Saturday, September 30, 2006

Une menace de mort court contre un courageux professeur

A sign of the commitment to the right of free speech, and a warning about freedom's enemies who have come out of the woodwork:

There have been death threats against a courageous philosophy professor, Robert Redeker, and his family. It is serious enough that a Special Services branch of the Anti-terror Police instructed him to not sleep in the same place twice.

These death threats began a day a Mozart Opera was banned in Germany because the production includes display of the decapitated heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad. It was a few days after Pope Benedict's speech on the impossibility of a rational link between God and violence. Robert Redeker has just announced that none of the teachers labor union will be supporting him in any way, and nor would the Ministry of Education. Show him that he is not alone!

You can post comments (look at the end of the page) and also print the petition and its signatories to send it for example to: the Elysée, the National Ministry of Education, legislators of the UMP, the PS parties, newspapers, and radio and television stations.
The Ministry of Education and the Teachers’ Unions are abandoning him out of fear and vanity. The petition can be found here.

You can put all the protests and antics, all that anti-this, anti-that, anti-everything hysteria and abuse of west values in perspective very easily: it’s all about our precious and vulnurable freedoms. The anti-this, anti-that crowd is caving-in to the notion that free speech is not worth defending if you think you can buy yourself another day here or there. The first of those idiots who claims to care about human rights should have to think about what they’re doing when they won’t come to the aid of a confrere savant who’s life is being threatened.

From our bulging “Brilliance in Brussels” file

Not that much swifter that U.S. Democrats: they wanted an fierce, intelligence-based war on terror without any military action, but had a cow whenever they can that there just might be an intelligence-based operation of any sort operating out there. Even to the point of their politburo house-organ, the New York Times, treasonously compromising sources, methods, and lives.

As Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini told MEPs that the European Commission did not have acquaintance of the funds' transfer surveillance by the CIA, ...
“At this moment, the Commission does have only partial information. I understand that several authorities in Europe, including the European Central Bank, were informed. I can assure you that this information, which I am now aware of, was not passed on to me previously” declared Commission's Vice President Franco Frattini.
Here comes the hilarious part:
“I renew once again my steadfast commitment to the fight against terrorism and the identification of methods used to finance it, however fully within the rule of law and in accordance with our fundamental rights.”
Were it not for that inaction, indecisive navel-gazing, and lack of commitment shown by America’s “friends” in Europe, the CIA wouldn’t have to be on their patch to begin with.

Look out, Iggy Pop!

Franco “I swear I’m not a spook” Frattini and his
‘crew’ who insist that you never saw them here.

They want you to accept that they’re misunderstood... they can hate you anyway.

Goths wear the clothes and the warpaint to let you think that they’re only feeling one thing, or one type of thing. Perhaps so they can surprise you otherwise and call attention to themselves, their towing with the look of borderline Satanism, or their own borderline personalities.

With the painting of a single emotion on themselves, they instantly become 2 dimensional figures of people. In that sense they’re no different than clowns, except they enjoy scaring children instead of entertaining them. Otherwise they want you to hold them to the same low expectation that you’d have for children.

Whenever I meet a member of the undead, the only thing I can think of is that they’re not even half of the beastmaster as the most theatrical, neediest, attention-getter to ever come out of Rochester NY:

So when all of your patience for their silliness runs out, some of them try to get you to dispense some attention to their fluffy, caring and sharing side hiding under their fake, conformist pseudo-outré bullshit.

Enough with the theatrics, already Krusty!

-- H/T to the Trots.

The threats themselves make his point

Robert Redeker is a philosophy instructor who has received threats to his life for being critical of Islam and of the violent predilections of Jihadists.
From Le Nouvel Observateur’s collection of quotations, we find among the statements supporting the right people have to their opinions, forehead-slapping stupidity wooly-headed weenies licking the boot that kicks them - more to the point, to the comfort they’ll have when free speech is excised from their midst. Not by law, but through intimidation.

The League of the human rights (class and race hustling politicos) said in a press release:

“One could not admit that whoever, was this because of nauseous ideas, that is to say the object of intimidation of some nature which they are.” “Mr. Redeker accustomed us to such outbursts which communicate very little of his intellectual rigor compared to his hatred of Islam and Muslims”, the LDH said, but “even though one thinks of the Redeker’s writings, nothing justifies that he has to undergo such treatment (...) One does not fight the ideas of Mr. Redeker by making him into a victim”.
To be sure the worst examples were long vetted out in the interest of ‘social management’ making sure most of their quotes had a ‘yes, but’ to blunt any tangible argument for or against Redeker’s statements.

A colleague of Redeker who wanted to remain anonymous:
“He tackled on several occasions the question of Islam in France and liked to draw attention to himself”, noting that his remarks often aggravated his colleagues who didn’t appreciate the name of the college being mentioned in the article.
In other words: Shut the hell up, you’re wrecking my meal ticket. Stop speaking your mind. It’s not like I have your back. anyway.

Gilles de Robien, Minister of Education:
Said that he was “understanding” of the professor, while stressing that “a civil servant must be careful and exercise moderation at all times”
In other words: Shut the hell up. Your critics have rights, and you don’t.

Chloé, one of Redeker’s students:
“It’s normal that there are people who revolt, he said things which were forbidden by the Koran (...). One should fear reprisals”.
In other words: Shut up, you’re busting my bubble of delusions.
Dalil Boubaker, president of CFCM, vice-chancellor of the Grand Mosque of Paris:
“One has to be careful in the tense climate which currently faces the Muslim community, both on the national and the international level.” “After the [Mohammed] caricatures, certain statements about Islam being violent, or about the lack of reason in Islam, one sees more and more a link being made between Islam and Islamism. One often confuses one for the other, and that’s unacceptable.” At the same time, Dalil Boubaker deplores Redeker’s situation: “It’s sad to see him anxious and threatened, it is unacceptable. We live in a nation of rights, and no one can take the law into their own hands”. But he also supposed that there’s more “bluster and boastings than serious threats [to him]”.
Yeah, sure, nothing will happen to you! In other words, shut up, but I get to seem reasonable if I make this ‘mom and apple pie’ statement about your rights.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The new thought police

Europe’s new thought police think that they’re just being respectful of religion. Well, one particular religion, but are undermining the foundation of a free society. A transnational view of the world is pushing them to arrest writers, abide the banning of newspaper sales in Arabic speaking states, and disposing of what few liberties they have

Robert Redeker, Egon Flaig, and threatened for his life in Bangladesh, Solhedein Shoaib Choudhury

For more on this disappointing and inhumane failure to support a pluralistic and democratic social framework, read articles by Michelle Malkin, Fausta Wertz, Extremecenter, and the Augean Stables. Were it not for work and a project we find ourselves in the middle of, we would be joining them, but it would be hard for us to do nearly as cogent a view as these citizen journalists already are.

They’re giving this serious subject the attention it deserves. The outrage is the lack of outrage we aren’t seeing right now. There is a cancer of laziness in the heart of Europe, and like the recent rioting in the center of Brussells, it’s going untended to and un-noticed. At best these things are something they imagine that can be merely managed by their governments, but all that is, is an excuse permitting one the passivity and self-administered temporary palliatives that fascism feeds on.

What I want to know, is how do you gather the data?

David Frum via The American Thinker:

Greece suddenly found itself 25% richer yesterday after a surprise upward revision of its gross domestic product, the fruit of a change to national accounts designed to capture better a fast-growing service sector - including parts of the black economy such as prostitution and money laundering.

The country's newfound wealth raised eyebrows in Brussels, because it means that Greece will find it easier to bring its budget deficit below the European Union's 3 % of GDP ceiling.
I always suspected that those econo desk-jockeys in Brussels were into Greek.

They’re tripping out, I tell ya.

Scroll down for arrogance.the fuse is lit!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hizballah’s new hostages

Wear green.

They cannot set up checkpoints. They cannot search cars or homes or businesses. They cannot detain suspects. If they see a truck transporting missiles for example, they cannot stop it. And they cannot staff check points with the Lebanese Army because they do not know each others procedures.
Thanks. That should really accomplish a great deal of ‘peacemaking not peacekeeping’ that they sold it as. They’ll end up pissing away most of their energy just trying to make nice hoping their experienced, battle-hardened jihadist neighbors will leave the new inmate with the pretty lips alone.

The “Teufelskreis” of anti-Americanism

Others, including ZDF Bureau Chief and Correspondent Eberhard Piltz, felt that ideology was a major impediment to quality coverage of the United States. Piltz spoke of “prejudice” and described it as “an intellectual arrogance that thinks that the American way of life, feeling, taste and thinking is inferior and not authentic.” He complained that many journalists see “the U.S. through an ideological lens,” and that “most of them grew up with the leftist, socialist dream and now they look for scapegoats.” Stern magazine correspondent Michael Streck agreed with Piltz’s statement and worried “that populism goes over the line quite often.” Deutsche Welle Bureau Chief for North and South America Ruediger Lentz also expressed deep concern that “populist” ideology and views often “resonate the public mood” when it came to coverage of the United States.
The attitude of the mainstream German press toward the covering of America in an irrational, emotional manner has been quite pronounced in the past decade, and especially so toward the United States after 9/11. Medienkritik uncovers what even some heavy hitters in the German language press have found unethical and biased in it.

One could easily suspect that the overraught and tasteless coverage of any matter as it relates the United States is even painful for the press doing it to maintain a reader and viewership. For many, that indeed seems to have been the case. That it appears to be a systematic demonization of not just the US government administration’s policies, but also any feature of American culture is quite plain: according to the repeated impressions made by the German press, all American urban dwellers are impoverished and angry black men or put upon women, all believers, including Mr. Bush is a religious fundamentalist no different than the violent Taliban and al Queda.

None of it is true. Mr. Bush is a mainstream Methodist, a church that seems more obsessed with inclusion and diversity than celebrating the faith. For the editors back home in Germany, which have a near monopoly on the news given the lack of German speaking populations outside of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the view their readers form of events can be scripted. It also needs to be noted that the German press lacks breadth and range of opinion since any outlet with a diverging point of view is either an upstart or part of a industry of trade publication.

Cornel Faltin put it best: “Some colleagues already have stories in their suitcases.” In Faltin’s view, some correspondents working in the United States are influenced by pre-existing views. One interviewee stated anonymously that many journalists come to the U.S. “with preconceived bias.” Eberhard Piltz concluded that, “they tend to look at America with their European, German eyes.” He added that, "stories that make Bush look bad were requested all the time." According to Piltz, one would only have to "wait by the phone for the editors." Piltz also stated that the editors were those who "went in the streets and cried for Ho Chi Minh" at an earlier time and many still viewed the United States as "the spoiler of their dreams." Piltz was of the opinion that Spiegel and Stern magazines were in the forefront of "Bush bashing" and cautioned that it was often difficult to separate "Bush-bashing from anti-Americanism." He described anti-Americanism as a "larger phenomenon" that reaches back to at least 1917.

Another factor that has contributed to “predetermined” reporting is the excessive reliance on so-called “Leitmedien” or leading media. Martin Wagner explained that many “editors at quality papers read The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Der Spiegel and have stories and ideas all ready before the day starts.” This game of follow-the-leader reduces the number of issues that actually reach the German news consumer. Wagner stressed that many examples of good journalism were ignored because they did not relate to “hot” topics.
All of it whipped up by a press struggling to maintain its’ circulation against sources available on the internet, and against apathy itself. If only their ‘robust’ solution to this challenge was to have a broad range of views, and stick to more incisive accuracy, they might achieve this. As it has always been well known, throwing red meat to the mob only works as long as they remain hungry and angry. Sooner or later even the least inquisitive among them get exhausted by it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hey, lefty: look through the gates of your jinna

One would hope that this doesn’t come as a shock.

Being polite to barbarians only works if they listen and follow an example. Rampaging fools who would shoot a nun don’t. European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, the only senior figure in the EU who appears to have a spine, chides Euro-leaders for caving in on the Pope in the usual Euro-manner:

"To attack the Pope because he referred to a historical document in a speech is fully unacceptable," said Mr Barroso.

"I was disappointed that there weren't more European leaders who said: of course the Pope has the right to express his views. The problem is not his remarks, but the reactions of the extremists."

Asked why European politicians had been so reluctant to support the Pope, Mr Barroso said "Perhaps because there is concern about a possible confrontation. And sometimes [there is] a sort of political correctness: that one is only being tolerant when placing the opinion of others above one's own. I am very in favour of tolerance, but we should stand up for our values."
The making of the US as a straw man, and the frequent reversing of what those values are for the purpose of being America’s contrarian is further proof of that. The behavior is not that different from Ahmedinejad’s bleats: he wants to give a popular pitchfork-raising slap at what appears to stand for authority, but not slap so hard that the United States will do anything about it.

Barroso seems to see the weakness and indignity of this approach, and seems to be more than willing to discuss values for something other than political effect or public appeasement. He seems to be aware of the existential threat to those values and tenets.

Meanwhile at the other end of the bar, Dominique de Villepin takes an approach that the public is more used to. Breaking big concepts to them by seeming to demand more and better symbolism, when what he seems to be looking for is a statesmanlike dealer to hire on.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

When guns are okay to lefty.

Even on those rare occasions when there is no bling or carpet-clad sound mixers around... When they seem empowering of fit into some one or another of their fetishes, but actually aren't, and cover for their otherwise apologetic handling of Iran, even the treatment of women. Just as Biased BBC points out, they’re more than willing to try to convince their audience (which is increasingly growing to the conclusion that Iran is as bad as their threats), that they’re just plain honey-dorey and fabu. Funny how they seem to find liberating and take comfort in the practices of regimes that tend to repress.

The pattern is simple: once the public, even a hopeful and forgiving public gets to the point where it understands that a situation is evil, our lucid ‘social betters’ try to prove otherwise. It’s really just that simple.

It also puts their hyperventilating (wisely omitted from their ‘Listen Again’ web page) about the Swiss public having guns (complete with ‘the little boys need it to prove their manhood’ references) in perspective - nor any discussion of the absence of crime – or rates of domestic violence compared to Iran.

Johnny Nuance flies again.

Australia’s futile request

Aus, with 1/20th of Europe’s population is carrying its’ burden in Afghanistan. Likewise with Canada - again. Downer chides their fickleness, and the European willingness to abandon Afghans that they otherwise prefer to wring their hands over.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said it would also be helpful if European NATO nations based in Afghanistan's north changed their engagement rules from purely defensive operations so they could help fight the Taliban in the south.

"I think the real challenge is that a larger number of countries in Afghanistan need to abandon the sort of caveats there are on their involvement and be prepared to support the countries that are particularly shouldering the burden in the south of the country," Downer said.

Downer said Canada, which provides the backbone of the NATO operation in Kandahar and has lost more than 30 troops, had borne the brunt of operations in Afghanistan's south.

"We'd like to feel that some of the other countries in the north of Afghanistan would be prepared to come in and provide backup support when it was needed in the south," Downer told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio from Helsinki.

"I think we need a bigger team effort in Afghanistan," Downer said in comments echoed by Prime Minister John Howard.
Another sign of EU-nobility - reserving their huffiness for those who won’t give it back, and never risking anything meaningful.
Canada wants its allies to step up their help in curtailing the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, this country's ambassador to the war-torn nation said Monday.

"We're taking on our burden and a little bit more, and we're very proud of that," David Sproule said after giving a speech at Memorial University in St. John's.

"But we're anxious that the burden be shared amongst all contributing countries in NATO and those that have the wherewithal to do so."
That’s a polite way of asking our barbaric friends to get off of their duffs and put their money where their mouth is. So while the Dutch are set to take command, their domestic press forgets the Afghan public and continues to ask if they should even bother pursuing the Taliban at all.the fuse is lit!

Elle couve, elle couve, la banlieue

Que ça saute.

Keep an open mind.

...« Do we have to demonize Iran? »...

The answer is yes.
the fuse is lit!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dead from the neck up anyway

Leaks are notorious in the world’s intelligence lacework. It seems that some DGSE flunky leaked a report that the Saudis deny assembling in order to appear to make news. Amusingly, the DGSE can’t corroborate the allegation, and the CIA won’t touch such silliness with a bargepole. One possibility is that Saudi intelligence put word on the street of bin Laden’s death out just to see who it was that they could trust, and which ones are just out-of-control spook wannabees.
Like solving the mystery pf a roof problem, it seems the biggest drip has been found. Rushing to release unconfirmed news like this in order to appear to be associated with good news or a success reveals the kind of narcissism that can get people killed. Not touching it with a bargepole, not trotting out speculations, not compromising other outfits’ sources or methods – now that’s a class act.the fuse is lit!

No Ties Between Saddam and Al-Qaeda?

It's an odd claim
to state that "Saddam Hussein "was resistant to cooperating with al Qaeda or any other Islamist groups", muses Stephen F. Hayes (danke zu Eric R. Staal).
Saddam Hussein's regime has a long and well-documented history of cooperating with Islamists, including al Qaeda and its affiliates.

As early as 1982, the Iraqi regime was openly supporting, training, and funding the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization opposed to the secular regime of Hafez Assad. For years, Saddam Hussein cultivated warm relations with Hassan al-Turabi, the Islamist who was the de facto leader of the Sudanese terrorist state, and a man Bill Clinton described as "a buddy of [Osama] bin Laden's."

Throughout the 1990s, the Iraqi regime hosted Popular Islamic Conferences in Baghdad, gatherings modeled after conferences Turabi hosted in Khartoum. Mark Fineman, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, attended one of the conferences and filed a story about his experience on January 26, 1993. "There are delegates from the most committed Islamic organizations on Earth," he wrote. "Afghan mujahedeen (holy warriors), Palestinian militants, Sudanese fundamentalists, the Islamic Brotherhood and Pakistan's Party of Islam." Newsweek's Christopher Dickey attended the same conference and wrote about it in 2002. "Islamic radicals from all over the Middle East, Africa, and Asia converged on Baghdad," he wrote, "to show their solidarity with Iraq in the face of American aggression. . . . Every time I hear diplomats and politicians, whether in Washington or the capitals of Europe, declare that Saddam Hussein is a 'secular Baathist ideologue' who has nothing to do with Islamists or terrorist calls to jihad, I think of that afternoon and I wonder what they're talking about. If that was not a fledgling Qaeda itself at the Rashid convention, it sure was Saddam's version of it."

Iraqi leaders frequently touted their Islamist credentials. "We are blessed in this country for having the Islamic holy warrior Saddam Hussein as a leader, who is guiding the country in a religious holy war against the infidels and nonbelievers," said Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of Saddam's top deputies, in an address to the terrorist confab. On August 27, 1998, 20 days after al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Africa, Babel, the government newspaper run by Saddam's son Uday Hussein, published an editorial proclaiming Osama bin Laden "an Arab and Islamic hero."

None of this is a secret, as the press coverage attests. But the authors of the Senate report seem determined to write it out of the history. On what basis do the authors claim that Saddam Hussein was "resistant" to cooperation with Islamists? The finding is sourced to "postwar detainee debriefs--including debriefs of Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz." Well then, that settles it.

But why take Saddam's word for it? This is, after all, the same man who claims that he is the president of Iraq. Even assuming the man isn't a pathological liar, isn't it the case that detainees interrogated by a government fighting a global war on terror might have an incentive to understate their complicity in global terror?

… According to the [Senate] report, Saddam Hussein was asked whether he might cooperate with al Qaeda because "the enemy of the enemy is my friend." The report dutifully--and uncritically--offers his response. "Saddam answered that the United States was not Iraq's enemy. He claimed that Iraq only opposed U.S. policies."

Really? That's hard to reconcile with these instructions from Saddam Hussein in a 1993 address. "Attack them, our beloved people," Saddam ordered in a speech broadcast on Iraqi television. "You are the glory of our nation. Attack them." Or this editorial: "American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces," argued Uday Hussein's newspaper Babel on November 15, 1997.

A statement from Saddam's Baath party on November 8, 1998 [again during the Clinton era], called for "the highest levels of jihad" against American interests. "The escalation of the confrontation and the disclosure of its dimensions and the aggressive intentions now require an organized, planned, influential and conclusive enthusiasm against U.S. interests."

And Saddam Hussein celebrated the attacks on September 11, 2001. "The American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity," he declared just days after the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

These are just four examples out of dozens. Despite his claims to the contrary, Saddam Hussein regarded the United States as an enemy. And for years he demonstrated his willingness to work with Islamists by, among other things, working with Islamists. The Senate report fails to provide any of this contextual balance to the denials of detained Iraqi officials. It is a revealing omission that raises serious doubts about the quality of the reporting throughout the 52 pages examining Iraq's links to al Qaeda.

There is much to quarrel with in the report. But it is worth spending a moment to consider the vast amount of information that was left out of the committee's treatment of Iraq's links to al Qaeda. A few examples [follow.]

…There is no mention of the Clinton administration's 1998 indictment of Osama bin Laden, which noted that al Qaeda had "reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq." The language was dropped from a superseding indictment of bin Laden, after the August 7, 1998, East Africa embassy bombings allowed prosecutors to narrow their charges. Patrick Fitzgerald, a U.S. attorney involved in preparing the original indictment (who would later gain national prominence in the CIA leak case), testified before the 9/11 Commission. He told the panel that the claim in the indictment came from Jamal al Fadl, who told prosecutors that a senior Iraqi member of al Qaeda, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, had worked out the agreement between Iraq and al Qaeda. According to Fitzgerald's testimony, Salim "tried to reach a sort of agreement where they wouldn't work against each other--sort of the enemy of my enemy is my friend--and that there were indications that within Sudan when al Qaeda was there, which al Qaeda left in the summer of '96, or the spring of '96, there were efforts to work on jointly acquiring weapons."

There is no mention of the Clinton administration's many public claims that Iraq was working with al Qaeda on chemical weapons development in Sudan. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the passage in the indictment of bin Laden "led [Richard] Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to [National Security Adviser Sandy] Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was 'probably a direct result of the Iraq-al Qaeda agreement.' Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the 'exact formula used by Iraq.'"

…On it goes. In addition, there are numerous omissions that could shed light on Iraq's involvement in trans regional terrorism more broadly.

There is no mention of Iraqi documents first reported in a monograph published by the Joint Forces Command after 18 months' study of prewar Iraq. According to their report, called The Iraqi Perspectives Project:

Beginning in 1994, the Fedayeen Saddam opened its own paramilitary training camps for volunteers, graduating more than 7,200 "good men racing full with courage and enthusiasm" in the first year. Beginning in 1998, these camps began hosting "Arab volunteers from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, 'the Gulf,' and Syria." It is not clear from available evidence where all of these non-Iraqi volunteers who were "sacrificing for the cause" went to ply their newfound skills. Before the summer of 2002, most volunteers went home upon the completion of training. But these camps were humming with frenzied activity in the months immediately prior to the war. As late as January 2003, the volunteers participated in a special training event called the "Heroes Attack." This training event was designed in part to prepare regional Fedayeen Saddam commands to "obstruct the enemy from achieving his goal and to support keeping peace and stability in the province."

There is no mention of Iraqi documents discussing "Blessed July," a planned wave of terrorist attacks that was also first reported in The Iraqi Perspectives Project study.

…Intelligence officials familiar with the DOCEX project say that the numbers in the report are inflated in an effort to impress congressional overseers. If just the cover sheet on a 200-page document has been read once and summarized, for example, all 200 pages are counted toward the total number of documents that have been exploited "to some extent." A translator who read only the cover sheet on the eight-page fax from Manila to Baghdad would have missed the revelation that Iraq had been providing money and arms to Abu Sayyaf. But for the purposes of the Senate report, that important document would have made the list of documents "translated and summarized to some extent." The real number of fully exploited documents, according to those familiar with the DOCEX project, remains in the single digits. The report's oracular assurances--that further exploitation is "unlikely" to change our understanding of Iraqi links to al Qaeda--is both deeply revealing and deeply troubling.

[The] Shakir case … stands as yet another example of the Senate report's selective use of evidence and the alacrity with which its authors sought to reject alleged Iraqi ties to al Qaeda.

…Muhammad al Masari, a known al Qaeda mouthpiece, told the editor of the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Abdel Bari Atwan, that Saddam reached out to al Qaeda--and Zarqawi--after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and provided funding for al Qaeda operatives to relocate to Iraq. "According to Masari, Saddam saw that Islam would be key to a cohesive resistance in the event of invasion. Iraqi army commanders were ordered to become practicing Muslims and to adopt the language and spirit of the jihadis. On arrival in Iraq, Al-Qaeda operatives were put in touch with these commanders, who later facilitated the distribution of arms and money from Saddam's caches."

Finally, when Zarqawi returned to Iraq after the war, he teamed up almost immediately with a cadre of former Iraqi Intelligence officials to conduct attacks on U.S. troops and softer targets in Iraq.

…The mainstream press has treated the Senate report as the definitive word on Iraqi links to al Qaeda. It is not. It is worth remembering that while critics of the Bush administration have long since decided that there was no relationship at all between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda, there are many observers who continue to hold a different view. If these individuals disagree on the extent of the relationship and its meaning, they agree that there was one.

"There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda," said 9/11 Commission co-chairman Thomas Kean.

"Saddam Hussein's regime welcomed them with open arms and young al Qaeda members entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation," said Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden's longtime mentor Abdullah Azzam.

"I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al Qaeda," said former Iraqi prime minister and longtime CIA asset Ayad Allawi. "And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism."

"What our report said really supports what the administration, in its straight presentations, has said," noted 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman. "There were numerous contacts; there's evidence of collaboration on weapons. And we found earlier, we reported earlier, that there was VX gas that was clearly from Iraq in the Sudan site that President Clinton hit. And we have significant evidence that there were contacts over the years and cooperation, although nothing that would be operational."

And late last week, following the release of the Senate report, Barham Salih, deputy prime minister of Iraq, had this to say: "The alliance between the Baathists and jihadists which sustains al Qaeda in Iraq is not new, contrary to what you may have been told." Salih continued: "I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam's regime."

Some day there will be an authoritative and richly detailed history of the nature of the relationship between the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups. This latest product of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is unlikely to merit even a footnote in this history.

Provenance Ignored

Why Marx's european stepchildren can’t hack it in Oz:

And over wattle-seed muffins - she is an adventurer, no? - I will tell her that young Australians above all value drinking. Whether alco-pops, wine, or beer, it matters not what is drunk, its provenance, or the year in which it was bottled. What is valued here is how much you can drink of it.
Not to mention a completely different sort of epiphany of things far more meaningful that the effete perspective just can’t help but have contempt for. Everything continental might be so freaking precious and special to them and even some of us, but the rest of us just don’t care:
On the subject of employment, I will tell her that in Australia, contrary to mythology, we honour hard work. We elect a government dedicated to making us work harder. So if she thinks we are impressed by France's 35-hour week, and its cafe society, she is wrong. Latte-drinker, I will tell her, is a term of abuse in Australia.
- Merci buckets to Val.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It’s like, so culturally diverse, man.

Except it's too EU-like, and just can’t manage to work as well at it as America does.
Maybe they need a ‘regime’ or ‘initative’ or something like that... Snxpffft!!!

Europeans and their useless treaties and conventions

Not worth the paper they are scribbled on.

Taking their schtick out on the road: Americans undercutting America abroad

The looming economic crisis comes from the unsustainable US external debt. For more than a quarter-century, we Americans have been buying more from the rest of the world than we have been selling it, and borrowing from abroad to make up the difference. The resulting trade deficit has been a major engine of global growth...
-- The Nation, February 13, 2006 issue

The Communist rag L’Humanité interviews American moonbat economist Joseph Stiglitz. He’s been making the rounds, and tailoring the message to the listener, having recently tossed out the unsupported whopper that cleaning up after Saddam would ultimately cost the United States $1 trillion $2 trillion dollars in equipment and manpower, and for present and future soldier benefits. Needless to say, as a Nobel winning statistician dabbling in Social-“Justice”-Economics, he knows how to have fun with numbers such that he can arrive and a clean, round figure that conveniently sounds alarming.
His recent BBC World Service interview dwelled on the futurelessness of globalization, but only if America is an importer. It seems odd that it’s a subject the BBC understands rather badly for an operation that is globalized, and is most eagerly listened to in South Asia which seems to be in the process of being raised out of deprivation by it.

So his foray into the kooky world of L’Humanité (quite naturally prompted,) dwells rather too simplistically for a Nobel Laureate on the failure of capitalism. He comes just short of declaring that it’s already pushing daisies. “The free market doesn’t work? For WHOM, exactly, Joe?:

L’Humanité: You often refer to the euphoria of the financial markets. In 2001, the financial laws put in place after the dotcom bubble had burst, like the law Sarbanes-Oxley in the United States, did not change things greatly...

Stiglitz: First of all, one needs better and clearer data, which makes it possible to detect the problem in a more precise way. Secondly, a more important tax, like China has on the short-term capital gains is a way of discourage capital from being exported quickly. It’s also necessary to use economic stimulus benefiting socially productive goals such as innovations, research on diseases like malaria or AIDS, rather than on the growth of the hair (but which pays more!). The free market doesn’t work, but one can use its’ strength by altering it.

Ignore the stagnancy and rampant escalation of poverty under the feverish Keynsianisn of the left, especially Carter, the British Left of the 1970s, and pre-realism Mitterand, big Joe's employment killing Capital Gains Tax is here to rescue the world from tooth decay!

So by some miracle it’s strong, but failed, and useful only if “the social betters” who have little familiarity with it remander it for their specific social goals... Nice trick, if you can make it work more than once. After all, find me ONE economy that’s been heavily nationalized that hasn’t either gone into the tank, or has been saved by the type of “masses” that commie crackpots like L’Humanité refuses to represent.the fuse is lit!