Sunday, October 22, 2017
Blog

Via Gates of Vienna.

Don't miss this one if only for the cavalry-is-coming moment when the English Defense League shows up.



Serious Business: A face you can trust and a book you can buy

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Bob Woodward is back again with another tell-all book, indulging in that singular you-are-there chronicle that includes gestures, emotion, point-of-view, as well as a narrative bolstered by statements bracketed in quotation marks. Of course, Woodward was not there; he never is. Or is he sometimes? That melodramatic, hospital-room interview of CIA director William Casey, back when Iran-Contra seemed important (Why did you do it? "I believed...."), always sounded kind of fishy. And in the end, where are we on Deep Throat? I forget. Anyway, now, a member of Casey's security detail is piping up to claim in a memoir that none of the agents allowed Woodward in Casey's room. Of course, that only adds one more log to the jam pressurized by partisans of both sides. (The Washington Post's Jeff Stein has a good run-down here.) Which helps explain why it is always hard to know exactly on which side of the line to shelve the Woodward oeuvre.

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This week's syndicated column:

Your tax dollars at work:

"In a mock Afghan village on the Quantico Marine base," the Washington Post reports, "Sloan Mann, a military contractor, guided several Marines into a sweltering concrete room. They came to meet a fake mullah, played by an Afghan American actor. Mann, a former Army infantry officer, watched as the Marines practiced the seemingly straightforward tactic of chatting up Afghan village leaders."

The article goes on to describe Sgt. Walton Cabrera, 25, who "sat before the mullah but couldn't ease into a groove. `So ... how's everything in the village so far?' he asked. `Has the population changed?'

"Armed with a pen and report card, Mann, 36, handed up harsh feedback. `No rapport," he wrote.'"

No rapport? But that's a good thing. America will truly be in trouble when our best young people actually relate to the dominant members of Afghanistan's violent, misogynistic, pederasty-prone, polygamous, tribal, Islamically supremacist and corrupt culture. But Mann, currently delivering on a tidy $1.5 million annual contract with the Pentagon, has a job to do. He pulled several Marines aside near the mock Afghan bazaar to give them expert instruction: "You guys don't like building rapport? Chill. Have a conversation. Hang out with them."

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From the Daily Mail (via Andrew Bostom):

"Six arrested after burning on Koran on 9/11 `for the boys in Afghanistan' is posted online"

Excerpt:

In the film the gang are seen gathered round a copy of the Koran in the backyard of The Bugle pub in Leam Lane, Felling, Gateshead.  

Appearing with what seems to be tea towels wrapped around their heads, the men show the holy book to the camera before dousing it with fuel from a red can and lighting it.  

One man in a grey Adidas tracksuit and white trainers, who has a blue cloth wrapped around his head makes a series of obscene gestures towards the book as it burns.  

Laughing, the track-suited gang shouts 'This is for the boys in Afghanistan.  September 11, international burn a Koran day, for all the people...

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Michael J. Del Rosso, a colleague of mine on the recently released Team B II report, "Shariah: The Threat," has a question for the media, now covering and prepping coverage of the GOP Pledge.

Is there is any chance, he wonders, that "their analysis of the GOP Pledge might raise the glaring omission that -- nine years into a shooting war with 3,000 innocent civilians murdered in the homeland, many more thousands of troops Killed In Action, tens of thousands more Wounded In Action, hundreds of thousands traumatized by combat operations, over a trillion dollars spent and no end in sight -- OUR POLITICAL ELITES IN BOTH PARTIES SEEM UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO IDENTIFY OUR ENEMY, THEIR DOCTRINE, AND THEIR OBJECTIVES!"

Michael describes the crisis of our times, an abdication of responsibility, moral and...

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Petraeus as quoted by Woodward:

"You have to recognize also that I don't think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It's a little bit like Iraq, actually. . . . Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives."

That would be something like the next hundred years.

When will we rid ourselves of this insane thinking?

Meanwhile, could someone pls. ask the general what exactly his next century of "fighting" is for?

This week's syndicated column:

Another Sept. 11 is behind us, leaving something new and disturbing, a dark spawn to examine with plenty of careful soul-searching.

That legacy begins with the reflexive, lockstep process by which an American citizen, Terry Jones, was simultaneously depicted and denounced as a raving lunatic for even conceiving of his plan to burn copies of the Koran to mark the ninth anniversary of demonstrably Koran-inspired attacks. In society's fearful fervor to distance itself from Jones, there was evidence of that same politically correct lie that has plagued us from Day 1: that there exists no logical and discernible connection between what the Koran commands and what happened on 9/11. Thus, Jones' lawful, harmless symbolic stunt making the connection -- burning copies of the Koran at his Florida church -- became a paralyzing taboo, and Terry Jones was demonized with impunity, even by many who defended his free-speech protections and constitutional rights.

It's...

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Here, if you can stand it (and pls. refrain from hacking at your neighbor while shouting `Allah Akbar'), is the Molly Norris cartoon that has drawn the Islamic death penalty.



Fox News, so far alone among big media (does MSNBC count?), has picked up on the absolutely outrageous and signally important Norris story. Good. But notice there is NO  ILLUSTRATION at Fox for viewers to look at to assess what sparked the rage of Islam that America now bows to by allowing a citizen to abandon her life to save it.

Pardon me for noticing, but since the sharia-prohibited cartoon does not appear in the Fox News report about the sharia-prohibited cartoon, Fox News, Lord...

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Andy McCarthy writes today at The Corner about a project he and I and others have been working on for many months. Conceived of by Frank Gaffney in the tradition of the Cold war-era "Team B" report that presented a muscular alternative to detente-era policies of Soviet "engagement," our Team B II project aimed at presenting a similar alternative to policies of Muslim "engagement"by grappling with the implications of Islamic ideology as codifed in Islamic law -- sharia.

The report -- "Shariah: The Threat to America" -- launched yesterday with a press conference in the Capitol.

The report, as Andy notes,  is the product of  a group effort by:

a team of national security experts led by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), former...

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A truly dire -- if casually reported -- message from an outpost of the Civilization formerly known as Western.

From the Seattle Weekly:

On the Advice of the FBI, Cartoonist Molly Norris Disappears From View Her work won't be in Seattle Weekly anymore, or anywhere else. By Mark D. Fefer You may have noticed that Molly Norris' comic is not in the paper this week. That's because there is no more Molly.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, "going ghost": moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she...

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An urgent message (which I just updated with more information) from my friend Ted Ekeroth of the Sweden Democrats:

Dear friends,

Yet another dire event in Sweden and a major setback for freedom of speech. Let's first start with a part of the press statement we just made:

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Sweden Democrats' planned public meetings in Norrköping, Karlstad, Eskilstuna, have in all cases been cancelled by the police after they informed us that they are unable to guarantee the safety of speakers.

This morning, a planned square meeting with party secretary, Björn Söder, in Norrköping was cancelled. In Eskilstuna, Björn Söder was met by a large group of Left-wing extremist counter-demonstrators. That meeting was also aborted by advice from the police. In spite of police escort, the vehicle that the party secretary and other Sweden Democrats...

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Alex Stewart, an Australian commercial contracts lawyer, satirized the dhimmi rush to avert Kindling Koran Rage by rolling what he now says were grass clippings into a page of the Bible and a page of the Koran and smoking them both -- on a Youtube video, now sharia-censored.

In fact, according to the Courier Mail, the man's entire "YouTube account, which was used to post around 100 videos, many of them challenging religion, has been closed and the videos deleted."

That's not all. After meeting with his employer, Queensland University of Technology, over the Koran and Bible smoking video, Stewart has taken an indefinite leave of absence and, according to the Brisbane Times, expects to lose his job....

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From the New York Daily News:

The protester who burned pages from the Koran outside a planned mosque near Ground Zero has been fired from NJTransit, sources and authorities said Tuesday.

Derek Fenton's 11-year career at the agency came to an abrupt halt Monday after photographs of him ripping pages from the Muslim holy book and setting them ablaze appeared in newspapers.

Fenton, 39, of Bloomingdale, N.J., burned the book during a protest on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11 outside Park51, the controversial mosque slated to be built near Ground Zero. ...

Islamic law is here and now. But it is enforced not by the fatwas of ayatollahs or mullahs of the Islamic umma, but by the arbitrary powers of psuedo-ayatollahs and faux-mullahs of the American state -- in this case, the New Jersey Transit Authority. Elevating Islam's law above our Constitution, these government officials have chosen to punish the "blasphemer," in the process devaluing and, indeed, ceding our constutitional...

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"And as I watch not only the battle in New York but also the reaction to the Rev. Terry Jones's threat to burn the Koran in Florida on the Sept. 11 anniversary, I feel optimistic."

--Tariq Ramadan, Washington Post, 9/12/1010

The best takeaway we seem to be left with on "the battle in New York" over the GZ mosque is that the mosque should be moved, and that Imam Rauf is a bad hombre. (Tariq Ramadan agrees on moving the mosque, which, believe me, is no victory.) We are no closer, however, to any understanding, as Turkey's PM Erdogan might (and has) put it, that "the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." Indeed, megamosque construction -- and along with it, the construction of sharia-based communities -- continues barely noted across the country.

Maybe worse, though, is that microburst of sharia-inspired hellfire that rained down last week on the Florida man who wanted to demonstrate against the jihad...

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If the world-famous Dutch opponent of Islamization speaks about the proposed mosque at Ground Zero in NYC on 9/11, will anyone hear report on it?

Judging by the MSM, apparently not.

Here, from Geert Wilders' website, is the text of yesterday's speech:

Dear friends, May I ask you to be silent for ten seconds? Just be silent and listen. Ten seconds. And listen… What we hear are the sounds of life in the greatest city on earth.   No place in the world, no place in human history, is as richly varied and vibrant and dynamic as New York City. You hear the cars, you hear the people, you hear them rushing to their various destinations, you hear the sounds of business and of pleasure, you hear the cheers, you hear the cries, the buzzing sounds of human activity. And that is how it should be. Always. Now close your eyes – I know it’s a beautiful day, but close your eyes....

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CNS.com's Patrick Goodenough reports today on activity at the OIC hive, where busy bees are attempting to use the Florida Koran incident (whether it comes off or not) as an impetus for advancing OIC plans to censor the Islam debate -- to seek a law "criminalizing all forms of offense against religions [read: Islam] under any circumstances" -- through changes in  international law.

NB: "Religions" (plural) is a deception because under Islam it is in fact apostasy to believe in the validity of other religions because they have been in effect nullified by Islam. See, for example, w4.1(2) in Reliance of the Traveller, which states, among other things, that "previously revealed religions were valid in their own eras, as is attested in many verses of the Holy Koran, but were abrogated by the universal message of Islam. Both points are worthy of attention from English-speaking Muslims, who are occasionally exposed to erroneous theories ... affirming these religions' validity but denying or...

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This week's syndicated column:

When reading stories about that formerly obscure Florida preacher who wants to mark the ninth anniversary of 9/11 by burning a stack of Qurans, bear in mind that the only law he breaks in doing so is Islamic law. With this in mind, it should become clear that the extraordinary global campaign against this stunt is yet another concerted effort, aided by an army's worth of useful fools, to bring our constitutional republic into conformance with Islamic law.

Islam demands "respect" with an intensity and strategic purpose well beyond other beliefs. (Still) don't believe me? For indelible culture contrast, imagine the worldwide body count in reaction to a hypothetical NEA-funded project entitled "Piss Mohammed," or the absence of a worldwide body count in reaction to the Army's actual decision to discard and burn a bunch of Bibles on a U.S. base in Afghanistan last year for fear of offending Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan -- a land where Christian...

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A reader writes in with an email from Dove World, the ministry of Florida's Terry Jones, whose plans to burn Korans to mark 9/11 have just received a 2011 performance art grant from the National Endowment for the Arts -- of course, that's obviously not true at all, but with a deft twist Leftward, it could well be. Anyway, back to the church email shared by a reader. It describes a situation where the walls are closing in on the church organization, namely:

City of Gainesville has denied the church a burn permit.

RBC Bank has called in its mortgage on the property, meaning that there is now a limited time to pay it off.

Cotton All-Lines Insurance has cancelled its commercial insurance policy on the church property, which puts the mortgage into immediate default.

And a commenter at Lawrence Auster's View from the Right notes that Dove World's internet provider Rackspace shut down the Dove World church website. The commenter reports:

The center 'violated the hate-speech...

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Back in 2005, Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen set the gold standard on defending free speech when, on being approached by perpetually aggrieved Islamic ambassadors hoping for official redress against Jyllands Posten (Cartoon Rage was just kicking in), he refused to hear their plaints, explaining to them and the world that it was not his place, as prime minister, to interfere with free speech in Denmark.

“This is a matter of principle. I will not meet with them [the ambassadors] because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so...As prime minister, I have no power whatsoever to limit the press – nor do I want such power.”

In other words, as Al Jazeera noted...

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Scenes from Gitmo, circa 2006

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That Florida preacher has it all wrong. See below for the complete text of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s standard operations procedures (SOP) on how to handle the Koran.

My fave is #4 b: "Two hands will be used at all times when handling the Koran in manner signaling respect and reverence. Care should be used so that the right hand is the primary one used to manipulate any part of the Koran due to the cultural association with the left hand. Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art."

Got that?

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE JOINT TASK FORCE GUANTANAMO HEADQUARTERS, JOINT DETENTION OPERATION GROUP (JDOG)...

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Photo: 1930s Moscow show trial prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky reading an "indictment"

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If evidence in the court martial trial of Lieut. Col. Terry Lakin -- the Bronze-Star-decorated lead flight surgeon who has knowingly triggered his own court martial in his efforts to verify the Constitutional eligibility of President Obama -- might be an "embarrassment" to President Obama, the presiding judge Army Col. Denise R. Lind has in effect ruled, then there just won't be any evidence in the court martial trial of LTC Terry Lakin.

Is this really America 2010, or have we taken a time-warped detour to 1930s Soviet Union?

From WND.com:

Army Col. Denise R. Lind today [September 2] ruled in a hearing regarding the evidence to be allowed in the scheduled October court-martial of Lakin that he will be denied access to any of Obama's records as well...

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This week's syndicated column:

When President Obama said it was time to turn the page on Iraq, he should have also declared his intention to close the book on the lingering, festering injustices the U.S. government has perpetrated on 10 American veterans of the Iraq war still incarcerated in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth.

As noted in this column, these Americans are the war's forgotten men, soldiers trapped by restrictive, legalistic rules of engagement on an ultra-fluid battlefield where the enemy knew no rules. For killing this enemy and, it must also be admitted, surviving to live another day, these soldiers were sentenced to terms ranging from 10 to 40 years. In other words, for the rest of their young lives.

Allen West, himself a retired Army lieutenant colonel and veteran of both Desert Storm and the war in Iraq, has not forgotten these men. West, the Republican candidate for Congress in Florida's 22nd District, is speaking this Labor Day Weekend at the first, and, it is hoped, last Leavenworth Ten Freedom Ride, a parade past the Leavenworth military prison to draw attention to the plight of the Ten, resulting in their freedom.

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As noted in Andrew Bostom's essay debunking the just-can't-shake-it myth of Islamic "tolerance" in Muslim Spain, by the middle of the 8th century, the cathedral in Cordoba dedicated to Saint Vincent had been "converted" to a Muslim mosque. However, as 19th-century scholar of Muslim Spain (and Islamophile) Reinhart Dozy writes, this was "clearly an act of spoliation as well as an infraction of the treaty" between Cordoba Christians and the invading Arab Muslims.

All the churches in that city [Cordoba] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent, but the possession of this fane [church or temple] had been guaranteed by treaty. For several years the treaty was observed; but when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not...

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... pull out a copy of this slam-debunking by Andrew Bostom (via Pajamas Media). The fate  of -- in fact, the ongoing struggle over -- Cordoba Cathedral (photo above, story below) is particularly illustrative.

Andrew Bostom's "The Cordoba House and the Myth of Cordoba `Ecumenism'":

Imam Feisal Rauf, “founder and visionary” of the Cordoba Initiative, apparently sees the construction of a triumphal mosque within the 9/11 World Trade Center attack’s zone of destruction as a fulfillment of his vision for Islam in America. As Rauf stated in his 2004 What’s Right with Islam, a work limited to treacly Islamic propaganda:

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From Stand-Up America, the blog of Gen. Paul Vallely (US Army ret.):

Washington, D.C., August 31, 2010.

Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney has supplied an affidavit in support of Army Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, who faces trial on October 13-15. The retired Air Force three-star is the highest ranking officer yet to lend public support to LTC Lakin. His affidavit acknowledges widespread concerns over the President’s Constitutional eligibility and demands the President release his birth records or the court authorize discovery.

McInerney’s sworn affidavit was filed in Court-Martial in support of Lakin’s motions for subpoenas for all of the president’s school records, and for a deposition of the custodian of Obama’s birth...

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I ask the question without tricks up my sleeve or gimicks of any sort. Conservatives are urging Obama to thank George W. Bush for his Iraq disaster -- sorry, policy -- in O's upcoming speech on the "end" of the war. Or combat. Or something. But why? What have we gotten out of Iraq?

"Nothing yet, but just you wait" is the latest pathetic mantra of Iraq war enthusiasts.

9.1.10: Here is the UPDATE, but it's really just an interjection, and an old one at that, one of the many entries I have written to dispute the assumption that the surge as a strategy was a successful one, an assumption that remains the lodestar of conservative thinking on American foreign policy, as seen in spades in conservative commentary on last night's presidential "turn the page" on Iraq speech.  

From October 2009:

There is a point in passing that requires comment because, while made in passing -- while always made in passing, tossed off as a given, an objective fact -- it is the faulty fulcrum of the entire nation-building argument. The point in question is that "surge" strategy in Iraq was a success, and that Iraq was a success.

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Abeer Mohammed is a senior local editor based in Baghdad for Institute of War and Peace Reporting. Here's an excerpt from a post at the IWPR site about the story behind his sensational report (posted below) on how teachers in Iraq are schooling their students in jihad and Islamic supremacism:

For this story, I tried to interview sources in schools in several Baghdad neighbourhoods but the headmasters refused. So I waited for teachers, parents and students outside of schools in Sunni, Shia and mixed neighbourhoods. One day, I spent six hours in front of a school in a poor Shia-majority area of Baghdad.

I faced the most resistance from officials who gave me veiled warnings to not report on such a hot topic. One official told me I was pushing too hard on this issue, and another accused me of defaming Islam.

When I asked one official why there was no curriculum on Christianity, he became nervous and angry and told me I should not focus on the curricula.

A female Muslim...

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"If Iraq is to teach us anything, it must be that a new idea cannot be beat into a society."

Maj. Walt Cooper, Baghdad, 2006 via today's Washington Post.

"General Petraeus, winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans is not the job of a soldier. That's the job of an Afghan."

Mohammad Umer Daudzai, chief of staff to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, recounting a meeting last week with Gen. Petraeus in Sunday's Washington Post.



Photo by Paul Avallone

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As readers of this site may recall, Paul Avallone served in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003 on a special forces team -- "the lone US military presence in the entire eastern province of Nangarhar" --  and returned to Afghanistan as a journalist in 2006 and 2008. Paul drew my attention to yesterday's posted story on pederasty in Afghanistan by Joel Brinkley and kindly supplied the all too relevant photograph (see post). He also sent in the above photo, which he took of an Afghanistan National Army sergeant, noting:

The ANA sergeant did not know...

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Photo by Paul Avallone

Joel Brinkley, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, lifts a rock and finds Afghan culture -- predatory and abusive, twisted out of human shape by a fusion of Pashtun and Koranic influences.

Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy's father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to "touch and fondle them," military investigator AnnaMaria Cardinalli told me. "The soldiers didn't understand."



All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this...

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A platoon leader named Blake Hall has written a moving tribute in the Washington Post to a young Iraqi interpreter named Roy killed in a 2008 blast. The story includes the following anecdote, emblematic of the stunted mindset responsible for what should be recognized someday as America's wars of terrible waste in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hall, recalling events of the "surge" year of 2007, writes:

My platoon was patrolling Dora 12 hours a day, taking turns with another, and we were always tired. I had lost 20 pounds in two months because I usually chose sleeping over eating when we returned to the base. On the roof, the scouts and I were looking at one another with half-closed, bloodshot eyes when the muezzin in the mosque began chanting in Arabic. His voice streamed from the speakers strapped to the top of the minaret and reverberated off the concrete buildings.

Unlike...

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This week's syndicated column:

"We are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week. "There is nowhere in the five boroughs of New York City that is off limits to any religion."

Our founding documents guarantee that -- and not just in the five boroughs.

But the unprecedented furor over plans for a mosque complex at Ground Zero tells us there is a coalescing sense that Islam is more than a "mere" religion as non-Muslims conceive of "religion." It is becoming clear to people, despite the gag of political correctness, that there's a reason "Islam" means "submission." Islam not only seeks to order the spiritual realm inhabited by a Muslim and Allah, it lays out a doctrine to control every believer's behavior (down to the...

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Florida's District 22 -- Broward and Howard Counties -- is where it's at this election season with the splendid Col. Allen West (USA ret.) handily winning his GOP primary.

Said West:

"This evening, after nearly 2 years of hard work, our campaign to restore honor, integrity and character to Washington reached an important milestone. With a vast majority of the precincts having reported their results, we will have defeated David Brady by a margin of nearly 4 to 1. With GOP turnout significantly higher than democratic turnout throughout District 22, our victory tonight is proof that South Floridians are sick and tired of the status-quo in Washington, and are looking for leaders instead of politicians."

More here about the race for the House seat currently -- and temporarily! -- held by Democrat Rep. Ron Klein.

And more about Allen West in next week's column.



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Brand new Yale teacher Stanley McChrystal will be hitting the lecture circuit and bringing in between $30,000 and $60,000 a pop, says CNN, when he isn't lecturing not exactly for free in a seminar called "Leadership," says the YDN blog Cross Campus. The course for 20 mainly grad students  "will examine the way modern technologies and media and global politics present new challenges for leaders, with a focus on military leadership from 9/11 to the present day."

Does that mean like what happens when a commander talks trash in front of a reporter on one continent and it gets published on another?



From left to right: Kingdom Foundation director Muna Abu Sulayman, a happy Harvard official, Talal and wife Ameerah celebrating in 2008 Talal's $20 million purchase of -- I mean, donation to build -- an Islamic studies program at Harvard.

From a report by Paul Sperry at Worldnetdaily.com:

The Saudi prince whose post-9/11 relief check was rejected by former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani has found a more willing recipient in the city for his millions: the head of the Ground Zero mosque project.

The same Saudi potentate, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owns the biggest chunk of the parent company of the Fox News Channel outside of the Murdoch family.

Dear Talal.

Former Bush advisers have similar ties to the prince and the proposed...

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Winning hearts and minds means losing your own. It involves teaching defenders of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to "respect" an Islamic tribal culture (as advocated by Admiral Mullen and other leaders) that subjugates women, girls,  boys and non-Muslims (assuming there are any of the last left in the country ), while increasingly assuming its customs -- from troops adopting native dress to a US admiral involving himself in the ritual slaughter of sheep, to redefining our very perceptions of reality.



Now, it's part of basic training.

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The title of the excerped AP report below is "War doesn't rest for Islam holy month." But maybe the title should have been "Islam doesn't rest for war" -- as in doesn't let the war stop its dawa (proselytizing), only now that proselytizing  is starting to a bit like Dawa, Uncle Sam-Style.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan — “May you have a blessed Ramadan,” reads a poster greeting U.S. troops outside a base mess tent. It refers to Islam’s holiest month, a time of good deeds, prayer and purification of the spirit through sunrise-to-sunset fasting. ...

That would be a Happy Ramadan poster on a US base mess hall tent. Just curious: Does the military post Happy Hannukah, Merry X-mas and Yay Diwali (Hindu holiday) posters on mess hall tents as well?

The story goes on to note that jihad-joyous violence by-now traditionally spikes for US troops fighting wars during Ramadan in Dar al-Islam, although so far this season that has not been the case. But there are other Ramadan issues:

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Tariq Ramadan holds an MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars. He is currently Professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University while also teaching at the Faculty of Theology at Oxford. He is at the same time Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha Universoty in Japan and president of the European think tank European Muslim Network. He has called for a moratorium on the shariah-sanctioned practice of stoning.

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This week's column:

Stonings at Ground Zero -- that'll be the day, right? The concept has no manifestation beyond the cold sweat of a dark-hours nightmare. Still, there's something worth gleaning from the not-so-free association process that inspired it.

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Word about COIN seems to be getting around:



某些行动确实采取了。拉姆斯菲尔德让布什总统解除了职务。拉姆斯菲尔德最强大的辩护人副总统切尼,其影响力输给了国务卿康多莉扎·赖斯和拉姆斯菲尔 德的继任罗伯特·盖茨,后者倡导更“温和”的观点,强调运用外交手段。新军事战略突然之间获得了支持,即反叛乱[counter- insurgency](用缩 COIN表示)。它是由先前不知名的军官戴维·彼得雷乌斯[David Petraeus]提出来的。

 ...

奥巴马能做什么?他不得不解除麦克里斯特尔的职务。随后,他把这个热土豆扔给了无法拒绝的彼得雷乌斯。今后一两年将是一个快速运动的游戏,奥巴马和彼得雷乌斯将努力把公众对失败的抱怨转移到对方身上。

极右派,切尼和拉姆斯菲尔德的朋友们,没有上当。他们的一个所谓权威人士戴安娜·韦斯 Diana West说:“COIN噩梦仍在继续。”对她而言,COIN意味着命令军队“操练文化相对主义的幻想,这在一个讲究政治正确的教室里有左倾的意味,但在 前线却是极端愚蠢的。”一个多少不那么刻薄的观点是退休上校道格拉斯·麦格雷戈[Col. Douglas Macgregor]提出的:“以为我们会花费上千亿美元重新塑造伊斯兰世界的文化,这种看法完全是胡扯。”

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From the late king's mouth via Gates of Vienna (subtitles by Vlad Tepes).



We've been hearing more talk, buzz and chatter about Shariah lately than I imagined was possible. Unfortunately, much of it is still uninformed and reliant only on the emotional bouyance of 9/11, as though the battleground of Lower Manhattan is the only place a Shariah-advancing imam should be barred from building an anti-Constitutional outpost of Islam. Defenders of the mosque project, meanwhile, exhale testaments to religious freedom and tolerance that crest and crash over the apparently unimagined, unknown, ungrasped perils to liberty, equality and freedom of conscience that are actually advertised in Islam's mainstream tenets. We must support this mosque, we are told, lest we become, as MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell actually said on the air (without blushing, fainting or otherwise convulsing), like the 9/11 jihadists. But this is a kind of tolerance without limits.

And how virtuous is that? The British...

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Here's something bouncing around the Internet that just might explain that special gleam in Mayor Bloomberg's eye when he $aid, in the name of tolerance (sniff), that the Ground Zero Mosque was welcome in NYC.

Khaleej Times headline from October 2009:

"Bloomberg Set for Dubai Hub Expansion in Bid to Double Revenues by 2014"

Sigh. A  beautiful thought.

(Better be careful though.)

My most recent column:

It's never been clear what really happened on that foggy morning of April 10 when a Polish airplane crashed on a Russian runway, killing all 96 people aboard including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, cabinet ministers, military service chiefs, intelligence officials, the central bank president, parliamentarians, historians, decapitating the conservative government and gutting the country's elite.

Given the occasion -- the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's long-denied massacre of 22,000 Poles at Katyn Forest -- and given many of the crash victims' dedication to exposing Soviet-era treachery and opposing Putin-era Russian expansionism, was the crash, as reported, an epically tragic accident? Even as the Russians immediately cited "pilot error" (they did wait, as former CIA officer Eugene Poteat has noted, until after the plane had gone down), they also pledged to Poland a joint, transparent investigation. But four months later, Russian obfuscation casts...

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US Navy Photo: Iraqi police recruits at Karbala Police Academy, March 2009

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From the Washington Post:



As the last U.S. combat troops prepare to leave Iraq this month, the State Department is struggling to implement an expanded mission that it has belatedly realized it might not be able to afford.

Money isn't the only problem. The "expanded mission" comes down to the surreal exercise of (still) training (demonstrably untrainable) Iraqi police.

Beginning in September, the State Department will take over all police training in Iraq from coalition military forces, and it has proposed replacing its current 16 provincial reconstruction teams spread across the country with five consular offices outside Baghdad.

But since planning for the transition began more than two years ago, costs have skyrocketed and the money to pay for them has become increasingly tight. Congress cut the State Department's Iraq request in the 2010 supplemental appropriation that President Obama signed late last month; the Senate Appropriations Committee and a House subcommittee have already slashed the administration's $1.8 billion request for fiscal 2011 operations in Iraq.

...

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This week's column:

"Live our values," Gen. David Petraeus wrote recently to troops in Afghanistan. "This is what distinguishes us from our enemies."

Unfortunately, this is also what distinguishes us from many of our "friends." This culture-chasm is what makes the infidel struggle for hearts and minds across Islamic lands so recklessly, wastefully futile, something I was once again reminded of on reading Time magazine's cover story featuring 18-year-old Aisha. Aisha is a lovely Afghan girl whose husband and brother-in-law, on instructions from a local judge and Taliban commander, sliced off her ears and nose and left her dying to set an example for other wives thinking of running away from abusive in-laws. Only her discovery by U.S. troops saved Aisha's life.

But where was Aisha's father? Where was her family? Where were her town's elders? Where was Hamid Karzai? Turns out her family did nothing to protect her from the Taliban, Time writes. Why? The magazine describes a mixture...

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Michelle Obama and I are both on vacation this week -- just not together. She, along with 40 of her "closest friends" (and 70 Secret Service agents), is celebrifying it up on Spain's Costa del Sol; I'm freeloading at my mom's in New England (with the family dogs).

Of course, what American could afford more after paying for Michelle's $2,500 a night hotel room -- or at least whatever the 70 Secret Service agents' room-and-board cost?

The New Daily News' Andrea Tantaros gets it right in her report: 

Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation Tantaros asks:

...why not select a more appropriate destination like the California coast? The scenery is just as gorgeous as that of Spain, and instead of patronizing a foreign country they would be pumping money into an American economy that desperately needs it. Camp David wouldn't...

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This week's column:

The battle over whether to admit Turkey into the European Union seems eternal, at least among the EU's rulers. Among the peoples of Europe, when granted the rare chance to go to the ballot box -- increasingly window-dressing as far as the EU's soft totalitarians are concerned -- there is little argument. In fact, there is bona fide consensus: NO to Turkey becoming a part of Europe. Why? Because, culturally and historically, it is not.

Tell that to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who just visited Ankara to present himself as Europe's leading booster for Turkish EU membership (a move the United States has meddlesomely supported), pandering so low a prayer rug could give him cover.

Dubbing himself Turkey's "strongest possible advocate for EU membership and for greater influence...

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The Colorado GOP's Scott McInnis: Giving new meaning to responsibility

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I don't pretend to have mastered the ins and outs of a hot and hotly contested race for the governor's mansion in Colorado where US borders angel, former presidential candidate and former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo is now making good on his threat to enter the primary race as a third-party candidate if lame-o GOP candidates didn't drop out and the state party didn't put up credible candidates.

One of the non-credibles staying in the race is the ethically challenged Republican Scott McInnis, who, as Coloradoan.com puts it, is plagued by "the controversy surrounding the plagiarized water writings he produced as part of a two-year, $300,000 agreement with the Hasan Family Foundation after he left Congress in 2005."

What's up with that? McInnis seems to bristle at the question. At a recent appearance, the Coloradoan reports:



McInnis did not discuss the controversy surrounding the plagiarized...

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Some people just know how to live. Take those Yalies lucky enough to summer on "the Vineyard" -- Martha's natch. They all look forward to:    

Yale Day in the Sun!

From Yale Vineyard Alumni:

Please join the Yale family for our “Yale Day in the Sun on Martha’s Vineyard.”

GnT's? Boating? Croquet maybe? Not exactly.

Enjoy an afternoon of intellectual stimulation, reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.

Yeah?

The afternoon begins with lectures from two of our esteemed Yale colleagues, Master Jonathan Holloway, Professor of History, African American Studies and American Studies presenting, “The Right Kind of People: The Silences in a Civil Rights Narrative.” And Omer Bajwa, Coordinator of Muslim Life at Yale presenting, “Muslim Life at Yale and Beyond: Engaging the Sacred & the Secular.”  

Then have fun in the sun with a cocktail reception.

I don't know Master Holloway, but what could be more fun  -- in or out of the sun -- than a lecture...

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