Sunday, March 26, 2017
Blog

This week's syndicated column:

So Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his job. Does it matter?

Aside from the fact that with Wednesday's announcement the nation's capital could finally exhale for the first time since news broke about the profanity-laced Rolling Stone profile in which the now-former Afghanistan commander made disparaging comments about members of President Obama's Afghanistan team (including Obama himself), absolutely nothing of consequence resulted from the whole breathless melodrama.

Why not? Half the world by now has read the magazine article describing senior staff behavior more Animal House than conduct becoming the average adult, let alone officers and gentlemen. But despite the scandalous headlines, what we mainly gleaned was: most of the f-words salting the copy came from the reporter; the general's actual antics weren't so much disparaging as childishly indiscreet ("'Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke,' he groans ..."); and crude ("McChrystal gives him the...

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Just for grins -- grim grins, because none of this is fun -- here's my prediction: McChrystal stays.

Point is, it doesn't much matter one way or the other because the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy stays.

2:15 pm: I was wrong. McChrystal goes, and word is, Gen. David Petraeus is his replacement.

The point still is, it doesn't much matter one way or the other because the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy stays.

Best line to come out of the Rolling Stone's McChrystal profile that has the general winging homeward, "summoned" from Kabul for a face-to-face with Obama in DC tomorrow over puerile comments and mouthing off (about nothing very substantive) by McChrystal and his staff in Rolling Stone magazine:

"The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people," says Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal. "The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.

That's all you need to know.

Politico reports that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been "summoned" to Washington from Kabul over "biting and unflattering remarks" he and his staff made to Rolling Stone magazine about members of the Obama administration, including Obama himself. The general is now winging homeward for a meeting with the president tomorrow. "The face-to-face comes as pundits are already calling for McChrystal to resign for insubordination."

"Insubordination" in this case sounds like a bunch of cracks ranging from indiscreet to sophomorically unseemly. Examples:

McChrystal described his first meeting with Obama as disappointing and said that Obama was unprepared for the meeting. National Security Advisor Jim Jones is described by a McChrystal aide as a “clown” stuck in 1985. Others aides joked about Biden’s last name as sounding like “Bite me” since Biden opposed the surge. McChrystal issued...

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I know the illustration (above) looks like the UN's "impartial international investigation" of Israel warming up but it's really just members of the last caliphate (Ottoman Turk) declaring holy war (jihad)

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This week's syndicated column:

"How Is Israel the Guilty Party?"

We may not live in an Islamic world -- yet -- but we do live with an Islamic worldview. Witness the uniformly Islamicized consensus that met Israel's successful if costly defense of its Gaza blockade.



The blockade, by the way, is a defensive measure that Israel devised after Hamas terrorists were elected to govern Israel-ceded Gaza in 2005 and -- no surprise to any student of jihad -- decided to continue their charter-commanded war on Israel, raining down nearly 10,000 rockets onto Israeli civilians.

The rocketing, of course, was OK with the Islamicized consensus. What wasn't OK...

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Writing at Pajamas Media, Andrew Bostom today offers a newsy rundown of the ties emerging between the "peace flotilla" to Erdogan's Turkey, and then pours on the putrid  historical context -- 500 years of Islamic Jew hatred in Turkey -- that explains it.

Don't miss the part about Turkish PM Erdogan's youthful turn as playwright, director and actor in an antisemitic extravaganza called "Mas-Kom-Ya" -- Mason, Communist, Jew (Yahudi).

" `Mas-Kom-Ya,' Erdogan and Turkey's Islamic Jew-Hatred"

by Andrew Bostom

As reported by the Jerusalem Post on June 9, 2010, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) has revealed the close ties between the most violent operatives from Turkey’s jihadist IHH organization on board the Mavi Maramara ship, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AKP government.

Salient details of these connections from the ITIC analysis...

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If you watched this German TV report on the jihadist backstory to the "peace flotilla" -- none of which discomfited the three leftist German Bundestag members aboard the Mavi Marmara also interviewed --here's what has happened since back in Berlin:

From the Jerusalem Post:

BERLIN – Thomas Schalski-Seehann, a local politician from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the city of Stade, outside of Hamburg, filed a legal suit against three members of the German Left Party last week. He told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper that “as liberals, we want to send a clear message against this nasty anti-Semitism in the Left Party, nor are we blind in the right eye. Other criminal complaints against politicians in the Left Party that have been submitted to the Berlin prosecutor’s office show that our complaint is right and important.” The FDP is the political party of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. He appeared to be the first German politician to charge the three Left...

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Three bucks a head, if ya really wanna know.

From the Yale Daily News:

"Yale has been providing Chase Bank with the names and contact details of alumni, staff and sports fans for the past three years under a deal worth $7.98 million, according to an article published Monday in the Connecticut Post. The seven-year deal, which remained secret until the enactment of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act this year, stipulates that Yale must pass on contact information for about 136,000 staff and affiliates each quarter, the Post reported.

In return, Yale receives annual payments, as well as $3 for every new credit card account and $100 for accounts set up through certain promotional campaigns."

And we thought Yale was holding out for Islamic millions....

...

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Meant to post this excellent June 7 German TV report, via Vlad Tepes, that looks into the jihadist and racist-nationalist links behind and on board the Mari Marva love tub. You might want to keep your cursor above the pause button because there's a lot of important info to read in the subtitles.

George Ford, whose analysis has appeared before at this site, writes in with some unconventional wisdom and predictions on BP:

There are many news stories circulating on the eve of the meeting between President Obama and the BP Chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg. Some have to do with a weakened, incompetent President looking to at least catch a rebound and take control of the game. But two stories bring to mind the image of a very competent, radical leftist President bringing one of the world's largest private companies to its knees.

One is that Obama is asking for a large amount of BP cash to be placed in escrow to cover claims, which if requested by Bush might sound benign but by Chicago shake-down artists and ACORN community organizers could be used by the administration as a political slush fund, a tempting treasure trove to be raided by political cronies, a nasty stick to whip out whenever it suits someone to bash BP over the head. The other is that the president will use tonight's...

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The Taliban: The ally of my "ally" (Pakistan) is my ... ?

A bunch of stories today trumpet a new London School of Economics report on Pakistani support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the Times of London wins for best headline --"Pakistan puppet masters guide the Taliban killers" -- to which I would add -- "and Uncle Sucker doesn't see the strings."

Of course, we didn't need to wait for the LSE for this: Moorthy Muthuswamy's excellent book Defeating Political Jihad told us to dump our "allies" from the "axis of jihad" -- namely, Pakistan and  Saudi Arabia (Iran is the other axis country) -- and realign with our natural allies against jihad (for example, Israel and India) last year. (I reviewed the book here.)

And what was President Obama doing in Pakistan in 1981 anyway, a trip he let slip (it doesn't appear in his memoir) during the campaign? As Andy McCarthy recounts inThe...

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In last week's column, I discussed Andrew C. McCarthy's excellent new book The Grand Jihad. Andy has just shared the good news that the book debuts on the upcoming New York Times Bestseller List at #18 -- the perfect occasion to publish our full interview.

Q: In the course of laying out the largely unknown fact, as you write on page 210, that “America is being targeted for destruction by a Grand Jihad,” you introduce readers to various Islamic terms of art – dawa, siyash, wassityya. Why hasn’t our government educated us in all of these terms by now, nearly ten years since 9/11?

 

A: Diana, there are two explanations. In the case of well-meaning people who are simply wrong, there is an irrational fear that if we acknowledge the tight connection between Islamic doctrine and a campaign by Muslims to destroy the West (whether by violence or other means), we must perforce take the position that we are “at war with Islam.” This is absurd, of course. First of all,...

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This week's column (way below) examines the continuing, increasingly dangerous failures of the media to cover Barack Hussein Obama as a subject worthy of analysis and curiosity beyond the scope of White House handouts and Obama-memoir "Dreams." Taboo is the topic of the  radical Left -- Marxist -- milieu in which Obama was steeped and mentored, and which, as the authors of the book depicted above make clear, influences Obama administration policy to this day.

But this same republic-threatening radicalism is  an item that triggers self (media)-induced censorship -- as it always has. During the presidential campaign, for example, it was only the accidental celebrity of Joe the Plumber in mid-October, 2008 that made Obama's brand of socialism into any kind of a headline; although, if you recall, the media then proceeded to turn their investigative energies not into whether Obama was indeed a socialist but into whether Joe was indeed a (licensed) plumber. Even the appearance online of evidence of Obama's participation in a socialist party, the New Party, failed to match media standards of what was fit  -- i.e., safe for their candidate -- to investigate, let alone print.

...

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From Spiegel Online:

The liberal VVD party has come first in Wednesday's Dutch parliamentary election, beating Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats into fourth place. But the election's real winner is anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party could be part of the next government.

Hallelujah!!

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and his Christian Democrats have suffered a crushing defeat in Wednesday's parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. The party only managed to finish fourth, behind even the Freedom Party of anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders.

Results were tight on election night, but by Thursday morning it appeared that the liberal-conservative VVD managed to come out ahead of the center-left Labor Party (PvdA). With 96.5 percent of the votes counted, Mark Rutte's VVD was ahead on Thursday morning with...

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Headline from today's UK Daily Mail:

'Follow the Islamic way to save the world,' Prince Charles urges environmentalists

The sorry story here.

From the Guardian:

President Hamid Karzai has lost faith in the US strategy in Afghanistan and is increasingly looking to Pakistan to end the insurgency, according to those close to Afghanistan's former head of intelligence services. ...

The big chill?



From today's Toronto Star:

"Security stand-off stalls Canadian dam project in Kandahar"

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN—A Canadian drive to transform Kandahar’s water supply is sputtering toward disaster despite Ottawa’s assurances to the contrary, the Toronto Star has learned.

The $50-million Dahla Dam irrigation project, touted as Canada’s best chance for a lasting legacy in Afghanistan, has all but stalled as its lead contractor, a partnership involving the Canadian engineering giant SNC Lavalin, battles for control against a sometimes violent Afghan security firm widely believed to be loyal to Afghanistan’s ruling Karzai family, insiders close to the project say.

For the record, Ottawa says progress on its “signature project” is proceeding on time and budget, with...

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AP photo: U.S. marines provide security during a government function to lay the foundations for a government administrative department building at Musa Qala in Helmand, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

From the New York Times:

The prospect of a robust military push in Kandahar Province, which had been widely expected to begin this month, has evolved into a strategy that puts civilian reconstruction efforts first and relegates military action to a supportive role.

Send in the architects?

The strategy, Afghan, American and NATO civilian and military officials said in interviews, was adopted because of opposition to military action from an unsympathetic local population and Afghan officials here...

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Former US Ambassador John Bolton takes stock in the New York Post today of the ways in which the Obama administration over the past week has continued to signal its abandonment of Israel. He writes:

First, in the UN Security Council, the administration succumbed to the rush to criticize Israel in a statement that, albeit watered down, nonetheless greatly intensified international pressure on Jerusalem. The correct approach was to resist the diplomatic peer pressure and bar any council action until tempers cooled and more facts were available -- meaning at most a day or two's delay. This America could easily have done. Failure to withstand the short-term heat only feeds the impression of White House weakness, and will come back to haunt us.

...

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As the New York Times reports in airing another load of dirty US COIN laundry, Matiullah Khan charges $1,200 per NATO supply truck to travel 100 miles between Kandahar and Trin Cot without incident. Some toll booth business he's got going there.

From the story:

Mr. Matiullah denied any contact with either insurgents or drug smugglers. “Never,” he said.

Uh-huh.

Uncle Sucker steps in it again.

Contemplating the military objective of Kandahar, John Bernard has written an excellent essay at Let Them Fight pointing out, one more time, the mote in our leaders' eye, Islam, which no amount of COIN snake-oil can heal. He writes:

Again; there is no substantial difference between the government in Kabul, the civilian population and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Not only is their religious ideology monolithic (shared and all encompassing), but they all share familial ties, tribal ties and a shared hatred of all things not Islamic. In Hershel Smith's new piece, he quotes the AP and their story on the shoveling-against-the-tide strategy about to be launched in Kandahar and the view of the people there versus our pie-in-the-sky understanding...

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One of the bonuses of writing a syndicated column is the mail that comes in from across the country, from outside the Beltway and beyond the Bos-Wash corridor, often presenting the opportunity for fruitful exchange with similarly concerned fellow-citizens. One such exchange, which has been going on for years now and has developed into a long-distance friendship, is with John L. Work, a retired policeman and detective in Colorado with 24 years service in law enforcement and investigation with police and sheriff's office, as well as the Colorado public defender's office.

John, whose analysis has appeared at this website from time to time, has pulled together something very unusual and important, which I am publishing below. It is in the form of an affadavit, the kind of document he used to put together as a detective, amassing evidence in this case about the apparent concealment of documents attesting to the identity and activities of President Barack Hussein Obama. The fact is, the birth certificate controversy is only the beginning of the presidential mystery. There is so much we don't know for certain about President Obama. Inexplicably but intriguigingly, he has failed to produce his bona fides, while the media (and the White House media in particular), who could ask for them, don't care, or don't want to care.

...

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Caroline Glick and chums have gotten to the satirical truth of our times:



Since my good friend Andy McCarthy has just come out with such an important book I decided to devote this week's column to it.

The column:

At some future date, when what Andrew C. McCarthy calls "the freedom culture" is again secure (we hope), the jihad-opposition will see itself divided into two camps in histories written about our current time: those who ineffectually supported efforts to stop "terrorism," and other supposedly generic outbreaks of violence in such lands as Iraq and Afghanistan; and those, far fewer in number (at least in that difficult decade following 9/11), who recognized terrorism as but one aspect of the civilizational assault emanating from expansionist Islam.

If...

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Illustration: Yemeni "peace" flotilla logo

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It's the perfect, manufactured storm: nine jihadi irregulars killed by Israeli commandos while trying to breach an Israeli naval blockade around rocket-happy, genocidal Hamasistan. How thrilling for the Israel-hating world to find its new terrorist cause, it's new jihadi heroes. But who were these flotilliacs anyway -- not the terrorist-irregulars, but the more or less "regular" passengers?

We don't have passenger manifests, but thanks to MEMRI, we have a rundown via Arab media on at least some of the people aboard.

Bear  in mind: If the flotilla's  purpose was to bring Gaza supplies, such supplies could have been unloaded in Israel and trucked into Gaza -- after  the night vision goggles and bullet proof vests that were found aboard were weeded out, of course. Israeli...

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James Roberson, uncle of Pvt. William Long, who was killed in a jihadist attack on the Little Rock Army Navy Recruiting Station, has written an op-ed in The Journal Times of Racine. Wisconsin, recounting the attack that took place a year ago and our commander-in-chief's reaction (previously discussed here and here), and updating "justice's" lack of progress. In other words, a heartrending story every American should read.

As I reflect on Memorial Day 2010 I am drawn to thoughts of a different...

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Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna has very kindly sent me an essay he just wrote that engages with some of the culminating themes from The Death of the Grown-Up.

From Gates of Vienna:

"Making the World Safe for Apostasy" by Baron Bodissey Even if he is not strictly speaking a Muslim, President Barack Hussein Obama has an Islamic background and is a famous sympathizer with Islam. He received an Islamic education as a child in Indonesia, and seems to identify with Muslims when implementing what passes for his foreign policy. Modern American policy towards Islam — especially that subset of Islam which avowedly intends to destroy the United States and the rest of the West in the name of Allah — went...

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It looks as if the Israelis didn't know how "peaceful" the Peace Flotilla really was.



AFP Photo: Enlightened Bangleshis weigh in on free speech -- and ban Facebook, too.

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Islamic masters win another round.

From the AP:

Pakistan has lifted a ban on Facebook after the social networking site apologised for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its contents.

Two weeks ago Facebook was blocked after a member used it to encourage people to post images of the Prophet Mohamed.

Slick AP Stylebook submission. What I refer to is the reference to "the Prophet Mohamed" -- not "the Islamic prophet Mohammed," or, as my 1988 AP Stylebook suggests, just "Mohammed," period, described as "the founder of the Islamic religion."

"In response to our protest, Facebook has tendered their apology and informed us that all the sacrilegious material has been removed," said Najibullah Malik, from the information...

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How "peaceful" were the "peace" flotilla-ites? More below on this story from Palestinian Media Watch:



This week's column:

This Memorial Day Weekend, Americans remember not only our fallen soldiers, but also soldiers currently fighting in hostile lands under atrocious conditions. But there's another duty upon us as Americans with a debt of gratitude to our armed forces.

We must recognize the travesties of U.S. military justice that have tried, convicted, jailed and repeatedly denied clemency to all too many brave Americans, the same brave Americans who have fought our wars only to be unfairly charged with "murder" in the war zone.

Readers of this column will recall the crushing conviction of Sgt. Evan Vela, a young Ranger-trained sniper and father of two from Idaho, for executing his superior's order to kill an Iraqi man who, at the time, had been compromising his squad's hiding place in pre-"surge" Iraq. Ten years in Fort Leavenworth,...

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Rolling Thunder, now in its 23rd year, is an annual motorcycle parade around the National Mall organized to bring public attention to the need for the US government to provide an honest and open reckoning on the deeply disturbing issue of US soldiers designated as POWs and MIAs who never came home and were in all ghastly likelihood left behind in our wars against communism.

Hundreds of thousands of bikes participate. It's a stunning event, although it's hard to get a fix on what you take a way from it. It's not conventionally patriotic because the organizing theme is government betrayal, but it doesn't exactly feel like a protest, either. It's truly a memorial parade. While the parade's most striking visuals are the US and POW-MIA flags flowing behind a big Harley, most of the bikes don't fly any flags, which sometimes leaves the ride's message up in the air, hanging over the waves of roaring hogs that just keep coming.

...

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From the Jerusalem Post:

International activists aboard the ships opened fire on IDF soldiers who boarded the ships to prevent them from breaking the Israeli-imposed sea blockade, the IDF said Monday. According to the IDF, the international activists “prepared a lynch” for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.According to the IDF, the international activists “prepared a lynch” for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.

According to IDF reports, at least 15 activists were killed during the ensuing clashes and dozens were wounded. Some of the wounded were evacuated to Israeli hospital by Air Force helicopters. Five Navy commandos were also wounded, some of them from gunfire. At least 2 soldiers were seriously wounded.  ......

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Finally, some high-ranking, active-duty, public pushback against the Petraeus-McChrystal-Mullen-Gates-Kilcullen-Bush-Obama world of COIN. From Defense News:

The U.S. military's counterinsurgency tactics increasingly place too much emphasis on protecting local peoples and not enough on fighting enemy forces, said U.S. Special Operations Command chief Adm. Eric Olson.

While the U.S. military has adopted a population-focused strategy in Afghanistan, Olson said May 26 he "fears counterinsurgency has become a euphemism for nonkinetic activities."

The term is now to often used to describe efforts aimed at "protecting populations," Olson said during a conference in Arlington, Va.

The military's top special operator, in a shot across the bow of modern-day counterinsurgency doctrine proponents, then added: "Counterinsurgency should involve countering the...

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From Fjordman, a story about the Obama administration's new security strategy. Call it the rope the Obama adminstration is selling -- sorry, making us buy -- to hang ourselves.

From today's Telegraph report

"We've seen an increasing number of individuals here in the United States become captivated by extremist activities or causes," said John Brennan, deputy national security advisor for counter-terrorism and homeland security. "The president's national security strategy explicitly recognises the threat to the United States posed by individuals radicalised here at home," Mr Brennan said Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Major Nidal Hasan, an American-born army psychiatrist who is the only suspect in the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood army base last year, was allegedly drawn to radical thought while serving in the armed forces.

...

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More encouraging vital signs from the body politic via the LA Times:

Out Wednesday is a new CNN/Public Opinion poll indicating that even more Americans want:

-- The number of illegal immigrants decreased (76%, up from 73%).

-- Illegal immigrants removed from the country (41%, up from 37%).

-- To halt the influx of illegal immigrants and deport those here (60%).

-- To assign more federal agents to security on the Mexico border (88%).

-- To fine employers of illegal immigrants tens of thousands of dollars (71%).

As you may know, frustrated...

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It so happens I recently received a copy of Betrayed from author Joseph D. Douglass, Jr, a national security scholar and consultant I have come to know since reading his truly mind-blowing book Red Cocaine,which makes the extremely persuasive case that the international illegal drug trade that has consumed so many lives in this country, shredding the fabric of American society in the process, had origins, support and direction as a weapon of communist, mainly Soviet aggression. 

Betrayed is no less sensational, investigating the case that after all of our wars even secondarily involving the Soviet Union, which include even World Wars I and II when we were "allies" as well as Korea and Vietnam during the Cold War, thousands of American servicemen were captured and "left behind," with some horrifying number of them subject to atrocities, including medical and drug experimention ...

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Photo: Johannesberg's Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes

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Chalk one up for sharia in South Africa:

From the Mail & Guardian, an update on -- really, a walk-back from -- the South African Motoon story:

"This is not the Muhammad of the Danish cartoons"

Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes reiterated this week that the decision to publish Zapiro's controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad on Friday did not imply that the newspaper supported the "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" Facebook group that had sparked outrage in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. ...

Get ready for Nic Dawes, free speech hero:

"I've consistently said I do not support the Facebook group, and would not have run the cartoon if it was racist or islamophobic. It is neither. It is a gentle attempt to enter the debate," Dawes said. "This is not the...

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It may or may not not have bullets, but COIN is on the march.

From Navy Times:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed the military services to adopt a set of counterinsurgency tools modeled after ones instituted in Afghanistan by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said a senior Pentagon official.

Gates signed a directive on Monday ordering the services to “take McChrystal’s COIN training and proficiency standards ... and adapt those for the whole force,” Garry Reid, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combat terrorism, told Defense News on Tuesday.

The idea is to take the kinds of COIN training and “proficiency” standards that McChrystal, the top American general in Afghanistan, implemented there with his “AfPak Hands” program.

They're working so well?

The “Hands” effort...

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Zapiro is a South African cartoonist, who drew the above riff on Muslim protests of "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Zapiro's cartoon may be in flagrant violation of sharia (Islamic law), but  South Africa is not under Islamic law. Or is it?  

From Saturday's Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg:

A Zapiro cartoon published in the Mail & Guardian has angered Muslims countrywide and the SA Muslim Judicial Council on Saturday called on its followers to express their condemnation and disapproval of it. "The Muslim community takes this opportunity to express the deep hurt it feels at the caricaturing of the Prophet Muhammad in the M&G," the council's website said.

"The Muslim leadership appeals to all Muslims to express their condemnation and disapproval  ... Muslims in South...

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From the May 20th press briefing at the State Department:

QUESTION: Do you have any comment on Pakistan’s blockage of – Pakistan’s – to YouTube and other web – internet sites?

MR. CROWLEY: I do. Obviously, this is a difficult and challenging issue. Many of the images that appear today on Facebook were deeply offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We are deeply concerned about any deliberate attempt to offend Muslims or members of any other religious groups. We do not condone offensive speech that can incite violence or hatred.

The page at issue was posted anonymously at the website of a private company. It is now a legal matter between Facebook and the Government of Pakistan. But that said, we also believe that the best answer to offensive speech is dialogue and debate, and in fact, we see signs that that is exactly what is occurring...

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The above photos show (left) a US border patrolman escorting 105 aliens (right) apprehended in the mountains southwest of Tuscon, Arizona on April 28, 2010.

From the Arizona Daily Star report:

They were taken to the Tucson station to be fingerprinted and set up for return to their home countries.

Through the first six months of fiscal year 2010, agents in the Tucson Sector had made 119,000 apprehensions, up from the 112,000 they had made...

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The Christian Science Monitor reports that the Pakistani ban on Facebook over Draw Mohammed Day now extends to Youtube, Blackberry and Wikipedia, while Business Week notes 450 sites have also been blocked for "blasphemous" material.

From the CSM story:

Pakistani politicians have either remained silent or expressed support of the ban. On Wednesday, Talha Mehmood, chairman of the Senate standing committee on interior affairs,...

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One of thousands of Mo-toons up and about the web today.

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The gal who thought it up may have wanted to call it back (she's from Seattle), but it was an idea whose time had come. So while Holly Norris has actually "joined a Facebook page that decries the "Draw Muhammad" campaign -- "AGAINST Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" --  and is "reaching out" to local Muslims (whatever that means), the Mohammed draw-a-thon continues, drawing tens of thousands of participants on blogs and, movement-like, on Facebook around the world.

Western world, that is.

Indeed, if ever Kipling's line about East and West and never the twain shall meet had graphic illustration, it's today (again).

Pakistan -- you know, our "ally" in the war on whatever (insert primal scream) -- has erupted in protests over Draw Mo day (naturally), and the government...

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The House Armed Services Committee today approved an amendment to the 2011 defense authorization bill that declares the 2009 shootings at the Little Rock recruiting station and at Ft. Hood to be acts of war. Or at least a lawyerly equivalent as acts "of an enemy of the United States." This provision will enable the government to provide, as Marine Times reports, a "one-time payment equal to what those killed and wounded would have received if they were in a combat zone at the time of the shootings."

...

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It may take some of the sting out to refer to the Obama administration as a "regime," but it also absolves us, the electorate, of complicity in enabling this top-to-bottom revolution to be lawfully, democratically advanced.

Before reading up on some of its fruits below, via Reuters, bear in mind that next month marks the 25th anniversary of the Hezbollah beheading of CIA Beirut station chief William Buckley (after more than a year of torutre) and the Hezbollah beating/murder of Navy diver Robert Stethem aboard Hezbollah hijacked TWA 847.

"Hezb" "Allah," or Party of Allah -- "the spear of Iranian influence in the Levant," as the Wall Street Journal has called...

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Photo: Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna and his family

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Today is Michael Behenna's 27th birthday, which he is marking in military prison. He is there, wrongfully, unjustly, serving a 25 year prison sentence for, in essence, fighting the war in Iraq. Details at Defend Michael, the website his parents have set up on his behalf.

Today, the Behennas sent out the following birthday message to Michael's supporters:

Today is Michael’s 27th birthday.  While he won’t be ‘celebrating’ it in any real sense (no cake and candles in prison), his spirits have been incredibly lifted by the hundreds and hundreds of cards of letters he’s received in the just the past week alone.  He is overwhelmed by your support and personally wanted us to tell you how much it means to him. As mentioned...

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The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe published Part 2 of a revealing series on COIN in action, the focus this time on the aftermath of the disastrous attack on COP Keating in Kamdesh, Afghanistan last fall, discussed here.

Keating itself -- indefensable, exposed -- was COIN in action,  "nation-building at a local level," as a reporter noted in 2007. What's interesting (chilling) here is how even after the disaster waiting to happen happened -- the attack by 300 Taliban that left 8 Americans dead -- COIN just picked itself up and marched on.

Some excerpts:

...

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Robert Conquest, eminent British historian of the Soviet Union, writes in his 2005 essay collection, Reflections on a Ravaged Century:

It has sometimes been suggested that the Cold War was a conflict between two "ideologies," equally (or so it appears) closed. But the Western approach was not an "ideological" one at all. It is important that this confusion of the issue be ended -- if only because it features in low-level comment even now. The Western culture had, in a general way, a view of politics which included policitical liberty and the rule of law. It did not have a universal and exclusively defined mind-set.

A significant point, but one that is lost to us, and not just in "low-level comment." I was reminded of this distinction in considering that Miguel Estrada has written a letter  endorsing the candidacy -- sorry, appointment -- of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Writing at the Weekly Standard, Jim Prevor explains why this letter was "ill-advised."

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I am late posting video of last week's Islamic assault on Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, which turned his Uppsala University lecture on free speech (naurally) into a melee. How late am I? Before I could get the Tuesday attack online, his home in Scania, Sweden was firebombed Saturday night. There is something rotten, and not just in Denmark, when it is unarmed, bespectacled, sometimes elderly cartoonists who are the ones laying it all on the line for free speech in the West. Video and an account of the arson attack from the Danish Free Press Society's Sappho below:



"Arson Attack on Cartoonist's Home"

By Uwe Max Jensen, Sappho.dk

During the night of May 15 unknown perpetrators smashed a window in Lars Vilks' house in Scania, Sweden, poured gasoline into the bouilding and proceeded to set fire to it.



By coincidence...

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