Friday, May 11, 2007

Victor Davis Hanson: Lone-Wolf Jihadists and "Al-Qaedism"

Instead, we seek with the logic and reason of the 21st century to sort out why they hate us — a phenomenon well known to crybaby Islamists who can produce new complaints as fast as the old ones are shot down.

So sympathetic Western observers must damn Israel for not giving up all of the West Bank (never asking why Cyprus, the Kuriles, or Tibet have not fostered suicide bombers).

Or is it our presence in Iraq (as if it predated 9/11)? Or is it that we have demonized poor Muslims (as if we have not saved the starving, enslaved, and targeted in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Somalia, or subsidized the failed in Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine; or as if the Chechen-killing Russians or Muslim-burning Hindus are as targeted as we are).

Always we forget that the jihadist mind is of the 7th century, nursed on illusions of ancient grandeur lost to purported Zionism, capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism. And why not such writs when they are far easier to manufacture than the necessary introspective self-criticism that might — in search of answers for the miasma that is now the Middle East — focus on warped schools, massive illiteracy, statism, authoritarianism, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, or polygamy?

Read the whole thing.

"Lessons for America"

Oleg Atbashian from Pajamas Media has an absolute must read on the state of Russian politics and society back in 1991 and has harsh words for the rabid anti-American protesters of today:

Today’s anti-Bush rallies in the U.S. demand the very opposite of what the pro-freedom Soviets rallied for. By advocating for the government control of economy, the ideological monopoly of the Left, and massive redistribution of wealth, American leftists espouse the same ideas as the backward Soviet hardliners - same song, different verse.

These self-absorbed “progressives” don’t want to hear about the strife of the Soviet people who had learned the hard way that these ideas only result in massive poverty and loss of freedoms for everyone involved. In effect, the leftist rallies spit in the face of every victim of communist oppression, living or dead. That count is in the hundreds of millions.

There’s nothing heroic in disparaging democratic institutions, dishonoring the American flag, and carrying placards with anti-capitalist, anti-American slogans pre-printed for them by communist front groups with the money donated by corrupt foreign dictators. The protesters absurdly accuse this free country of being a fascist dictatorship, fully aware that an hour later they’ll be drinking expensive coffee at Starbucks - and not dragged to a political prison and getting their teeth knocked in - a likely prospect for dissidents in the countries whose leaders they idolize.

Tony Blair - "...a continuation of the government headed by Mr Major."

Samizdata comments on the announcement that Prime Minister Blair is stepping down. It's safe to say they don't think too much of Mr. Blair or the incoming Mr. Brown:

The same policies, more government borrowing, especially in the latter years of the Blair government, more government spending on health, education and welfare (and undermining of the armed forces), more regulations, and more power handed over to the EU.

On Afghanistan and Iraq it is hard to see the government of Mr Major not supporting the Americans (especially in the post 9/11 climate) so no difference on this either.
I suppose the only real difference might be Mr Brown's 'stealth taxes' with lots of complex ways to increase taxes whilst hoping no one will notice. Such as the Robert Maxwell style raid on the pension funds - which (counting lost interest) has cost about one hundred billion Pounds since 1997 (not much if one says it quick). Of course this might lead to a discussion of all of Mr Brown's Enron style PFIs and other complex schemes - but I find the subject too depressing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Diyala tribal leaders mobilize against Al-Qaeda in Iraq

Much like Anbar province, where tribal leaders have united against Al-Qaeda, tribes in Diyala are now also uniting against the Al-Qaeda presence there. As the surge in Baghdad got under way, Al-Qaeda and foreign fighters fled the city in advance and moved their operations over to Diyala, where their presence has become intolerable for the local tribes there. Bill Roggio has the details:

In March, we noted the successful model of the Anbar Salvation Council will very likely be replicated elsewhere in regions where al Qaeda has established bases of operation. We singled out Diyala in particular, as al Qaeda's campaign of murder and intimidation was beginning to anger the tribes much as it did in Anbar province. Al Qaeda's establishment of its Islamic State of Iraq, with its capital in Baqubah made the province ripe for a major Coalition operation in the region. In early March, Al Sabaah reported the local sheikhs in Diyala were organizing against al-Qaeda and its Islamic State of Iraq, "which [is] spreading corruption in the province districts." Today, the speculation has become a reality, as "Arab tribesmen in Baqubah have said they will form a tribal alliance to cleanse the Diyala province of foreign fighters and those of the al-Qaeda terrorist network in Iraq."

Read the whole thing.

Hamas' "Mickey" show cancelled

Jules Crittenden speculates:

I’m wondering if they didn’t get a “come to Jesus” call from Disney’s attorneys. That would put the fear of Allah in anyone.

Are the Democrats doomed?

Larry Kudlow seems to think so:

To a person, each Democratic presidential candidate wants to undermine the global war against jihadist terrorism -- wherever it may be, and especially in Iraq. The Democrats see a civil war in Iraq, where the Republicans view a growing al-Qaida threat. And while Republicans talk about significantly increasing the defense budget and expanding American force levels for all the armed services, the Democrats are hoping for some sort of Iraqi peace dividend upon immediate withdrawal -- one that can be re-channeled into higher domestic social spending.

To a person, each Democratic presidential candidate also wants to raise taxes on the rich and roll back President Bush's tax cuts. The Republicans, however, understand that those tax cuts have propelled economic growth and contributed to a stock market boom. And they recognize that Bush's Goldilocks bull-market economy -- which I call the greatest story never told -- relies on extending the investor tax cuts and perhaps even moving forward with a flat tax or national sales tax.

Finally, to a person, each Democratic presidential candidate also has it in for corporate America. The Democrats discuss various punishments for business -- especially oil companies, but also drug, utility and insurance firms. Not so for the Republicans, who talk about helping businesses and promoting entrepreneurship in our successful free-enterprise economy.

Roger L. Simon reviews "Islam vs Islamism"

The documentary that PBS refused to show and doesn't want people to see:

Burke’s doc is a riveting and creatively made film about the most important subject of our time: what to do about radical Islam? It confronts this dilemma in a sly, novelistic manner, inter-weaving the stories of good, moderate Muslims with the Imams and supposedly “true Muslims” who, not surprisingly, accuse the moderate Muslims of not being Muslims at all. Soon enough we learn these Imams are apologists for terrorism and for the worst kind of medieval religious sadism. (One of them enthusiastically endorses the stoning to death of adulterers by holding up a Koran. “I didn’t make this up,” he says proudly. “It is written here.”) The mostly mild-mannered moderate Muslims are shown to be at risk for the lives, some of them accompanied everywhere by bodyguards.

All this is done with the people talking about themselves and revealing themselves (including the Imam responsible for the bloody Danish Cartoons riots). There are no so-called “terrorism experts” or other talking heads interpreting reality for us. In other words, this is a film, not another one of those didactic docs referred to above.

But it does have a strong point of view – and therein lies the rub. PBS, clearly, does not like what this movie says. And I suspect it likes it less because the film is well made (the reverse of what the network originally claimed).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What the media missed.

Fred Thompson takes note of a few issues the media has missed in its coverage of George Tenet and his newly released book:

On the issue of al Qaeda’s relationship with Iraq, for example, Tenet said that the CIA had proof of al Qaeda contact with Saddam’s regime; that the regime had provided safe haven for al Qaeda operatives and that Saddam had provided training assistance for al Qaeda terrorists. He went on to say that the CIA had no proof that the relationship was operational or that they had any ongoing working relationship — that it could have been that each side was just using the other. Maybe my recollection is faulty on this, but that doesn’t seem to be inconsistent with what folks in the administration said. In other words, there was clearly contact and a relationship, but no one knew exactly what it meant.

On the issue of weapons of mass destruction, although Iraq undoubtedly had such weapons in the past, Tenet acknowledges that everybody got it wrong as to whether they would have them at the time of the invasion. On the nuclear issue, he said that the CIA thought that Saddam was five to seven years away from a nuclear capability — unless he was able to obtain fissile material from another source.

Irony: Fort Dix terror suspect was once an Albanian refugee at Fort Dix

Via Michelle Malkin:

As I suspected, Agron Abdullahu, one of the Jersey Jihadist suspects, was indeed one of the thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo whom we welcomed there in 1999 (hat tip: Allah):
A trained sniper during the war in Kosovo, Abdullahu and his family were among thousands given safe haven in the U.S. under the Clinton administration to protect them from the Serbs. For months, they would be housed in refugee camps at Ft. Dix, a circumstance which now points to a terribly ironic twist.


Well, here is the thanks we get. Eight years ago, America opened its arms to tens of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. The first planeload landed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Military leaders worked day and night to turn the base into a child-friendly village. They coordinated medical and security checkups, mental health and trauma counseling and ethnic food preparations.

Soldiers from Fort Bragg traveled up from North Carolina to assist in refugee operations at Fort Dix. Then-U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mitchell M. Zais also assembled a team of about 80 soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve Command in Atlanta. The New Jersey National Guard and American Red Cross teamed up to coordinate charity relief. The military also supported the relief effort's interagency task force, headed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to food and shelter, we provided translators, welfare consultants and Muslim chaplains. The base constructed prayer rooms and handed out Muslim "sensitivity" cards to the troops. Said Gen. Zais: "We want to welcome these people to America the way we might wish our grandparents and great-grandparents had been welcomed to Ellis Island."

Apparently, despite our goodwill, at least one of them harbored ill-feelings towards America.

Liberal bloggers make light of Fort Dix terror arrests

Ann Althouse highlights reactions from Wonkette and Firedoglake, who obviously don't take the Fort Dix terror plot seriously. Ann's comment hits the nail right on the head:

Now, I don't blame bloggers for riffing impetuously on anything than sounds stupid, but of course, you must realize that the idea of hijacking four planes with boxcutters and knocking down buildings would seem like "the dumbest fucking terrorist plot" if it hadn't happened.

More from All Alone in the Night:

The price of living in a free society is having a lot of places where people can kill effectively. Personally, I'd rather live in that society than one where my safety is guaranteed by taking away most of my rights, but poo-pooing the threats strikes me as an ignorant response to the problem.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Interview with Patrick Lasswell of Moderate Risk

Via Moderate Risk, of course. He was interviewed by From Holland to Kurdistan. The interview is chock full of info and interesting photos from Patrick's time in Kurdistan with Michael Totten. Some excerpts:

A recent UN report talked about corruption, nepotism, lack of press freedom and honor killings in Kurdistan. Do you think this report is correct? What are your negative experiences with Kurdistan? And what are your positive ones?

The notion of the UN calling anybody else corrupt and nepotistic is somewhat surreal, and their relationship to honor and death is it's own category of disgrace. Regrettably, the report is probably also an understatement. I will be writing on this more extensively soon.

On the PKK:

There is no need to crater the runway at Erbil International Airport in order to control the PKK. If Turkey is serious about controlling the PKK, they'd be better off interdicting the Frankfurt airport, Dubai banks, or just shooting heroin dealers in Paris. The PKK is a persistent problem because they are exceptionally well funded through extortion and other criminal activities taking place in Europe. There are also indications that other Central Asian powers are providing the PKK with support as a distraction for Turkey.

I have no love of the PKK. Their supporters sound just like Hezbollah stooges and they have lied about my friends. I suspect the PKK of all kinds of villainy and vice and know that they have used terror on a regular basis. I also understand why my Iraqi Kurdish friends are sympathetic to the oppressed Kurds of Turkey. What most of my Iraqi Kurdish friends don't know is the reason why their sympathies are not divided is that the PKK attacks rival and divergent groups with much greater vigor than they ever attack the Turkish state. The PKK has a monopoly on Kurdish insurrection in Turkey and they murderously suppress anyone who tries to compete with them. What kind of government do you think they will make if they are ever put in charge...or even allowed a seat at the table?

Read the whole thing.

Islamic Radicals arrested in plot to attack and kill soldiers at Fort Dix, NJ

Big Hat Tip to Pajamas Media who has lots of coverage and useful links. Probably the most comprehensive briefing comes from the NJ Star Ledger:

In a statement released this morning that confirmed an earlier report on, The Star-Ledger's website, the U.S. Attorney's Office said the men planned to "kill as many soldiers as possible."

The alleged plot included conducting surveillance of the Army base and purchasing multiple firearms, including hand guns, shotguns and semi-automatic weapons, according to the federal complaint released this morning.

The bust came after several of the suspects were lured by a secret informant to a meeting with an arms-seller, according to the complaint.

Some of the would-be attackers have been living illegally in the United States, while others are legal immigrants, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Four are ethnic Albanians, one was born in Turkey, and a sixth was born in Jordan, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Emphasis mine.

"Demography is Destiny"

Michael Barone's article in the WSJ Opinion Journal today is a must read:

Twenty years ago political analysts grasped the implications of the vast movement from Rust Belt to Sun Belt, a tilting of the table on balance toward Republicans; but with California leaning heavily to Democrats, that paradigm seems obsolete. What's now in store is a shifting of political weight from a small Rust Belt which leans Democratic and from the much larger Coastal Megalopolises, where both secular top earners and immigrant low earners vote heavily Democratic, toward the Interior Megalopolises, where most voters are private-sector religious Republicans but where significant immigrant populations lean to the Democrats. House seats and electoral votes will shift from New York, New Jersey and Illinois to Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada; within California, House seats will shift from the Democratic coast to the Republican Inland Empire and Central Valley.

Demography is destiny. When I was in kindergarten in 1950, Detroit was the nation's fifth largest metro area, with 3,170,000 people. Now it ranks 11th and is soon to be overtaken by Phoenix, which had 331,000 people in 1950.

Big hat tip to PowerLine.

Electricity kills animals

At least when done right, as Tim Blair explains:

The New York Times reports the latest evidence of green child abuse, following several recent cases:

The children are all too familiar with the apocalyptic warnings of climate change. “A lot of people are going to die” from global warming, a 9-year-old girl from Harlem announced at one point. And a 7-year-old boy from Park Slope said with a quiet lisp, “When you use too much electricity, it kills animals.”
Well, it does if you hook up the electrodes right.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Idiotarian alert: Paul Watson calls for a reduction in the earth;s population to 1 billion people

I'm with Glenn on this one, this dude scares me:

Watson’s May 4 editorial asked the question “The Beginning of the End for Life as We Know it on Planet Earth?” Then he left no doubt about the answer. “We are killing our host the planet Earth,” he claimed and called for a population drop to less than 1 billion.

The commentary reminded readers that Watson had called humans a disease before and he wasn’t sorry. “I was once severely criticized for describing human beings as being the ‘AIDS of the Earth.’ I make no apologies for that statement,” the column continued.


No human community should be larger than 20,000 people and separated from other communities by wilderness areas.” New York, London, Paris, Moscow are all too big. Then again, so are Moose Jaw, Timbuktu and even Annapolis, Md.

· “We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all and where other species are free to evolve without human interference.”

· We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion.

Emphasis mine. That's the part that scares me: how do you radically and "intelligently" reduce the human population to less than 1 billion without resorting to draconian and totalitarian methods? Simple: you don't.