Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Archives of Doug Ross @ Journal

Honor Killings

Click here for AmazonFrom Terrorism Unveiled (Hat tip: Polipundit)... a haunting review of the egregious and barbaric practice of "Honor Killing" prevalent in certain cultures. I'll let you figure out for yourself exactly who the culprits are.

To kill a girl because she has sex is quite sickening, especially when the guy is deemed as only giving into the girl’s "seductions."

It’s even worse when the person who chooses to kill the girl is her father, brother or uncle. I guess it reminds me of the passage in the Bible where Jesus rescues the woman who is about to be stoned and says "he who is without sin cast the first stone."

When a family learns that the girl has threatened their "honor" in the community, they discuss this without the girl’s presence, even with the mother, and they just "know" that the girl has to be killed in order to regain their standing in the community—even though the community may not know about the relationship. It’s not even a choice, but a duty.

The mother knows this is the fate for her daughter, and even agrees to it, sometimes choosing the manner in which she will die…perhaps being burned alive, her throat cut, stoned or clubbed to death.

The family leaves the house, and the person who is chosen to kill her comes in and does it as the family is away so there are no witnesses. The whole community knows of the killing and accepts the family into the community with open arms because they have wiped their slate clean with the blood of their child.

Today I was visiting the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan and my roommate, we’ll call here Sally, went with me because she had to meet with the same professor as I.

She started crying in the taxi on the way back home telling me about her experience the other night with her Jordanian boyfriend, we’ll call him Malik...

Read the whole thing.

Terrorism Unveiled: Honor Killings

Miscellaneous Image Post

Alarmist Link of the Day

Click here for AmazonLittleGreenFootballs, with some choice comments from readers attached.

Yossef Bodansky told the Jerusalem Post yesterday that a massive WMD attack is 'inevitable.' (Hat tip: PDM.)

Bodansky was in Israel for the second annual Jerusalem Summit, an international gathering of conservative thinkers, the Post said.

Al-Qaida has not carried out a second major attack, Bodansky explained, because the first one sufficiently sent the message to the Islamic world that the U.S. could be penetrated, and a second attack necessarily would have to be more grandiose.

Now, however, the re-election of President Bush has set the stage for a massive attack with non-conventional weapons, Bodansky believes.

There has been a debate between bin Laden allies and some Islamic leaders over the propriety of such a large-scale attack on U.S. citizens, he told the Jerusalem paper. But, according to bin Laden’s mindset, that has been resolved by the American electorate backing Bush and thus "choosing" to be enemies of Islam.

Though some debate and doubt may linger, the planning for an attack is finished, Bodansky believes.

"They got the kosher stamp from the Islamic world to use nuclear weapons," he said.

Bin Laden’s theme has shifted since 9-11, Bodanksy said. Previously, perpetual confrontation and jihad against the U.S. was seen as the only way to protect Islam. Now, the emphasis is on punishing American society.

"Just as the West was challenging the quintessence of Islam by means of the globalization era, there was a parallel need by Islamic extremists to strike at — and hurt — the core of American society, this time with weapons of mass destruction," Bodansky said.

So, just as the West challenged barbarism, irrationality, and slavery, with freedom, education, and science; so Islam will challenge freedom, education, and science, with barbarism?

Just as the West challenged islamic oppression of women, so shall Islam challenge the free women of the west with oppression?

Just as the West challenged Islam with religious tolerance, so shall Islam challenge the west with religious persecution?

Wretchard at Belmont Club once detailed the cruel, horrific logic which would follow a nuclear strike on the US. If it looked as though there was only one weapon then there would likely be no nuclear retaliation, but instead a massive conventional one where all countries connected to Islamism would be attacked in some form and Islamist resources around the globe hammered into extinction.

If however it appeared that the enemy was able to deliver successive nuclear strikes then something like MAD would kick in. 1x10^9 people would be killed.

Perhaps the "we're sorry" idiots can wave their signs at the nuclear explosion and make it go away.

...they always have another excuse for hating us. That is why appeasement is such a stupid way to deal with these savages. If whatever condition they demand is met, they will always have another complaint and another threat. The bottom line is that they simply want to murder us. If we don't stop them, they will eventually reach their goals.

A nuclear attack on US by anyone would result:

Total global recession and starvation on a mass scale especially in 3rd world countries. US would eventually recover, large part of the world will not especially after what follows...

Nuclear strikes on Iran, N. Korea, and most of middle east would be demanded and would occur. Dont think for a minute that terror supporting nations will be able to hide behind anonymity of terrorists they will simply parish. No investigation will be needed, the US will simply lash out. I predict that such nations will immediately go through a massive pretense of investigations, arrests and disarmament anything in a rash effort to save their own bacon and appease a deranged US. The effort will prove futile and they will have only themselves to blame. Immediately following the strike US Muslims would be the first to feel the wrath of an angry populace followed by identifible liberals who wont be able to help themselves in somehow blaming us for the attack and praising the brilliance of the manuever. 9/11 anger would pale in comparison.

It will be the greatest tragedy in human history and will change everything everyone ever knew. Following the carnage the Arabs will be a small world minority with a claim to their own self-inflicted holocaust. Ironically, Arab survivors will have to rely on world sympathy to carve out a parcel of land for them to live after radiation renders much of the middleeast uninhabitable. Maybe they could be placed somewhere where all of their neighbors immediately attack them and attempt 'drive them into the sea.'

Alarmist Link of the Day

No Need for Nukes

Click here for AmazonThe Iranian regime owes Bush a thank-you note--and disarmament...

It is these ambitions that reveal the mullahs' intentions. Iran is not simply another democratic state like Britain, France or Israel. Iran is a sponsor of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah, and it does not govern with the consent of the people. The Iranian mullahs' claim to legitimacy is simply raw power. A nuclear weapon would give them even greater power, but not any more moral legitimacy.

It is therefore reasonable to wonder what they would do with this new power. The simple answer is that they would feel protected behind a nuclear umbrella even as they shelter and support terrorist networks. But to what end? Either from the outset or somewhere down the road, Iranian mullahs will find that their nuclear-backed state has some global influence. The authoritarian regime inside Iran will come to see itself as a power capable of checking moderate influences in the Middle East.

Indeed, there is already ample evidence that Iran sees itself as a check on America. From taking Americans hostage in 1979 through trying to destabilize the interim Iraqi government today, Iran has sought to displace the U.S. from the Middle East. In the coming year, it is likely that Iran will emerge as the nation-state antagonist in the war on terror. That much more than offering shelter, Iran will provide terrorists with a symbol of a successful Islamicist check on the West. And from Osama bin Laden on down, terrorists fighters will attribute that success to nuclear weapons...

No need for nukes

The Grassroots Can Save the Democrats

Click here for AmazonJoe Trippi, Howard Dean's campaign manager, weighs in on the changes that must be made to Democratic party strategy.

The staggering defeat of the Democratic Party and its ever-accelerating death spiral weren't obvious from the election results. Two factors masked the extent of the party's trouble. Without the innovation of Internet-driven small-donor fund-raising and a corresponding surge in support from the youngest voters, John Kerry would have suffered a dramatically larger defeat. And the true magnitude of the Democrats' abject failure at the polls in 2004 would have been more clearly revealed.

Mr. Kerry raised nearly half of his war chest over the Internet. He was so successful at this that he actually outspent the Bush campaign. But it was the outsider campaign of Howard Dean, reviled by most of the Democratic establishment, that pioneered the use of the Internet to raise millions in small contributions; Mr. Kerry was just the beneficiary as the party nominee. And it was the risk-taking Dean campaign that forced the risk-averse Kerry campaign to opt out of the public financing system. Had that decision not been forced on Mr. Kerry, he would have been badly outspent by George Bush; he would not have been competitive at all throughout the long summer of 2004...

The Grassroots Can Save the Democrats

Monday, November 29, 2004

Powerline on Palestine

Click here for AmazonThere will be a student council election tomorrow at Al-Najah university in Nablus, on the West Bank. The [accompanying] photo... shows a group of students participating in the student council election on behalf of Hamas. The Associated Press report says:

Palestinian supporters of the Islamic Hamas group, holding a big map of what is now Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.... The map reads in Arabic: 'Muslim Palestine.'

This is the heritage of Yasser Arafat. When Europe, the United Nations and the Clinton administration legitimized Arafat, they legitimized the fantasy that the Israelis can be exterminated and their country turned over to the Palestinians. This is, and always has been, the goal of Hamas, Fatah, the PLO, and so on. Today a new generation of Palestinian "leaders" are following in the terrorist footsteps of Arafat and his henchmen, preferring the fantasy of genocide to the hard work of dealing with the Palestinians' dysfunctional society, corrupt government, and primitive economy...

Click here for AmazonThe [accompanying] photo... shows a campaign rally for Chairman Abbas, which took place earlier today in Nablus. I get the feeling that the Palestinians still don't quite have the hang of this democracy thing. The world pretty clearly has lower expectations of the forthcoming election among the Palestinians than of the just-completed election in Ukraine. It's interesting to consider why this is...

Powerline on Palestine

Oh, that Global War on Terror

Click here for AmazonThe FBI has told Spanish investigators that one of three men believed to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks from Spain in the summer of 2001 also gave the order to carry out the Madrid blasts, the newspaper ABC reported. ...

Investigators have long concluded that the Sept. 11 attacks were partially planned in Spain in July 2001. Hijacker Mohammed Atta, believed to have piloted one of the airliners that crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, visited Spain two months before the attacks and met two men. One was Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, who is being held by U.S. authorities, while the other was unidentified.

ABC said investigators now believe that third man was the one who in December 2003 activated the Qaeda cell that carried out the March 11 attacks, which Spaniards call “our Sept. 11.”

ABC said investigators had narrowed his identity down to three candidates and believed he was a lieutenant of Mustafa Setmarian, increasingly considered to have been a leader of the Madrid train bombers and who may have held a leadership role for al Qaeda in Europe. Setmarian, aged 45 and of Syrian origin, was already wanted as part of a separate investigation into Islamic militant activity in Spain and is the subject of a Spanish wanted notice issued through Interpol.

The State Department said on Nov. 18 it was offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Setmarian, also known as Mustafa Setmariam Nasar or Abu Musab al-Suri. It described him as an al Qaeda member and former trainer at “terrorist camps” in Afghanistan.

Report: FBI Finds Link Between 9/11, Madrid Bombs

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Letter from Fallujah

Click here for AmazonAt 2Slick’s Forum, an extraordinary letter from an Army officer who took part in the Battle of Fallujah: Letter from Fallujah. (Hat tip: M. Simon.)

In Fallujah, the enemy had a military-type planning system going on. Some of the fighters were wearing body armor and kevlars, just like we do. Soldiers took fire from heavy machine guns (.50 cal) and came across the dead bodies of fighters from Chechnya, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, and so on...no, this was not just a city of pissed off Iraqis, mad at the Coalition for forcing Saddam out of power. It was a city full of people from all over the Middle East whose sole mission in life was to kill Americans. Problem for them is that they were in the wrong city in November 2004.

Now that it’s over, there is a lot of things that people back home should know. First of all, every citizen of Fallujah (non-insurgent) is getting $2,500 USD (that’s a lot over here) to fix up their house or buy new things that may have been destroyed in the fighting. Insurgents took up positions in resident’s houses so we were forced to destroy a lot of buildings.

There is over $100 million dollars ready to be spent to re-build the city. This may seem like a lot of money, but I can assure you that it is a small price to pay for the amount of evil people no longer alive, contemplating how to kill more Americans. The intelligence value alone is already paying huge dividends. Some of the 900 detainees are telling everything they know about other insurgents. And the enemy never expected such a large or powerful attack and they were so overwhelmed that they left behind all kinds of things, including books with names of other foreign fighters, where their money and weapons come from, etc.

I went into the city 3 times, but after a lot of the fighting had been done. It was amazing to see how the American military had brought the world’s most evil city to its knees. I have an awful lot of pictures that I am going to upload to my webshots site...it will blow your mind to see what the insurgents forced us to do to win this fight. And seeing the pictures of what I saw first hand will make you very happy to be an American and know that our country has this might if evildoers force us to use it.

Go read the whole thing; this is only a small part of it.

Letter from Fallujah

The Next Language

Click here for AmazonAfter almost 9 years of programming in Java, I have been thinking about where Java is going and how it fits into the continuum of programming languages in the enterprise...

...What Java didn’t provide was 4GL type tools, but then again nobody had 4GL type tools for web applications, so it was no big deal. It was expected that those would come. However, many years have past, and the vast majority of J2EE applications are still built by hand. A lesson that Microsoft has learned well is that for API’s to be toolable, they need to be developed concurrently with the tool and both the API and tool should depend on easily externalizable metadata. Java API’s were always written on the merits of the API’s themselves, and subsequent tools were predominantly code generators shunned by programmers.

The Java API’s grew into a morass of inconsistent and incomprehensible API’s, even the most simple things proved to be very complicated. The vast majority of J2EE deployments (over 80% according to Gartner) are simply Servlet/JSP to JDBC applications. Basically HTML front-ends to relational databases. It is ironic that much of what makes Java complicated today is all of its numerous band-aid extensions, such as generics and JSP templates, which were added to make these types of simple applications easier to develop...

...So let’s look at the requirements for today’s corporate applications:

# Handle XML (dynamic data with fluctuating types) well
# Quickly process text into objects and out of objects
# Most apps have limited logic consisting mainly of control flow
# No need for portability beyond Linux/x86 and Windows/x86
# Very thin veneer over the operating system for system services
# Tuned for 1-2 processor x86 machines

Given these requirements, Java does not fare very well:

# XML data is inherently unstructured and it has to be shoehorned into and out of Java, which is a strongly typed language that does not like new types of objects popping into its applications.
# Java is horrific at processing text since it can’t manipulate strings directly.
# While Java is great for complicated applications, it is not ideally suited for specifying control flow.
# Java is a magically portable platform, but there is no longer a requirement for portability other than Linux and Windows.
# Since there is no longer a portability requirement, developers want only a very thin veneer over operating system services like sockets, while Java provides a huge virtual machine in between the application and the operating system.
# Most J2EE implementations are tuned for 4-16 processor SMP boxes

So if Java does not meet these requirements, what does? Apparently what is needed is a language/environment that is loosely typed in order to encapsulate XML well and that can efficiently process text. It should be very well suited for specifying control flow. And it should be a thin veneer over the operating system.

Most Linux distribution in fact bundle three such languages, PHP, Python, and Perl. PHP is by far the most popular, Python is considered the most elegant (if not odd), and Perl the tried-and-true workhorse. All three languages are open source and free. As the following graphs show, PHP use has skyrocketed over the past few years...

The next language

Anatomy of a car wreck

Click here for AmazonT breaks down the cause-and-effect of a major traffic disruption that he narrowly avoided. What he doesn't say is whether he was driving the pimped-out Solara or the Porsche.

Anatomy of a car wreck

Friday, November 26, 2004

Then and Now

Click here for AmazonThe media... get it wrong when they describe the Global War on Terror as a unique experience in the defense of America -- a war unlike any other we've ever fought. Perhaps those reporting today don't know their history because we've been through this before. In fact, the parallels between World War II in the Pacific and the War on Terror are uncanny.

Consider that both World War II and the Global War on Terror began with a surprise air attack. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was possible only because our immigration controls, intelligence services and FBI let us down. The same was true leading up to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Strangely enough, the American death toll is almost the same: 2,403 at Pearl Harbor and 2,966 on Sept. 11.

Click here for AmazonThe Pearl Harbor attack occurs after years of "warnings" that went ignored. The Japanese had made it clear that they were going to evict Europeans and Americans from the Pacific. They had been at war in China since their 1930 seizure of Manchuria and the 1937 invasion of China -- but they still caught us flatfooted.

The same kinds of events happened in 2001. Osama bin Laden had attacked the United States at the World Trade Center in 1993, in Doha, in Tanzania, in Nairobi and on the USS Cole. But we were still caught by surprise on Sept. 11.

Click here for AmazonIn the Pacific, our adversaries were fanatical Japanese soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians who believed that they had a divine mission to drive us out of the Pacific. They weren't just willing to die for their cause, they wanted to die -- killing a Westerner. And it wasn't just the military. On Saipan, more than 800 Japanese civilians committed suicide rather than be captured.

The Banzai charges starting at Guadalcanal and the Kamikaze attacks that begin at Leyte were beyond the comprehension of most Americans. The Japanese routinely booby-trapped the bodies of their dead, ambushed Americans under false flags of surrender and filmed themselves committing terrible atrocities -- including beheadings. Many even wore headscarves with symbolic messages.

Today, the Jihadists believe they have a divine mission -- to drive the "infidels" out of "Islamic lands." The suicide terrorist is eulogized as a martyr; they routinely videotape and photograph the most heinous murders of their hostages and proudly display the images; if you look carefully at these horrific videos and photos, you will see many of them wearing headscarves emblazoned with verses from the Koran.

Today's enemy is every bit as brutal as the enemy we faced in the Pacific during World War II, and they are every bit as determined to destroy America. The one difference between the Pacific engagement in World War II and today's War on Terror -- though the media ignore it -- is that we are making more progress in less time than during the start of World War II...

Then and Now

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Lileks' Matchbook Museum

Click here for AmazonIf you've never seen the Matchbook Museum, you're missing out on a slice of Americana just as chorny (a word I just coined meaning "cheesy and corny") as the fins on a '57 Cadillac. Oh, and an exceedingly, excessively Happy Thanksgiving to all twelve of my regular readers. :-)

Middle Eastern Press Reactions to the Election

Click here for AmazonIf you're unfamiliar with MEMRI (the Middle Eastern Media Research Institute), then it's high time you became acquainted with their work. Providing translations for various Middle Eastern media outlets (including television), MEMRI does yeoman's work in opening a window on a world that the West seldom sees.

In MEMRI's recap of the Arab press' reactions to the re-election of President Bush, there were, of course, the predictable wails and gnashing of teeth among the Arab fourth estate. However, there were also some interesting liberal and moderate viewpoints. Read on.

The Arabs Must Learn from the U.S. Electoral System

Journalist Hassan Younes wrote in the Qatari daily Al-Watan: "The American elections are an important and sad lesson that the Arab world does not study, and in which it makes do with observer status and expresses its hopes for the victory of the candidate that it thinks will realize its own interests…

"The Americans are voting for everything: president, legislature, governors of states, judges, education superintendents, and many officials. This, while the money-hungry ones in the Arab world scrap amongst themselves to gain the ruler's pleasure and a job – by means of which they will be able to plunder and steal everything within reach.

"The American elections are an opportunity for soul-searching in the Arab world, so that [we will be able to] establish a new regime to reflect the expectations and true will of the people. Only democracy can correct what exists, and only [through democracy] is it possible to find solutions to painful and unsolved problems – including, of course, the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"Had there been such democracy in Iraq, neither the first nor the second Gulf War would have broken out. [Also,] neither the invasion and occupation of this Arab country [i.e. Iraq], nor the disintegration and the destruction which we witness today, would have taken place…"


Bush's Victory is a Victory for Proper U.S. Middle East Policy

Liberal columnist Shaker Al-Nabulsi wrote on the liberal website www.elaph.com: "Congratulations to President Bush on his landslide victory in the presidential election. Congratulations to the Republican Party for its landslide success in Congress. This is the first time in the history of America that the Republican Party has gained a landslide victory for the presidency and Congress alike. This landslide victory is the victory of American policy on the Middle East, particularly regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terror.

"The American people, [who number] over 100 million voters, elected the president of human freedom who liberated Iraq and Afghanistan and promised to establish a Palestinian state in 2005. [They also elected] the son of the one who previously liberated Kuwait.

"The Arab-Americans who voted for Kerry made a mistake, as we said before. They always put their eggs in a basket full of holes, due to lack of clear and clean political vision, lack of knowledge, and failure to read history properly…"

MEMRI: reactions to President Bush's re-election

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

It was a very good month

Click here for AmazonNot every month will run its course quite so swimmingly as November of the year two-thousand and four...

Bush wins.

Kerry loses.

Puff Daschle loses.

MSM loses.

FatBoy loses.

Springsteen loses.

Bon Tony loses.

Soros loses.

Streisand loses.

Ch-Iraq loses!

Arafat DEAD!

Niedermeyer DEAD!

Rather’s career DEAD!

What a month!

And six more days to go!

Forget the cranberries. Pass the champagne!

It was a very good month

Zarqawi's Desperate Message

Click here for AmazonA new statement by the leading terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, sounds a desperate tone as he lashes out at Muslim intelligentsia for not supporting his gang of butchers. According to the AP, Zarqawi also sounds pretty pessimistic these days:

An audiotape purportedly made by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lashed out Wednesday at Muslim scholars for not speaking out against U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying they have "let us down in the darkest circumstances." ...

"You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy... You have quit supporting the mujahedeen," he said. "Hundreds of thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence."

Zarqawi obviously doesn't read the New York Times or watch CBS News. If he did, he wouldn't report that Muslims have quit supporting the mujahedeen. The party line in the media here is that Westerners are oppressive occupiers and that the Iraqis want us out. Zarqawi and his gang of bloodthirsty maniacs must see something different...

Zarqawi's Desperate Message

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Frum vs. CAIR

Click here for AmazonLittle Green Footballs points us to a National Post article by David Frum: The Question of CAIR. Read the whole thing.

Two weeks ago, the National Post and I were served with a notice of libel by the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The Post and I are not alone. Over the past year, CAIR’s Canadian and U.S. branches have served similar libel notices on half a dozen other individuals and organizations in the United States and Canada. Each case has its own particular facts, yet they are linked by a common theme: That we defendants have accused CAIR (in the words of the notice served on me) of being "an unscrupulous, Islamist, extremist sympathetic group in Canada supporting terrorism."

Lawyers for individuals and newspapers served with libel notices will normally urge their clients to avoid any comment on the matter—to avoid even any acknowledgement that they have been served. This is usually good advice. A notice of libel is not a lawsuit, but a warning of a lawsuit to come. If the potential defendant keeps quiet, the potential plaintiff will often drop the suit altogether.

But wise legal advice often comes at a cost, a cost in public information. So I was heartened that the National Post’s lawyers have encouraged the paper and me to continue with this important story.

CAIR is understandably protective of its reputation. Until recently, it has had considerable success winning acceptance in the United States and Canada as something close to an official spokesman for local Muslim communities. CAIR has been influential in advocating for a sharia court to arbitrate divorces and other family-law matters in the province of Ontario. CAIR’s strong criticisms of Canada’s anti-terror legislation have won respectful hearing in Ottawa. Any reporting or commentary that cast doubt on CAIR’s carefully cultivated image would deeply threaten the group’s mission.

What is that mission? The public record offers some clues:

CAIR was founded in 1994 by alumni of an older group, the Islamic Association for Palestine. The IAP, founded by senior Hamas figure Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, calls for the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state under Islamic law in Israel’s place. (In 1996, CAIR would condemn the U.S. government’s decision to deport Marzook as an “anti-Islamic” act.)

CAIR’s first executive director, Nihad Awad, publicly declared himself a supporter of Hamas at a 1994 forum at Barry University in Florida.

One of CAIR’s original advisory board members, Siraj Wahhaj, served as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. Rahman is the blind Egyptian cleric convicted in 1995 of conspiracy to bomb New York landmarks. CAIR described Rahman’s conviction as a hate crime.

CAIR’s founding chairman, Omar Ahmed, also an IAP alumnus, is said to have declared at a public event in California in July, 1998: "Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth." Ahmed has since disputed the accuracy of the quote—five years after it was reported by a California newspaper.

LGF and Anti-CAIR

Paterno vs. Rather

Click here for Amazon...So Dan Rather has announced his retirement. Like that was unexpected. It is a lot like Joe Paterno announcing his retirement, except Joe's had a much, much better season.

And Joe's got a great lifetime record.

Rather's announcement is more like Ron Artest announcing his retirement, if only Artest would. Both Dan and Ron have consistently lowered the standards of their various games, and have recently taken to attacking their customers because the customers booed.

Let's not spend a lot of time watching the barge go over the falls. Rather's not even a footnote in the history of American journalism much less American history. He was standing around in the right place at the right time and will be remembered for his pratfalls not his professionalism.

Hugh Hewitt on Rather's Retirement

Powerline's Take on Michael Scheuer

Click here for AmazonMichael Scheuer, the ex-CIA man who wrote the book Imperial Hubris, has been in the news. Scheuer apparently was the agent who, for a number of years, was in charge of trying to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. He was on Meet the Press yesterday, and made some deeply weird comments about his former quarry, as noted by Real Clear Politics. The show's transcript is here:

MR. SCHEUER: ...There has to be some command and control there. And to imagine that it doesn't--that he's unable to do it is just absolutely incorrect. He's really a remarkable man, a great man in many ways, without the connotation positive or negative. He's changed the course of history. You just have to try to take your fourth-graders' class to the White House visitors' center...

MR. RUSSERT: When you say "great man," people cringe.

MR. SCHEUER: Yes, sir. Absolutely they cringe, but a great man is someone--a great individual is someone who changes the course of history. And certainly in the last five or six years, America has changed dramatically in the way we behave, in the way we travel. Certainly he's bleeding us to death in terms of money.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you see him as a very formidable enemy?

MR. SCHEUER: Tremendously formidable enemy, sir, an admirable man. If he was on our side, he would be dining at the White House. He would be a freedom fighter, a resistance fighter. It's--and again, that's not to praise him, but it is to say that until we take the measure of the man and the power of his words, we're very much going to be on the short end of the stick.

He sounds for all the world like one of King John's men talking about Robin Hood. Maybe it would have helped to have someone trying to kill bin Laden who wasn't such an admirer...

...The only good thing I know about Michael Scheuer is that he detests Richard Clarke. Apparently the feeling is mutual. The Weekly Standard has an article titled Scheuer v. Clarke, which details their feud. I think they're both right. The conclusion of the Weekly Standard piece is especially interesting:

Scheuer thinks Clarke is a risk-averse poseur who didn't do enough to fight bin Laden prior to September 11, 2001. ... Scheuer said that on 10 separate occasions his unit, codename "Alec," provided key policymakers with information that could've lead to the killing or capture of Osama bin Laden. "In each of those 10 instances," Scheuer said, "the senior policymaker in charge, whether it was Sandy Berger, Richard Clarke, or George Tenet," resisted taking action, afraid it would result in collateral damage or a backlash on the Arab street. According to Scheuer, Clarke's story has changed in the time since. Clarke says the Clinton administration did all that it could to fight terrorism, while the Bush administration was derelict.

One of the reporters raised her hand.

"Just to clarify," she asked. "Did all these 10 instances take place prior to the Bush administration?"

Scheuer nodded.

"That's correct," he said.

Powerline on Scheuer

Monday, November 22, 2004

An excellent cause

Dan Gillmor, of the San Jose Mercury News, say of Spirit of America, "a Web-based humanitarian project that almost anyone can endorse, regardless of one's stance on the... war."

Panic button

Click here for AmazonIf your boss just rounded the bend and is headed into your cube, office, or workspace, click here now.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

A recommendation for financial web sites

Click here for AmazonThe financial sites I visit on a regular basis are all missing a simple gadget that would dramatically (IMO) improve security. When I visit a financial site (e.g., a brokerage, bank, insurance company, etc.), I want to see the following message on the screen when I log in:

Hello, Doug. You last logged in on November 15, 2004 at 12:30PM ET from IP address

With all of the phishing, keyboard logging and related scams underway on the 78% of machines polluted with some form of malware (warning: 78% is an unofficial guess), I think a no-nonsense confirmation of your last logon is well worthwhile.

It's in everyone's best interests to implement this relatively simple facility. And it's only the bad actors who would want to omit it.

Spreadsheets on the web

More info on Excel Web functionality: here.

Europe's Civil War

Click here for Amazon...There are 1 million Muslims (6 percent of the population) now living in Europe's most crowded small country [the Netherlands]. Some 30,000 new Muslims arrive every year. They tend to live among themselves, with their own schools, mosques and restaurants. Most are horrified by what they view as sacrilegious in their own religion. Their imams speak no Dutch and know nothing of the Netherlands' history and culture.

Western Europe as a whole gets about half a million new Muslims a year. Most make their way from sub-Saharan and North Africa, illegal immigrants smuggled by boat to Spain and Italy where they are free to travel with impunity to the rest of Europe. Thus, Europe's Muslim population has doubled to 20 million in the last 10 years...

...What Dutch filmmaker and columnist Theo Van Gogh saw as the shabby treatment of females throughout the Muslim community led him to produce documentaries that portrayed Muslim men as tormentors of women, especially their wives. One recent scathingly critical Van Gogh film carried the message that Islam promotes violence against women.

ON Nov. 2, Van Gogh, a grandnephew of the painter, was shot as he cycled to work. He managed to get up and stagger across the street to his building where he collapsed. The assailant followed him and slit his throat before pinning to his chest with a knife a five-page manifesto that called on Muslims to rise against the "infidel enemies" in the West.

Dutch security authorities launched a nationwide manhunt for the murderer of the popular Van Gogh. A hand grenade injured four policemen as they went after two suspects in a working-class district of The Hague. Air space over the capital was closed for a day as Dutch Special Forces lay siege to a building and the two surrendered after a 14-hour standoff. Ten others were [also] arrested...

...Last summer, a last will and testament was found when an 18-year-old man of Moroccan-born parents was arrested for plotting terrorist attacks in the Netherlands. The list of targets included the Dutch parliament, Schiphol and the nuclear reactor at Borssele. Floor plans of several public buildings were also found. The former student wrote in his will he wants his newborn son to live "in the spirit of jihad."

...Islamist extremists even penetrated the Dutch intelligence service with a double agent. One officer was arrested last September. The government hastily drafted a Patriot Act-like law that enables it to strip citizens of their citizenship and deport them if they engage in extremist acts.

COULD the Netherlands be a curtain- raiser for a wider clash of civilizations in the old continent?

Hundreds of thousands of young Muslims in Europe are potential jihadis, according to European intelligence chiefs speaking not for publication...

Europe's Civil War

Saturday, November 20, 2004

War Crimes?

Click here for Amazon...As the Marines burst into one of the rooms inside the mosque, they found four terrorists -- one dead and three wounded. In the video that has now been seen around the world, one of the battle-weary Marines points his weapon at one of the enemy combatants lying against the wall and shouts, "He's (expletive) faking he's dead. He's faking he's (expletive) dead." An instant later, the Marine raises his rifle and fires into the insurgent's head. Immediately thereafter, another Marine can be heard saying, "Well, he's dead now."

For American broadcasts, the actual shot is "blacked out." But when the tape airs on Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Lebanon TV and other Arab media outlets, nothing is left to the imagination. Unfortunately, neither version is accurate -- though both are very troubling. Like so much of what's on television today, only the goriest, most sensational portion of the tape has aired. As a consequence, "the rest of the story"... has been lost in the clamor created by 15 seconds of videotape.

Only a few have seen the footage shot the day before -- providing irrefutable evidence that the mosque was a well-defended arms depot. And fewer still have viewed the very next sequence after "the shooting," which shows two Marines pointing their weapons at another combatant lying motionless. Suddenly, one of the Marines jumps back as the terrorist stretches out his hand, motioning that he is alive. Neither Marine opens fire.

According to the Marines, a Navy medical corpsman was then summoned to treat the two wounded prisoners. In his original written report, Sites, the correspondent who videotaped the shooting, doesn't mention the medical treatment provided to the injured enemy combatants, but he does note that four of the combatants were some of those who had been left behind from the firefight on Friday. If the NBC reporter knew that from being there the day before, why didn't he tell this new group of Marines before they rushed into the room?

None of that is included in the tape, which is now being used to raise Islamic ire at the "American invader." Why? And why did it take more than a day to learn that the Marine seen shooting on the videotape had been wounded in the face the day before if the correspondent knew that when he filed the videotape? Why didn't the original story include the fact that a Marine in the same unit had been killed 24 hours earlier while searching the booby-trapped dead body of a terrorist? ...

War Crimes?

H-hour has arrived

Click here for Amazon...Iran has been gaming the system. It has pushed to the limits all feasible interpretation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory, to enable it to reach the cusp of nuclear weapons development without breaking its ties or diminishing its leverage over the Europeans as well as the Russians and Chinese. In so doing, it has isolated the US and Israel – which have both gone on record that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons – from the rest of the international community, which is ready to enable Iran to achieve nuclear weapons capabilities.

In the meantime, as Iran has negotiated the deal with the Europeans, it has moved quickly to develop its nuclear weapons delivery systems. Its recent Shihab-3 ballistic missiles tests seem to have demonstrated that Iran can now launch missiles to as far away as Europe. In addition, last week's launching of an Iranian drone, as well as this week's Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel, have shown that Iran has developed a panoply of delivery options for using its nuclear (as well as chemical and biological) arsenals to physically destroy Israel.

...So where does this leave [Israel] who, in the event that Iran goes nuclear, will face the threat of annihilation? Crunch time has arrived. It is time for Israel's leaders to go to Washington and ask the Americans point blank if they plan to defend Europe as Europe defends Iran's ability to attain the wherewithal to destroy the Jewish state. It must be made very clear to the White House that the hour of diplomacy faded away with the European Trio's latest ridiculous agreement with the mullahs. There is no UN option. Europe has cast its lot with the enemy of civilization itself...

H-hour has arrived

Friday, November 19, 2004

Live from Fallujah

Click here for AmazonWith the liberation of Fallujah and the fall of the jihadist regime in the town, it is apparent that American media intend to keep their story on message: the message being that the U.S. military operation there has failed and that Fallujans, and Iraqis in general, still hate the intervention forces.

At the same time, other reports tell a more significant and eloquent story: the jihadists had set up a Taliban-style dictatorship, in which women who did not cover their entire bodies, people listening to music, and members of spiritual Sufi orders -- that is, ordinary Fallujans -- were subject to torture and execution.

The Fallujans have learned the same lesson the Shias learned before them, and the Afghans before them: U.S. boots on Muslim soil may be onerous, but American military action is preferable to the unspeakably vicious criminality of Islamist extremists financed, recruited, and otherwise encouraged by Wahhabism...

...The London Times on Monday, November 15, described Fallujah as "terrorized" by the jihadists, who posted notices ordering death sentences on walls and poles throughout the streets. "Mutilated bodies dumped on Fallujah's bombed out streets today painted a harrowing picture of eight months of rebel rule," it began. The characteristically arbitrary, if not insane tone of Wahhabi/Taliban "governance" was clearly in evidence: An order dated November 1 "gives vendors three days to remove nine market stalls from outside the city's library or face execution. The pretext given is that the rebels wanted to convert the building into a headquarters for the 'Mujahidin Advisory Council' through which they ran the city."

Orders to conform to Wahhabi "virtue" were backed up by graphic examples: "An Arab woman, in a violet nightdress, lay in a post-mortem embrace with a male corpse in the middle of the street. Both bodies had died from bullets to the head… Many of the residents who emerged from the ruins welcomed the U.S. marines, despite the massive destruction their firepower had inflicted on their city. A man in his sixties, half-naked and his underwear stained with blood from shrapnel wounds, cursed the insurgents as he greeted the advancing marines on Saturday night.

'I wish the Americans had come here the very first day and not waited eight months,' he said, trembling. Nearby, a mosque courtyard had been used as a weapons store by the militants. Another elderly man, who did not want his name used for fear the rebels would one day return and restore their draconian rule, said he was detained by the militants last Tuesday and held for four days before being freed… 'It was horrible,' he told an Agence France-Presse reporter. 'We suffered from the bombings. Innocent people died or were wounded by the bombings. But we were happy you did what you did because Fallujah had been suffocated by the Mujahidin. Anyone considered suspicious would be slaughtered. We would see unknown corpses around the city all the time.'"

..."Even residents who regard themselves as observant Muslims lived in fear because they did not share the puritan brand of Sunni Islam that the insurgents enforced. One devotee of a Sufi sect, followers of a mystical form of worship deemed heretical by the hardliners, told how he and other members of his order had lived in terror inside their homes for fear of retribution...

Long Live Free Fallujah!

Fun with Photoshop

I am not sorry
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I am not sorry
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I am not sorry
I am not sorry

Thursday, November 18, 2004

1970: GM Warns Toyota on Market Trends

Click here for AmazonHugh Hewitt nails it, as usual. In dissecting the mainstream media's latest viewpoints on new media (talk radio, the blogosphere, and Fox News), Hugh ripostes thusly.

Fahri quotes Joe Scarborough blasting Sean Hannity for reading RNC "talking points" for the past four years and wondering how Hannity is going to fill three hours a day from here on out. Did it not occur to Fahri that Joe S. works for MSNBC and is a direct competitor of Hannity's television show, and thus might be less than a disinterested observer of how Hannity does his show or of its prospects moving forward? Yesterday Sean had on Janeane Garofalo for a rollicking couple of segments that made for great radio. Like me Hannity interviews newsmakers from both sides of the aisle. As long as there is a newscast on the networks there will be vibrant and growing talk shows.

Talk radio, like the blogosphere, has experienced explosive growth because vast numbers of Americans do not trust MSM --including the Washington Post-- to report the truth. This past election cycle, with Rathergate and the myth of the missing munitions have confirmed for that audience and many others that the Post etc are just extensions of the DNC. Until MSM reforms itself, the growth curve for talk radio --and the honest journalists who work within as opposed to the agenda journalists at 60 Minutes-- will do fine for the reason that Chronkite did fine for all those years. People want news from sources they trust.

They trust me, Paul, and they trust Sean and Laura and Rush and Dennis and Michael and Bill. They don't trust you.

It's the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CBS, and all other biased media that should be worried, not talk radio. New media is gaining audience share; MSM is losing it. Fahri's article is like GM warning Toyota in 1970 to watch out for market trends.

Hugh Hewitt: GM Warns Toyota

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Fallujah Shooting from a Marine's Perspective

Click here for AmazonMatthew Heidt at Froggy Ruminations weighs in on the Fallujah shooting. Hat tip: LGF.

It’s a safety issue pure and simple. After assaulting through a target, put a security round in everybody’s head. Sorry al-Reuters, there’s no paddy wagon rolling around Fallujah picking up “prisoners” and offering them a hot cup a joe, falafel, and a blanket. There’s no time to dick around in the target, you clear the space, dump the chumps, and moveon.org. Are Corpsman expected to treat wounded terrorists? Negative. Hey libs, worried about the defense budget? Well, it would be waste, fraud, and abuse for a Corpsman to spend one man minute or a battle dressing on a terrorist, its much cheaper to just spend the $.02 on a 5.56mm FMJ.

By the way, terrorists who chop off civilian’s heads are not prisoners, they are carcasses.

UPDATE: Let me be very clear about this issue. I have looked around the web, and many people get this concept, but there are some stragglers. Here is your situation Marine. You just took fire from unlawful combatants shooting from a religious building attempting to use the sanctuary status of their position as protection. But you’re in Fallujah now, and the Marine Corps has decided that they’re not playing that game this time. That was Najaf. So you set the mosque on fire and you hose down the terrorists with small arms, launch some AT-4s (Rockets), some 40MM grenades into the building and things quiet down. So you run over there, and find some tangos wounded and pretending to be dead. You are aware that suicide martyrdom is like really popular with these kind of idiots, and like taking some Marines with them would be really cool. So you can either risk your life and your fireteam’s lives by having them cover you while you bend down and search a guy that you think is pretending to be dead for some reason. Also, you don’t know who or what is in the next room, and you’re already speaking english to each other and its loud because your hearing is poor from shooting people for several days. So you know that there are many other rooms to enter, and that if anyone is still alive in those rooms, they know that Americans are in the mosque. Meanwhile (3 seconds later), you still have this terrorist that was just shooting at you from a mosque playing possum. What do you do?

You double tap his head, and you go to the next room, that’s what.

What about the Geneva Conventions and all that Law of Land Warfare stuff? What about it. Without even addressing the issues at hand you first thought should be, “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.” Bear in mind that this is a perpetual mindset that is reinforced by experiences gained on a minute by minute basis. Secondly, you are fighting an unlawful combatant in a Sanctuary which is a double No No on his part. Third, tactically you are in no position to take “prisoners” because there are more rooms to search and clear, and the behavior of said terrorist indicates that he is up to no good. No good in Fallujah is a very large place and the low end of no good and the high end of no good are fundamentally the same... Marines get hurt or die. So there is no compelling reason for you to do anything but double tap this idiot and get on with the mission.

If you are a veteran then everything I have just written is self evident, if you are not a veteran than at least try to put yourself in the situation. Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a week? It is not easy, and if you have never lived in NOW for longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for war crimes. Be advised, I am not talking to my readers, but if this post gets linked up, I want regular folks to get this message loud and clear. Froggy OUT.

Froggy Ruminations

Update on the Fallujah Shooting

From Powerline, an email sent by a Marine in the 11th MEU:

This is one story of many that people normally don't hear, and one that everyone does.

This is one most don't hear:
A young Marine and his cover man cautiously enter a room just recently filled with insurgents armed with Ak-47's and RPG's. There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can be heard saying, "Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!" He is badly wounded, lying in a pool of his own blood. The Marine and his cover man slowly walk toward the injured man, scanning to make sure no enemies come from behind. In a split second, the pressure in the room greatly exceeds that of the outside, and the concussion seems to be felt before the blast is heard. Marines outside rush to the room, and look in horror as the dust gradually settles. The result is a room filled with the barely recognizable remains of the deceased, caused by an insurgent setting off several pounds of explosives.

The Marines' remains are gathered by teary eyed comrades, brothers in arms, and shipped home in a box. The families can only mourn over a casket and a picture of their loved one, a life cut short by someone who hid behind a white flag.

But no one hears these stories, except those who have lived to carry remains of a friend, and the families who loved the dead. No one hears this, so no one cares.

This is the story everyone hears:

A young Marine and his fire team cautiously enter a room just recently filled with insurgents armed with AK-47's and RPG's. There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insugent can be heard saying, "Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!" He is badly wounded. Suddenly, he pulls from under his bloody clothes a grenade, without the pin. The explosion rocks the room, killing one Marine, wounding the others. The young Marine catches shrapnel in the face.

The next day, same Marine, same type of situation, a different story. The young Marine and his cover man enter a room with two wounded insurgents. One lies on the floor in puddle of blood, another against the wall. A reporter and his camera survey the wreckage inside, and in the background can be heard the voice of a Marine, "He's moving, he's moving!"

The pop of a rifle is heard, and the insurgent against the wall is now dead. Minutes, hours later, the scene is aired on national television, and the Marine is being held for commiting a war crime. Unlawful killing.

And now, another Marine has the possibility of being burned at the stake for protecting the life of his brethren. His family now wrings their hands in grief, tears streaming down their face. Brother, should I have been in your boots, i too would have done the same.

For those of you who don't know, we Marines, Band of Brothers, Jarheads, Leathernecks, etc., do not fight because we think it is right, or think
it is wrong. We are here for the man to our left, and the man to our right. We choose to give our lives so that the man or woman next to us can go home and see their husbands, wives, children, friends and families.

For those of you who sit on your couches in front of your television, and choose to condemn this man's actions, I have but one thing to say to you. Get out of your recliner, lace up my boots, pick up a rifle, leave your family behind and join me. See what I've seen, walk where I have walked. To those of you who support us, my sincerest gratitude. You keep us alive.

I am a Marine currently doing his second tour in Iraq. These are my opinions and mine alone. They do not represent those of the Marine Corps or of the US military, or any other.

The Ashcroft Legacy

Click here for AmazonJonah Goldberg: 'By conventional standards, [John] Ashcroft was among the best attorney generals in American history. Violent crime dropped 27 percent on his watch, reaching a 30-year low. Federal gun crime prosecutions rose 75 percent, and gun crimes dropped -- something that should please liberals. By unconventional standards his service was heroic. There hasn't been a single terrorist attack since 9/11, despite all predictions by experts and efforts by terrorists to the contrary. Ashcroft was willing to take gross abuse to do what was necessary.'

What a country!

Click here for AmazonEver heard of Yuta Tabuse? Didn't think so. For an unspecified prize (which very well could be an all-expenses-paid breakfast at Waffle House), is Yuta Tabuse...

a) The new head of Homeland's Security's Computer Division?
b) The next-generation snow tire from Cooper Tire?
c) Master Scientist Nikola Tesla's protege?
d) The first person born in Japan to make an NBA roster?

The answer is D.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Mujahidin terrorised Fallujah, residents say

Click here for AmazonHat Tip: LGF.

Mutilated bodies dumped on Fallujah's bombed out streets today painted a harrowing picture of eight months of rebel rule.

As US and Iraqi troops mopped up the last vestiges of resistance in the city after a week of bombardment and fighting, residents who stayed on through last week's offensive were emerging and telling harrowing tales of the brutality they endured.

Flyposters still litter the walls bearing all manner of decrees from insurgent commanders, to be heeded on pain of death. Amid the rubble of the main shopping street, one decree bearing the insurgents' insignia - two Kalashnikovs propped together - and dated November 1 gives vendors three days to remove nine market stalls from outside the city's library or face execution.

The pretext given is that the rebels wanted to convert the building into a headquarters for the "Mujahidin Advisory Council" through which they ran the city.

Another poster in the ruins of the souk bears testament to the strict brand of Sunni Islam imposed by the council, fronted by hardline cleric Abdullah Junabi. The decree warns all women that they must cover up from head to toe outdoors, or face execution by the armed militants who controlled the streets.

Two female bodies found yesterday suggest such threats were far from idle. An Arab woman, in a violet nightdress, lay in a post-mortem embrace with a male corpse in the middle of the street. Both bodies had died from bullets to the head.

Just six metres away on the same street lay the decomposing corpse of a blonde-haired white woman, too disfigured for swift identification but presumed to be the body of one of the many foreign hostages kidnapped by the rebels...

Mujahidin terrorised Fallujah, residents say

Monday, November 15, 2004

Iran: the elephant in the room

Click here for AmazonFor a long time, people like myself and a great, great, many others have been talking at length about the fact that the Islamic "Republic" of Iran poses a dangerous threat to the United States, both inside Iraq and worldwide. I noted nearly a year ago and continue to stand by my belief that if the United States suffers a major terrorist attack, nuclear or otherwise, Iran is almost certain to be singled out for US retaliation by virtue of the regime's decisions. Wretchard noted the grim reality of the situation and unfortunately little has occurred to change that analysis over the last year.

Yet one of the things that people continue to ask me is, if all of this is true, where is the evidence from government officials?

Read it!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Bin Laden receives religious authority to use Nukes

Click here for AmazonThe former head of the CIA's Osama Bin Laden unit indicates that: (a) Al Qaeda has secured religious sanction to use nuclear weapons against Americans; and (b) the threat posed by bin Laden is underestimated:

Osama bin Laden now has religious approval to use a nuclear device against Americans, says the former head of the CIA unit charged with tracking down the Saudi terrorist. The former agent, Michael Scheuer, speaks to Steve Kroft in his first television interview without disguise to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 14 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Scheuer was until recently known as the "anonymous" author of two books critical of the West's response to bin Laden and al Qaeda, the most recent of which is titled Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. No one in the West knows more about the Qaeda leader than Scheuer, who has tracked him since the mid-1980s. The CIA allowed him to write the books provided he remain anonymous, but now is allowing him to reveal himself for the first time on Sunday's broadcast; he formally leaves the Agency today (12).

Even if bin Laden had a nuclear weapon, he probably wouldn't have used it for a lack of proper religious authority - authority he has now. "[Bin Laden] secured from a Saudi sheik...a rather long treatise on the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the Americans," says Scheuer. "[The treatise] found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them. Muslims argue that the United States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans," Scheuer tells Kroft.

Scheuer says bin Laden was criticized by some Muslims for the 9/11 attack because he killed so many people without enough warning and before offering to help convert them to Islam. But now bin Laden has addressed the American people and given fair warning. "They're intention is to end the war as soon as they can and to ratchet up the pain for the Americans until we get out of their region....If they acquire the weapon, they will use it, whether it's chemical, biological or some sort of nuclear weapon," says Scheuer.

As the head of the CIA unit charged with tracking bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, Scheuer says he never had enough people to do the job right. He blames former CIA Director George Tenet. "One of the questions that should have been asked of Mr. Tenet was why were there always enough people for the public relations office, for the academic outreach office, for the diversity and multi-cultural office? All those things are admirable and necessary but none of them are protecting the American people from a foreign threat," says Scheuer.

And the threat posed by bin Laden is also underestimated, says Scheuer. "I think our leaders over the last decade have done the American people a disservice...continuing to characterize Osama bin Laden as a thug, as a gangster," he says. "Until we respect him, sir, we are going to die in numbers that are probably unnecessary, yes. He's a very, very talented man and a very worthy opponent," he tells Kroft.

Until today (12), Scheuer was a senior official in the CIA's counter terrorism unit and a special advisor to the head of the agency's bin Laden unit.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Dude, Where's my Votes?

Click here for AmazonMan, I was so happy with our win, but then I found out that places like Democratic Underground are arguing that Bush stole the election once again. What? But what about all those votes? Well, Wikipedia even has a page up about how the election was stolen with charts and everything. Is something up? Well, I contacted my local wing of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy who patched me into the national arm of the VRWC. Then I got to talk to two people I shall refer to as Hacker1 and Hacker2. Here is the conversation:

Frank: So, did we steal the election this time?

Hacker1: Yeah, totally. We like rigged all the machines so there was no way we could lose.

Frank: Why didn't you tell me we had it in the bag? I was like totally worried about this election!

Hacker2: Sorry, dude, but we were like told not to spread it around too much.

Hacker1: Yeah, we needed everyone to act like it was close and worrisome so no one would know we like totally hacked it. That Karl Rove is smart, dude; he knows how to run things.

Hacker2: Yeah, Rove is totally evil and totally cool.

Frank: So did you hack voting everywhere?

Hacker1: Yeah, otherwise it would look weird if we only improved in the battleground states.

Hacker2: Rove was completely in charge of all that. He even came in last minute and said, "Give them New Hampshire," and we were like, "Whatever."

Frank: So was it hard hacking the vote?

Hacker1: Sorta, but Diebold gave us easy to follow instructions.

Hacker2: We totally owned all the votes.

Hacker1: Totally.

Hacker2: It was funny to see the Democrats try and cheat the old-fashioned way. They can bring in all the dead people they want to vote, but we'll just change their votes to Republican in the end.

Hacker1: (laughs) I bet you didn't know this, but Michael Moore voted for Bush.

Hacker2: (laughs) He doesn't know it either.

Frank: But aren't people going to find out about this eventually?

Hacker1: Not if we're careful, dude.

Hacker2: First off, we're not going to hand out many landslides. It's going to be a bunch of real close ones so we can say to the Democrats, "Oh, that was so close. You really should try again."

Hacker1: (laughs) We're going to drive them nuts...

Dude, where's my votes?

Michael Moore does not speak for them

Click here for AmazonWhen Eva sent me a note she wrote in protest after Michael Moore posted a picture of President Bush — composed of the images of our fallen including her son from Iraq — I promised to publish her words. Heroes deserve as much. And people like Moore should be challenged.

''I will not allow the Michael Moores of this world to take my son's death and turn it and twist it to suit their own greedy and malicious purposes,'' she told me.

Eva is right. For Moore to represent himself as speaking for America's war dead in Iraq is like him claiming to be a spokesman for Weight Watchers. And consider the outrage and insult of a stranger using your son's image for their punitive politics. This is not the first time Moore has stooped so low. He used footage of the funeral of U.S. Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone for Fahrenheit 9/11. Maj. Stone's family told The Washington Times:

''We are furious that Greg was in that casket and cannot defend himself,'' Kandi Gallagher, Maj. Stone's aunt, said. ''And my sister, Greg's mother … called him (Moore) a 'maggot that eats off the dead.'''

Gold Star families are capable of speaking for themselves (for Bush or against). I know four such families personally. And Eva Savage's response to Moore is most appropriate for Veterans Day: ''I am the mother of a United States Marine. Jeremiah was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq on May 12, 2004.

''People like Moore would have you believe that we hold President Bush responsible for my son's death. Michael Moore has not spoken to me — ever. So he cannot profess to know how I feel. He is a coward who thrives on the lives of others by twisting the truth and rewriting it to suit his own agenda...

"...I will continue to speak out against closed-minded cowards like Michael Moore. I used to be afraid to say what I thought for the way someone would think of me. Not any more. You do not walk in my shoes, Mr. Moore. You do not know what I feel or think. Until you have stood where I stand, do not put words in my mouth.

''I have a voice, and it is about damn time I stop being silent. My son died giving me the right to speak, and speak loud. I will not allow his name or even his picture be disgraced...'

Michael Moore does not speak for them

Reality-Based Election Analysis

Click here for AmazonDemocrat Arnold Kling provides some perspective on where his party headed... as opposed to where it could have headed.

Below is a table of choices in various categories. One choice alienates more voters than others, particularly voters near the center.

CategoryAlienates More VotersAlienates Fewer Voters
Policy GroupMoveOn.orgNew America Foundation
CelebrityMichael MooreJesse Ventura
Economic SpokesmanPaul KrugmanMartin Baily
VP CandidateJohn EdwardsJoseph Lieberman
Advocacy for Church-State SeparationPeople for the American WayAmerican Civil Liberties Union
Media and CopyrightMotion Picture Association of AmericaPublic Knowledge

This year, the Democratic Party cozied up to all of the individuals and groups on the left of the list. They lost my vote, despite the fact that I voted for Gore, Clinton, and even Dukakis. My guess is that none of the choices that the Democrats made in the chart helped them in 2004.

Reality-Based Election Analysis

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

DJ Drummond Slaps Gersh Kuntzman... Twice for Good Measure

Click here for AmazonDJ Drummond pummels Newweek's Gersh Kuntzman, who then attempts to spin his original column as satire... and is finally and thoroughly destroyed. Read all three articles, linked at the bottom.

...To your “fourth reaction", how quaint a notion - that the ideal means for addressing one atrocity, is to accept another immoral alternative. By your logic, then, I suppose we should excuse Hitler, since, after all, he was not only a vegetarian, but a lover of animals and kind to children? Then again, we’ve seen that logic at work, in the excuses the Left makes for Saddam Hussein (mass graves notwithstanding, nor even acknowledged by the Left), while falsely comparing the President to all manner of evil. The Left uses lies and deceit and malice and hatred in their tactics and message, yet claim for all of that to represent the side of tolerance and hope. There may come a day, when the penny will fall, and you guys will finally realize that you not only got caught in your lies, you simply aren’t very good at lying anymore.

To your “fifth reaction", I must say your position is hypocrisy itself. The war is ‘immoral’, hmm? Then explain your silence at those mass graves, at the capture of a half-dozen major terrorist leaders in Iraq, at warehouses full of suicide vests and prisons designed and built specifically to torture children. You’re OK with all that? Leftists wanted America to enter Liberia to help the people suffering there, but not Iraq. You demanded we go to Bosnia to help people being decimated by a madman, but not in Iraq? You are unprincipled thugs, if you really believe that. Instead, I will accept the notion that you are a step or two better - you are willing for America to help nations, but only so long as it advances Liberal causes, and does not annoy the French. The soldiers who actually went to Iraq overwhelmingly support the President. I guess that doesn’t count to the Left. After all, you don’t want their votes counted, so it’s no shock you want to ignore the men themselves. All that Honor, that History, that Discipline, it must give Michael Moore the heebie-jeebies just thinking about Marines helping Iraqi children go to free schools, making it possible for Iraqi and Afghan women to vote for the first time ever, that (sacre bleu!) Democratic Republics might exist in the Arab world!

Tough. It’s happening, and one of these days maybe you’ll grow up, figure out why 'Semper Fi' is so proudly held by so many, and you might even show some respect to men in uniform, instead of a few selected martinets willing to betray their buddies for an office and a spotlight.

Welcome to America, trolls. That motion sickness you feel is not from injustice, but from the nation moving ahead and leaving you behind. If you want to catch up, you need to grow up, first.

Kuntzman's original article, DJ Drummond's thrashing of him and then, ultimately, flooring him for good measure

Ending the Reactionaries' Reign of Terror

Click here for AmazonAmsterdam helps explain the stakes in Fallujah -- the Amsterdam of Nov. 2, 2004, where an Islamist radical murdered Dutch libertarian filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

Fallujah is Iraq's murder capital -- or more precisely, the outlaw town used as a staging area for murder committed by Iraq's secular and religious reactionaries.

...The secular reactionaries want to return Iraq to a Sunni-dominated dictatorship -- the corrupt, murderous hellhole Iraq was in March 2003. The religious reactionaries have a grander target, with their "golden age" a bit deeper in time. They want to run the entire world along the lines of an 11th or 12th century Muslim caliphate.

While Iraq's secular and religious reactionaries have irreconcilable political differences, at the moment both groups think they can use the other as a means to an end. They intend to spill enough Iraqi and American blood to convince Iraqis and Americans that they cannot be defeated. The United States will then withdraw, and the new Iraqi government will fall. That's when the reactionaries will fight it out over which past (March 2003 or a theo-fascist 12th century) will control the Middle East's future.

The secular and religious reactionaries also share a common "political tool," murder. This isn't news. Dictators and religious zealots have always used murder as a tool to enforce oppression and conformity.

In order to maintain his regime, Saddam murdered at least 300,000 Iraqis...

...Van Gogh's murder in oh-so-Euroliberal, oh-so-politically correct, oh-so-ostensibly multicultural Amsterdam stems from the same reactionary roots.

Van Gogh received numerous death threats from Islamist radicals after he produced a movie criticizing what he called Islam's abysmal treatment of women. His killer, a second-generation Arab immigrant named Mohammed Bouyeri, shot Van Gogh, stabbed him, then slit the filmmaker's throat. Bouveri left a five-page letter on the body that said, "There will be no mercy for the wicked, only the sword will be raised against them" and that Holland, the United States and Europe will be destroyed.

Like the people of Afghanistan who demonstrated a month ago in the Afghan presidential election that democracy is an attractive alternative to states run by political and religious fascists, the people of Iraq look forward to freedom. Ending the reactionaries' reign of terror in Fallujah and other outlaw towns in the Sunni Triangle won't eliminate terrorist murder in Iraq, but it will put a severe crimp in the killers' ability to intimidate en masse...

...Is the international press describing Bouveri as a Dutch insurgent or an Islamic insurgent? No, and he certainly isn't, except perhaps in the demented, self-loathing minds of arch-leftists like Michael Moore. The thugs in Fallujah, whether inspired by Saddam or bin Laden, aren't insurgents, either. They are reactionaries whose only route to power is murder. Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi now says the rule of law is coming to Fallujah. It would be nice to see a few of van Gogh's film-land friends (who claim to value political and artistic freedom) send Allawi a letter of thanks.

Austin Bay: Ending the Reactionaries' Reign of Terror