Treaties are not for cherry-picking. If the Court was going to import any of Geneva into the UCMJ, there was no principled reason to ignore that the treaty’s enforcement mechanisms are not judicial. But even assuming, for argument’s sake, that it was appropriate to resort to CA3 in judging whether terrorist trials satisfied UCMJ standards, that would still not justify resort to CA3 for all purposes of terrorist treatment.The CFR Grooms Future Leaders of North America
There is only one line of logic supporting claims that Hamdan’s invocation of CA3 bears on interrogation standards. And it is an exceedingly dangerous one. It is the conclusion that CA3 rights can be claimed by alien terrorists not because of the UCMJ but due to CA3’s own force under international law.
This is the dream of the internationalist movement the Hudson Institute’s invaluable John Fonte calls transnational progressivism: That because the Constitution makes treaties the supreme law of the land, all terms of a human-rights treaty must be deemed to have the full force of law; that treaty “rights” may be vindicated judicially by individual claimants against any country, including the United States, which has signed the treaty.
Over at Observanda, Tiger picks up on an alarming article in World Net Daily about students from 10 universities in the US, Canada and Mexico attending a mock Parliament which was held in the Mexican Senate in May. Quietly, we are being moved to a new, super nation comprising Mexico, Canada and the United States. Of course, the Council on Foreign Relations is in the middle of all this.
Free trade; all for it. Competing in global markets; all for it. Joining the new super country of "North America." I don't think so....
No president has taken more abuse and ridicule than George W. Bush. Unnoticed and unheralded is an intelligent long range strategy that will protect American interests far into the future. These actions may eclipse the importance of the experiment with Democracy in Iraq. The synoposis of this strategy is discussed in this article in Financial Times. I missed the story when it was in The New York Times. Do not miss this one. Here are some excerpts, but a very worthy read.
"The centrepiece of President George W.Bushs Asia policy is encouraging Japans normalisation as a great military power, a historic break from Japans post-1945 tradition of pacifism. Similarly, Washingtons intensifying partnership with New Delhi reflects Americas determination to accelerate Indias rise to world power and Indias aspirations for greatness. In India and Japan, the US is fuelling the strategic ascent of countries that intend to face China as equals.
The US is also cultivating the emerging regional powers of Indonesia and Vietnam. Like India and Japan, they share a historical wariness of Chinese power and an interest in countering Chinese influence in south-east Asia.
Lastly, the US is nurturing a strategic community of democracies in the shadow of Chinese autocracy. America and Japan have formalised trilateral defence co-ordination with both Australia and South Korea and are exploring a trilateral strategic dialogue with India. America wants Nato to develop military interoperability with leading Asian democracies."
I have often argued that if we could win the Cold War against the Soviet Union, we could do the same with the far smaller power, Iran. I had not thought about comparing the current dilemma with Iran to the analogy of the US and China. Fortunately, Fareed Zakaria of The Washington Post has. Here are two examples. Read the entire article and relax:
"If you think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said some crazy things, none comes close to this: "If the worst came to worst and half of mankind died, the other half would remain while imperialism would be razed to the ground. . ." That was Mao Zedong in 1957. If you find the idea of an Iranian nuclear program unsettling, put yourself in the shoes of policymakers in 1964, the year that China tested a nuclear bomb."...
..."In 1964, many people argued for a preemptive strike against China. Wiser heads prevailed. But even President John F. Kennedy had worried that from the moment China went nuclear "it would dominate South East Asia." In fact, far from dominating it, China's bomb scared Southeast Asia into a closer association with the United States. Today, Chinese influence in the region is great and growing -- but that's because of its economic heft, not its nukes. Iran is ruled by a failed regime that cannot modernize the country and is instead seeking a cheap path to influence. It didn't work for the communists in Russia or China and, if we keep our cool, it won't work for the mullahs in Tehran."
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Drudge said unhinged. You have to see this on FOX. Clinton almost lost it. He was hanging over Chris Wallace, jabbing his finder, eyes blazing, a rat-ta-tat barrage of words and accusations. FOX should have done a split screen showing heart beats and blood pressure. Wallace was cool, Clinton not. I can only imagine what it was like working for the man. See Whit's earlier post .Clinton Wags the Finger at Chris Wallace
The article begins in a perfunctory report on the US celebration of The Lewis and Clark Expedition, but their smug left wing agenda and political correctness oozes to the surface in their choice of published comments. And talk about comment moderation, I can assure you they NEVER publish any from 2164th. I wonder why? I publish one, actually the first one out of the box. Grab a box of kleenex and give it a big "boo hoo."
"I am a student at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where Lewis and Clark are celebrated daily. I have trouble with the constant praise of their journey. This is because they could not have survived without the labor of their slave, York. Although he was a part of the expedition, his name is absent from almost every account of their adventure, including this article. This lack of acknowledgement of York's contributions, or even his presence, is a sad extension of America's Eurocentric portrayal of it's history. 200 years ago, Americans didn't see Blacks as human beings. Today, they choose not to acknowledge Black contributions in the founding of our nation. Not only did the expedition open the West to the genocide of the indigenous peoples, it was done with slave labor. Hardly a cause for celebration."
Sara Bagheri, Portland, Oregon
A. The US helped and strengthened Iran by getting rid of Saddam..."that
the result of the U.S. invasion is that Iran is more powerful than it
has ever been"
B. Iraq is worse off today than it was under Saddam..."In the past years,
hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed. Even worse than what
it was under Saddam."
C. Iran is on the way to be a large regional power. Everyone in the region says Iran is now the most powerful country
D. Iran supports the Shiite..."Mr. Maliki is a friend of ours. Our nations are
very close. The country that is hurt most by the insecurity in Iraq is our
It is difficult to fault his answers. It is harder yet to deny the implications of what he is saying. The US, by attempting to stay in Iraq beyond the time it took to remove Sadaam, has strengthened Iran in the region. US troops are dying and American treasure is being used to what end? Are American interests improved with a stronger Iran? If they are, then by implication we should not be overly concerned with Iran becoming a nuclear power. Under the Shah, the US was encouraging to Iran to become a major power. But then we also supported Islamic militancy in Afghanistan to fight the Russians. Stated current American policy is not to make Iran stronger. In practice by supporting the Shiite dominated government, we are accomplishing the opposite. Which is it to be? What am I missing? The complete interview is on the link, the referred to portion is below. Please help me out here.
"Iranian leader uses interview to expand on anti-U.S. opinions
Sept. 24, 2006 12:00 AM
Q: In your meeting with the Iraqi prime minister last week, did any ideas emerge as to how to stabilize the situation in Iraq?
A: Saddam was a detested individual, no doubt, and although he was supported by a group of American politicians during the eight-year war with Iran, we nonetheless were happy when he left.
This paved the way for the American government to improve their relations with the people in the region, but they lost the opportunity, they decided to occupy Iraq in search of oil and their own interests. . . . The Iraqi nation has deep roots - an ancient, civilized culture - it cannot accept to remain under occupation. It cannot accept that its authorities are told on a daily basis what to do by American authorities.
In the past years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed. Even worse than what it was under Saddam.
Everybody in Iraq is unhappy. Iraq has a government now that has risen as a result of the vote of the people, and it has a constitution and a parliament. Let them run and administer the country. Our policy is to support the government of Iraq, to create security for the country.
Q: It seems as if a Shiite majority has emerged with the bulk of power in Iraq. Is this good from Iran's point of view?
A: We are friends with the entire nation of Iraq. Our nation is like an extended family of the Iraqi nation. . . .
We are not like American politicians who divide people and fracture.
Q: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that the most important job for him is to control the militias, many of which have close contact with Iran and some of which receive money from Iran. Will you help Maliki control the militias?
A: This is your mistake again. Mr. Maliki is a friend of ours. Our nations are very close. The country that is hurt most by the insecurity in Iraq is our country.
Everyone in the region says Iran is now the most powerful country, that the result of the U.S. invasion is that Iran is more powerful than it has ever been.
Q: Do you think there is a problem with Iran being a powerful country? Are you implying that the Americans went there to strengthen Iran?
A: No, but don't you think that is the end result?
Iran is a powerful country. A powerful Iran will benefit the region because Iran is a country with a deep culture and has always been a peaceful country. If the Americans had not imposed the shah, Iran could have been a far more powerful country."
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Ya'll keep referring to the "wowa" but Florence King, a fine Southern Lady living in New York City, used to write a regular column "Fridays with Florence" for National Review On-Line. I include a pertinent quote from her December 31, 2001 column.
I didn't go on any particular diet, and, needless to say, I didn't join any of those clubs or support groups. I just did commonsense things, plus mild exercises at first, and later, long walks. I even dieted on Christmas last year and Thanksgiving this year—freelance writing is the best training in self-discipline there is, and I have a Southern advantage when it comes to Thanksgiving. When I was little, my grandmother's aunt was still living at 94, and had vivid memories of what she called "the Woah." She considered Thanksgiving a Yankee holiday and made a point of observing it with soft-boiled eggs and bouillon, so I had the same.
Now, Miss King is a misanthrope. That is; she just doesn't like people. This is some of the finest curmudgeonly writing you'll "evah read."
Here's another tidbit:
A few weeks ago a woman in town noticed I was limping and asked what was wrong. When I said I had an ingrown toenail she beamed with joy and recommended her podiatrist, singing his praises so fervently that I couldn't get a word in. Finally, when she paused to dig in her bag for his card, I spoke.
"Stop. I don't care to associate with the sort of person who majors in feet."
An ingrown toenail is as challenging as a crossword puzzle. I had a martini to prepare myself for surgery; then, when I felt good and supple, I sterilized my instruments in boiling water and went to work. I got the little bugger out, then doused my toe with rubbing alcohol, followed by hydrogen peroxide-"Stand the sting and you get to watch the foam," as my grandmother used to say when she doctored my skinned knees.
Afterward, I had another martini to celebrate my recovery. As I sat watching my foaming toe, it occurred to me that what I had just done might well be declared illegal in the not-too-distant future. Now that the Gray Gelding has put Regina Dentata in charge of national health, I could end up in the Hillary-Billary dock.
Here Ms. King explains her misanthropy:
Many Americans are unfamiliar with the word misanthrope, as I discovered when I tried to discourage a persistent Southern women's club that wanted me to serve as its guide on a literary tour of Europe.
"I can't, I'm a misanthrope."
"Oh, honey, you don't have to let it cramp your style! My sister-in-law's a diabetic and she can go anywhere she wants as long as she takes her little kit with her."
Like any personality trait, misanthropy is a matter of degree. Taken in the literal sense, the obvious problem is one of logistics: hating the entire human race is hard to do, though a few flinty souls have done it. In the figurative sense, however, misanthropy is a realistic attitude toward human nature that Americans would do well to understand and adopt.
We hold dual citizenship in the Republic of Nice and the Republic of Mean. Torn between smile buttons and happy talk on the one side and Balkanization on the other, we are going as crazy as Timon of Athens, the philanthropist-turned-misanthrope of whom Shakespeare said: "The middle of humanity thou never knewest, but the extremity of both ends."
I'll give you a little more:
Deer-on-velvet sensibility comes through loud and clear in the ubiquitous "Health Watch" segments on television news. These emotion-drenched reports feature scuzzy-looking individuals who hold up their drainage bags or their cross-eyed kids to the camera; unappetizing women with their breasts clamped in mammogram machines; and blank-eyed expectant mothers who allow themselves to be photographed in the stirrups.
Invited to "tell their story in their own words," they slip into the whining nasal tones of trailer-park grievance collectors, explaining that it all started when the medicine that was supposed to cure this caused that; then another medicine they took for a disease they thought they had but didn't caused the double vision that caused the accident; and then the triplets ate the asbestos.
These sagas of pain and wrecked lives and germ-free plastic bubbles are supposed to be moving, but they move me to expropriate George V's words on hearing that one of his courtiers liked little boys: "I always thought people like that shot themselves."
New Age hypochondria lends itself to the literary exercise feminists call "deconstruction." If we keep peeling the artichoke of "health awareness" we eventually will uncover an unpleasant truth that pollsters cannot reach.
Notwithstanding our worship of perfect bench-pressed bodies, we like them much better if their owners admit to overdosing on steroids and waste away before our very eyes, preferably in public-service commercials about the dangers of steroids. New Age hypochondriacs glorify the lame, the halt, and the defective. Like Bill Clinton compulsively retelling the story of the New Hampshire boy who navigated his wheelchair down an icy winter highway to get to a Clinton rally, they cheer every insane feat the handicapped undertake, from double amputees climbing mountains to blind yachtsmen sailing the Atlantic alone.
New Age hypochondriacs call such foolhardy exploits "courageous," and woe be unto anyone who disagrees with this fashionable rationalization, because something very important is at stake here.
It's Saturday night, take a break from solving the world's problems and have a few laughs with a misanthrope like yourself. Fridays with Florence Enjoy!
At Brainy Quotes:
Chris Wallace got an earful when Bill Clinton got in his face after Wallace asked him the wrong question about bin-Laden. Looks like the movie Path to 9/11 touched a nerve.
Here's the transcript:
WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?
CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t….. I tired. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…
WALLACE: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?
CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked why didn’t you do anything about the Cole. I want to know how many you asked why did you fire Dick Clarke. I want to know…
WALLACE: We asked..
WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday sir?
CLINTON: I don’t believe you ask them that.
WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…
CLINTON: You didn’t ask that did you? Tell the truth
WALLACE: About the USS Cole?
CLINTON: tell the truth.
WALLACE: I…with Iraq and Afghanistan there’s plenty of stuff to ask.
CLINTON: Did you ever ask that? You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch is going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers for supporting my work on Climate Change. And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about…
I think I'll watch Slick Willie on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
Muslim woman being instructed on peace of mind through understanding.
"If we exclude a couple of nomadic outcasts, who claim they are working for Islam and are using violence as a method, anyone -- even with the least degree of objectivity -- will agree that Islam is matchless in terms of tolerance and promoting peace of mind through understanding. There is a very heavy penance the Catholic Church must pay, for the sins it has committed, starting with the Crusades, inquisitions, followed by the colonialization of Africa and America; and lately with its fascist implementations in modern times. However, it seems almost impossible that it will ever be forgiven. Looking at just the humane difference between the two religions during the different periods of the occupation of Jerusalem is enough to understand this reality."
Ever ask yourself if there is any chance that we can come to an understanding with the Muslim world? You have to read this. I will give you one more morsel.
"An analysis of the relationship between Christianity and Islam, within a historical context, will reveal that this is not something new. I’m a wondering why this Islamic message, in perfect sync with reason and tolerance, has not been delivered to the Westerners who are still struggling to come out of the darkness of the Middle Ages. There’s no doubt that the political as well as economic rivalries which reigned at that time had a role to play. But there’s no denying that Islam has been a victim of a smear campaign which the Church started at that time and orchestrated it by disseminating false information about Islam."
A worthy comment over at Wretchard's Belmont Club
When civilization falls apart: consider Britain after the Romans left.. the lovely mosaic floors in the splendid manor houses soon became places to thresh your wheat. St Patrick and other men could walk for DAYS through Britain, on their way to Gaul, and not meet a soul - this a place a generation earlier had been as settled as it became in the 18th century.
Read the incredible book by Lawrence Keeley, "War before Civilization, the myth of the peaceful savage." One of his points relate to the frontier between the Indian and the European in North America. As he points out, settlement of Euros occurred BEFORE the law in the USA... and so the horrific battles, in which slaughter of whole settlements, women, children and the old, with no prisoners taken - occurred ON BOTH SIDES. It was militias/vigilantes, versus tribal war bands. This is the pre-civilized way of war - ie, when there is no State with a monopoly of power and law, with which to control the exciteable.
Civilization is the place where we in the First World live and frolic, with no idea at all that it would take WEEKS to reduce us to subsistence life... ie, as in the cities of Yugoslavia.
In a non-state, people/bands/tribes/ are at war/ambush/violence throughout their lives. I have never been in that state, and neither have most of us (outside of the most violent of inner cities.)
And that is what Wretchard and Steyn and others mean by their jeremaids - we could be forced backwards to the 7th century/ or outwards, outside our wonderful, peaceful cocoon.
Everytime the airplanes put on another layer of "security" remember St Augustine, who could not - in his later years - travel to Rome ... because the Mediterranean was increasintly infested with pirates as the Roman empire disintegrated.
9/22/2006 08:28:30 PM
We often hear a variation of the old chestnut, "If you do not study history, you will be forced to repeat it". The premise rests on the expectation that you will be studying real history and not a construct of politically correct thinking dejour. If we are going to look for guidance from the past, then let's make sure we understand what we are looking at. When given the "moral equivalency" of Chritianity, Judaism or the most peaceful of religions, Islam, it would be helpful to understand what were the roots of the religion. Is that not what the Pope has done in his challenge to the antecedents of today's Islam?
1. We're screwed!
2. Things are only going to get worse.
3. Idiot politicians are killing us.
4. Rumsfelds 10-30-30 military is too small.
5. Euros will not fight.
6. Jacque Chirac should not come to America.
7. Israel is screwed.
8. Iran will get the bomb.
9. China will get the business.
1. Technology is great but in the end, it will still come down to mano y mano.
2. Western civilization may be forced to retreat from the heart of the Islamic world and fight at the borders. Meditarranean Europe, Southeastern Europe, Western India, Western Pacific, Southern Russia and Western China.
3. A wall or a fence will get built along the US/Mexico border as Chavez ruins SA.
4. Events (big terror attacks) will determine the size of our military particularly the infantry. American youth will volunteer after 9/11 type events.
5. The grand scheme to bring democracy to the Muslim world will fail or succeed in Iraq. It's a "one off" for US. It's up to the Mulims now.
6. I thought we had a military that could fight two wars simultaneously. Is that not the case?
7. US propaganda efforts in the ME seem to be almost non-existant. I wish I could think that this is by design but our State Department does not work well with our military and this needs to be remedied ASAP.
8. Conservatives must maintain control of the US government because of the the Supreme Court. This issue alone makes voting Democrat out of the question. The liberals on the Court are "killing us."
9. Israel will still be singing the lyrics, "Send lawyers, guns and money."
France launches inquiry into bin Laden death claims
France has begun an inquiry into a leak involving the French intelligence service, which has led to French media claims that Osama bin Laden is dead. A French regional newspaper today reported that Bin Laden died from typhoid in Pakistan last month. The newspaper cited a secret document drawn up by the French intelligence service, which in turn quoted Saudi officials.
The issue will also be raised at the news conference in Compiègne at the end of this weekend's summit between the leaders of France, Russia and Germany, being hosted by President Chirac at an eighteenth-century chateau in Compiègne, near Paris. This has not been confirmed.
* Al would not have used the word "him". I thought real HARD about the word he would have used, but I heard the cock crow three times and thought, "better not"
Friday, September 22, 2006
..."Under Clinton, national security was treated as a joke, and practically everything was put up for sale in a perpetual election cycle"
Beijing's Secret War
INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
"Espionage: Beijing stole secrets to every U.S. nuclear warhead while funneling millions to Bill Clinton's and other Democrats' campaigns. Now comes news that on Clinton's watch China recruited CIA officers as spies.
A new book by Washington Times national-security reporter Bill Gertz exposes how Chinese intelligence last decade recruited at least three CIA officers as spies, bribing them with hundreds of thousands of dollars. One CIA officer alone pocketed $600,000 in Chinese cash."
"Beijing at the time activated its own spies here to steal U.S. military secrets. Gertz says two Chinese brothers in Los Angeles stole defense technology that's let China track stealthy U.S. attack subs and possibly build its own version of one of the Navy's supersecret developmental warships, the DD(X) destroyer."
Read it and weep. While we are caught between dueling Muslims and bringing democracy to the coalition of the unwilling, the Chinese are moving on our flanks. They are getting our commercial and military technology on the cheap and practicing a new mercantilism generating a torrent of dollars to put to use in undermining US interests on a global scale. No where is it more clear than in Latin America. After establishing beacheads throughout the Americas, they will need to have military installations to protect their interests and a blue water navy to protect their sea lanes. Think not? The edtorial goes on to say:
..."As shocking as such treason is, it should have been expected given the new environment in which the U.S. intelligence community was operating. The tone set from the top was that the Cold War was over and the communists no longer a threat. Clinton put out the welcome mat to the Chicoms and said it was OK to share secrets.
As soon as he took office, he implemented a policy of "denuclearization." That included ending nuke testing, kicking open the nuclear labs to Chinese visitors and declassifying hundreds of thousands of documents related to our nuclear program.
Clinton also deregulated export of sensitive dual-use technology. And Beijing gleefully took advantage of the dovish shift, sharpening the reliability of the missiles it has aimed at the U.S. and Taiwan."
While the vast resources of the US are engaged elsewhere, Latin America is being hosted by the still very red Chinese. Today's Washington Post discusses growing Chinese influence in Latin America. China a communist controlled state, is rapidly developing trade, diplomatic, and military ties with Latin America and the Caribbean. China plays key roles in Asian geopolitics and has designs to increase its influence in Latin America and Africa. China is a nuclear power, it is a member of the U.N. Security Council and also opposes US interests. China is now a member of the World Trade Organization, the Group of 77 developing nations, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group. China also holds observer status in the Organization of American States. An earlier article from the Heritage Foundation makes the following observations:
According to former U.S. Ambassador to Beijing James Lilly, “The facts are that [the Chinese] run massive intelligence operations against us, they make open statements against us, their high-level documents show that they are not friendly to us.” Chinese military white papers promote power pro jection and describe U.S. policies as “hegemonism and power politics.”
In the Western Hemisphere, the Chinese are taking advantage of failures of half-hearted mar ket reforms and Washington’s unwillingness to pursue neighborhood relations with much enthu siasm. National Defense University professor Cyn thia A. Watson notes, “[T]he 1990s turned into a period of severe disappointment as free markets led to rampant corruption and unfulfilled expec tations in Latin America while Washington became the world’s superpower rather than a part ner for the region.”
The level of Chinese influence is expanding on all economic, political, cultural and quasi military levels. Chinese business man own industrial parks, apartments and are rapidaly purchasing influence and prestige throughout the region. The Hertigae article goes on to point out:
In April 2001, Chinese President Jiang Zemin pre sided over a 12-day mission to cement economic and trade ties, as well as attack what he called Washington’s “unipolar” scheme. His itinerary included Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela. Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Com mittee of the People’s National Congress, followed up with more visits in November 2001. In Novem ber 2004, President Hu Jintao flew to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Cuba, where he signed 39 bilateral agreements and announced $100 billion in investments over the next 10 years. In May of this year, Communist Party Chairman Jia Qinglin vis ited Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and Cuba.
Building on simple commercial agreements, China has advanced to economic assistance, direct investment, a few joint ventures, and military ties. When Argentina’s financial collapse rippled through South America’s Southern Cone, China quickly seized the chance to increase its stake in Argentina and Brazil, while U.S. investment declined by nearly half. Joint ventures include part nerships with Great Dragon Telecom in Cuba as well as Colombia. China is partnering with Brazil to improve that country’s railways and establish a rail link to the Pacific to cut transportation costs of iron ore and soybeans. Chile’s congested port at Antofa gasta may get a facelift thanks to the PRC.
To meet domestic industrial needs and con sumer demand, China has pursued investments and agreements with such oil producers as Venezu ela, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and even Mexico. The best fit is with Venezuela’s authoritar ian leader Hugo Chávez, who directly controls the state oil industry. President Chávez has invited the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to participate in exploring the rich Orinoco belt. Meanwhile, the CNPC has invested $300 million in technology to use Venezuela’s Orimulsion fuel in Chinese power plants.
Plenty to think about and plenty to read here at the Heritage website and The Wasington Post
Have a nice day.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
China Attempted To Blind U.S. Satellites With Laser
By VAGO MURADIAN
China has fired high-power lasers at U.S. spy satellites flying over its territory in what experts see as a test of Chinese ability to blind the spacecraft, according to sources.
It remains unclear how many times the ground-based laser was tested against U.S. spacecraft or whether it was successful.
But the combination of China’s efforts and advances in Russian satellite jamming capabilities illustrate vulnerabilities to the U.S. space network are at the core of U.S. Air Force plans to develop new space architectures and highly classified systems, according to sources.
According to experts, lasers — depending on their power level — could blind electro-optical satellites like the giant Keyhole spacecraft or even interfere with radar satellites like the Lacrosse. Blinding, one source said, is different than disabling given the enormous power required to shoot a laser through the dense lower atmosphere and reach a fast-moving satellite in space. The hardware on the spacecraft can’t be changed given they’re in orbit, but software changes can help them weather disruptive attacks.
Russian jamming systems are publicly known — the Air Force destroyed such a system deployed to Iraq to keep American GPS guided bombs from finding their targets during the 2003. The site was destroyed by GPS guided bombs.
Pentagon officials, however, have kept quiet regarding China’s efforts as part of a Bush administration policy to keep from angering Beijing, which is a leading U.S. trading partner and seen as key to dealing with onerous states like North Korea and Iran.
Newt was making more sense on immigration than anyone else that I had heard so I went to his web site.
He says that comprehensive immigration reform involves the implementation of eleven policies:
1. Gain complete control of the borders and coasts. We have the technology and the capability to control border crossings. We simply need the will to enforce it. This may require tripling the Border Patrol, building fences where necessary and using electronic surveillance elsewhere but it is clearly doable. As a matter of national survival it must be done..He has a lot more detail on defeating America’s enemies, Defending God in the Public Square, Protecting American Civilization, Winning in a Global Economy and Promoting Active Healthy Aging. Click on the "Issues" pull-down tab near the top.
2. Enforce the Law. With lax federal enforcement of the laws along the borders as well as against employers who hire illegal workers, it is not surprising that many cities across the country are raising a white flag in the fight against illegal immigration. The corrosion of the rule of law that began on the border and which has spread to so many American businesses now also touches some of our largest cities. Declaring themselves “sanctuary cities”, these lawless cities are prohibiting their police from asking about immigration status and enforcing employment laws (a “don’t ask, don’t enforce” policy that encourages breaking the law).
3. Use Technology to Keep Track of Who Enters the Country. A bio-metric identifier, such as a thumbprint and/or embedded iris scan shall be required from everyone entering the United States from abroad, as well as a background check that screens out those with a criminal record. Foreign governments that want their citizens to participate in a worker visa program will be required to turn over records of convicted felons as quickly as they currently collect this data, or on a monthly basis, whichever is fastest.
4. Establish a Worker Visa Program. Along with total border control, we need to make it easier for people to get work visas to enter the country legally and to work here at a specific job for a set of period of time and as long as they obey the law. We need a worker visa program that ensures that work visa holders pay taxes, get driver’s licenses, buy auto insurance, abide by the law. Such a program will also filter out criminals and potential terrorists, which is why we will require from foreign governments a continually updated list of their criminals.
Required Elements of a Worker Visa Program. As a part of this program, every work visa holder will be required to:
a. Carry a “smart card” with a photograph and bio-metric identifier, like a thumbprint and/or an embedded retinal scan that will be entered into a database so that their presence in the United States can be validated;
b. Sign an agreement in which the work visa holder agrees to pay taxes, obey the law, and waive any rights to appeal his or her removal from the United States within 72 hours for violating their agreement; and
c. Open and maintain an account at any U.S. financial institution with an American Bankers Association routing number into which employers of work visa holders will be required to electronically deposit their wages. No bank account, no smart card.
5. Zero Tolerance for Amnesty. As Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put it so eloquently in a Los Angeles Times op-ed on March 28, “We can embrace the immigrant without endorsing illegal immigration. Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally is not just amnesty ... it's anarchy. We are a country of immigrants, yes. But we are also a nation of laws. People who want to be citizens will want to do it the right way.”
6. Dramatically Increase H1B and H2B Visas. We should have an increase in H1B visas (and H2Bs also), so we have enough workers. We should provide a preference for anyone with a Masters or PhD degree. Preferences for these workers should ensure a brain drain into the United States from other countries. H1B and H2B visas should be issued in response to employment opportunities.
7. Deportation Law Reform. Change laws to permit removal of people here illegally within 72-96 hours of being picked up. The courts are simply wrong to suggest that the 14th amendment applies to those who are here illegally. We need to change the laws to permit prompt removal of people entering the country illegally. It is utterly irrational that 90% of certain groups of people here illegally who are apprehended are lost in the Court system and are never sent home.
8. Citizenship Reform. The worker visa program should not be an automatic qualification for citizenship, though eventual citizenship could be held out as an opportunity. While many work visa holders will have no intention of becoming American citizens, for those workers and their families who qualify and wish to become citizens, we should carefully consider how to help patriotically integrate them. Our country has a rich history of immigration. It has been a primary source of our creativity and our prosperity. We should continue to strongly encourage those who want to become citizens, but it is important that we accept only those who want to embrace American values and culture. There is no such thing as a genetic American. To become an American citizen means becoming an American in values, culture, and historic understanding.
9. Require a Written Test in English of American History for any Legal Immigrant Who Wishes to Become a Citizen and Meets all Qualification Criteria. I strongly favor legal immigrants becoming American citizens. This has been a primary source of the creativity and prosperity of America. For those who want to become citizens, we must require that they take a test about American history in English.
10. Extensive Communications Campaign Domestically and Internationally by U.S. Authorities about the New U.S. Immigration Policies. A comprehensive immigration reform plan will only work if people understand it. There must be a substantial emphasis on the communications strategies that will be employed to explain the details of this program both at home and abroad.
11. Positive U.S. Approach to Latin America. Once a comprehensive immigration reform is adopted, the U.S. should make a concerted effort to explain its details to governments throughout Latin America and make it clear in no uncertain terms that the United States will not take kindly to any action by a foreign government that seeks to actively undermine our laws. In addition, U.S. diplomats should make clear that the U.S. government stands for greater safety, health, prosperity, and freedom for every person in the hemisphere and that its policies are devoted to that end. The U.S. should also aggressively promote the adoption of reforms in other countries in the Americas that are aimed at reducing corruption and promoting greater economic opportunities for their citizens.
The man is articulate, intelligent and a conservative. He has a lot more info on immigration reform than what I have shown there
He says that he is not running for the Presidency. Too bad!