Saturday, May 05, 2007

Touch Your Nose

"So one year after 9/11, when everyone wondered what connection Saddam Hussein might have to al-Qaeda, the CIA still was not ready to conduct an intelligence briefing on that subject with the Vice President. What had they been doing for that year? We had tens of thousands of troops committed to Saddam's containment, Iraq was a security threat in the region -- hence the containment -- and the CIA couldn't prepare properly for questions about its connections to radical Islamist terrorism a year later, by Tenet's own admission.

Maybe he's both a liar and an incompetent."

Nuttier Than...

"ZAWAHIRI: One percent of the way to his goal. Looking at Zawahiri's quota for American casualties in Iraq, Don Surber is not impressed: "At this rate, al-Qaeda will meet its goal . . . in about 2353. I’ll be 400 years old then."" [ ... a room full of Cuckoo Clocks. Of course, there could be more follow-ons to the chlorine bombs they've been using on the Iraqis lately. But it wouldn't change my verdict of course. Oh, and did I mention there is no Al Qaeda in Iraq? Sigh. -ed. ]

All Truthers, All The Time

"MIAMI — Many potential jurors in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case say they aren’t sure who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because they don’t trust reporters or the federal government.

“There are too many ifs, too many things going on,” one male juror said. “I don’t know the whole story.” Others say they just don’t pay close enough attention to world events to be certain." [ So let me be sure I have this straight. All those MSM 24-hour-a-day attacks on W are just to cover up that they're in bed together covering up that W was the real evil one behind 911? Oh. And yes, it's much more important that we instead pay attention to American Idol and Paris/Britney/< insert-today's-bimbo-here >. I won't write the bad words I'm thinking but I'm sure anyone with an IQ above 60 can guess what they are... -ed. ]

The BDS Pulse Beats Ever Stronger

"Only four in ten Democrats will commit to the idea that George Bush did not know of the 9/11 attack in advance. Sixty-one percent of them either believe he did or are unsure. Bear in mind that no evidence exists that he knew about it in advance, and also bear in mind that Democrats have spent most of the last four years blaming him for the fact that the attack successfully surprised the US when it occurred. Now they also want to believe that Bush was in on the plan that killed almost 3,000 Americans and could easily have killed thousands more."

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Purpose Of Freedom

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God. (Rev 22:1)

In fact, the only way we can perceive the abnormality is to reconnect with what is normal, but doing so requires a considerable amount of.... I don't know if "courage" is the right word, but you must be extremely secure in your beliefs, and you must be willing to stand out from the group and risk rejection and ridicule. As I have mentioned before, human "groupishness" long preceded the emergence of true human individuality, and 99% of human evolution took place in an archaic environment in which the group took precedence over the individual. Therefore, human beings have many built-in evolutionary tendencies that we must actively counter in order to be spiritually "normal," one of which is the desire to "fit in" and sacrifice our individuality to the group (and leftsim begins and ends with our primitive groupishness).

Another way of saying it is that we have many traits that are biologically or genetically "normal," but humanly abnormal. Much of religion, in its more conventional, exoteric sense (which I am not in any way belittling) involves teaching us what is normal for our created self, or soul. A perfect example is the Ten Commandments, as we were discussing a couple of weeks ago. None of the commandments are "normal" in the Darwinian sense. Rather, if we were to assemble a list of Darwinian commandments, it would be very short -- perhaps as few as two: 1) survive, by any means necessary, and 2) reproduce, by any means necessary. That's pretty much it, is it not? At best, you could extend it a bit to possibly include some superficially altruistic behaviors, but they would ultimately have to link back to the survival of one's genetic line.

That in itself is a critical idea: that there are cultural arrangements and attitudes that are normative for human beings. The source of these is not found "below," but "above." It is not genetic, but archetypal. We have a human past which is genetic, below, and behind, and a human future that is archetypal, above, and ahead. Spirituality allows us to be drawn into the attractor of our true self, which is located in the "future," but is in reality outside space and time-- to requote Schuon, The purpose of freedom is to enable us to choose what we are in the depths of our heart

MI-5: There's Too Many Of Them...

"When people argue that the War on Terror "cannot be won by military, only by political means" they often exclude from consideration any political decisions which would deprive threats of their force-generation mechanisms or their means of command and control. Jihadi cells were allowed to flourish; operatives allowed to come and go; recruitment was permitted, sometimes openly in mosques because political considerations required that these activities not be impeded. Operational necessity often creates contradictions with the most cherished political institutions of a democracy that are very hard to reconcile. But that does not mean the contradictions are not real.

The "political" challenges facing the West are not only about setting up "democratic institutions" in the Middle East, or forcing Israel to accomodate Palestine. They also have to do with finding ways to shut down enemy force generation mechanisms without instituting an authoritarianism or creating a domestic tyranny. But the problem won't be solved until it is squarely recognized as needing a solution.

One of the most worrisome effects of the political decisions that the Counterterrorism Blog regrets is that it may have allowed terror groups to obtain "authority supremacy" within the Muslim communities in Britain, which occurs when a group of citizens fears and respects a shadow government more than it does the legitimately constituted and elected authorities." [ Bingo. -ed. ]

I'm Sure Everyone Will "Help"

"You have to hand it to the Pakistanis. When they lose something important -- such as nuclear material -- they don't keep it a secret. They want everybody, no matter how militant or crazed, to be on the lookout for it." [ Move along now. Nothing for you to see here... -ed. ]

Fred's "Firemen"

"Sometimes, you read or hear something, and an image forms in your mind that just won’t go away. For me, one of those images comes from the 2002 news stories about religious police in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, who beat young girls trying to escape a burning school. Because they weren’t wearing headscarves and black robes, 15 innocent girls were locked in a blazing building to burn while firemen watched helplessly. [ Unfortunately, he may be a bit off here. If they were firemen worth the name they would have saved them regardless. I suspect they're more like Ray Bradbury's "Firemen" in the final analysis. How I wish someone would prove me wrong. -ed. ]

Not all Saudis support this sort of extremism, but many Muslim radicals reject the premise that women should have even the most basic rights. These include the right to vote, to work, to drive, to choose one’s own husband, to charge a man with abuse or simply to move about without male escort." [ But of course my criticism is small potatoes. RTWT. And I don't see any other candidate of either party being this (properly) agressive. Oh, I forgot. He isn't a candidate. Yet. -ed. ]

Drum Jumps The Truther Shark?

"Nuclear and biological weapons? What nuclear and biological weapons, or genuine threat of same exists in the Middle East, Kevin? Iran assures us they only [want] nuclear power for peaceful use. Iraq ... well, do you even want to go there? I thought there was no WMD threat in Iraq, Kevin. Do tell, what have I missed? Or are you simply conjuring this threat to America up out of whole cloth, the way the Left always insists the Right has been doing all along?

And as for, how to reduce Arab resentment of the West? You mean, as in talk, the way we did with North Korea until one day the weapons miraculously one day just ... emerged from the ground?" (HT Glenn) [ I'm sure Kevin will retract it quickly. Otherwise he'd have to learn to think independently... -ed. ]

And It Really Is A Hole...

(link) "TIME.COM WON'T LIKE DON SURBER'S TAKE: "The 1,363rd most visited Web site in the world tried to diss the president of the United States as not being among the world’s 100 most influential people.""

Thursday, May 03, 2007

But What Does Al Qaeda Think?

"What makes this so odd is that al Qaeda itself has repeatedly said that Iraq is the biggest battlefield in their war against civilization. Here is Zawahiri, for example, writing to Zarqawi in July 2005:

I want to be the first to congratulate you for what God has blessed you with
in terms of fighting battle in the heart of the Islamic world, which was
formerly the field for major battles in Islam’s history, and what is now the
place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era

Democrats like Murtha are so committed to surrender that they feel constrained to deny the obvious fact that our precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would hand al Qaeda a victory of historic proportions."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

MSMemory Hole Watch (Part 23965)

(link) "MORE BOGUS KYOTO HISTORY FROM REUTERS: "President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of Kyoto in 2001, arguing it would cost U.S. jobs and that it wrongly excluded 2012 goals for poorer nations such as China."

Er, no. The U.S. refused to ratify Kyoto under President Clinton. We've been over this before. It's all spelled out in Wikipedia, even. Really, if Reuters can't get simple things like this right, why should we trust them for actual news?"

Why Fred's Coming...

"But the key to Thompson's hesitation may lie elsewhere: It's what presidential candidates have traditionally had to do to get elected. You go hat in hand and you beg money from people who have had enough success in life to give them a sense of entitlement. If you've had the ability to make millions selling plumbing fixtures, shouldn't you have some input on the next Secretary of State?

It is this sort of system that produces a George Bush as a presidential candidate. I had a conversation with a rich young man, more thoughtful than most, who has had some success in politics. He had been in one of those rooms with Bush, everyone there just like him, just like Bush
. He wondered if Bush ever met anyone other than the people just like him—wealthy, confident and privileged. Is this a system that produces a president that has any idea how most of the people in America live?

The worst time running for president is in the early months, going door to door like a condo salesman, asking the guys with check books to invest in your campaign. Mitt Romney is great at it. Thompson hates it. His strategy may be to come in in the middle of this campaign, capitalize on the discomfort Republicans have with the field and gamble on good poll numbers to create excitement. If that happens, the money will come.

But what are the odds it can happen? Romney raised $23 million during the first quarter of 2007. But Thompson just announced he was considering a run for president and his poll numbers jumped Romney to put him in third place behind John McCain and Rudy Giuliani—with no announcement, no organization and no campaign.

The internet and the power of average people to raise huge sums for candidates has been demonstrated, by Howard Dean in 2004 and by Barack Obama this last quarter. Thompson may finally be able to see how he can get there with small contributors and build a grassroots organization without the inevitable compromises that big money campaigns dictate. Go to Google and type in “Draft Fred.”


The problem with our politics is that the people who can get elected president are the people we wouldn't want as president. If there is anybody who can upset the status quo, create a new dynamic and overcome the process it would be Fred Dalton Thompson." [ Ding ding ding ding ding. He's got a shot at breaking through the essential problem we face as a culture. My traditional formulation has been: Anyone smart enough to be President is smart enough NOT to want to be President. But that last paragraph has another essential element in its first sentence. Lots more on this later... -ed. ]

The "Plan" Of The "Tiny Lights"

"This is just stunning. Neither of these tiny lights of American politics (nor their colleagues) seem to recognize that just as it takes two sides to wage war, it takes two sides to end it. The Democrats think they can end the war simply by packing the troops up and bringing them home.

Is it possible for two such prominent politicians to be that stupid?

1. The war will not end in Iraq just because US troops evacuate. The insurgencies will continue more intensely. The power vacuum created by American departure will have to be filled by someone
. Iran is already operating inside Iraq; we can expect their presence there to climb dramatically if the US packs up and leaves. Many knowledgeable observers say there is a real risk that Saudi Arabia will send troops into Iraq to protect Iraqi Sunnis from the Shias and their Iranian sponsors. This is a recipe for a regional war that no one wants, even Iran.

2. The enemy of the United States in Iraq is not really either Shia or Sunni militias. It is al Qaeda. Al Qaeda will not agree that the war is "ended" just because Pelosi and Reid say so
. They will absolutely see the Democrat-envisioned withdrawal of US troops as a stunning victory on their part. But, in al Qaeda's mind, it will not be a fin de la guerre victory. It will be a victory that will embolden them to intensify their offensive operations against the West.

The Democrats' plan to "end the war" is really a plan to prolong it, increase its violence and bloodshed and raise the probability that the war will be brought to our shores in ways and lethality we cannot yet foresee

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Where Is The Truck Debris?

This will be just hilarious for the idiot "truthers" to "explain". Now why is it that they have a predominantly paranoid schizophrenic relationship to reality? Maybe this might be related...

This is my favorite comment from the thread. Heh:
"So, let me see if I have this straight: Bush & Friends can't even
get away with firing 8 lawyers without news of it being turning into a national

But...Bush & Friends are savvy enough to orchestrate the most
diabolical plot in our history, killing thousands, and nobody among the
thousands of people that would've been involved in this elaborate plot has
opened their yap to anyone, anywhere. Oh yeah, and if Bush & Friends are so
good at hoaxing people, why didn't we "find" any WMD's in Iraq? If they could
kill over 3,000 people on our own soil it wouldn't be hard to plant a small nuke
in a bunker near Baghdad and call it Saddam's

UPDATE: And how can this not be my favorite picture?

Diane The Flower Poster Child?

"If the inferences finally coming out about what she did while on Milcon prove true, she may be on the way to morphing from a respected senior Democrat into another poster child for congressional corruption.

The problems stem from her subcommittee activities from 2001 to late 2005, when she quit. During that period the public record suggests she knowingly took part in decisions that eventually put millions of dollars into her husband’s pocket — the classic conflict of interest that exploited her position and power to channel money to her husband’s companies. . . .

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, or CREW, usually focuses on the ethical lapses of Republicans and conservatives, but even she is appalled at the way Sen. Feinstein has abused her position. Sloan told a California reporter earlier this month that while”there are a number of members of Congress with conflicts of interest … because of the amount of money involved, Feinstein’s conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than those conflicts.”

And the director of the Project on Government Oversight who examined the evidence of wrongdoing assembled by California writer Peter Byrne told him that “the paper trail showing Senator Feinstein’s conflict of interest is irrefutable.”"

On (Ethnocentrically) Availing Ourselves Nought

"Do you remember that little difficulty a few months back over the Pope’s indelicate quotation of Manuel II? Many Muslims were very upset about his speech (or his speech as reported on the BBC et al), so they protested outside Westminster Cathedral in London demanding “capital punishment” for the Pope, and they issued a fatwa in Pakistan calling on Muslims to kill His Holiness, and they firebombed a Greek Orthodox Church and an Anglican Church in Nablus, and they murdered a nun in Somalia and a couple of Christians in Iraq. As Tasnim Aslam of the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad helpfully clarified, “Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence.” So don’t say we’re violent or we’ll kill you. As I wrote in National Review at the time, quod erat demonstrandum.

But that’s a debating society line. Islam isn’t interested in winning the debate, it’s interested in winning the real fight – the clash of civilizations, the war, society, culture, the whole magilla. That’s why it doesn’t care about the inherent contradictions of the argument: in the Middle East early in 2002, I lost count of the number of Muslims I met who believed simultaneously (a) that 9/11 was pulled off by the Mossad and (b) that it was a great victory for Islam. Likewise, it’s no stretch to feel affronted at the implication that you’re violently irrational and to threaten to murder anyone who says so. Western societies value logic because we value talk, and talks, and talking, on and on and on: that’s pretty much all we do, to the point where, faced with any challenge from Darfur to the Iranian nuclear program, our objective is to reduce the issue to just something else to talk about interminably. But, if you don’t prize debate and you merely want to win, getting hung up on logic is only going to get in your way. Take the most devastating rapier wit you know – Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward – and put him on a late-night subway train up against a psycho with a baseball bat. The withering putdown, the devastating aphorism will avail him nought."

Monday, April 30, 2007

About That War For Oil

"Iraq is currently the central battlefield in a complex struggle to over ideology, geopolitics and energy. It is a test of strength between radical Islamic ideology and the West. It is about sectarian conflict within the Muslim world. But it is also about Russia's place in the Middle East and Europe's energy future. Those issues are not bound up by anything local to Baghdad. Blocked or diverted from one place, it is like a current that will move somewhere else." [ Like I just said, just go camp at Wretchards. No war for oil? How about war for survival then? And you were so certain the Cold War ended weren't you? Fred gets it too. -ed. ]

Stopped Clock At The BBC!

"Showing Islam the benefits of democracy, eh? That will go down well with Democrats in Congress. Maybe the idea will fare better in Europe. After all they have already retreated to their home ground and find they don't have enough "boots on the ground" even there. BBC Newsnight reports on how Islamic attacks on the United States and Europe originated in large part in London itself. (Hat tip: LGF)"

[ Watch the whole thing. This is a jaw-dropper even if it didn't come from the BEEB. Wretchard is rocking this week. -ed. ]

Fred Gets It

"It bothers Americans when we’re told how unpopular we are with the rest of the world. For some of us, at least, it gets our back up — and our natural tendency is to tell the French, for example, that we’d rather not hear from them until the day when they need us to bail them out again.

But we cool off. We’re big boys and girls, after all, and we don’t really bruise that easily. We’re also hopeful that, eventually, our ostrich-headed allies will realize there’s a world war going on out there and they need to pick a side — the choice being between the forces of civilization and the forces of anarchy. Considering the fact that the latter team is growing stronger and bolder daily, while most of our European Union friends continue to dismantle their defenses, that day may not be too long in coming.

In the meantime, let’s be realistic about the world we live in. Mexican leaders apparently have an economic policy based on exporting their own citizens, while complaining about U.S. immigration policies that are far less exclusionary than their own. The French jail perfectly nice people for politically incorrect comments, but scold us for holding terrorists at Guantanamo.

Russia, though, takes the cake. Here is a government apparently run by ex-KGB agents who have no problem blackmailing whole countries by turning the crank on their oil pipelines. They’re not doing anything shady, they say. They can’t help it if their opponents are so notoriously accident-prone. Criticize these guys and you might accidentally drink a cup of tea laced with a few million dollars worth of deadly, and extremely rare, radioactive poison. Oppose the Russian leadership, and you could trip and fall off a tall building or stumble into the path of a bullet
." [ Wow. RTWT. This is not only clear but seems to have set a topics/labels per paragraph record. I was impressed with his stint on Paul Harvey and it's looking like it wasn't a fluke. -ed. ]

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"No Kuffar Is Innocent"

But don't worry, MPAC ends the piece by pointing out that "he isn't really an extremist". It's fascinating to speculate on what it would take to make him one, isn't it?

Are You Still In Denial?

"Polling data just released (April 24, 2007) in a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ interview survey of 4384 Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007—1000 Moroccans, 1000 Egyptians, 1243 Pakistanis, and 1141 Indonesians—reveal that 65.2% of those interviewed (almost 2/3, hardly a “fringe minority”) desired this outcome (i.e., “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate”), including 49% of “moderate” Indonesian Muslims. The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate is strongly suggested by a concordant result: 65.5% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.”

Notwithstanding ahistorical drivel from Western Muslim “advocacy” groups such as the Muslim Association of Britain, which lionizes both the Caliphate and the concomitant institution of Shari’a as promulgators of “a peaceful and just society,” the findings from the University of Maryland/ poll are ominous

I See Nothing!

The Dems would have you believe that this video doesn't exist. Or that they were so stupid as to be brainwashed by W. Including back in '98. Sigh.

Al Qaeda Mind Control Beams Silence Democrats

"Awareness of al Qaeda is slowly growing in the minds of mainstream media reporters who have been hamstrung by the civil war schema that they simply cannot get out of their heads. Even so, there is not the slightest mention of the fact that al Qaeda was probably behind yesterday's bombing. Millions upon millions of readers of countless stories like this all over the world will read about that bombing and then shake their heads at the escalating "civil war" in Iraq. And then they will rage at George Bush for what he has done. Here is CNN's coverage of that event, and, again, not the slightest hint that this was an attack by al Qaeda (because, I assume, the reporter thinks this was part of the civil war). The CNN story even notes that this was a suicide bomber. Many stories fail to mention that key detail. It is important because virtually all suicide bombers are members of al Qaeda, as I detailed here. As such, this bombing was not part of that civil war. It was another atrocity designed to provoke a civil war that has largely abated since the troop surge began. That's the key distinction, and it cannot be emphasized often enough. People just don't get it, so it needs to be explained repeatedly until they do. In fact, what's missing from discussions by Bush and McCain and others who have the details right is the emphatic statement that these attacks are not part of the civil war; they are attempts by al Qaeda to provoke a civil war. Just stating that these attacks were perpetrated by al Qaeda does not go far enough to change the thinking of those whose minds are ensnared by an obsolete civil war schema. You have to specifically tell them that they are wrong to think like that. That gets their attention (because they are under the comfortable impression that the civil war debate was settled long ago), and it momentarily arouses disbelief (trust me -- I've been down this path with people many times). When they are presented with incontrovertible facts regarding the role of al Qaeda in Iraq in a moment of disbelief, it has been my experience that minds change (including liberal minds). But you have to directly assert that these attacks are not examples of the civil war in action, nor do they represent sectarian violence. If you don't, people have great difficulty assimilating the idea that attacks by Sunni al Qaeda against Shiite civilians do not constitute examples of sectarian violence/civil war. ***

Al Qaeda's strategy is simple, but it is also amazingly effective. It has even magically caused Democratic leaders to adopt an eerie code of silence on the issue of al Qaeda in Iraq. Using some sort of secret mind-control ray beam (I guess), al Qaeda directs Democrats to robotically talk about going to Afghanistan to fight terrorists. Meanwhile, al Qaeda slaughters hundreds of innocent Shiites every month Iraq -- right before your very eyes -- which mainstream media reporters then obediently mischaracterize as "sectarian violence." It's creepy. I feel like I've just slipped into the Twilight Zone..." [ And lucky for us the Iranians would never ever cooperate with Al Qaeda. Never. Really? -ed. ]