Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Cartoontifada Jihad and The Collected Wisdom of (Some) Muslims

No Laughing Matter, Charlie BrownMuslims are sooo angry about the bad press they get that they’re trying the direct approach: entreat the Left with anguished cries of insensitivity and threaten the Right with scimitars. Since the former control the media for the most part, the Muslimist strategy (are we allowed to spell it that way anymore or is it “strategery” until 2008? Just asking…) is devoted to getting their attention. Islam may be bloody, but it ain’t stupid.

Casting about for some help with this moral dilemma — it is moral for those of us who, say, value the right to say what we please as long as it doesn’t hurt the children — Gagdad Bob at One Cosmos has come across a little bit of chicken soup for the Muslim soul. Here are a few sips of his concoction:

I’ve assembled a list of “wise old Islamic sayings”...that I think are particularly relevant to our discussion. These are almost “clichés” in the Muslim world, but they are probably new to you:

Sticks and stones will break your bones if your words should ever humiliate me.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try to blame the Jews.

Fool me once, death to you. Fool me twice? I don’t think so.

Get thee hence and read the rest.

By the way, Shrinkwrapped is correct. If he’s not already there, Gagdad Bob should move to a state with liberal “carry laws.” And if you think his are bad, I suggest that you also peruse the comments.

Thanks to Mike Oxlong of I Spy With My London Eye for the cartoon. A bit late for the Cartoon Contest, but his invite probably went by boat. It's worth putting up, despite his modest protests to the contrary.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Piece of the American Dream

Building the wall

We’re back. The Baron’s friend, who was the oldest of eleven children and much beloved by them all, was buried today. Afterwards, the very large family and the old gang — who aren’t exactly old yet, but are well on their way — gathered to talk about childhood memories. I felt badly for Mr. S., the grieving father. At any age it’s hard to bury your children, but at eighty-one, burying your oldest son is particularly rending.

On the way south, we went through horse country. There are acres and acres of smooth pasture, rolling on to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the far distance. Houses hide behind long drives or, in the case of the really old ones still extant, sit right on the road. No asphalt back in the 18th century.

Many of the old houses are built of local stone, and there are low stone fences everywhere. These are the fruits of the field, gathered over the years when those fields were actual farms and the rocks were impediments to plowing. In some ways, it looks like New England here, but a gentler version. Less flint, more quartz, perhaps.

The builderWe stopped to talk to two Mexican immigrants who were rebuilding the crumbling walls of one estate. The more extroverted of the two, whom you can see standing outside the wall, has been in the U.S. for four years. He likes it here, but the cold bothers him. When told that his English was good, he laughed and said he had attended night school for ESL classes.

He asked if we minded having so many Mexicans in America. I said the problem wasn’t the legal immigrants, it was the ones who came in illegally and were worked very hard for little money. “It robs them and it robs the country.”

His face got serious and he said he believed Mexicans could stay in Mexico if it weren’t for the corrupt government. “We have everything we need: oil, minerals, much good land. But the government doesn’t care to help us. They just take for themselves.” When asked if he liked Vicente Fox he frowned and didn’t speak.

The section of wall he is currently working on takes about three days to build, sometimes longer, depending on how much rock he has to break and the way it lies. And yes, his back hurts at the end of the day. Five hours is his limit, he says. When this one is done, he will move on to the next section, taking it apart and putting it back together. It is satisfying to finish a section and he likes to work with his back turned to the falling walls behind him. Otherwise, he says, he’ll start thinking about that instead of what’s in front of him.

The secret is to make the rock kind of meld into place, with balance and with a smooth surface. He thinks his work will last about twenty-five years, but knows that in the old days they could make these walls last many centuries. It’s a skill that’s been lost, but he thinks if he works at it long enough, he might learn how they did it. Someday he hopes to have his own stone masonry business.

So there you have it: one piece of the American dream.

The fox (not Vicente)A little further down the road we spotted a fox. He was hopping from one side of the ditch to the other, as though he were looking for something. Since he was out and about in the afternoon, indifferent to the presence of human beings just a few feet away, we wondered if he might be rabid.

But no, I do not think he was named Vicente.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Away From Our Blog

We have to go out of state the the funeral of an old friend, and will be back tomorrow sometime. Readers may entertain themselves while we’re gone by arguing with each other in the comments.

Or you might want to look in on some of the folks on our blogroll. Check out The Adventuress or An American Expat in Southeast Asia. Barcepundit is always good, not to mention Viking Observer. The Brussels Journal is reliable for the latest on the situation in Europe.

Also visit The Common Room, or The Dissident Frogman. Hank's Eclectic Meanderings and Kingdom of Chaos are worth a stop, as well as Neo-neocon. There’s Point Five for humor, and Redneck's Revenge for just about everything, and Ocean Guy has the news from Florida.

And then there’s Florida Cracker.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

We’re All Extremists Now

Ranting SaturdayThis morning we got a couple of emails that indicated that Dymphna and I are considered extremists.

Now, that wasn’t the point of the emails, and these were friendly communications, but our correspondents seem to take it as a given that we are… well, extreme.

I suppose I am an extremist by today’s standards. If you pay much attention to the legacy media, you know that anyone who doesn’t vote Democrat (or maybe Green) is an “extremist”.

It wasn’t always that way. Back when I was growing up, in the ’50s and ’60s, extremists were people who fought the fluoridation of the water supply, who saw Commies under the bed, who liked racial segregation or wanted to impeach Earl Warren. Extremists belonged to the John Birch Society and wanted us out of the UN.

But in those days you could vote Republican and still hold your head up in polite society. You weren’t an extremist.

Barry Goldwater was an extremist. George Lincoln Rockwell was an extremist. George Wallace and Joe McCarthy were extremists. But not Dwight Eisenhower or Nelson Rockefeller. They were nice, tame Republicans. Maybe a little bit stupid, and amusing to your average East Coast intellectual. But not extreme.

And there weren’t any extremists on the Left, really. Not even the Communists — they were just misguided and somewhat overzealous Progressives, not that much different from us.

Let’s look at some of the “extreme” statements from those days:

  • Impeach Earl Warren
  • US out of the UN
  • Keep the Negroes in their place
  • Hunt down the commies
  • White supremacy
  • Bring back the monarchy
  • No fluoride in the water

That’s quite a varied group of positions. But they were all lumped together into the general category of “right-wing nuts”.

I suppose I do the same thing with the hard Left today. To me, the anti-globalists, the “no blood for oil” people, the Socialist Workers’ Collective, the tree-huggers, and the “Meat is murder” crowd are all more or less the same. But I’m sure that some of those factions are barely speaking to one another.

Of all those old-time “extreme” positions, the “US out of the UN” one has become the most respectable these days. After watching the last forty years of malevolent UN actions towards Israel, and its coddling of genocidal tyrants of all stripes, it’s hard to see the point of the UN.

But I’m not sure what made me the extremist I am today. It might have started when those barbaric “students” took Americans hostage in Tehran. Watching the bumbling and inaction of the Carter administration made me feel helpless, ashamed, and frustrated. It awakened in me an atavistic urge to kick Iranian butt.

Then there was the little matter of leaving Saddam in power in 1991. That one rankled. Oh, I could understand the geopolitical arguments for doing what we did; we would have faced the same kind of thing we’re facing now, namely sectarian strife, insurgency, terrorism, and fratricide. But still — there was something wrong with leaving a thug like Saddam in power.

And I wanted to see those Bradleys sitting in the heart of Baghdad.

I knew I was naughty, but I still wanted to see it. It took another twelve years, but I finally got my wish.

And now there’s the Iranians again. The extreme viewpoint says it’s time to do something about them. Because we didn’t do anything about them in 1979, it’s going to be a much harder job. A lot of people will probably die, and if we wait long enough, it will be a gamma ray blast and radiation disease that will kill them.

But the regime in Iran is determined that people will die. They don’t really mind at all; it serves their purposes, since they want to usher in the chaos that precedes the End of Days.

I’d like to prevent the return of the Twelfth Imam. I guess that makes me an extremist.

March for Free Expression: An Update

Free Speech in BritainI’ve mentioned in previous posts the grassroots movement in the UK that was started in support of the Danish cartoonists. The March for Free Expression has grown into a full-fledged free speech initiative, and now has an online petition. Supporters are asked to put their signatures to the Statement of Principle:

The strength and survival of free society and the advance of human knowledge depend on the free exchange of ideas. All ideas give offense to someone, and some of the most powerful ideas in human history, such as those of Galileo and Darwin, have given profound religious offense in their time.

The free exchange of ideas depends on freedom of expression and this includes the right to criticize and mock.

We assert and uphold the right of freedom of expression and call on our elected representatives to do the same.

We abhor the fact that people throughout the world live under mortal threat simply for expressing ideas and we call on our elected representatives to protect them from attack and not to give comfort to the forces of intolerance that besiege them.

If you support the right to speak out freely, please go on record and add your signature to this petition.

You can email the March for Free Expression at marchforfreespeech@googlemail.com, and their blog is marchforfreeexpression.blogspot.com.

And don’t forget the rally in Trafalgar Square for Saturday 25th March. If you’re in Britain, and support free speech — not just for Danish cartoonists, but for everyone — you’ll want to be there.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Danes Operate a Port in Iraq

Khor az-Zubayr

Here’s a story from January, before the UAE hysteria, about what a Danish company did in Iraq, at the port of Khor az-Zubayr, in southern Iraq:

Khor az-Zubayr, a port in southern Iraq, did not seem like a war prize when the Saddam Hussein's regime was ousted in April 2003. Its waters were clogged with ships wrecked in the Iran-Iraq war; it was much smaller than the nearby port Umm Qasr; and much of it was too shallow for ocean-going ships to navigate.

But Danish port operator and shipping giant A.P.Moeller Maersk saw beyond the flaws. Maersk knew that Khor az-Zubayr was one of just two outlets on Iraq's short Gulf coastline that opens the country to world trade. Across the wetlands that backed the port town was a gigantic oil refinery with pipelines leading straight to Khor az-Zubayr.

It took a month or so for Maersk to gain permission and control of the port, but by May they were in business. But, as these things often are, the transactions were rather murky:

... There is no evidence on whether this was legal [or not] but many have speculated that the take-over was rigged to reward Denmark and Maersk for their support of the United States invasion of Iraq. What is known is that a senior Maersk employee was also working for the government authority that was in charge of the port at the time.

"Maersk had found themselves a jewel, if they could get that port up and running," U.S. Ambassador Darrell Trent told our reporting team in November 2005. Trent, who had served under Presidents Nixon and Reagan, was in charge of Iraq's transport ministry until the summer of 2004.

"Lots of people were trying to make use of the chaotic situation to get themselves lucrative contracts," said Trent. "But Maersk were the most blatant of them all and openly took advantage of the situation. (They) presented us with a contract that had been signed by a low-ranking officer of the U.S. military who had no authorization to make such a deal."

He called the terms of the contract so favorable to Maersk that it was "almost ridiculous." Maersk got 93 percent of all port fees plus almost $15,000 a day.

Not bad for a small country, eh? Especially a small country with a huge company that cleverly positioned itself for this coup. Its container ships , beginning in August, 2002, had begun delivering U.S. equipment to the region in preparation of the invasion of Iraq. Denmark’s partnership in the “coalition of the willing” helped its ties with Washington. Coincidentally, on the same day — May 1, 2003 — that President Bush declared the Iraq war at an end, the then-ambassador from Denmark to Syria was appointed as the governor and regional chief of the American-led administration of southern Iraq. Guess what happened then?

Maersk's claim on the port of Khor az-Zubayr soon followed.


Just when, how, or even if, Maersk took over the port of Khor az-Zubayr is subject to much dispute. But there is not much doubt that the giant shipping company started jockeying for lucrative reconstruction contracts well before Saddam Hussein's fall.


Maersk's Executive Vice President Knud Pontoppidan told our [Corp Watch] reporting team that Maersk began managing the port as early as May 2003. But Governor Ole Woehlers Olsen, who was in charge of the area, said he was "surprised" to hear Maersk's claim. "I myself did not have the authority to sign such a contract but I passed on the offer to Baghdad with my recommendations," says Woehlers. When I left Iraq again on July 18, Maersk's offer on the management of the port had not yet made its way through the bureaucracy in Baghdad."

Oh, well. Small matter. Maersk had possession of the port, and no one seems to know how the company finessed their way into the deal.

In June, Ambassador Trent and his deputy. Frank Willis arrived in Baghdad to run Iraq’s transport authority. One of the first problems he encountered was complaints from Iraqi port employees. Some Danish company was keeping them out of their workplace and was claiming CPA authorization. So Willis was sent to investigate:

Frank Willis said he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the Maersk contract. "The first thing that surprised me was that it had not been signed by the CPA. It was signed by a couple of low-ranking officers that no one had heard of. It was very strange. They certainly had no mandate to sign a contract like that. It simply was not valid, and we made that clear to Maersk soon after," said Willis, who took the document to the CPA's lawyers.

But if the Americans were surprised by the contract, they were aghast at its terms. "The contract gave Maersk something like a monopoly in the port, and it was binding for at least five years. We at the CPA would never have signed an agreement like that. We were responsible for the future of the Iraqi people, and we would never have tied the country down for so long or on such onerous terms even if we had had the right to do so," Willis says.

By late summer, the CPA was fed up with the run-around they were getting from Maersk. The Authority called a meeting for October. Maersk agreed and then cancelled. Eventually, Trent ran out of patience and ordered a helicopter to fly him to the port. However, conditions there were so dangerous that the military personnel refused to wait around while the meeting was held and took off. Trent stayed and met with company officials anyway:

"The Maersk people told us at the time that they had spent millions of dollars on the renovation of the port," he says. Maersk assured Trent that it was interested in getting things in order regarding the contract, and a system for future communications was set up.

That, however, was the last time the ambassador heard from Maersk. The management in Khor az-Zubayr systematically ignored all approaches by the CPA in Baghdad...

One reason might have been that the company was overwhelmed by the size of the project. Maersk's port director, Tony Maynard, says that Khor az-Zubayr was larger than any other Maersk port and had the potential to handle a million containers at a time.

Yet Trent says this still does not make sense. "I just don't understand that a corporation with a good reputation like theirs would behave like that with the consent of their top management," he explains, stressing his interest in signing a legal contract. "We gave them every chance to regularize the agreement in good faith but they ignored everything."

"All we could do was tell people that it was not true when Maersk claimed they had the rights to the port. We had our own disasters and emergencies to deal with everywhere we looked. Maersk simply took advantage of the chaos of war, and if they had been less greedy about it they would have gotten away with it, too," says Frank Willis. Violence in Iraq was on the rise, and CPA had trouble in all corners…

Then, in 2004, Trent returned to America.

Meanwhile, the Iraqis grew increasingly dissatisfied with Maersk’s greedy contract and the lock-out of Iraqi employees. When Iraq announced that they would be inviting bids for the ports, CorpWatch thinks that Maersk began to look for ways to get out of Iraq:

In early 2005 the excuse arrived. Iraq's new unions for oil and port workers had been pressuring Maersk for a long time. Among other things they wanted jobs for the many workers laid off at Maersk's arrival. The unions and the port authorities, just like the Americans, tried to pressure Maersk into presenting a valid contract, says Haidar Abdul Zahra, who is the financial manager in UPW, the port workers' union.

"Maersk kept telling us that they had a valid contract till the end of March 2005 but they refused to produce it even though they were demanding thousands of dollars from the port authorities for the operation and securing of the port. They also refused to let me and the port chief into our offices to work, and they prohibited all union activities in the port," Zahra says.

Tensions escalated. There were demonstrations, fights between Iraqi factions, even a kidnapping. Jacob Bentsen, a former Danish police sergeant deputy, had originally arrived in Iraq to train police officers. Instead, he became chief of security for Maersk at the port.

The situation continued to deteriorate, with more violence expected among Iraqi factions and against Maersk.

By March 4, 2005, Maersk's excellent Iraqi adventure was over. "I was the last person to leave the port. I turned off the lights and closed it off," says Bentsen who is now back in Denmark as a high ranking official in the police force.

Like the Iraqi unionists, deputy transport minister Atta interprets Maersk's departure in a different way: "It was a peaceful demonstration. Maersk had been looking for an excuse to run off and they jumped at it."

All that was left was an empty port, a pending lawsuit, and anger on all sides.

In the end, Iraq regained control of the port of Iraqis now run the port of Khor az-Zubayr. The Iraqi government lawsuit against Maersk was settled in December; both sides have agreed to drop the matter.

Maersk claims that the outgoing Iraqi government signed a new agreement in 2005 for the company to return, but there are no plans to do so until they can get proper security and arrange insurance.

Strange story, isn’t it? There must be thousands more like it in Iraq. This is just one of them, and it happens to be about the Danes.

Strategic Exigencies

A couple of days ago I asked our readers to speculate on the reasons why President Bush, against the tide of his party and most of his conservative base, was digging in so hard on the UAE-ports deal. I didn’t want to argue the merits of the case — there’s plenty of room for argument — but to understand why this veto-shy President is so gung-ho to push the deal through.

Most of the commenters simply argued the pros and cons for the deal, instead of doing a serious analysis of what Mr. Bush thinks he’s up to.

But then last night, in Dymphna’s latest post on the topic, Freedom Fighter showed up in the comments and referred us to his blog, Joshua Pundit. He’s done some pretty shrewd analysis of what’s going on, and gives us an explanation and strategic overview of what’s happening.

I’ll quote here from two of his recent posts.

First, he has the same reservations as the rest of us about the way this deal was handled:

Another aspect that bothers me, frankly, is President Bush insuting my intelligence. On the one hand, the White House stated that neither President Bush nor Treasury Secretary Snow knew about this until it was a ‘done deal’. Yet President Bush, three days later is threatening to veto this and saying that a deal he supposedly knew nothing about is interfering with his ability to conduct foreign policy? I don’t expect or even demand truthfulness from the president on every occasion, but this is a bit much.


I also am extremely suspicious of the high powered lobbying that's going on, the ‘Islamophobia’ card that's being played and what I consider to be the Bush Administration dissembling on this from the beginning. Not to mention that ex-president Jimmy Carter favors this deal!

The President needs to sit down with Congress and make the necessary changes needed to reassure them that this deal is necessary and more important, completely vetted as far as our security goes. The President needs to make a case for this action.That aspect was handled poorly from the very beginning, and as I said, doesn't pass the smell test.

In the second post he asks the same basic question I did:

I think it pays to ask the question: why is President Bush so exercised about a simple comercial transaction? Especially one opposed by both the Senate and House Majority leaders in his own party? What is so important that he is threatening a veto of any legislation blocking this, when he hasn’t vetoed anything in five years?

I think I know, or at least have an idea.

You have to start with two logical premises: one,that President Bush is NOT an idiot(though certainly capable of mistakes) and two, that he is not an evil meglomaniac bent on America’s destruction, and would not DELIBERATELY do anything to harm the country’s security.

Those are the same premises that I hold. I’m not interested in arguing with those who think the President is a puppet of trans-national commercial interests, or greedy, or an evil moron. They’re entitled to their several opinions, but I won’t address them.

Even so, I’m not willing to give the administration a free pass on this issue. As Freedom Fighter says,

Well, Mr. President, I can think of a number of reasons to hold a UAE company to a different standard. For starters, there’s the little matter of Dubai and the UAE being a major funding source for al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, the fact that some of the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as an operational and financial base and the fact that the UAE was the main transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuke components and data sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by Pakistani scientist Dr. Aly Khan.

It’s obvious that Bush made a personal committment to someone, based on a quid-pro-quo and if you examine what he said, it’s obvious that he feels his personal word is on the line.

Yes, based on the kind of man Mr. Bush has previously revealed himself to be, his digging in his heels so hard on this issue is an indication that something about the Dubai ports deal is strategically significant.

And that’s what Joshua Pundit is looking at:

While some of you were fixating on a hunting accident, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was finalizing improved relations with India and China…

Obviously part of that was a Saudi committment to make up the oil shortfall to these countries in the event of trouble with Iran, and to lean on the other OPEC nations to go along, including the UAE.

Imagine the nightmare for us if the price of a gallon of gas went up to $8 or $10. That’s certainly what the mullahs are planning for us, if they can’t quite manage the mushroom cloud just yet. And the Chinese and Russian snakes have been slithering around Tehran, hoping to cut the kind of deals that will keep them safe in the event of oil trouble.

So we need the Saudis. As loathsome as their regime is, we need them.

The good news is that they need us, too. If the mullahs and/or Zarqawi had their way in the region, King Abdullah (and the Gulf emirs) would barely have time to load their suitcases of cash into the Lear jet and decamp for Zurich before the institution of Islamic Republics in their former countries — not to mention the return of the Twelfth Imam.

That’s the essential nature of the US-Saudi “friendship”. It’s disgusting, but so was our embrace of good ol’ Uncle Joe Stalin back in 1941.

The geography of ArmageddonBut there’s more:

A strike against Iran may be in the advanced planning stages even as I write this.

Bush may just be putting together a bloc of Arab countries aimed at ultimately isolating the Islamist/terrorist supporting or near Islamist nations in the region.

This bloc appears to consist of Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Bahrein and Qatar. Notice that with the exception of Iraq, all of them are Arab autocracies, and all surround Iran, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority. Another point to note is that except for Iraq, all of them are predominantly Sunni.

Egypt, which Bush has pretty much cut off from any US aid, is no longer a player. Egypt will be an Islamist state as soon as the elderly Mubarek dies.

In spite of all the lip service about ‘Arab democracy’ Bush and Condi Rice appear to be playing the conservative, Sunni autocracies against the more radical states in the region, especially Iran and Syria.

Now, the price for this cooperation could very well be a hands off attitude towards the Saudi export of jihad to America via Saudi funded mosques, madrassahs and university chairs, US help with bringing Saudi Arabia into the world’s commercial mainstream (Bush sponsored the Saudi’s entry into the WTO) and just maybe, increased entry of Arab companies into the USA, including government contracts.

Do I agree with that? Not at all, on the face of it. But I think it’s necessary to see where the pieces on the board go.

I think Joshua Pundit may be onto something here. Take a look at the map and consider the players in the game.

Iran is overtly bellicose, and the regime appears to be fundamentally irrational, acting out a Shiite millenarian fantasy. Since they may be using or exporting nuclear weapons at any moment, our President is stuck with a deadly and imminent threat that he has to deal with.

He can’t leave it for Hillary to figure out in January of 2009; it has to be dealt with now. By whatever means necessary.

It’s no coincidence that Iran-funded mobs are torching European embassies over cartoons right now. It’s no surprise that civil strife is erupting in Iraq over the destruction of a Shiite mosque.

But wait a minute – the Iranians are Shiites, too! How could that be their doing?

There’s ample evidence that Iran is funding, encouraging, and directing Sunni Islamist terror groups throughout the Middle East and Europe, and not just the Shiite ones like Hezbollah. All of this serves the same purpose: to create mayhem, bloodshed, and chaos in order to usher in the End of Days and prepare for the return of the Twelfth Imam.

How determined are we stop these madmen?

Question for our expert readers: I know we have basing rights in Uzbekistan. Do we have assets in Turkmenistan? I haven’t done the research, so put in a comment if you have any information.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Do You Read Arabic? I Read Pictures.

The Difference

Sent in by one of our peripatetic readers, off in the ether zone this time. She probably presumed I read Arabic???

Would someone translate the words? Do they confirm or contradict the obvious surface meaning of the cartoon?

The New York “Stuck-on-Treason” Times and the Recent Spate of Terrorist Arrests

There is a variety of news stories out in the last week, all concerning the roll up of various Islamic terrorist cells operating in the United States. Unfortunately, the UAE-DPO story is taking up most of the room, so these real, right here, right now stories are getting short shrift.

Little Green Footballs had a brief item up yesterday; it was confirmation of an earlier account with more details, sent to us by an informed reader.

A number of people are concerned about the actual day-to-day terrorism activities of Middle Easterners in the United States, both naturalized citizens of our country and those here on visas. One of our readers, whose job touches on domestic intelligence activities, has learned to keep her eyes open when traveling. This has taught her more than she wants to know.

Recently she said she encountered a situation that made her most uncomfortable: right off the interstate, in North Carolina, she stopped to get gas. The station had underpriced their product substantially, so of course it did a good business. What she noticed, though, was the existence of five or six major phone trunk lines running into the building. “ In the middle of nowhere in North Carolina”, she said.

Here’s how she thinks the operation works: say Uncle Ahmed in Pakistan calls this gas station. He speaks some code sentence — say, for example, “Aunt Khalifa is having a baby.” Or any news of a family nature. The receiver of the call places a call himself, repeating the code sentence. This message gets passed down the line who-knows-how-many-times, by landline, disposable cell phones, whatever. And by our lily-white rules, NSA may only listen to the first call. Anything else has been ruled off the turf as “invasion of privacy.”

The upshot of the whole situation is that terrorists have the perfect environment in which to operate without interference. The only help we do have is British intelligence, which is not so hamstrung as we are. Our friend says that the domestic calls — because phones use satellites to function — are vulnerable to the complex system of intercepts the British have established. Thus, they may pass information on to us and we may listen to it. Fortunately, there is as yet no law against a little help from our friends.

Now, in the past week, we have this rash of news stories, carried briefly by the MSM and then dropped in favor of the port security star stories, of various operations being brought to a halt by the FBI and other intelligence agencies. Here’s the one from Lousiana:

FBI Raids Middle Eastern Owned Convenience Stores and Service Stations

The FBI is conducting a large scale investigation into north Louisiana convenience stores with ties to the Middle East. As TV8's Gina Swanson reports the Department of Homeland Security is in on the sting operation involving stores in at least four parishes.

They seized evidence by the box full. The FBI on Wednesday searched at least a half dozen convenience stores in North Louisiana. All with ties to the Middle East. The probe led agents to stores in Tallulah, Lake Providence, Monroe and Ruston. Law enforcement sources confirm that the stores are suspected of involvement in money laundering or counterfeiting. The Department of Homeland Security has sent agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or Ice, to work the case. At each station, agents seized boxes of evidence and retrieved at least one weapon. Police sources say at least some of the gas station operators are from Yemen, an Arab country located just south of Saudi Arabia

ULM history professor John Sutherlin believes the Arab heritage of the convenience store owners could make them a convenient target for terror suspects:

"Anytime Arab or Muslim people are involved people immediately think it must be terror related or have some connection to 9-11," Sutherlin says. [when Arabs are involved in money laundering and counterfeiting rings who in their right mind doesn’t believe it’s terrorism-related?? Oh. Right. This quote is from someone at the local college…should have known —Dymphna]

The investigation reaches beyond Louisiana. TV8 news — the carrier for the previous story— confirmed the FBI and department of homeland security Wednesday also raided stores in Buffalo, New York.

Here’s another TV report, from the commenters at LGF. This one is from Little Rock:

Six people who live in Bryant have been charged by the U.S. attorney with something called money structuring. They operate two Little Rock gas stations, where officials say they were illegally sending money to the Middle East.

The three husband-wife teams are charged with sending $300,000 to dozens of people in the Middle East.

The FBI raided the Shell Station on Markham last November as part of the investigation. After the long investigation six men and women, four U.S. citizens and two legal residents, face charges that could land them in prison and cost them their businesses.


The main charge is money structuring. That's described as purchasing bank checks in amounts slightly below the $3,000 federal limit that requires having to identify yourself. “Structuring cash” transactions avoid triggering the filing of reports or record keeping by a bank.

U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins says, “The ability to track large sums of money sent overseas is a vital part of investigating crimes that may impact out national security. So, when people intentionally evade these laws, they're undercutting our safety.”


One husband-wife team is also charged with defrauding the state child welfare system. They're accused with hoarding more than $100,000 cash in their home, but lying about their income on state documents.

And to round it out, The Middle Ground has a long story about an Ohio plot:

CLEVELAND - Three Muslim men from the Middle East were charged Tuesday with plotting terrorist attacks against U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq and other countries.


Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 26, is accused of threatening in conversations to kill or injure Bush. He also is charged with distributing information about making and using bombs.

The others are Marwan Othman El-Hindi, 42, a U.S. citizen born in Jordan; and Wassim I. Mazloum, 24, who came to the United States from Lebanon in 2000…

Her story is much longer than this and has some disturbing elements regarding the manufacture and use of car bombs by one of the people she names, a car dealer in Toledo.

The Middle Ground says that Toldeo has a large Muslim population and reminds us that this was the base for KindHearts, the Hamas-front charity that was recently closed down. Then she notes this about the terrorist plotters:

It's very likely that this operation was brought to an abrupt end due to the NSA surveillance program being outed in the NYT. According to deputy director of the FBI, Joe Pistle, "enhanced surveillance" was part of the operation. Considering that the investigation efforts appear to have gone on for over six months with the man already delivering "laptops" to the "mujihadeen brothers", which would have been plenty to take him and the others in for material support, it seems that investigators were trying to discover the other connections. The issue with warrantless wire taps may have forced them to roll up the investigation earlier than planned.

Her deductions are reasonable, and it may be why those places in Little Rock, the parishes of Louisianna, and Buffalo, New York were also “rolled up.”

If Lincoln were President, half The New York Times would be where they belonged: in jail with the terrorists. With citizens like them, who needs terrorists to bring the country down?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port of Call

It's hard to run things rationally when you have so many people ready to Monday morning quarterback your calls. But it comes with the territory and Mr. Bush must have wanted this job because he sure fought for it.

Everyone and his brother has an opinion on the UAE state-owned company, Dubai Ports World, which recently bought up the British company, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

Here are five facts about Dubai Ports World, from The Khajeel Times:

  • Shareholders at Britain’s P&O, who had been managing the ports, voted last week in favour of Dubai Port’s multibillion dollar bid, giving the firm control over the management of P&O’s global operations, including in the US ports of New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami.
  • The deal made Dubai Ports World the world’s third-largest ports group.
  • Dubai Ports World purchased the global port assets of US freight rail company CSX Corp. in 2005 for $1.15 billion. US Treasury Secretary John Snow is a former chairman of CSX, but left the company a year before the Dubai deal.
  • One of DP World’s top executives, David Sanborn, was nominated by President George W. Bush in January to become the administrator of the Maritime Administration in the US Department of Transportation. At least one senator plans to hold up Sanborn’s confirmation until more questions about the port deal are answered.
  • Dubai Ports has international operations in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Germany, Romania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, India, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia in addition to the UAE.

What is most striking about this whole dust-up is the lack of information in every quarter. Do we know who made the decision to go with the UAE company (which is essentially staying with the old P&O Company)? I mean, how familiar are any of us with the CFIS -- The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States? Do any of us know anything about the oversight of this committee?

What seems to have gridlocked is President Bush's stubborn executive decision to check out what this committee did, receive assurances that it was standard operating procedure, and then dig his CEO heels in for the tussle. Meanwhile, post 9/11, the whole country is -- to coin a phrase -- up in arms at what seems like lax, dangerous decisions.

And there doesn't seem to be an intelligent journalist out there willing to do the legwork to tell us what's going on. Not that they don't have opinions. Nearly everyone does:

In favor of the deal Opposed to the deal Straddling
George W. Bush James Lileks Bill Gertz
Jimmy Carter Michelle Malkin Cliff May
Wall Street Journal New York Post Jed Babbin
Washington Post Frank Gaffney LA Times
Saudi Arabia Gov Pataki, NY Mark Levin
Reuters Mayor Bloomberg TKS -- Jim Geraghty
Gov. Bush, FL Congress 
Lawrence Kudlow Houston Chronicle 
 New York Times 
 Gov. Ehrlich, MD 
 Miami mayor 
 Baltimore mayor 

Though fewer in numbers, the straddlers get my vote. This is one time to wait and see what can be discovered. Dubai Ports World isn't galloping in here on their camels, scimitars at the ready.

Can we just wait and see what there is to be seen after the shouting and posturing are done with, and the sandstorm of irrational fear has settled enough to allow us to observe reality?


Vanderleun's "Moist Men"

Daddy Dem's A WussFiled under "You Can't Make This Drivel Up," find the all-too-kind "book" "review" at American Digest. Both words have scare quotes because it's not really a tome, it's a creepy children's agitprop tale.

And Mr.Vanderleun does not so much review this...this...thing so much as he attempts to understand it by dissecting it. His description of the author and his ilk is apt: he calls them "moist men," for moist they are, and moldy. Not to mention unmanly.

How in God's creation did we end up with so many geldlings? And why, as he points out, are so many of them Democrats? Years ago, Jude Wanniski divided the political parites into the Mommy Party and the Daddy Party. Back then, it fit better than it does now. For one thing, men and women were still speaking to one another and to the children. That's not so frequent now.

But the Mommy Party, the Dems, have become such a parody of themselves that manly men have no choice but to leave. One should not have to sacrifice the family jewels for politics. Here's how Mr.Vanderleun describes the author and his kind:

Although they are legion, these moist men sometimes rise above sea level and become a sign, a symbol, an avatar for the rest. Today's Poster Child for Pap has to be Jeremy Zilber. Zilber's got all the career achievements you need to be the very model of a modern moist Democrat. B.A. from Oberlin, styles himself a "lifelong Democrat and political activist," has written a "scholarly" book whose bias shrieks out in its title ("Racialized Coverage of Congress: The News in Black and White"), lives with his partner and her daughter, and a cat. He's got all the fundamentals down pat. Now comes his crowning achievement, a children's book called ... wait for it.... Why Mommy is a Democrat.

It is hard not to run shrieking from the room. Oh. I forgot: only enraged feminists do that.

By the way, in keeping with this book, you heard that Larry Summers resigned from Harvard? I wonder if he has a gun permit. And a hunting license? Don't forget the duck stamp, Larry. Or the special one they sell for hunting shrews. And good luck, Larry!

God, will he need it. You can resign but how do you get your balls back once you've let someone remove them -- and even kissed their hands while they did it?

"Our George" -- the First One

Wot th’-?!George Washington’s Birthday badly needs refurbishing. It is a testament to our decline that the holiday devoted to the the person considered the military and executive founder of our Republic is best known for the annual sale of linens at department stores: the Washington February White Sale.

Have you read David McCullough’s 1776? Obviously, George Washington figures largely in this story and McCullough makes the facets of his character plain. For example, did you know that Washington didn’t like New Englanders? He found them unkempt — Washington himself was “meticulous about his person” as they used to say. And he disliked their lack of commitment. If there is one quality of Washington’s that shines through in 1776, one characteristic that you begin to envy, it is Washington’s refusal to ever, ever quit. What a tenacious man.

His weaknesses were many, but Washington overcame most of them with simple steadfastness. He was embarrassed by his poor teeth and by his lack of formal schooling. He was beloved by those who served him and who served under him.

There is a good interview with McCollough on Amazon’s pre-publication page. And there’s link to buy the book on the side bar. I was given it as a Christmas present and I urge you to get yourself the same gift!

To further your understanding of McCollough's subject also consider Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis. Not only will it round out 1776, it will give an overview of that whole period. Because each chapter can be read on its own, the final result is a weaving of stories about siblings rather than about parents. It brings the founding generation of the Republic down to ground level so that you may walk among them and understand their genius and their rivalries. They won't ever seem quite the same.

If you want to read an excellent post on Washington (and others) by a blogger, you couldn’t do better than Callimachus’ effort. At the end, wanting to separate Washington and Lincoln, whose commemoration days fall so closely together, Callimachus tells this story:

One of the leaders of the American Revolution -- I forget now who it was, Ethan Allen, perhaps -- visited England after the war. His host entertained him comfortably, but was the sort of fellow who constantly disparaged America and Americans generally (no, it didn't start with Bush), and never could get over the fact we had beaten them in the war. To amuse himself and to twit his American guest, the host hung a print of George Washington on the wall of his outhouse. It had been there for a few days, and the host knew the American must have seen it, but he had said nothing. Finally overcome by curiosity, the host asked his guest what he thought of the picture of Washington.

"It is most appropriately hung," the American replied. "Nothing ever made the British shit like the sight of George Washington."
Now, until you actually go over and read his post, you will think I’ve taken the best of it to put up here. Not at all. Go to “Our George” for an entertaining history lesson. I guarantee you do not know as much now as you will when you’ve finished reading Callimachus’ essay.

Mr. Hitchens Says: "Meet Me at the Danish Embassy"

Yesterday, Christopher Hitchens had telling points to make about the treatment of Denmark. He is rightly outraged:

The incredible thing about the ongoing Kristallnacht against Denmark (and in some places, against the embassies and citizens of any Scandinavian or even European Union nation) is that it has resulted in, not opprobrium for the religion that perpetrates and excuses it, but increased respectability! A small democratic country with an open society, a system of confessional pluralism, and a free press has been subjected to a fantastic, incredible, organized campaign of lies and hatred and violence, extending to one of the gravest imaginable breaches of international law and civility: the violation of diplomatic immunity. And nobody in authority can be found to state the obvious and the necessary—that we stand with the Danes against this defamation and blackmail and sabotage. Instead, all compassion and concern is apparently to be expended upon those who lit the powder trail, and who yell and scream for joy as the embassies of democracies are put to the torch in the capital cities of miserable, fly-blown dictatorships. Let's be sure we haven't hurt the vandals' feelings.
Yes, Mr. Hitchens, feelings do trump all, don’t they? That is the final outcome of a multi-culti universe. One bases moral judgments, actions, and failures to act on feelings. Not on fellow-feeling, not on empathy or the ‘feeling’ of respect, but on how a particular event makes one feel. As in, “if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.” That is the multi-culti cul-de-sac, the end of the road. Nothing trumps feelings…why nothing even matches them.

Sooo: anyone feel like standing up for Denmark after this long, dark Kristallnacht? If you want to show the Danish people how you “feel” about this abomination by the vandals, show up at the Danish Embassy this coming Friday. Here is Mr. Hitchens’ directions and recommendations for his show of hands at the Danish Embassy:

Thank you all who've written [in response to his original column]. Please be outside the Embassy of Denmark, 3200 Whitehaven Street (off Massachusetts Avenue) between noon and 1 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 24. Quietness and calm are the necessities, plus cheerful conversation. Danish flags are good, or posters reading "Stand By Denmark" and any variation on this theme (such as "Buy Carlsberg/ Havarti/ Lego") The response has been astonishing and I know that the Danes are appreciative. But they are an embassy and thus do not of course endorse or comment on any demonstration. Let us hope, however, to set a precedent for other cities and countries. Please pass on this message to friends and colleagues.
This is a great idea which is limited by the choice of day. Having it on Friday will preclude many people from attending. Those with jobs and kids' schedules who live within two hours of the District will be constrained by the choice of day. That's unfortunate since it will make for a smaller, probably much smaller, turnout.

Bestial Profiling

Thanks, Max...ummm Bernie

This image has been liberated from Planck's Constant.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Waking Up in Bizarro World

Bizarro WLast night I went to bed on the planet Earth, but I woke up today in what seems to be a different location.

My time is limited tonight, so I’ll assume that my readers know the general outlines of the story about the proposed UAE management of six ports in the United States. For a recent roundup, see this recent news report about the affair. Many prominent Republicans have lined up against the President on this one, including the Senate Majority Leader and the governors of the states involved.

According to the latest word, President Bush has vowed to veto any attempt to stop the deal from going down. A veto! He won’t veto any pork, no matter how grotesque, nor would he veto an unconstitutional bill that suppresses political speech — but he’ll veto this one, in order to secure this plum for the Gulf emirs!

And, to top it all off, former President Jimmy Carter has come out in support of President Bush.

The PortWhat the heck is going on?

This president is a lame duck, with no need to court Big Oil donors for the next election cycle. He’s butting heads with Republican Party stalwarts. I assume he has our national security as his highest priority. So what’s he doing?

I have a theory, an uneducated layman’s theory, that I’d like to run by our esteemed readers to see if any intelligence and national security experts want to weigh in.

The UAE, like Pakistan, plays a double game with the United States. They’re a “reliable partner in the War on Terror,” etc., etc., but their financial systems launder money for Islamist terrorists and there are any number of Al Qaeda sympathizers on their soil.

Suppose the administration has talked a few of the non-fundamentalist, non-terrorist emirs into serving as front men for a CIA operation. Set up the business, manage the ports, and wait for the terrorists to approach the company looking to get a few containers of “materiel” into one of our ports. Then wait for the deal to go down, and BOOM! Nab the shipment and the perps in a major sting.

Does that seem impossible? Go ahead and shoot it down if it doesn’t make sense, because I really want some knowledgeable feedback.

If that’s not what’s going on, I sure don’t understand it.

Local TV News Looks at Jamaat ul-Fuqra

An alert reader (Update: Snarking Dawg has given permission to be acknowledged as my source) from New York writes that his local WNYW-TV FOX 5 News did a report on the “Islamberg” Jamaat ul-Fuqra compound near Hancock.

I just wanted to let you know that our local Fox news affiliate in NYC just did an extensive report on ‘Islamberg’ in upstate NY. Here is their website, WNYW-TV Fox 5 News, although there is nothing on it about the report just yet.

I wish I had known it was coming on so I could have taped it.

The reporter walked into the camp with a hidden camera. The place looked pretty barren with a few beat up trailers. There was a schoolbus which looked like it had been shot up. The reporter encountered 2 black Muslims who were actually kind of friendly. They said they did have guns and occasionally shot them off when celebrating weddings. Yeah right. The report mentioned the financial problems one of the leaders was having and how the IRS had confiscated his business.

The reporter confronted him with the recent internet report from the Northeast Intelligence Network… they laughed and said it was all a product of the Jew media. They also hinted that 9/11 was a part of some larger Jewish conspiracy. They brought up the tired misrepresentation that the Air Force was ordered to stand down on the morning of 9/11, apparently to allow the attack.

They also spoke with a couple of townspeople. One gentleman said prior to 9/11 he had seen them training in fatigues but said they had been relatively quiet since. A local sheriff said they basically keep to themselves and aren’t a bother.

Sheikh GilaniThe people that Fox 5 interviewed in the compound are followers of Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, the charismatic fundamentalist Pakistani Islamic leader, and founder of Jamaat ul-Fuqra. CP’s latest report on the group is here. It’s the same organization that has several compounds here in Virginia, as I reported last October.

The Islamberg people may be just regular folks like you and me, members of our great national rainbow coalition, misunderstood and misrepresented by the media, with their unfortunate anti-semitic comments taken totally out of context. But I wouldn’t bet on it. To recap the sheikh’s background, I remind you of the 2002 article in The Weekly Standard:

Fuqra’s founder and chief, the man [Daniel] Pearl sought to interview, is a rotund Kashmiri of Sufi background with long-standing ties to Pakistan’s Interservice Intelligence Agency (ISI), Sheikh Mubarik Ali Hasmi Shah Gilani. At least until President Musharraf’s decision last fall to support the American war on terrorism, the ISI sponsored terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Sheikh Gilani has rubbed shoulders at international terrorist confabs with gunslingers from Hamas and Hezbollah, their mullah backers, and Osama bin Laden. And he has trained fighters for the battlefields of Kashmir, Chechnya, and Bosnia.

Gilani launched his U.S. operations in 1980. Within ten years, Fuqra’s communes were billing themselves as havens where Muslim converts — many of them inner-city blacks, sometimes recruited in prison — could build new lives. At least seven such communities are active today, in Hancock, N.Y.; Red House, Va.; Tulare County, Calif.; Commerce, Ga.; York, S.C.; Dover, Tenn.; and Combermere, Canada. While some of these enclaves contain only rudimentary buildings and trailers, the California compound has 300 residents on a 440-acre spread, according to a recent report by a local ABC station. Residents deny any involvement with terror, but Fuqra has a history of getting into trouble with the law.

Over the years, at least a dozen Fuqra members have been convicted of crimes including conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers’ compensation fraud in the United States or Canada. And Fuqra members are suspects in at least 10 unsolved assassinations and 17 firebombings between 1979 and 1990. Nor is Fuqra’s criminal activity all in the past. In the last year alone, a resident of the California compound was charged with first degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy; another was charged with gun smuggling; the state of California launched an investigation into the fate of more than a million dollars in public funds given to a charter school run by Fuqra leaders; and two residents of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations, while a third awaits trial.
I hope that local TV reporter knew what he was getting into when he walked into Islamberg. A reading of his tea leaves might show the Federal Witness Protection Program in his future.

Update: CP has a post up about this. He’s got a lot more detail than I do, because the reporter actually talked to him.

…they were approached and spoke to a couple of the compound’s residents. Asking to see “the boss,” they were told he was in the city and wouldn’t be back until later, but then he showed up rather mysteriously. “The boss” was Hussain Abdallah, reportedly one of the early organizers of Fuqra in the United States and the guy that runs “786 Security” in Brooklyn. Abdallah said that his business had been raided by the IRS in Dec. 03 and the case was in process. The reporter said that a legal search of judgements or liens might turn something up. He owes something like $300K to the Feds and $40-50K to the state in taxes.

Go over and read the whole thing.

Monday, February 20, 2006

So What’s This About Muslims and Patents?

The Dinocrat and Planck’s Constant disagree on the invention inventory in the Muslim world. In his post "How does the modern world look when you have done nothing to help create it, and innovation is a threat to cherished beliefs?" (linked above) the former points to the paucity of Islam’s contributions to the world:

Americans have been messing around and creating things throughout the history of the nation. We take it for granted that people are fiddling around in their garages inventing oscilloscopes or wonder drugs or extreme sports. But what would it be like to live in a land where people invented nothing, where technology came to you as though from Mars? More than this: what if that constant progress and tinkering represented a threat to the sufficiency of the founding documents of your culture and religion? Judging by the numbers, that is apparently the current state of thought in some major Islamic countries. Take Saudi Arabia, which recently went six years without granting a patent.
MicrosoftMuslim “Au contraire,” says Planck’s Constant (that’s French for “hold it right there, bub”). He then proceeds to defend his argument with examples:

I have to disagree [with Dinocrat's thesis]. There are many, many creative inventions in Islam, but they are unrecorded because most simply do not apply for a patent.

For instance, there is the very clever and portable Microsoft customer-service-center made from an old scissor sharpening platform.
Unfortunately for his clever notion, this is one case where the words are worth more than the picture.

Dinocrat gives us some appalling statistics:

  • The Saudis only opened a Patent Office in 1990
  • In 1996, they granted their first patent.
  • In 2001, Iran had one patent (who needs patent when you have BOMB?)
  • In 1997,the US had 111,805 patents
  • In the last five years, Indonesia filed 30 patents.
In other words, says Dino, rather heatedly:

Remember this pathetic performance the next time some bonehead tries to argue cultural equivalency to you. How dare these people try to impose their ways on us, or dictate anything about the way we should live. Theirs is a formula for poverty, stagnation and misery. Imagine: over a billion people, and they have fewer patents in their entire recorded history than did the citizens of Utah last year.
I think that settles it, though I am sure there are a billion or so who would argue with me. Oh, I forgot: 11th Century breaking news -- Arabs invent zero. 20th century -- Arabs invent zero zilch. 21st Century -- Arabs beg, borrow, steal incendiary devices, or improvise, using airplanes and bodies.

Imagine if they corralled all that effort into creativity? But how can you be creative when submission is your only tool? Oh, right: submission permits you to be murderously creative.

As long as you're killing something -- why create away, brother!

What Iran Knows

Iran Nuclear FacilityThe Officers’ Club makes a good case for Iran’s ability to learn her lessons (oh, that she would learn to mind her manners as well). It’s hard to remember sometimes that these people are Persians, not just…not just what they’ve become since Mr. Carter was president. Perhaps it was his influence? (Yes, I know about the Shah and us. The Jimmah jump was simply a rhetorical flourish)

At any rate, the OC says Iran glommed onto seven notions that have carried her thus far. I would say these are listed by Mr. Munn in descending order. See what you think:

7. The media is your friend: Iran has been much better about laying out its case for acquiring nuclear technology than Saddam ever was…

6. Appeal to the “international community”. Like it or not, the people most directly threatened by a nuclear Iran are Europeans…

5. Use the economy, stupid. Yes, Iran threatened to put economic sanctions on itself if it was referred to the security council. That would be ridiculous if it weren’t so possible…

4. Build up the fanatic side of the military. Saddam’s “elite” Republican Guard proved to be the only thing standing between Baghdad and the 3rd Infantry partly because they were furiously devoted to the Hussein Regime and the Baath Party…

3. Divide and conquer. Iran knows that Europe poses no serious military threat to them, and that any action would require a NATO (read: US) action, their best bet is to make side deals to turn member countries against each other…

2. Deter War. Remember the media’s insane predictions of body counts before OEF/OIF? Imagine the media speculation about total war with Iran. Iran can shape this information operation by showing off its military at every opportunity…

1. Get that Nuke Tech! No country has ever been invaded that has possessed nuclear weapons. Saddam kept the capacity to acquire WMD, but never (I think) thought the imperialist cowboy president would get around his ingenious scheme of UN manipulation…
I’ve been trying to think of other lessons Iran has carried away as well, but I’m not coming up with anything. Take a stab at it — this is certainly a big piece of meat — but read the whole post and not just my snips.

And be sure to read the comments, also. They provide some clarification, and some counterpoints. I would like the readers of Gates of Vienna, that astute group of quibblers, to open the door and weigh in on this subject. It's on everyone's mind -- when they're not thinking about the bills or sex, anyway -- so discussion is helpful.

Callimachus at Done With Mirrors

Kind Hearts and Jihad Bombs

The Toledo Blade reports:

Federal agents padlocked a Toledo-based Muslim charity and froze its assets yesterday, citing a government investigation into possible links with Hamas terrorists. KindHearts, a $5 million-a-year charity with headquarters in West Toledo will not be able to access any of its funds or property while the investigation is under way.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Of course, KindHearts has been under suspicion for awhile. The Militant Islam Monitor has been outing this organization for awhile, with headlines like this:

Kind Hearts for Terror : Arab American Chamber of Commerce helps 'charity' tied to Al Qaeda with Islamist fundraisers tied to Jihad recruiting

And here’s the trail they follow, from Pipes’ site in December last (have you noticed that Islamofascist news can be updated but it never really staledates? You just change names and amounts. The narrative remains the same).

I am posting this in full so you can get an idea of the convoluted connections among these groups and individuals. To cut any of it is to miss a great deal of the depth and breadth of the problem of Islamofascist-run “charities” in this country.

I believe the following is by William A. Mayer & Beila Rabinowitz, but follow the Militant Islam Monitor link (above) to pick up other sites, since I have not hyperlinked everything in this long piece:

Kind Hearts for Terror

'Charity' under law enforcement scrutiny schedules new fundraising tour in U.S. with Al Qaeda linked Jamaat Tableeghi missionary/ recruiters from abroad.

The gloating by radical Islamist organizations in the United States that a Senate Committee investigation into 26 Islamic charities is has exonerated them appears to be premature. According to an article in an Ohio paper: ".The Senate Finance Committee is done reviewing Internal Revenue Service records it requested two years ago, but that "does not mean that these groups have been cleared by the committee," chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement Tuesday.

" Grassley said the committee will continue to examine the charities' operations, reversing a statement he made two weeks ago that the committee "did not find anything alarming enough that required additional follow-up beyond what law enforcement is already doing...

According to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the scrutiny is ongoing and one article singled out the Kind Hearts 'charity' base in Toledo Ohio as a group which is of special interest to law enforcement. The same article also mentioned another salient fact: That it was none other then Jihad Smaili, a lawyer from Cleveland who testified in front of the Senate Committee hearing. "KindHearts' lawyer, Jihad Smaili of Cleveland, said testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this summer amounted to unfair "guilt by association," he told The Plain Dealer. "

Smaili acknowledges that some of the testimony before the Senate Banking Committee raised mistakes KindHearts had made. An employee of a charity closed by the government worked for KindHearts until he was charged with conspiracy, aiding a terrorist group and money laundering.." What the article failed to mention is that Jihad Smaili is the brother of Khalid Smaili who is the director of Kind Hearts.
When journalists tried to reach Khalid Smaili for comment they were told he was in Lebanon. Which begs the question as to if he plans to come back, since Kind Hearts is simply a continuation of the Global Relief Foundation, which was closed down by the Department of Treasury for ties to Al Qaeda. A look at the Kind Hearts website shows why law enforcement might take more then a passing interest in the Toledo Ohio based charity with the warm fuzzy name.

A banner headline on the KH website (since removed) recently announced that Zulifiqar Ali Shah,(the former president of the Islamic Circle of North America / Muslim American Society,linked to Al Qaeda) and CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation, is coordinator for the Kind Hearts South Asia Division.

Shah ran a School for Islamic Studies in Broward, which launched the terrorist career of Jose Padilla - the dirty bomber wannabe set to go on trial together with Adhan Hassoun ( the man who raised the money to send him to Jihad training camp) It is believed that Jose Padilla and Adnan Hassoun met each other as the SISB mosque.
The co founder of the school, Mohammed Javed Qureshi, who, besides his role as co founder of a Saudi backed Islamic school, also supervised the Taco Bell where Padilla (and his wife) were employed. Last year Qureshi admitted that it was him and his wife who helped the Padillas convert to Islam. Hassoun ran the office of the Benevolence International Foundation ( an Al Qaeda funding front started by the jailed Arnaam Arnout, who married a Florida woman. The BIF offices which were convienently located across the road from Qureshi's Taco Bell.

Shah was recently in Pakistan and the Kind Hearts website informs us that: "As announced by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, KindHearts fully support Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistani Governments Relief initiatives, Junaid Jumshaid Foundation, Sahara Foundation, Al-Khidmat and other NGOs who are efficient and completely transparent for the accountability of their financial transactions, their Relief Work and Development projects to alleviate suffering of the survivors of this natural disaster."

...an article entitled "Militants make mileage out of earthquake relief" revealed that the 'relief funding', was indeed literally ending up in the hands of terrorists, who were also using orphanages as recruiting grounds for new Jihadis. Not surprisingly a large part of Kind Hearts 'charity' funding goes to 'orphans'.

Numerous newspaper accounts revealed that U.S. soldiers called on to help were working side by side with terrorists from the Laskar e- Taybaa and Jammaat and it's Jamaat e Da'wa front. A manifestation of this was seen in a BBC television report, which showed that aid efforts were being hindered after confrontations broke out between Muslim aid workers and clerics who insisted that Muslim quake survivors could not be given food during Ramadan despite the life and death situation. The situation was so volatile that the workers had to promise that they would make sure the aid recipients would not break the Ramadan fast.

"...In the shattered cities and toppled villages of Pakistan's earthquake zone, a new front has opened in the "war on terrorism".

As the world played aid catch-up at the weekend, pledging US$5.8 billion ($7.9 billion) in assistance, and with the Prime Minister, John Howard, due to arrive in Islamabad today, Muslim extremist groups are basking in what Pakistani commentators say is a new-found legitimacy courtesy of their quick response to the disaster.

A stream of reports since the October 8 catastrophe, which killed more than 73,000 people and left more than 3 million homeless, suggest Islamic charities linked to extremists have taken over much of the relief effort across a wide area of northern Kashmir and adjoining areas.."

"...A prominent member of the JUD relief effort is Dr Amir Aziz Khan, arrested on suspicion of al-Qaeda links but later released.

Militants are also reportedly taking orphaned children under their wing for indoctrination in holy war in their extensive network of orphanages...."

"... All of which places the military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, in a tight spot.
His government acknowledges the JUD's good works and denies it is exploiting the disaster.

Yet visiting the region with the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, on
Friday, he felt compelled to warn the victims to be wary of help from militants.
"If someone shows extremism here, you should rise up against it," he said...

Which begs the second question as to if the United States government was reluctant to go after Kind Hearts because of the support it boasts of having from NGO's and the Pakistani government, abroad, but from the U.S. based, Saudi backed, Arab American Chamber of Commerce, which lists Kind Hearts twice on their website once as a curiously named "appraiser resource" and on the business directory of their website.

Kind Hearts' South Asian coordinator Zulfiqar Ali Shah, has returned from Pakistan and is embarking on US fundraising tour for Kind Hearts together with 'two Islamist missionaries' . Saeed Anwar - who is billed as "a famous cricketer" and Junaid Jamshed, listed a a "famous personality".. Cricketeer Saeed Anwar, who was on the same team as Imran Khan (the player turned politician who started the Koran flush rumor which resulted in riots resulting in many deaths) is also connected to a group which is linked to terrorism -Tableeghi Jammat Islami an article informs us that:

"( Anwar )turned to religion and spirituality and took to the Tableeghi Jamaat (missionaries), who practise a stricter adherence to the codes of Islam than most.

Anwar's influence spread among senior players such as Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq and the group travel together regularly to Raiwind, a small town near Lahore, where the Tableeghis congregate for prayer and dialogue..". Famous personality Junaid Jamshed was a pop singer in Pakistan who may also be tied to the Tableeghi Jamaat since he " formally announced his decision to quit singing to be a full-time preacher.

Explaining his decision, he said, for years he had felt guilty of being a poor role model. Recently, he said, some young people, who had started with religious learning, had told him he had inspired them to seek careers in music.

Mr Jamshed said his family were a religious kind and that he had been the exception. He also said it had taken him nearly five years to arrive at the decision. That finally, he had listened to his heart. His family, he said, supported his decision.." Another website informs that " Junaid gave up singing a few years ago, grew a beard and joined the Tableeghi Jamaat, saying singing did not fit into his lifestyle anymore."

Zufiqar Ali Shah brings ICNA, MAS, and Al Qaeda into the Kind Hearts equation. Both Jamshed and Anwar are members of the Islamic Tableeghi Jamaat which has been described as : 'Recruiting Ground For Al Qaeda Muslim Tablighi Jamaat missionaries proclaim their apolitical views and separation from politics and political causes. Yet Al Qaeda finds the organization's associates a ripe recruiting ground for members.

According to Michael J. Heimbach , the deputy chief of the F.B.I.'s international terrorism section: "We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States, and we have found that Al Qaeda used them for recruiting, now and in the past..."

The terrorist affiliations of Shah , Anwar and Jamshed are more then enough reason to close down Kind Hearts and halt their fundraising roadshow in the United States.

Adding Khalid and Jihad Smaili to the equation is further proof that Kind Hearts (aka Global Relief) is not only fundraising for terrorism - it is being run and supported by potential terrorists and Jihad recruiters in the guise of Tableeghi Jamaat preachers.

Kind Hearts has also announced that the three men will return in 2006 for more fundraising in the United States after their recent effort raised more then 1 million dollars:

"...Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the President of KindHearts' South Asia Division, toured more than ten cities in ten days, along with Brs. Junaid Jamshed and Saeed Anwar, raising $1.5 million in checks and pledges. Donors are requested to contribute generously, so that together we can put solid, safe roofs over the heads of thousands of homeless children and families.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah will again be leaving for Pakistan on December 11, 2005. While there, he will visit KindHearts' ongoing projects, and expedite financial aid that is imminently required because of winter's arrival.

In March 2006, Brs. Junaid Jamshed and Saeed Anwar will return to the US, along with the Pakistani Cricket team's Vice-Captain, Mohammad Yousaf (the former Yousaf Yohanna). Thought to be the backbone of the current Pakistani Cricket team, Mohammad Yousaf recently scored the highest number of runs of his career against the visiting English Cricket team in Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

This impressive trio of celebrities will be traveling across America and Canada during March 2006 to raise funds for the Brick Houses.[emphasis, Gates of Vienna] KindHearts invites all community leaders to contact our office to obtain a program list for their visit

By singling out Kind Hearts for continued scrutiny it is clear that the Senate Committee (and the groups lawyer himself), acknowledge that KH is tied to terrorism. The question is why the government is unable and/ or unwilling to act.and is so reluctant to clarify the status of the investigation and the groups under scrutiny.

The travesty of having the brother of the director of Kind Hearts testifying in his capacity as the group's lawyer in front of the Senate Committee and admitting to what he terms "mistakes" such as money laundering and associates jailed for terrorism, shows that it is time to investigate why the government has failed to act. One can only speculate that the organisation claims of 'supporting Musharraf's efforts' and indication that they are sanctioned by the Pakistani government are intended to warn the United States not to interfere with their activities.
Which begs four obvious but urgent questions:

If Kind Hearts is known to be the new face of Global Relief which was closed down by the United States Government because of terrorism funding why hasn't the same thing happened to Kind Hearts?

Why were two 'missionaries' from Tableeghi al Jamaat, an organisation known as a recruiting grounds for Al Qaeda, allowed into the US in the first place?

How can the United States allow Zufiqar Ali Shah, the ex president of the Islamic Circle of North America, and president CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation, who has been linked to Jose Padilla, Sheik Abdur Rahman Al Sudais and Jerusalem Mufti Ikrima Sabri, to fundraise and control millions of dollars in donations when it was recently revealed that funding for earthquake victims had found it's way to the Kashmiri separatist terrorists aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

Has Kind Hearts' director Khalid Smaili, who declined to be interviewed for an article about the terrorist funding charges directed at his 'charity' ever returned to the United States from his 'holiday' in Lebanon?

The fact that Kind Hearts is still fundraising with impunity after cloning Global Relief, (and brazenly uses the template of the GRF newsletter, which is a designated a terrorist funding entity), is epitomised by this cynical and mocking 'caveat donateur' at the bottom of their donations webpage':

"...All fraudulent translations will be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law..."

Kind Hearts must be laughing all the way to bank - and the terrorists are sharing their glee.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Well, that was in December. Now, two months later, Kind Hearts’ assets have been frozen and their doors padlocked. Maybe it's no longer so amusing?

What is amazing is the way all these insidious people are connected to one another and when you trace the red thread allllll the way back, where do you end up?

Why, Dorothy, look! First we were in Toledo and now here we are right in downtown Riyadh! Now how do you suppose that happened?

Shut up and button your burqa, girl.

Hat Tip: Lizardoid Center--ronaldusmagnus

Okay, So I'm Late. Again. Weasel Winners for Feb 10th

Watcher's CouncilMy pneumonia (and subsequent prednisone psychosis) left me unable to post anything coherent, so my Watcher’s postings are late. The week of the 10th was particularly interesting because the council winner came out on top without having been able to vote that week.

With three points, Stratasphere took it away with an piece on the Democratic party’s contract with Al Qaeda. The way AJ describes it sure does make the whole stinky mess look like a Dem deal. Here’s what he thinks the Democrats will put on the plate to make themselves more attractive to voters:

…This year’s election offers the chance, after 4 years of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the Nation’s policies towards Al Qaeda. That historic change would be the end of government that is too focused in Iraq, too intrusive, and too obsessed with possible terrorist attacks. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the privacy of all peoples, including members of Al Qaeda here in the US.

On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Democrat majority will immediately pass the following major legislation, aimed at restoring the pre 9-11 mirage of security and world harmony and ending this Administration’s policies for National Security:

FIRST, we will finally kill the Patriot Act so that no member of Al Qaeda will fear using our libraries to access international websites, access their email, or do basic research on major US installations and population centers…


SECOND, We will enact legislation to release all Al Qaeda members now held in custody in the GITMO Gulag…

and so it goes, all the way down to Point Nine in their offering, which promises to impeach the Imperial Bush…don’t they just wish. I’ve been hearing this threat ever since Bush was elected — sorry, ever since Bush stole the election from the Democrats.

Great fisk of the Dem point of view, which, when it’s isn’t undiluted vitriol, is simply Looney Tunes. Until the incarnation of the present Democratic Party I didn’t know lemmings could sing in harmony.

Second place was taken by Shrinkwrapped. He is so unobtrusively eloquent. No flourishes or unnecessary words to get his point across. Who else but he could weave the following: “The Academy Awards, Pan-Sexuality, Narcissism, & Loneliness”? I will even forgive him for using the New York Times as his starting point — which is a big deal here, since I give the Old Grey Mare the same credibility I grant Aljazeera, which means little to none.

The following is a small excerpt from a large and wide-ranging essay. I recommend that you RTWT since the changing mores and perspectives of the rising generation of adolescents sounds more like the German youth of the ‘20’s than it does anything we’ve encountered before. But, of course, each generation thinks it invented itself. Perhaps this is necessary in order to invest in the future:

Hollywood has done its part to help "normalize" pan-sexuality and will celebrate their open-minded tolerance in March (one of the nominees for best Actress is for a film about a transsexual); whether you believe this was wise or not, it is hard to argue that such re-definition of what at one time was considered deviant behavior comes at a high price. There is also a vast difference between teaching our children tolerance and teaching that "anything and everything goes" and all sexual behavior is equivalent and represent mere "life style choices."
From the Non-Council posts, The Anchoress placed first — and created, I think, a good neologism: “wellstoning.” Have you noticed that the various aberrant and vicious behaviors of the Left cause neologisms to come into being? There’s “borking” and “fisking,” and as soon as I say “wellstoning” everyone knows what it means. No explanation required.

In this case, The Anchoress describes what happened at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. An admission of bias: I stopped admiring this woman when I found out that she charged money for copies of the “I Have A Dream” speech. “Tacky” is the most charitable term I can think of for this kind of grasping behavior.

At any rate, Mrs. King’s funeral was finely and truly wellstoned. It was used as a platform to exhibit disrespect to a sitting President while he was a member of the congregation. It was used to revise history, to revile the Republicans, and to create an atmosphere of resentment and pandering. Ugly, ugly moment. As The Anchoress notes:

I’ve come to the conclusion that people who buy their own hype, who believe the press when the press over-does the gushing in order to push their own ideas, are weak-minded, or perhaps simply not very smart.
“Wellstoning” is a useful word. Can’t you just imagine how Ted Kennedy’s funeral will be wellstoned right into the ground?

Have you ever read One Cosmos? If not, you’re in for a treat. He’s not easy to classify so I won’t try, but I highly recommend his second place essay,
“The Pathetic Last Children of Nietzsche's Pitiable Last Men.” Here’s one summation you won’t forget in a hurry:

The modern conservative movement is not just trying to preserve the traditional male element, but the traditional separation of the various spheres in general--civilized vs. barbaric, animal vs, human, adult vs. child--while the Democratic party is the party of mannish women (e.g., Hillary Clinton, Gloria Allred), feminized men (e.g., Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore), adult children (Howard Dean, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, et al), and even animal humans (PETA members who believe that killing six million chickens is morally indistinguishable from murdering six million Jews, radical environmentalists, etc.). And it is almost impossible to engage in rational debate with the adult child, who has the cynicism of a world-weary grown up but the wisdom of a child, or with the male-female hybrid, who possesses an emotionalized reason that is easily hijacked by the passions...
One Cosmos has a breadth, depth, and height of conveying knowledge that you’re not likely to find elsewhere. He is in his own category. I think he knows this, too.

It’s all still up at the Watcher’s. Go here, and see me in third place with Rightwing Nuthouse. Now there’s an interesting bedfellow…

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The MSM: Can’t Run, But They Sure Can Hide

William Tucker at The American Enterprise Institute — that den of warmongering corporatists — has an interesting idea for the brave MSM:

…the newspapers—they’re just incredible, huh? The New York Times has risked its neck by revealing that the Bush Administration has been monitoring overseas phone calls. Stogy old Commentary is comparing this to the isolationist Herald Tribune printing a story in 1942 telling the Japanese we had broken their code. Those neoconservative loonies think the Times ought to be prosecuted for divulging secrets in wartime! Well, it’s a different world, brother! Our press today will go to jail en masse rather than give up freedom of speech!

Mr. Tucker reminds us not to forget the brave and the bold in Hollywood, their daring controversial films, their leading edge confrontational approach. Yessir, a brave bunch, rushing in where angels fear to tread. Well, actually, they go places no angel would be caught dead in. Funny thing is, wherever they go, the place is packed with mirrors. Hollywood never goes anywhere that doesn’t permit it to see its own reflection, any more than the media would go to places where it can’t hear its own echo.

As Mr. Tucker, puts it: “Yes, there’s nothing our good old courageous media won’t tackle, is there?” You could see his rhetorical question just coming down the line, couldn’t you? Okay, here’s the set up and a modestly proposed solution to the quaking fear of the MSM:

... It turns out not a single TV network and only two newspapers—the New York Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer—have dared publish the dozen Danish cartoons that have set off riots around the world. Even the New York Press, which once ran a whole column in which a writer described removing a boil from his scrotum, has chickened out. Four staff members quit in protest last week after the top brass backed down.

That guy with the boil? He just wanted you to know he actually has a scrotum, which is more than one can say for many of his confreres.

But here’s Mr. Tucker’s point about the sudden vast media modesty:

…everybody’s mumbling something about “respect for religion” and “not wanting to offend anybody,” but the real reason is transparent. They’re scared to death. Publishing portraits of rock stars posing as Jesus or putting naked movie stars on the cover of Vanity Fair—that’s all in a day's work. Only a bunch of hillbillies down in Arkansas will be offended. But publishing a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban—now that’s serious. Somebody might start throwing rocks or set off a bomb in the office.

Then Mr. Tucker offers a sensible Gallic shrug. Why bother trying not to offend Muslims? Our very existence is offensive, and their raison d’être is war. Endless war: with us, with each other, with whatever moves. What other culture do you know that shows its exuberance by going out in the street and shooting firearms into the air? Besides Texans, I mean. So, says Mr. Tucker, get used to it, because there’s not a damn thing we can do to change matters when it comes to Muslim explosiveness:

Nothing we say or do will make Muslims like us any better. Islam has been beating down the door of Western Civilization since the time of Charlemagne. They conquered Spain, took Constantinople in 1453, besieged Vienna in 1529 and again in 1683. The Turks blew up the Parthenon in 1687 and fighting between Greeks and Turks continued into this century. The Balkans became the “powder keg of Europe” once the Turks invaded.

And it isn’t just us. Islam is at war with every civilization on its borders. They’re fighting with India, with China, with African tribes in Sudan. Nor do Muslims ever stop fighting among themselves. The whole history of Islam is a story of a group of dissidents going out into the desert, deciding the religion practiced by the elites was not the “true Islam,” and crashing back upon the cities to seize power. The word “assassins” comes from a Persian cult whose members drugged themselves with hashish before carrying out suicide attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda are just the latest of a long, long line.

Islam is a culture that has never learned to curb male violence. All it can do is export it.

This exporting of Muslim violence wouldn’t be so noticeable if the Europeans weren’t so flaccid and neutered. It’s much easier to explode in the middle of a city which gave up its manhood years ago.

However, Mr. Tucker things the multi-culti approach here is downright dangerous. And he figures there’s some safety in numbers. Here’s his solution:

In order to put some backbone in the press for the trials ahead, let’s pick a day—I nominate February 28th, two weeks from today—in which every newspaper in America and every TV news station in America will display the offending cartoons. For the faint-hearted there’ll be safety in numbers. It will inform the public and restore our self-respect. It certainly won’t ingratiate us with world of Islam, but what’s the difference? At least they’ll know they’re facing a united front.

And that makes all the difference in the world. Thugs respect courage; it makes them back off:

When the Germans overran Denmark during World War II, they immediately announced that all Jews must wear the yellow star. Instead of cowering in their homes, every man, woman and child in the country donned a yellow star, including the King of Denmark. It seems only fitting that we return the favor.

In order to make his suggestion more credible, he gives directions to his home, since he telecommutes to the office:

And if you’re planning to bomb The American Enterprise offices in retaliation for this column, please don’t bother. I hardly ever set foot in the place. I live at 430 4th Street in Brooklyn, right around the corner from the ice cream storeowner who was just sentenced to 18 years for smuggling $11 million to terrorists in the Middle East and two doors up from a fireman who was killed on September 11th. I’m home every day.

Now this is a great idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. Instead of just one day, the MSM ought to be printing, posting, or otherwise disseminating images of Mo in his various and hilarious disguises all year long. The devil hates ridicule (I gave up believing in devils in adolescence, when I gave up the God with the white beard. I still don’t believe in the latter, but Lordy, those Islamofascists sure do make you realize the deep truth of incarnate evil) but there’s nothing like a large, eternal dose of it to help the medicine go down. And the medicine is this:

Disposable WisdomWe will not be cowed. As our famous war hero once (or twice) said: “Bring. It. On.” Let us make like Denmark and march out wearing our yellow stars, our crosses, carrying small statues of Buddha, and chanting “Om Mani Padme Hum.” Catchy little tune.

Let the newspapers carry a daily Mo cartoon, maybe right next to the weather. We could even assign a Muslim Mayhem prediction to the image: chance of explosions, thirty percent, let’s say.

If they need an image, here’s one from Disposable Wisdom (and apparently from the infamous Retecool.com) to start the stalwart press off on the right foot. Or the right hand and foot, depending on whether they’re standing tall or scooting away on all fours.


Hat tip: OS