Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Hat tip to Patty from This That And Frog Hair2

Kerry update: I apologize to no one

Video: Kerry refuses to apologize for insulting American troops

Sounds about right for Kerry..it's ALWAYS someone else's fault.

John Kerry calls US troops in Iraq stoopid and lazy.

Once a traitor, always a traitor.

Senator John Kerry once again reported for doody and stuck his foot firmly in his mouth at a Los Angeles campaign appearence for wanna-be governer Phil Angelides:

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq."

This guy is just the gift that keeps on giving for the GOP. I wouldn't be surprised if he was on Karl Rove's payroll.

Needless to say, there were a couple of people who took exception to Senator Kerry's remarks. One of them was White House Spokesperson Tony Snow:

"It sort of fits a pattern. You may recall that last year Senator Kerry on CBS's Face the Nation accused U.S. soldiers of terrorizing kids and children in Iraq and recently also described troop concentrations in Baghdad as, quote, “having failed miserably.” What Senator Kerry ought to do first is apologize to the troops.... Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who have given their lives in this. This is an absolute insult, and I'm a little astonished that he didn't figure it out already...

Meanwhile, it's probably reasonable to ask some of the Democrats -- ask Jim Webb or Tammy Duckworth, both of whom are citing their military record, "Okay. What do you think about? What do you think about this quote? Do you agree with him? He was your presidential nominee."

Kerry, if he had the brains G-d gave a turnip would have simply apologized, explained he misspoke at let it go at that. Of course, he did nothing of the sort.

Instead, he went bananas and issued this press release hitting out at ` a stuffed shirt White House mouthpiece' and `Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country.'

One of those stoopid "Republican hacks who has never worn the uniform of our country," Senator John McCain, had this to say to Kerry:

" Senator Kerry owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country’s call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education. Americans from all backgrounds, well off and less fortunate, with high school diplomas and graduate degrees, take seriously their duty to our country, and risk their lives today to defend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

They all deserve our respect and deepest gratitude for their service. The suggestion that only the least educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq, is an insult to every soldier serving in combat, and should deeply offend any American with an ounce of appreciation for what they suffer and risk so that the rest of us can sleep more comfortably at night. Without them, we wouldn’t live in a country where people securely possess all their G-d-given rights, including the right to express insensitive, ill-considered and uninformed remarks."

Of course, I'm sure Senator Kerry got a good reaction in some quarters:

This is a test for the Democratic party, as Tony Snow suggested. I'm interested to see how they react. I suspect that most of them will have nothing to say about this, unless it's to defend Kerry - something you should think about before you vote.

As for the Senator..well, I've always loved the remark I heard an 8 year old little girl of my aquaintance make after hearing Kerry speak during the 2004 campaign: `That John Kerry is a bad man! He should be helping the president with the war instead of just being nasty and getting in the way..he's not even worthy to be a senator!'

Not bad, sweetheart...I couldn't have said it better myself.

We'll see how Flipper tries to spin his way out of this one....

Iran is paying a bonus for US and European tourists.

Joshua's Army member Yamabushi earns a commendation for bringing this odd item to my attention. Apparently the government of Iran is is offering cash bonuses to travel agents for American and European tourists.

"Iran's tourism department will pay US$20 per person to those who attract European or American tourists to the country," said Mohammed Sharif Malakzadeh, deputy head of the department, according to IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency),Iran's official government news agency.

The official spin on this is that it's Iran's attempt to reach out to ordinary Americans to show that its problem is with the U.S. administration — not U.S. citizens.

There may be some truth to that, but I think the real, underlying reasons are a little different.

First of all, Iran is desperate for foreign exchange and any jobs tourism might create, as the rial is severely inflated and unemployment. Inflation is in the high double digits and the `official' unemployment rate is almost 13%...around 35% if we're talking the 18-29 age group.

Second, this is an obvious attempt to attract human shields into the country to use as hostages.

Much as I can appreciate the delights of sampling horisht or chelo polo in Shiraz or exploring the ruins at Persopolis, I think that passing on an Iranian vacation would be a pretty smart move just now.

Not to mention a humane one, considering the regime vacationing Americans or Europeans would be supporting with their tourist dollars.

Maliki orders US forces out of Sadr city

Once again, Iraqi PM Maliki proves his true colors.

Maliki ordered a five-day-old military blockade of Sadr City section discontinued, and the US Army was instructed to comply.

The blokade was put in place to try and help rescue a kidnapped US soldier and take down Abu Deraa and other members of a Shiite death squad.

Of course, this means that the hostage can be spirited away by the Mahdi Army anywhere in the country, and that Abu Deraa and his pals can continue their murderous activities...not to mention a propaganda boost for al Sadr and the Mahdi Army.

Maliki ordered the blockade lifted after al Sadr turned the heat up by calling for a `civil disobedience' campaign in Sadr City to protest the blockade.

Armed fighters of Sadr's Mahdi Army enforced the boycotts, entering schools to force out children and forcing workers and customers to leaven shops and offices, including the government electrical facilities.

Precisely at 5 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EST), the deadline set by Maliki, U.S. froces retreated and dismantled the roadblocks. After the left, al Sadr sent men in pickup trucks driving through the streets waving banners of the Mahdi Army in celebration.

Maliki has come under a lot of pressure from the US - and justifiably so - for not acting aggressively enough to combat and disarm the Mahdi Army and other Shiite militias like the Badr force. Trained, armed and controlled by Iran, the Shiite militias are the main source of the sectarian violence sweeping Iraq.

The militias also control Maliki. His Dawa party is dependent on the muscle and goodwill of Moqtada al Sadr and the Mahdi Army, just as al Sadr is dependent on our enemy Iran for support.

This is what happens when you rush people with no democratic traditions into an election they're not prepared for and don't carefully restrict who runs, at least until the govenment gets on its feet and is securely functioning.

Maliki, like his predecessor Jaafari, spent the Saddam years cuddled up with the mullahs in Iran.

I mean, what else would you expect?

Aside from simply washing our hands of the whole mess, which would be catastropic,we really only have three options in Iraq:

  • We can dispose of the present dysfunctional government and put the place under US military rule, something we should have done in the first place.

  • We can forcefully confront Iran, which would cut off the flow of money and arms to the Shiite militias and then allow the US military to dispose of the Badr Force, al Sadr and the Mahdi Army.

  • Or we can redeploy and team up with the Kurds, our only real allies in Iraq , help them establish a strong, independent Kurdistan that includes Kirkuk and put our strategic bases there as they've repeatedly invited us to do. Plus we get the highly disciplined and trained Kurdish army, the Pesh Murga as a bonus, doubling our combat strength.

My vote? Since President Bush seems unwilling to confront Iran right this minute, number 3, team up with the Kurds. And I've said that for a long time, ever since we took out Saddam.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A war president in the making?

Regular members of Joshua's army have heard me mention Congressman Duncan Hunter(R-CA), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee before. Most recently, he called for CNN's imbedded reporters to be booted out of Iraq because of CNN's airing of an undated jihad snuff video they got from Islamic terrorists showing our troops being shot by snipers as `news'.

Famously, he asked CNN's Wolf Blitzer `Does CNN want us to win this thing?' without getting a clear answer.

Hunter, of course has a proprietary interest - his son is deployed in Iraq as a marine.

Other issues Hunter has surfaced on include illegal immigration - he was a key force in pushing President Bush to sign the bill authorizing the new border fence - and his outspoken opposition to the Dubai Ports deal.

Today, in a surprise move, he announced his intention to run for president in 2008.

Hunter is something of a maverick among Republicans, a fairly staunch, pro victory conservative. He's a decorated Vietnam Marine, who's made his mark in Congress by advocating for a strong military and border security.

Interestingly, in an era of globalists, he's a `fair trader' rather than a free trader, who voted against GATT and NAFTA.

Hunter, 58, is a formera former San Diego trial lawyer and a Reagan conservative. He told supporters that he would make "a strong national defense" a hallmark of his candidacy.

"This is going to be a long road,'' he said. ``It's going to be a challenging road. There's lots of rough and tumble. But I think it's the right thing to do for our country."

Pundits point out that he while he's well known in Congress, he has little name value outside of it.

But given how events might shape up in the next two years, Congressman Hunter bears watching. The qualities of leadership and outspoken courage he's exibited in the past are in short supply. A crusty, no nonsense ex-Marine might just prove very attractive to American voters in the future as part of the `08 Republican ticket.

Rats in the Kitchen: A Parable

Once, there was a man who had to deal with rats when he had a major infestation in his home.

The rats' normal environment became unable to support them all, and they began coming down from the hills looking for new digs... and decided they liked the man's house. They were perfectly happy to hunker down in the attic, garage and basement with free access to the goodies in the kitchen and pantry. And once they had moved in and saw what rich booty was to be had, they were determined to take over.

At first the problem wasn't evident. The man would see an occasional rodent scurrying around in the basement, and being a live and let live sort, it never bothered him too much.

As more and more rats began showing up, their presence became much more noticeable. The man made an effort to understand the rats and their needs. The thought even crossed the man's mind that he and his neighbors, by living in the area, owed it to the rats to try and coexist peacefully.After all weren't they entitled to live on the planet too?

The man talked to a local expert on rats, who owned a pest control business. The expert warned him that he had to get rid of the rats now, and act decisively when things were at an early stage, or he would be faced with a major problem in the future. The man listened politely, but thought `well, this guy has his own agenda...after all, he makes his living scaring people about rats. I don't see it as any kind of major problem yet...nothing that can't be handled.'

So he tried what he thought was the most compassionate way out, taking bread and putting it out in the fields, figuring that the rats would be satisfied with that and leave. No luck..having learned to enjoy the basement and access to the goodies in the pantry and the kitchen within, they weren't content to scrounge in the fields any more. Next he tried purchasing a number of those electronic gizmos that claim to drive rats away using high frequency sound. Not only didn't they work, but the rats became even more blatant and bold. The high-pitched electronic sound drew them like an Islamic prayer call or a rock concert.

And as the rats became more bold, they began coming into the house at will.And their numbers continued to increase.

It was pretty obvious that they had nothing but contempt for the man and that they considered his house to be their house.Aside from the unsightly droppings they left as calling cards, they would raid the cupboards and attack boxes of cereal, bread, sacks of cornmeal and flour, bags of chips or anything else they were capable of getting into. And as this went on the man learned a few things about rats. They're essentially parasitical and create nothing except more rats. They aren't interested in co-existence. They're extremely territorial and demanding, and they have no understanding or appreciation of anyone who isn't a rat, nor do they care to. Give them a foothold, tolerate them in the least, and they'll cheerfully take over. Their agenda is surprisingly uncomplicated.

So the man started to become more uncomfortable with the rats and gave some serious thought to getting rid of them somehow. But he wasn't the decisive sort, and it was more complex than it seemed at first. For one thing, his kids, brainwashed by years of propaganda at the local public school and cartoons showing rats as cute cuddly creatures objected to his efforts. Why can't we just live with the rats? they said. Maybe we can keep them as pets. They have a right to live too, and they don't cause any trouble...why are you so against them? Do you have some kind of rat-phobia?

That lasted until their pet parakeet was killed and savaged by the rats in its cage, and one of the youngest children was bitten at the breakfast table by a rat boldly trying to get at her food.

After that, the children realized that they had been somewhat...misinformed, and they weren't so supportive of the rats anymore. And the man finally realized that if the rats had gotten that confident and aggressive, it was time to take action.

After thinking it over, he figured that his choices were to continue to ignore the problem and play host and provider to a bunch of rats, to move out, or to eliminate the rats. He finally realized at long last that appeasement or pretending there was no problem was a dead end; it was simply getting worse. The rats had no respect for him, his home or his efforts at peaceful co-existence. So the man decided on some kind of elimination as the solution.

He thought about poison, but realized that trying to poison the rats en masse would lead to unexpected consequences when they died in between the walls or in the attic and began to smell, not to mention the danger to his family. There was no sense fouling his own nest. And it would do nothing to permanently solve the problem, since more would just move in, and he would be faced with the same problem all over again. No, to really finish something like that once and for all, he needed to mount a determined campaign, with a rat free environment as the goal. He had no desire to be unnecessarily cruel, but he knew he needed to make sure that the rats got the message that they were not going to take over his home and that they needed to return to the fields they had come from. And he understood that he could no longer afford to be afraid to do what was needed.Not if he wanted to keep his home.

Oddly enough, some of the man's neighbors were highly critical of his plans to get rid of the rats. Some of them had their own problems with rats and were afraid that his efforts would just make things worse for everybody. Others felt that it was simply wrong to look at the rats as a problem or treat them in that fashion. One of them even called the local SPCA, and one of their representatives paid a visit to the man and cautioned him strongly about eliminating the rats. "I can't force you to be humane," she said, "But I can and will issue a report about our conversation and let you know that we strongly disapprove of any proposed actions you may take without going through proper channels, and that it's contrary to SPCA rules and standards. I can almost guarantee you a citation from animal control."

Nevertheless, the man began his campaign against the rats.

First, he started by rat-proofing the premises. This involved a sealing off of any little crevice that might have allowed the rats ingress and egress, although he left one hole open for the rats to leave through for the first couple of weeks. As well as wanting to control his territory, he was also, at heart, still compassionate and wanted to let the rodents know that they were no longer welcome and that hanging around or continuing to attempt to break in was going to be terminal..so that the more of them that left of their own accord, the less bloodshed there would need to be.

The second part, of course, involved trapping. You've maybe seen the old spring type traps. They work well, and the man found that they were best baited with peanut butter. The rats loved the taste and the smell, and its semi-solid nature stopped them from simply seizing bait like a solid piece of cheese and running off with it. Usually these traps would kill them off outright and the only job the man needed to do was remove the corpus, clean the trap, rebait and reset it (carefully...carefully..those springs are powerful enough to break a human finger easily). Obviously, he couldn't leave those traps anywhere a human might stumble on one.

So for these areas, he discovered glue traps, sold under names like `Gluey Louie' or 'Rat-A-Way'. He set these in places like the kitchen, where the rats liked to congregate to enjoy their nightly looting and destruction. They consisted of a piece of paper about the size of a floor tile, impregnated with industrial glue and likewise baited with peanut butter. The rats would walk on the glue to get to the peanut butter and become stuck fast.

Of course, this didn't kill them, so it was necessary for our friend to eliminate them himself. Some jobs you just can't hire out. He became surprisingly coldblooded in a way he hadn't thought himself capable of before, especially when he thought about his peaceful efforts to solve the conflict and show understanding for the rats, the way the rats had violated his home..and the sight of his child crying in pain in the emergency room after being attacked and bitten. His weapon of choice for rat bashing was a metal steelworkers hammer. It turned out to be the perfect tool for resolving his differences with the vermin.

The interesting thing, of course, was the psychology of the rats under fire. Having gotten used to the man's home, they had even become possessive about it and regarded it as theirs, a part of their rightful territory, as if they had always owned it. They refused to give up easily. Many of the rats were defiant to the end, baring teeth and attempting to be as frightening as possible. Their strategy was to use terror and fear to try to scare the man into inaction. They would invade his and the children's bedrooms, trying to frighten and intimidate them. A number of times the rats leapt down at him from inside the kitchen cabinets or from a wall space and tried to attack and bite him.

Others were more nuanced and made an effort to seem cute and peaceable, at least as long as anyone was looking. By their demeanor, they seemed to say `See, I'm just a cute furry animal. You like your house, and I like your house. We're all part of the same big house. Just because we're here doesn't mean that you have to worry about anything. Are you just too mean spirited and unwilling to share and compromise?'

Needless to say, by this point, the man's realization had come full circle. Finally seeing the rat's real agenda, he decided he wasn't interested in a good relationship with the enemy.

The man had finally learned, after bitter experience that once you start something like this, you have to keep going until the end or lose everything. War is war. Waver in the least and the problem gets worse. There's no accommodation with rats. And there's no room for debating once you decide that you're unable to live with them. You can't `feel their pain', waste time arguing over the rights of the rodents or whether you have the right to eliminate or drive out any that invade your territory.

Not if you want your house back vermin free.

So the man stayed resolute and continued on. He understood, at last, what the rats had realized long before him - that there was no option but victory. It was either him or the rats. And after many encounters, the rats finally were defeated. They were either dead or had decamped back to the fields.

The man's house is now peaceful, his wife and children are happy and healthy and the rats are gone, living out their rat lives back in the fields where they belong. They respect the man's home and no longer try and break in, and he's likewise content to leave them in peace, although he keeps a sharp eye out for droppings or any other signs in his home that the rats might be at it again.

And he's never felt a single bit of guilt about any of it.

Lynne Cheney versus CNN's Wolf Blitzer - No contest!

CNN's smarmy little terrorist apologist Wolf Blitzer tried to ambush Lynne Cheney, Vice President Cheney's wife when she came on to plug a children's book she'd written - and wound up taking a well-deserved beating.

Here's the transcript, with a few comments by yours truly:

WB: And joining us now, the wife of the Vice President of the United States, Lynne Cheney, no stranger to CNN. Thanks very much for coming in.

LC: Thank you, Wolf, for having.

WB: And we’re going to talk about this excellent new book, Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America. This is a book that I recommend for all ages, and I see it’s already a bestseller.

LC: I’m very proud of this book. It was an effort of two years for Robin Glasser and me. And it was inspiring the whole time. It’s a story of the whole country, told by a family going on a road trip, and my grandchildren love it.

WB: I want to get to that, all that, but I want to pick your brain a little bit on news that’s happening right now, including your husband, the Vice President. He was interviewed earlier this week out in North Dakota, and he had this exchange with a radio talk show host. Listen to this:

(Gotcha! Don't think you're going to get away with just plugging your book - who do you think you are, some lefty?)

Host: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

DC: Well, it’s a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President for Torture. We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in.

WB: It made it sound, and there’s been interpretation to this effect, that he was in effect confirming that the United States used this waterboarding, this technique that has been rejected by the international community, that simulates a prisoner being drowned, if you will. And he was, in effect, supposedly confirming that the United States has been using that.

LC: Wolf, that is a mighty house you’re building on top of that molehill there, a mighty mountain. You know, this is a complete distortion. He didn’t say anything of the kind.

WB: Because of the dunking, you know, using the water and the dunking…

(Hey Wolfie..for somebody that shills for Muslim terorrists that like tokill women and kids and cut people's heads off, you're pretty squeamish!)

LC: Wolf, I understand your point. It’s kind of the point of a lot of people right now, to try to distort the administration’s position. And if you really want to talk about that, I watched the program on CNN last night, which I thought, it’s your 2006 voter program, which I thought was a terrible distortion of both the President and the Vice President’s position on many issues. It seemed almost straight out of the Democratic talking points, using phrases like domestic surveillance, when it is not domestic surveillance that anyone has talked about or ever done. It’s surveillance of terrorists. It’s people who have al Qaeda connections calling into the United States. So I think we’re in the season of distortion, and this is just one more.

(Whoops! you've been outed, Wolfie! Didn't expect that one, did you?)

WB: But there have been some cases where innocent people have been picked up, interrogated, held for long periods of time, then simply said never mind, let go. They’re let go.

LC: Well, are you sure these people are innocent?

WB: Well, they’re walking around free right now. Nobody’s arrested them.

LC: You made a point last night of a man who had a bookstore in London, where radical Islamists gathered, who was in Afghanistan when the Taliban were there, who went to Pakistan. I think that you might be a little careful before you declare this as a person with clean hands.


WB: You’re referring to the CNN Broken Government special…

LC: I certainly am.

WB: This was the one that John King reported on last night.

LC: You know, right there, right there, Wolf. Broken Government. Now what kind of stance is that? Here we are, we’re a country where we have been mightily challenged over the past six years. We’ve been through 9/11. We’ve been through Katrina. The President and the Vice President inherited a recession. We’re a country where the economy is healthy. That’s not broken. This government has acted very well. We’ve had tax cuts that are responsible for our healthy economy. We’re a country that was attacked five years ago. We haven’t been attacked since. What this government has done is effective. That’s not broken government. So you know, I shouldn’t let media bias surprise me, but I worked at CNN once. I watched the program last night…

(Ms. Cheney continues to land some ferocious combinations..and you notice, Blitzer doesn't challenge or defend CNN's obvious bias as revealed in the language they're using in a `news' program)

WB: You were a co-host of Crossfire.

LC: …and I was troubled.

WB: All right. Well, that was probably the purpose, to get people to think, to get people to discuss these issues, because there are a lot of conservatives…

LC: All right, all right, Wolf. I’m here to talk about my book. But if you want to talk about distortion…

WB: We’ll talk about your book.

(Ok, ok...wolfie sez `lemmee up!')

LC: Right. But what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorists shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question, and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?

(LC: Oh no, I'm not done with you yet, Wolfie ol' boy..have another)

WB: The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about that. You think we want terrorists to win?

(WB: Hey, I had some time to go over this one with the PR guys..I now have an answer)

LC: Then why are you running terrorist propaganda?

(Wolfie just hit the canvas again..I mean, why WOULD you run a jihad snuff film if you weren't shilling for the terorrists..and/or their domestic allies in a certain political party?)

WB: With all due respect, with all due respect, this is not terrorist propaganda.

LC: Oh, Wolf…

WB: This is reporting the news, which is what we do. We’re not partisan…

LC: Where did you get the film?

(ouch..that has to leave a mark. )

WB: We got the film…look, this is an issue that has been widely discussed, this is an issue that we reported on extensively. We make no apologies for showing that. That was a very carefully considered decision, why we did that. And I think, and I think, of your…

(Don't want to discuss that, eh Wolf? And there's no apology CNN could make that would be meaningful, that's for sure..so try and rope-a-dope it out...)

LC: Well, I think it’s shocking.

WB: If you’re a serious journalist, you want to report the news. Sometimes the news is good, sometimes the news isn’t so good.

LC: But Wolf, there’s a difference between news and terrorist propaganda. Why did you give the terrorists a forum?

(Another killer left hook by LC - but Wolfie's still on his feet, just barely)

WB: And if you put it in context, if you put it in context, that’s what news is. We said it was propaganda. We didn’t distort where we got it. We didn’t distort anything about it. We gave it the context. Let’s talk about another issue in the news, and then we’ll get to the book. The Democrats are now complaining bitterly in this Virginia race. George Allen using novels, novels that Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger, has written, in which there are sexual references. And they’re making a big deal out of this. I want you to listen to what Jim Webb said today in responding to this very sharp attack from George Allen.

(Wolfie goes to a clinch, gets a standing eight count and tries a new line of attack...like any of this has anything to do with LC's book, as she points out. What a class act WB is - not!)

LC: Now do you promise, Wolf, that we’re going to talk about my book?

WB: I do promise.

LC: Because this seems to me a mighty long trip around the merry-go-round.

WB: I want you to respond. This is in the news today, and your name has come up, so that’s why we’re talking about it. But listen to this:

James Webb: There’s nothing that’s been in any of my novels that in my view, hasn’t been either illuminating the surroundings, or defining a character, or moving a plot. I’m a serious writer. I mean, we can go and read Lynne Cheney’s lesbian love scenes if you want to, you know, get graphic on stuff.

(WB tries to come up with some offence..but ends up getting slapped around soem more for his trouble)

LC: You know, Jim Webb is full of baloney. I have never written anything sexually explicit. His novels are full of sexually explicit references to incest, sexually explicit references…well, you know, I just don’t want my grandchildren to turn on the television set. This morning, Imus was reading from the novels, and it’s triple X rated.

WB: Here’s what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional Senatorial Campaign Committee. Lynne Cheney’s book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne, wrote a book called Sisters, which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels, and attempted rapes. In 1988, Lynne Cheney wrote about a Republican Vice President who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress. Is that true?

LC: Nothing explicit. And actually, that is full of lies. It’s not…it’s just absolutely not true.

( For the record, here's the graphic, steamy part that WB is referring to in LC's novel. And here is a link to the kind of X-rated garbage Jim Webb put in his novels. Which would you rather have your child read?)

WB: But you did write a book entitled Sisters.

LC: I did write a book entitled Sisters. This description…

WB: And it did have lesbian characters.

LC: No, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I’ll stand on that.

WB: There is nothing in there about rapes and brothels?

LC: Wolf, Wolf, could we talk about a children’s book for a minute?

WB: We can talk about the children’s book. But I just wanted to…

LC: I think our segment is like 15 minutes long, and we’ve now done ten minutes, so…

WB: I just wanted to clarify what’s in the news today, give you a…

LC: Sex, lies and distortion. That’s what it is.

WB: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.

LC: Wolf, I have nothing to explain. Jim Webb has a lot to explain.

(WB is staggering again..can you believe this guy? I was able to research what was in LC's book..you mean to say this so-called `serious journalist' couldn't?)

WB: Well, he says he’s a serious writer and novelist, fiction writer. He was doing basically what you were doing.

LC: Jim Webb is full of baloney.

WB: We’ll leave it at that. Let’s talk a little bit about your book, Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America.

(Wolfie obviously needs a breather...`ok Lynne, I'm throwing inthe towel..let's get back to what this interview was supposed to be about in the first place.)

LC: You know, one of the reasons I wrote this book is because we spend so much time nowadays talking about things that are negative. And it’s not the fault of any particular segment of the society. But we have come to define news as bad news. And so our kids get a steady diet of this is wrong, the government is broken, the war isn’t working, the economy’s terrible. Even when those things aren’t true, our kids are getting a steady dose of negativity. What Robin and I wanted so much to do is to talk about what a wonderful country it is. We wanted to give our kids something positive. And I hope that’s what we’ve done in this book. It’s very, very pro-American. This is a book that’s very patriotic. There is no question about our view that this is the greatest country on the face of the Earth, and that is what we want kids to take away from it.

(And guess where people get that steady diet of negativity from....)

WB: The kids who read this book will learn a lot about the 50 states. That’s what it’s called…

LC: Yes.

WB: But a lot of the landmarks in those 50 states.

LC: Well, not just landmarks, but the vast variety and diversity of our culture. You know, we have everything from the preservation hall band in New Orleans to mariachi music in Texas, to the philharmonic in Boston. We’ve got all kinds of food. There’s a lovely little girl in this book, her name is Annie, and she writes back to her grandma again and again about the different foods she’s enjoying or not. In Boston, she says the beans are great, but she’s a little doubtful about the cod. So it’s not just about landmarks, it’s also about the kind of history and culture that I think kids will enjoy very much.

WB: And it is beautifully illustrated.

LC: Robin Glasser is a dear person, and a very talented individual. And I’m very happy to work with her.

WB: We can certainly disagree on what is news, what is serious news, but we can agree that this is a beautifully done book.

LC: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you, Wolf.

WB: How is your husband doing, because there’s always concern about his health.

(How do you like that! LC gives Wolfie a break and he rabbit punches her when her guard is down!)

LC: Well, I’m not sure why there’s always concern about his health. He’s been out on 140 campaigns. He’s raised forty-some million dollars for Republican candidates around the country. He’s been very busy. He has been serving the nation very well, as I think George Bush has been a really great leader for us during this time of some trials.

WB: We’re going to leave it right there. It was kind of you to come in.

(KO. And it couldn't happen to a more deserving person.)

LC: Thanks, Wolf.

WB: You came armed. I guess you knew what you wanted to do.

(WB was expecting a walkover..tough tacos, Wolf!)

LC: Wolf, I am always prepared for you to ask questions that maybe aren’t quite fair, but they’re pretty tough.

(LC: You think I didn't know what a biased, rude sleaze you were when I walked in here, Blitzer?)

WB: You did a good job.

LC: Thanks, Wolf.

WB: Thank you.

Jihad donations down in the US

Carl in Jerusalem at Israel Matzav has a great story, from the New York Times, no less, on how increased scrutiny from the Feds is cutting into jihad funding in America.

Being the New York Times, of course the story focuses on a symphathetic American Muslim raising funds for the needy...

"When Mrs. Bazzy calls people to solicit contributions, they quickly beg off and hang up, telling her later in the grocery store or the bank not to ask them for money on the phone because the government is probably eavesdropping.

Nobody wants to write a check for any amount, and they look at her in horror when she offers a receipt — some of the largest donations she still receives have been anonymous wads of $100 bills stuffed into envelopes.

(I wonder just where some of that anonymous, untraceable cash ended up, don't you?)

Even more typical is the Muslim response to all this - as always, blame Israel:

"Contributions dropped sharply this summer after the war in Lebanon, the imam said, when the Bush administration expressed its unreserved support for Israel. Other mosques report similar difficulties. The general sentiment is that the American government’s tilt toward Israel extends to hounding anyone supporting Arab causes."

Yep...it's the Joooos!

The Times tells a blatant whopper when it asserts that:

"The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury Department has shuttered five major Muslim charities in the United States since 2001, seizing millions of dollars in assets, yet not a single officer or organization has been convicted of anything connected to terrorism. Muslim charities operating overseas have been directly linked to terrorist operations, but if such evidence exists in the United States it has remained secret."

Apparently they never heard of Sami al Arian, the Holy Land Foundation, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, the Safa Group, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Ghassan Dahduli, and a host of others...plus a lot of others we're still finding out about.

Perhaps if some American Muslim groups and religious figures were more forthcoming in condemning Islamic terorrism and helping the government to out the jihadis in their midst, they wouldn't be under such intense scrutiny.

And in any case, being loyal Americans, I'm sure they have no problem in making these small sacrifices to help America win this war and keep the country safe...

R I G H T ?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Muslim solidarity and veiled threats

British blogpal and member of Joshua's Army Canker does himself proud with an excellent essay that, umm..strips the veil off of Muslim Council of Britain's duplicitous position on the current controversy in his native country over the Islamic femme facemask.

Here's a nice sample:

`The MCB (Muslim Council of Britain [no `Great': clearly, in their opinion that would imply something positive about the country in which they live]) have now had some time to bring forth their considered response to the veils row.

I've just spotted the response on their website. It's very helpful. I don't mean that in the welcoming sense. I mean it in the, deeply revealing, "let's reject all this criticism and see if we can get away with it" sense.'

He then goes on to pick it apart, point by point:

{The site says} "The veil, irrespective of its specific juristic rulings, is an Islamic practice and not a cultural or a customary one as is agreed by the consensus of Muslim scholars; it is not open to debate."

I almost feel that no comment is required. Let's get this straight, the veil or niqab, which is banned in several Islamic countries such as Tunisia, Turkey and (some would say) Egypt [note the casual death threats in the linked article], is not open to debate in the UK. It's an Islamic practice (check that article again and see the claim that it predates Islam by several centuries in the Arab peninsula).


"We advise all Muslims to exercise extreme caution in this issue, since denying any part of Islam may lead to disbelief. Not practicing something enjoined by Allah and His Messenger (Salla-Allahu alaihi wa sallam) - regardless its legal status (i.e., whether obligatory, recommended or praiseworthy) - is a shortcoming; denying it is much more serious. Allah says in the Qur'an: "It is not for a believer, man or woman, that they should have any option in their decision when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed strayed in a plain error. [translation of 33:36]"

This is the first/main veiled threat - "you are verging upon apostasy if you deny [any part of] Islam; and the veil is part of Islam. Remember what happens to apostates"

"we urge all members of the Muslim community to keep this debate within the realms of scholarly discussion amongst the people of knowledge and authority in the Muslim community. Allah says in the Qur'an, "When there comes to them news of some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they spread it (among the people); if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly)." [translation of 4:83] In another Quranic verse, we read the following instruction, "So ask those who know if you know not" [translation of 16:43 and 21:7]"

Got it? "Muslims will stick together and need to seek guidance from Islamic scholars in authority. To do otherwise is also to reject Islam."

Read the rest of it here.

Since Canker inadvertently supplied a bad link to the Arabic word `taqiyah' towards the end of his essay, I hope he doesn't mind if I define it for those readers who might not understand it.

And no, it's not something you drink with lime and a little salt.

Islam is unique among the world's religions in that it mandates two codes of ethical conduct - one towards fellow Muslims and a very different one towards non-believers..who are going to Hell and will eventually end up as Muslims, corpses or slaves anyway if you read the Qu'ran and the Hadiths.

Taqiyah is the Islamicly sanctified term for lying to non-believers, especially to advance jihad and Islam's eventual takeover of the world. Such dissembling to non-Muslims by Muslims carries no ethical baggage as it would for non-Muslims; nor does the breaking of treaties and agreements.

The statements on the Muslim Council of Britain's website, as Canker has shown are a superb example of taqiyah.

Or, to quote the words of Mohammed `War is deception.'

St. Louis Cards win the World Series!

Congrats to the Redbirds...I was sure the Tigers were gonna take this one.

The Cardinals were something of a cindrella team, with only 83 wins this year, but they won when it counted, to say the least.

This is their tenth World Championship, second only to the New York Yankees with an unbelievable 26.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Our real ally in Iraq - Kurdistan

Want to know about the real ally we have in Iraq, the one superb example of western style democracy we've managed to establish there? Welcome to Kurdistan.

Here in a Wall Street OpinionJournal featured article by Judith Miller, you can read an interview with the president of Kurdistan, Iraq's success story.

Here's a sample:

`ERBIL, Iraq--Unlike Baghdad, 200 miles away, the air here does not echo with the sound of gunfire, car bombs and helicopters. Residents of this city of a million people picnic by day in pristine new parks and sip tea with friends and relatives at night. American forces are not "occupiers" or the "enemy," but "liberators." Mentioning President Bush evokes smiles--and not of derision. American forces were "most welcome" when stationed here at the start of the invasion of Iraq, says Massoud Barzani, the president of Kurdistan in the north. Not a single U.S. soldier was killed in his region, he adds proudly, "not even in a traffic accident." Would U.S. forces be welcome back now? "Most certainly," he declared this week in an interview in his newly minted marble (and heavily chandeliered) palace. The more American soldiers the better, a top aide confirms. The secret of Kurdistan's relative success so far--and of America's enduring popularity here--is the officially unacknowledged fact that the three provinces of the Kurdish north are already quasi-independent. {...) The U.S., Mr. Barzani believes, should leave it to the Iraqis to decide if they want "one or two or three regions." Then, he adds: "But it already exists. The division is there as a practical matter.' Even the most fleeting visitor cannot but notice that Kurdistan is almost a full-fledged state. Kurds no longer speak Arabic, but various dialects of Kurdish, in offices and schools throughout the 74,000 square miles that comprise their provinces. They fly their own flag, provide their own services, raise their own army--the legendarily disciplined Pesh Merga, or "Those Who Face Death"--and have gradually consolidated their de facto state. Divided between two parties--Mr. Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, his clan's power base in north Kurdistan, and the southern-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, headed by Jalal Talabani, now president of Iraq (or "President of the Green Zone," as Kurds here call the post)--Kurdistan is booming with construction, new businesses and ambitious dreams of self-rule. Kurdish aspirations for autonomy, however, clearly require Turkish and Iranian acquiescence, or a persuasive reason for Turkey not to attack. Hence the desire for the redeployment of some American forces to Kurdistan. "The presence of American forces here would be a deterrent to intervention by the neighboring countries," Mr. Barzani says, with characteristic bluntness'.
In other words, the Kurds would be a bulwark and an ally against Iran and Syria.

So far, as the article relates, the Bush Administration continues to fail to recognize this golden opportunity. They're concerned that an independent Kurdistan would end with a Sunni jihad state in the Green Zone, and Iranian control of the Shiite South. As President Bush said inhis press conference last week, he's agin' proposals to carve Iraq into three virtually autonomous regions as `destabilizing' and exacerbating Sunni-on-Sunni and Sunni-on-Shiite tensions. "The Kurds will then create problems for Turkey and Syria," President Bush said.

Guess what,Mr. President? Things are ALREADY DESTABILIZED...except in Kurdistan. And Iran ALREADY controls the Shiites whose government is on record as refusing to allow US bases there to be used against their friends in Iran! As for `creating problems for Turkey and Syria - who gives a rip? The Turks are no longer our allies, Syria never was, and a strong, US backed Kurdistan, with ties to the oppressed minorities in Syria, Turkey and especially Iran could be the start of a US encouraged resistance and regime change in those countries.

A strong Kurdistan would give us a secure base in the region within easy flying distance from Iran and Syria, and a common border with our ally Jordan. And the Pesh Merga, the best fighting force in the country next to the US would effectively double our troop strength in one stroke.

Yet the congressionally created Iraq Study Group, headed by former Republican Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic co-chairman Lee Hamilton, which is studying policy alternatives for Iraq, didn't even bother to go to Kurdistan or consult with Barzani.

The Kurds are the people we should be allied with. They're a democratic, oil producing nation with a fine military who would be loyal, strong allies in the War on Jihad, and it's amazing to me - and saddening - that we refuse to take advantage of that fact.

Maliki `I'm not America's man'

I can hardly believe the gall of this ungrateful little you-know-what.

Iraq's Shiite PM,in an effort to reclaim his jihadi street cred apparently made the comments during a meeting with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

On Friday, Maliki and Khalilzad issued a rare joint statement emphasising the need to work together, yadda yadda.

But during the meeting, Mr Maliki reportedly laid this little gem on US representative Khalilzad.

"I am elected by a people and a parliament. Security should be co-ordinated with me. Decisions should not be unilateral," senior aide Hassan al-Suneid quoted him as saying.

That's a direct reference to the raids the US forces made on Maliki's pals in Sadr City to help rid th ecountry of Iran armed and backed Shiite militias lik eMoqata al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

"I am a friend of the United States, but I am not America's man in Iraq."

"I affirm that this government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it," Mr Maliki said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Wrongo, Maliki. You would still be cuddled up with your pals the mullahs in Iran if we hadn't liberated Iraq, and you would still be an exile from your own country. We're paying the freight,in blood and in treasure and you owe it to us and to your people to cooperate with us, regardless of how you feel about your Iranian pals. Just because the Bush Administration was silly enough to allow Iranian Shiite stoodges like you to run in the election shouldn't mean that you can continue to work both sides of the street.

Miserable little double dealing ingrate.

Woman badly burned on bus set afire by `youths' in France

Le Jihad Francais, round deux claimed some new victims tonight.

This time, it was in the port city of Marseille, where a woman was seriously burned and three others are suffering from smoke inhalation after `youths' set fire to another bus.

Apparently, a gang of the `youths' forced open the bus doors and simply threw a molotov cocktail inside. This represents a change in tactics, since the other buses that have been destroyed in this round have been stopped by jihadi roadblocks in the French suburbs and the Passengers ordered out before the buses were burned.

In Paris itself, two other buses were torched.

"Four guys attacked Bus 346," said witness Thierry Ange, 19. "They made everyone get off, then they hit a woman and dragged out the bus driver by his tie," then torched the bus with a gasoline bomb in a bottle, he said.

The blackened carcass of another bus sat across town. Two armed men had forced passengers off the bus, police said.

The nightly car-becues total was slightly up during the festivities, but is still holding for the most part at about 112 cars torched per night.

In Paris, 4,000 additional police were deployed in expectation of festivities by the `youths' celebrating the anniversary last years' Jihad Francais - maybe they should just make it an official French holiday,or part of the traditional French celebration of Ramadan.

Iran steps up its uranium enrichment

The mullahs are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to rubbing it in the face of the US and the international community.

Iran officially confirmed that it has stepped up uranium enrichment and doubled its nuclear capacity by injecting gas into a second network of centrifuges. The process can either yield nuclear fuel or material for a warhead..guess which one oil and gas rich Iran is interested in?

The mullahs, of course, are taking advantage of the fact that the U.N. Security Council is blocked by Russia and China from doing anything meaningful in the way of sanctions or other diplomatic action.

In Washington, President Bush insisted the United States would not allow a nuclear-armed Iran.

"Whether they've doubled it or not, the idea of Iran having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable," Bush told reporters. "It says to me that we must double our effort to work with the international community to persuade the Iranians that there is only isolation from the world if they continue working forward on such a program."

I'm certain the president is aware that our efforts to - what was that again?- work with the so-called `international community' will lead to as much progress in stopping Iran from getting nukes in the future as it has to date.

Who's kidding whom?

Keep in mind that the current development and speculation by various pundits that Iran is a few years away from being able to produce enough enriched uranium for warheads is based just on what the Iranians are willing to reveal. There's no telling how far they may have advanced at clandestine facilities like this one.

I've said it before, I'll say it again..the longer we muddle around with this situation, the more we will ultimately pay in blood.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekend Monkey Sez; `I can't wait until tommorow..`cause I get better looking every day!'

Have a great weekend, everybody! I'll be back with you in 24...


America's new proxy, Palestinian Fatah..and why it's a mistake

One of the oldest sayings when it come to strategy is `the enemy of my enemy is my friend.'

And it's generally true - unless the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy, might demand an impossible price for some very limited assistance, and constitute a strategic error of major proportions.

Kind of like using a shotgun to deal with a splinter in your hand - it's the wrong tool for the job and the cure might be worse than the disease!

I'm convinced that this is the new position the Bush Administration is taking regarding Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah.

In the last month, we've seen a major racheting up of the clashes between the elected Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority and the armed wing of Abbas' Fatah. We've seen President Bush and Condi Rice lionize Mahmoud Abbas, reiterate their call for a second Arab Palestinian state, appear at pro-Palestinian functions in Washington, block congressional legislation designed to cut off most American aid to the Palestinians for the very good reason that there's little or no accountability on where the money is spent, provide training, fresh arms and ammunition to Abbas private army of terrorists, Force 17.

On the other hand, we've seen Iran and Syria increase their support militarily and financially for Hamas, providing money, arms and tactical training.

Abbas went public today that `the time of dialogue is ended' as far as a unity government is concerned. Both Abbas and Hamas have been gathering forces in the others' territory, with Abbas ordering the deployment of thousands of Fatah gunmen and PA policemen in the streets of the Gaza Strip and Hamas marshalling troops in Judea and Samaria.

There have been a number of rumors floating around about Abbas making an attempt dissolving the Hamas government, and of a `Black Saturday' battle between the the two factions.

It's obvious that we're looking at the beginnings of a proxy war with the US backing Abbas and Fatah and Iran and Syria backing Hamas.

Even assuming Abbas wins (something that's by no means certain), it's a severe mistake for the US to back a dog in this fight on several levels.

First of all, we should make no mistake that an American attempt to destroy a popularly elected Arab government, no matter how loathsome, racist and violent it might be does not go unnoticed by the Muslim world, and feeds into the Islamic fantasy world of Zionist driven conspiracies and Crusader interference.

Second, even if Abbas wins, he's going to want a reward that the US in no position to guarantee.

A democratic, prosperous peace loving Arab Palestinian state next door to Israel might have worked at the time of the Oslo Accords, when people were prepared for a new start and a whole generation of Palestinians hadn't yet been poisoned and brainwashed by their mosques, schools and media. At this point, it's not going to be possible for years. And `moderate' Abbas, who's graduate thesis at Moscow University was on how the Holocaust was a myth and who was along for the entire Arafat ride has done nothing to make it so.

The best deal the Palestinians could expect at this point in terms of a settlement with Israel is something considerably less than Arafat turned down at Camp David.

Unless the US is planning to attack, invade and defeat Israel, deport the surviving Jews elsewhere and hand over all of Israel to Abbas and the Palestinians, there's no cultural, historical or economic basis for a viable second Palestinian Arab state - which means that `Palestine'will remain an economic basket case for the forseeable future.

The main `export' of Palestine for many years now has been terrorism, along with sidelines of weapons smuggling, prostitution and human trafficking, and drug sales. People reared on that lifestyle are not exactly going to have much incentive to change. Some goombah used to carrying the romantic aura of a `freedom fighter' along with his AK47 and making a comfortable living smuggling or shaking down shopkeepers is not going to go to work at the Palestinian equivalent of McDonalds anytime soon.

In addition, one thing Fatah has proven itself efficient at is corruption. The Palestinians themselves estimate that at least 60% of the humanitarian aid that was supposed to go to the Palestinian people ended up being diverted and stolen. Other estimates are even higher.

Part of the reason, aside from the basic venality of the Palestinian leaders is that the Palestinians clans and `families' have first call on the loyalty of their `soldiers' and affiliates in an almost feudal sense, and any loyalty they might have to a centralized Palestinian government is based strictly on patronage, criminal fiefdoms and territory and insider deals. Arafat bought their loyalty by parceling the spoils out and it's a given that Abbas is going to have to do the same.

Also, if we help someone like Abbas depose the Hamas government, we will be committed to helping an Abbas led state survive against the will of a majority of its own people, with all the baggage that implies, something is guaranteed to come back and bite us at some point just as it has done elsewhere.

The majority of Palestinians are already Islamist and anti-American, as proven by the recent elections. Imagine how anti-American they'll be if we're helping to support a dictator they'll view as a tool of the Zionists and Crusaders!

Abbas, of course, will have to deflect the frustration with the corruption, the lack of freedom and the economic dysfunction just as Arafat did...by using all those weapons we've given him and those soldiers we're training for him in a war against the hated Jews..which puts everything back to square one again, except for those Israeli and Palestinian civilians unlucky enough to be caught in the crossfire.

The US needs to think very, very carefully about this course of action. It strikes me as a lose-lose situation no matter what, and I think we'd be much better off simply admitting that supporting a second Arab Palestinian state was a mistake and an obstacle to real peace in the region.

US launches second raid on Sadr City

The Americans went into Bagdad's Sadr City for the second time today, right after Iraqi PM Maliki angrily swore it would never happen again.

US troop backed by air support moved into the sprawling slum district dominated by the Moqataal-Sadr's Iranian backed Mahdi Army militia. The target was the notorious death squad leader Abu Deraa, a high ranking associate of al Sadr.

He escaped, but other members of the Mahdi Army weren't so lucky, and are now the late member of the Mahdi Army.One can only hope that Abu Deraaa and Moqata al Sadr are next on the list,with a pigskin shroud as a funeral accessory.

It's time we stopped playing games with these people...and if Maliki has a problem with it, there's more where he came from.

Israeli PM compares Iran to the Nazis and accuses the world of doing 'nothing'

In a rare burst of clarity, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert accused the international community of doing 'nothing' over Iran and its existential threat to Israel.

"Like the 1930s in Germany, the international community hears voices today calling for the destruction of Israel and does nothing," he said Friday during a speech at Israel's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.

"For the first time, the leader of a great nation (Iran) declares that its objective is the destruction of the State of Israel, which does not stop this nation from remaining a legitimate partner in the UN," he added.

Such threats of genocide, by the way, are supposedly illegal under Article 2 of the UN Charter..not that anyone should hold their breath waiting for Iran to incur any consequences for that.

Here's the deal, Mr. Prime Minister. Just like in the 1930's, most of the international community is not going to care a rip what happens to the Jews. If Iran launches a nuclear holocaust against Israel's Jews, the majority of the Muslim world will openly rejoice, and aside from some suitably doleful rhetoric from Europe, and perhaps more from America and maybe, if they're lucky, refugee status for the survivors, that will be that.

Even more likely than that, however, is the UN and the West pressuring you and your government into indefensible borders and unsafe concessions `for peace' and then shedding those crocodile tears when Israel is overrun by the genocidal enemies in the Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah that Israel has allowed itself to be surrounded by.

It's not too late to prevent that...think about it.

Australian cleric refuses to resign..and attacks the US instead!

As you know, the latest big story from Australia concerns remarks by Australia's most senior Islamic cleric likening rape victims to uncovered meat that attracted cats.

Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali caused outrage in Australia by saying, essentially, that women who chose not to cover themselves were asking to be raped and directly referred to a particularly brutal series of gang rapes perpetrated by Muslims that took place in Sydney. He was initially `cleared' by the board of Sydney'’s Lakemba Mosque where he preaches, but was then suspended from preaching for two to three months.

Needless to say, this isn't washing either with with Australians in the main or even with some Muslims.

They're calling for the sheik's resignation, including Australian PM John Howard, who unequivocally condemned the Sheik's ignorant remarks, called for his resignation and urged the Muslim community to act decisively to repudiate the sheik to avoid appearing to endorse or excuse his statements.

"What I am saying to the Islamic community is this: If they do not resolve this matter, it could do lasting damage to the perceptions of that community within the broader Australian community," Howard told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"We do not want the Islamic community isolated. We do not want the Islamic community to be an object of criticism and derision."

"If it is not resolved, then unfortunately people will run around saying: 'Well, the reason they didn'’t get rid of him is because secretly some of them support his views," PM Howard said.

Asked today if he would resign, the cleric, who was treated like a rock star while welcoming worshippers to Friday prayers at the mosque like nothing had happened, responded with a verbal assault on President Bush, saying: "After we clean the world of the White House first".

The sheik has referred to President Bush, PM Howard and British PM Tony Blair constituted an 'axis of evil' for declaring war on Saddam Hussein'’s regime, which should give you an idea of how twisted and warped this man truly is, that he would criticize nations that, whatever the reasons, removed a tyrant who was murdering and brutalizing Muslims.

The sheik also made headlines in Australia before for glorifying jihad `martyrdom' and describing the September 11 attacks as "God'’s work against the oppressors."

His latest nonsense really made the fit hit the shan, when he essentially said that rape victims were `asking for it' by the way they were dressed and by specifically referring to the case I mentioned above and characterizing the judge who ruled to convict the Muslim rapists as `without mercy.'

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the catÂ’s or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem... And then you get a judge without mercy who gives you 65 years," he said in the sermon.

But the Lakemba Mosque Association was adamant that the 3 month ban on preaching was sufficient `punishment' and that "certain statements" made by Sheikh al-Hilali had been `misinterpreted.'

"Obviously those comments have been made, but he provided us with an apology for saying so," said Toufic Zreika, President of the Association.

Women'’s groups and Muslim leaders, especially women found this to be ridiculous. Pru Goward, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, accused Sheikh al-Hilali of inciting rape, and said the temporary ban on preaching was inadequate punishment.

"I know how strongly many Islamic community people felt about those comments yesterday, how damaging they saw them in terms of Australian-Islamic relations, and I think the pressure should not be taken off just because he has agreed to be silent for three months, which we have also seen before," she told ABD radio.

Waleed Aly, spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria state, said: "It would seem to us that the comments ... have really caused a lot of pain to a lot of people, and in those circumstances we would have thought resignation was the appropriate course of action."

This is a challenge for Australia's Muslim community and a signpost to the future. As I mentioned, this digusting, ignorant man was greeting people at his mosque as usual, in good standing with the Muslims there with no other consequences than to have to keep his foul mouth shut for a couple of months to let the fury die down.

Is this the face Australia's Muslims want to present to their neighbors? And I'm not only speaking about his remarks on rape. Is the Lakemba Mosque willing to continue to endorse and support this pro-jihadi apologist for terrorism?

Will they have the courage to take a stand against misogyny and hatred, or will they do what Muslims in the West have too often done..keep silent like obediant sheep, and by being silent, give affirmation to people like the sheik?

Watcher's Council Results, 10/27/06

The Council has spoken! Complete results can be found here on the site of our fearless leader, Watcher of Weasels

We had clear cut winners this week, as opposed to ties.

This week's winner is:

Right Wing Nut House: A LIBERAL MANIFESTO AND OTHER HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS Rick Moran wrote a fine essay examining what all Good Liberals should belive, according to the American Prospect..or else. Great fun...congratulations Rick!

In second place, AMERICAN FUTURE : Japan, North Korea and Nuclear Weapons New Council member Marc Shulman gave us a well researched and in depth look at the strategic facts in East Asia now that Kim Jong Il has upped the ante. Great job, Marc!

For non-Council posts, the winner was Elder of Ziyon: Archaeological Temple artifacts drive PalArabs crazy A superb essay that chronicles the way in which the Palestinians in charge of the Muslim waqf that control the al Aksa Mosque and the Temple Mount have been ruthlessly and systematically destroying Jewish artifacts and religious relics like a stray dog peeing on a fire hydrant to establish `territory'. This has been very well known in the international academic community for some time..and very few have condemned this crime in the least.

Nor has the government of Israel behaved towards these good folks in anthing but the most craven manner, BTW..and thus are complicit. Excellent job by the Elder.

Hearty Kudos to all the winners!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Russia on proposed Iran sanctions; NYET!

The Russians once again made it crystal clear that they have no intention of allowing UN sanctions against Iran to proceed, in spite of all of the optomism we were treated to by Condi Rice and UN Ambassador Bolton. I can't blame them too much..they, after all, do what they're told. And it's also possible that Russia has - oh, let's say, reversed itself- from what might have appeared to be an earlier committment.

Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov made a point of referring to proposed UN draft sanctions as `unhelpful' and saying that any UN reslutions would call for loo-oong in depth...negotiations... ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

This isn't going to be settled in the UN., and what we have seen is simply a ploy by Iran and its allies to gain more time until the mullahs actually have nukes and the issue is moot. That was clear to any reasonably intelligent observer months ago.

The `youths' torch three more buses in Paris

Oh, the hijinks of those cra-zee `youths'! In honor of last years' Le Jihad Francais, they've now torched 3 more buses around Paris. Quelle drole, n'est pa?

Once again, the `youths' set up roadblocks and forced passengers off three buses and set them on fire in suburbs around Paris last night.

No injuries were reported, but the bus-be-cues before Friday's anniversary of the start of the 2005 jihad. Bus drivers are now refusing to enter some areas after dark.

In a new twist, some of the youths are now armed with more than pipes, sticks, knives and molotov cocktails. On one of the buses, which was pillaged in the Montreuil dustrict east of Paris, half of the attackers were armed with handguns, according to the RATP transport authority.

Regional authorities said the Nanterre bus line, which passes near Paris' financial district, La Defense, was not considered a high-risk area. Francois Saglier, director of bus service at the RATP, said the attacks happened "without prior warning and not necessarily in neighborhoods considered difficult."

The bus driver's union is now demanding that the RATP allow drivers to exercise their right to stop work in case of imminent danger. "We will take measures that become necessary to avoid sensitive neighborhoods," Saglier told a news conference.

How far can you flee before you end up running out of room, Monsieur?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Australia's Chief Muslim cleric: Rape victims have it coming...

The latest big story from Australia concerns remarks by by Australia's most senior Islamic cleric likening rape victims to uncovered meat that attracted cats.

Sheik Taj Aldin al Hilali's comments were made in a Ramadan sermon;

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?" the sheik said.

"Then you get a judge without mercy... and gives you 65 years," he added.

This is a direct reference to what happened in Sydney six years ago in a famous case involving a series of brutal gang rapes committed by a group of Lebanese Australians, who received that sentence.

This is not the first time this particular Muslim spiritual leader has been in trouble. After 9/11, he called the World Trade Center bombing `justifiable revenge against the oppressors,' questioned the Holocaust and said Jews were at the `root of all wars.'

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said the comments could be an incitement to crime.

"Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man... their leader in court," she told Australian media.

"It's time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more than say they were horrified. I think it is time he left.

"I repeat, I think it was time he was asked to go and I would encourage the authorities to consider whether a man who incites young Muslim men to crime, because that is essentially what he has done, should be allowed to stay. We have got past the stage of everybody rushing around being upset and saying he should apologise and the Islamic community understandably and rightly being annoyed and embarrassed," she said.

"If we are really serious about Islam and Islamic Australia being part of Australia, then I think there has got to be a bit more leadership shown."

According to a poll in Australia's Daily Telegraph, 84 per cent of her fellow Ozzies agree with her and said the Egyptian-born Sheik should be deported.

The mother of one of those rape victims said Sheik al Hilaly had no right to be a religious leader because he was inciting and condoning rape. "He is influential and that's the dangerous thing," she said.

"Other religions would not tolerate his opinions."

Indeed they wouldn't.

Australian PM John Howard also weighed in calling the remarks reprehensible.

"They are appalling and reprehensible comments," Mr Howard told reporters.

"They are quite out of touch with contemporary values in Australia.

"The idea that women are to blame for rapes is preposterous.

"I not only reject the comments, I condemn them unconditionally."

Howard also noted the reference to the Sydney rape trials, saying that the sheik's remarks clearly related to a "particularly appalling" rape trial in Sydney.

Asked if the sheik should resign, Mr Howard replied: "It's not for me to say what position he should hold in the Islamic faith.

"But it is for me as prime minister to say I totally reject the notion that the way in which women dress and deport themselves can in any way be used as a semblance of justification for rape."

Thankfully, a number of Muslims have come forward to condemn these ridiculous remarks.

The former adviser to John Howard's Muslim advisory board Iktimal Hage-Ali called on Sheik Hilali to apologize for comments blaming women for inviting rape.

"I take great offence at that. I am a Muslim woman, I don't wear a headscarf and I am no-one's meat."

"I think the best response from him is to turn around and actually come out and apologise...and not only to the media and the Australian community, but to the people he gave his sermon to because that was his captive audience."

The Islamic Council of Victoria is also calling on Sheik Hilali to resign.

Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) committee member Sherene Hassan said she was outraged by the comments.

"Those comments are extremely offensive, and there is no basis for what he said in Islamic teachings," Ms Hassan told AAP.

"They are a paternal distortion of Islamic teachings.

"The ICV is issuing a statement calling for his resignation.

"We are calling on him to issue an apology to all Australian people, because his comments are offensive to males and females alike, and we are calling on him to retract those comments.

"There is no justification for rape."

Ms Hassan said she wears a hijab because of her "devotion to God".

"It's a form of identification. Men do not enter the equations. I don't do it to hide from men."

The Islamic Council of NSW has also condemned the sheik's remarks.

The council said the remarks were "un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable".

I symphathize with these genuinely appalled Muslims...and it's absolutely heartening to hear them condemn this garbage.

Unfortunately, the Sheik's remarks do in fact reflect beliefs held by a significant number of Muslims..which is why honor killings, forced female circumcision and a total disregard for womens' rights or well being are so common in the Muslim world. It is the Qu'ran, after all, that sanctions wife beating says that a woman's testimony in court is worth only half of a man's and in every way encourages the idea of women as `property' of men.

Argentine prosecutors want Iranian `moderate' arrested for `94 bombing

Prosecutors in Argentina asked a judge to order the arrest of former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani and seven others in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries. The attack, which took place July 18, 1994, killed 85 people and wounded an estimated 300.

Rafsanjani is the wonderful `moderate Iranian leader' touted by Clinton and Carter, the `moderate' who once said that the `Israel problem' could be resolved by a single nuclear bomb.

Prosecutors said at a news conference Wednesday that the decision to call for the arrest of was made because the decision to attack the AMIA center, which they said was carried out by Hezbollah, was made with the knowledge of top Iranian authorities.

Not only that,but it was covered up, with the connivance of the Iranian regime and a payoff to Argentina's then President, Carlos Menem , a Roman Catholic of Syrian Muslim descent who was president from 1989 to 1999, and received $10 million directly from the Iranian government to stonewall the investigation.

This will likely unearth a number of skeletons in the Argentine closet..and it will be interesting to see whether Argentina attempts an extradition.

Bush and Maliki - on the same page?

This is kind of a long one...but it's important, so read it all if you can.

Today, President Bush addressed the nation on Iraq and had a press conference afterwards, as did Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki.Let's deal with President Bush first.

In listening to the president, I was immediately struck by what a heavy load he's carrying and even though I have my areas of disagreement with him, I have to respect the fact that he is not taking the easy way out but appears to have the idea that `honest mistakes were made, we need to make some changes, but I'm not wavering from my goal one iota.'

President Bush acknowledged that there have been some setbacks in Iraq,and that some Iraqi forces have performed below expectations. He said that it was important not to let disappointment turn to disillusion. "I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq. I'm not satisfied, either," he said at his second press conference in two weeks.

"But we cannot allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment about our purpose in this war," he said.

"We're winning and we will win, unless we leave before the job is done."

The President still considers iraq an important part of our war strategy. He said: `If I thought our mission in Iraq was not vital to US security, I would bring our troops home tomorrow.'

The President remained upbeat on Iraq, but admitted that the US is adapting its tactics to help the Iraqi government take control, as the enemy shifts its tactics. A failure in Iraq, he said would result in a radical Islamic empire `from Spain to Indonesia' that will control oil and blackmail the world and `an Iran with a nuclear bomb.'

President Bush, without going into details, said Baghdad had accepted a "schedule" for resolving contentious issues such as disarming militias, sharing oil revenues and amending Iraq's constitution.

"We are pressing Iraq's leaders to take bold measures to save their country. We're making it clear that America's patience is not unlimited."

President Bush referred to Maliki as "the right man" to lead Iraq but emphasised "we'll push him" and warned US support would last "so long as he continues to make tough decisions".

"We've got patience, but not unlimited patience.

"Yet we also understand the difficult challenges Iraq's leaders face. And we will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear," the president said.

"Our mission is to help the Iraqi government control its territory and stand on its own, and that in the end the Iraqi government will have to solve the problems of security and sectarian violence."

Bush also urged Iran and Syria to support the governments of Iraq and the Siniora government in Lebanon and warned against creating instability in those democracies.

"Iran and Syria understand full well that the world expects them to help Iraq. And we've made that very clear to them," Bush said.

"Our message to Syria is consistent: Do not undermine the Siniora government in Lebanon," Bush said.

"Help Israel get back the prisoner that was captured by Hamas. Don't allow Hamas and Hezbollah to plot attacks against democracies in the Middle East. Help inside of Iraq. They know our position, as well," he said.

When asked about Iran during the press conference part of the festivities, the President was uncompromising in saying that Iran knew very well where the US stood: "If they would verifiably stop their enrichment, the United States will be at the table with them," Bush said. "In the meantime, they understand our position and they understand, more importantly, the Iraqi position about the interference inside their country."

Interestingly enough, and almost in passing, the President mentioned, almost in passing that he had talked to neighboring Sunni governments about exercising their influence on their clerics and co-religionists to help end the sectarian violence in Iraq.
And mentioned the Saudis, the UAE and Jordan by name.

This is major...if true, it means that Bush has enlisted the Sunni autocracies in an attempt to shut down the Shiite bloc, for their own survival if nothing else.

Maliki had something very different to say.

For one thing, he was livid about US forces leading a raid on Moqata al-Sadr's Mahdi Army stronghold in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, and said it was done without his approval and `would never happen again.'

Maliki also denied a claim by our ambassador to Iraq that he had accepted a "timetable" for action. Maliki was clearly irritated, denied he had accepted any kind of timetable and said that he would tackle the Shiite militias at his own pace and not under American orders.

My take on this is that Maliki definitely got some tough love from the Bush administration today..and that it may even have consisted of a formal timeframe for a US withdrawal if he doesn't quit walking the tightrope. I think he was told plainly that he could either be in Iran's camp or in America's, and that the raid on Sadr City, which also utilized Iraqi as well as American troops was designed to underline that message...which would explain Maliki's near temper tantrum today. I think that a request by us to Iraq for long term bases was also on the agenda. In fact, when President Bush was asked about it, he simply said that Iraq was a sovereign nation and would have to make it's own decisions on that.

In view of Bush's remarks on Iran and what apparently seems to be a major change on iraq, things could get very interesting in the next couple of months...stay tuned...

The Real Banana, by Weekend Monkey 10/24/06

Welcome, one and all to my very first column. As you know by now, me and ff had a sitdown, real friendly-like and agreed that I was due a little more recognition. Only fair. I'll still do my usual schtick on Fridays for ff, but this is MY space.

I'd also like to thank you for all the e-mails. Except the one from Steve in New York..Weekend Monkey don't swing that way - and especially not in that outfit. And as for the lecture offer from Purdue on inter-species relationships, my people will be in touch with you. Bananas are always welcome, but not an appropriate offer by themselves for my expertise. What were you thinking?

So let's see...what's the deal with this Barack Obama guy? Name sounds like he should be an extra in one of the Tarzan films...two years as a senator, he writes a book, does the Sunday shows, all of a sudden he's hotter than sliced qumquats. Sounds like people are starved for entertainment or something. Apparently he's considering running for president in 2008..if Hillary Clinton is running he'd better hire himself a food taster!

Somebody sent me these stories out of - where else?- Germany today. First, some moron motorist followed the command "Turn right now!" from his computer navigation system and crashed into a small roadside urinal. by the side of the road about 30 yards from where he was supposed to turn. Maybe the fact that the navigation system used Adolf's voice had something to do with it...achtung, baby!

And then there's this, also from Germany about a 70 year old geezer who beat the snot out of four German wanna-be muggers. The Master Race ain't what it used to be, that's for sure.

Speaking of disappointing, I just read that this year The King took a back seat to Nirvana's one time frontman Kurt Cobain as the top earning dead celebrity. Elvis has been the number one earning corpse for the last four years, but according to the British Daily Mirror he earned a measly £22.1million between 2005 and 2006, while Cobain raked in £26.3 million over the past year. Mmff. Looks like the most successful `hit' this Cobain guy had was the one he did on himself.

And speaking of which, what's all the hoo-hah over Madonna adopting an African kid? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get decent help nowadays? At least he'll have a job.

AK writes from East Orange,NJ `Weekend Monkey, what makes you qualified to write a weekly column?' Hey AK, I did it because I could, just like Clinton. What's your excuse?

Speaking of Clinton, I'm thinking of putting together my own intern program. Send pictures.

Clint Eastwood's new flick, `Flags of our Fathers' is worth seeing. And no, I didn't get paid off to say that. Caveat: the Iwo Jima battle scenes are intense, even for a hardened monkey like me used to the Law of the Jungle, but it's still done very well.

OK, primates that's it for this week. Remember, send all letters, offers and free goodies to: WendMonkey@Yahoo.com