Friday, November 21, 2014
Blog

This week's syndicated column:

On Tuesday, I read a New York Times online report about a press conference held by Geir Lippestad, the defense lawyer for admitted Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. I found one of Lippestad's statements of interest, and saved it for future reference. Little did I know it would disappear from the news website.

The statement was: "Asked if the rampage was aimed at the Labor Party or at Muslim immigrants, Mr. Lippestad said: 'This was an attack on the Labor Party.'"

The lawyer's statement is the first credible assessment of motive, and as such it is a significant piece of the story. So why did The New York Times cut it from the final version of the story online and in Wednesday's newspaper?

The answer, I think, has much to do with how Lippestad's opinion fails to accelerate the rush of Times insta-spin, and could even slow what looks like a swift-moving drive to limit free speech about Islamization in the West.

The "updated" Times...

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Nix on the body armor, troops; mustn't offend the "friendlies" -- such as these "four local construction contractors awaiting work" in 2008, via BBC.

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This week's syndicated column (corrected):

This week, the madness of the counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN), which drives the war in Afghanistan, reached new heights -- or depths -- as revealed by two news stories.

In Great Britain, a former Royal Marine told the Sun newspaper after the inquest into the 2010 death of Sgt. Peter Rayner that soldiers were prevented from opening fire at Taliban fighters in the act of laying IEDs so as not to disturb the local population.

So as not to disturb...?

In Iowa, a community mourns the death of National Guard soldier Terry L. Pasker, who, along with contractor Paul Protzenko, was killed last week in yet another attack by an Afghan army soldier. DesMoinesRegister.com reports: "The U.S. military considered the area so safe that soldiers didn't wear body armor, so as...

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A friend writes in:

I was at Lowes buying mulch the other night. Even though it was 9 o'clock, it was little relief from the heat and humidity in the outdoor nursery. I looked up from piling mulch on my cart and saw two middle-aged Muslim women in flowing gowns and hijabs approaching. They pulled a cart up to a stack of mulch across from me and started tugging at bags. I smiled and said hello, but they barely grunted. "Boy, you all must be hot," I remarked, still smiling. "Oh no," snapped one, speaking with an Arabic accent. "We choose to wear this." "Yeah but isn't it hot?" "It actually acts as an insulator (from the heat)," she replied. "In Saudi Arabia, it's made of pure wool and it cools you." "Really." The ladies were struggling to get bags off the top of the stack. "You need some help?" I offered. "No!" both of them said in unison. Awkward silence. "Where are your men? They should be doing this instead of you." "They are helping to bring democracy to the...

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Sgt. Peter Rayner, age 34: "Unlawfully killed" in Afghanistan, says British coroner. By COIN, I would add.

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I don't quite understand the British system of inquiry into death on the battlefield, but I greatly admire these efforts to explain and expose to the public the circumstances surrounding, leading up to and, in the execution of counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN), directly causing each tragic and unnecessary casualty.

The Daily Mail reports on one such inquest this week. For illustrating the madness of COIN, the lead says it all:

Soldiers were ordered not to open fire on Taliban fighters planting mines in case they disturb local people, it has been claimed. U.S. military chiefs ordered troops to exercise 'courageous constraint' and even warned them they could be charged with murder if they shot any Taliban without permission from...

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The rapid and dramatic unraveling of British Government-Media/Police, aka Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is the summer's surprise as revelations related to complicity in the "industrial strength" phone hacking scandal have dizzily downed or outed key and lofty Murdoch executives, Conservative Party officials, and British police officials, including the head of Scotland Yard who, claiming no wrongdoing, has just elected to resign as allegations of police-News Corp-politics cronyism and corruption swirl. There is no doubt glee on the Left over the Murdoch meltdown, but that may actually be eclipsed by the glee of pricey public relations firms whose services have been snapped up by News Corp. now in major damage-control mode.

And what does it all mean? I did a radio interview with Jerry Doyle on Friday to discuss the silence on this issue on the Right in the US, where Murdoch, of course, through Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Weekly Standard, and more has become practically the sole support of conservative(ish) voices in journalism  and punditry, certainly outside talk radio. How can that fact not have something to do with the silence? Paychecks influence. Hope of a paycheck someday influences, too. As a longtime critic of News Corp., of its truncated presentation of issues ranging from the origins of the housing bubble crisis (coverage truncated by Karl Rove?) to Islamization (non-converage resulting from No. 2 stockholder Prince Talal?), I think the lesson here is the frailty of the behemoth. Conservatives' growing dependency upon a singular personality or family for a platform always carried great risks, which we see realized in revelations of corruption and cronyism rhat demonstrate News Corp to be an insatiably, ruthlessly power-hungry actor, more than anything resembling a journalistic one. 

...

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9th/12th Royal Lancers, Leicester, 2009

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RTT News reports:

A NATO soldier, shot dead while on patrol in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, has been identified as British.

"An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing one service member," an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) press release said earlier without disclosing his identity or the location of the incident.

The British Defense Ministry said later that the soldier belonged to 9th/12th Royal Lancers, and was killed on a patrol with Afghan soldiers in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province when his team was fired on. ...

Is this one and the same soldier? The reports about this NATO/British soldier killed Saturday by Afghan army are quite definite: He was shot on patrol. Yesterday, news reports about a NATO soldier, nationality unidentified, whom ISAF...

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ISAF caption: Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Afghanistan's National Security Advisor, and General Petraeus discuss the importance of reducing civilian casualties during a conference held at Headquarters ISAF. The conference provided an open forum for Afghans and ISAF officials to express their opinions and recommendations to help reduce civilian casualties.

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I went to the ISAF website this a.m. to see if there was any further information on yet another NATO soldier's murder at the hands of yet another Afghan army member, this one not to be confused with last Saturday's attack, which killed...

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Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker, 39, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Paul Protzenko, former Connecticute Trooper First Class, 47, of Enfield, Connecticut, were killed on July 9, 2011, in Panjshir province, Afghanistan.

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Ever wonder how it was that two Americans were killed last Saturday by a uniformed Afghan intelligence service member? You didn't even hear about them? Reports of the attack were extra scant and brief, muttering something about a "dispute" with someone in Afghan intelligence.  

There was no dispute. From the Des Moines Register, a story of murder,...

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Eureka! COIN has "borne fruit" in Afghanistan!

Who cares what it means. So says Petraeus Maximus in yet another exit interview, this one with American Forces Press Services and posted at the Pentagon website:

During his last full week commanding coalition and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus discussed his tenure there with NATO TV yesterday.

“What we have done is implement the so-called NATO comprehensive approach, a civil-military campaign … that does indeed embody many of the principles of the counterinsurgency field manual that we developed back in 2006, and which we employed in Iraq in the surge of 2007-2008,” he said.

...

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Gen David Petraeus: "No country has suffered more from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida than Afghanistan."

That comment from a June interview with Military Times stopped me cold. Partly, it was the pat sweep of the superlative. But it was also the gratuitousness of the flip-side demotion of the American experience and sacrifice. The catastrophic terror attacks of 9/11 on our political and economic centers caused and still cause quite a lot of suffering, and they were just the beginning of a decade-long American crack-up, a self-ignited meltdown of reason and judgment that blinded us to the markers of the classical jihad in progress, causing us to set foundationally flawed policies accordingly, from war (COIN) to energy (dependence) from immigration (unprotected borders) to "outreach" (Muslim Brotherhood penetration). Blinkered, our strategists have spent billions and billions of dollars to send infidel armies to the umma to win "hearts and minds" (impossible) at a cost of thousands...

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This week's syndicated column:

Question: Who wrote the following?

"U.S. politicians must muster the courage to scrap the fable of energy independence once and for all. If they continue to lead their people toward the mirage of independence and forsake the oasis of interdependence and cooperation, only disaster will result."

(Hint: "Mirage" and "oasis" are giant clues to the name of the writer's country.)

Answer: Saudi Arabia's Turki al-Faisal wrote the above in a 2009 Foreign Policy magazine essay hectoring "misguided" U.S. politicians who promote American energy independence from Saudi Arabia, one of the top oil suppliers to the United States. This strategy, wrote the former ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom, is "political posturing at its worst."

Don't you just love lectures in democracy from potentates of religious dictatorships? In President Barack Obama, it looks as if Turki has found his turkey: a president with the Saudi idea of "courage"...

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Who said the following:

"U.S. politicians must muster the courage to scrap the fable of energy independence once and for all. If they continue to lead their people toward the mirage of independence and forsake the oasis of interdependence and cooperation, only disaster will result."

Hint: "Mirage" and "oasis" are clues.

Answer: Saudi Arabia's Turki al-Faisal, who delivered this point in a hectoring lecture against US politicians who promote US energy independence from Saudi Arabia in Foreign Policy magazine in August 2009.

Da noive, yes. But in President Barack Obama, Turki seems to have found his turkey: a US president with the Saudi idea of "courage" to destroy not just US chances for energy independence,...

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Ever get the feeling something else just might be happening in our world beside a certain 24/7-cable-covered murder trial? John Work isn't fooled. Today, at his blog, he notes a few little incidents that our news-challenged media remain permanently blinkered to:

1)  Barack Obama interceded on behalf of a convicted Mexican rapist-murderer to prevent his execution in Texas.

2)  In Peoria, Illinois, a mob of hundreds launched rocks, bottles and mortar-like exploding fireworks at police and firefighters who responded...

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The power bloc that brought us COIN strategy (spaghetti) ...

...  applies it to logistics:

This week's syndicated column:

In his slim book on Winston Churchill ("Churchill," Penguin, 2010), Paul Johnson reveals the secret of Churchill's strength as a wartime leader: He didn't treat military brass as the Oracle at Delphi and Solomon combined.

Churchill, Johnson notes, "benefited from a change of national opinion toward the relative trustworthiness of politicians and service leaders -- 'frocks and brass hats,' to use the phrase of his youth. In the first World War, reverence for brass hats and dislike of frocks made it almost impossible for the government ... to conduct the war efficiently."

In other words, it made it impossible to sack generals, even when the war was going disastrously. As Churchill put it, "The foolish doctrine was preached to the public through innumerable agencies that generals and admirals must be right on war matters and civilians of all kinds must be wrong."

Do you get where I'm going with this?

For years, the political right has taken...

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Once upon a time, Ireland was known for its tax-free artists. Then, as a tech bubble. Now, it's trying to pick up the financial pieces by going sharia compliant.

From the Guardian (via Shariah Finance Watch)

Ireland has launched a bid to become the home of Islamic finance in Europe as it seeks to rebuild its once dominant financial services sector.

The taoiseach, Enda Kenny (wicked smile, above), who was swept to power on a wave of public anger at the taxpayers' €70bn (£62bn) bailout of failed banks, told the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) that he was doing everything he could to "ensure" Dublin became "a centre of excellence for Islamic finances".

Does that mean he's  converted?

Irish tax laws and financial...

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In his slim book on Churchill, Paul Johnson unearthed a highly instructive quotation to highlight the foundation of some of Churchill's greatest strengths as a wartime leader: He didn't worship, defer to, and otherwise treat military men as the Oracle at Delphi and Solomon combined.

Churchill, Johnson notes

benefited from a change of national opinion toward the relative trustworthiness of politicians and service leaders - "frocks and brass hats," to use the phrase of his youth.  In the first World War, reverence for brass hats and dislike of frocks made it almost impossible for the government, even under Lloyd George at his apotheosis, to conduct the war efficiently.

I.e., sack the generals. Johnson continues with Churchill's own words: "As Churchill put it: "The foolish doctrine was preached to the public through innumerable agencies that generals and admirals must be right on war matters and...

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Wen Jiabao taking in a little Hamlet in Stratford-on-Avon this week. Or: To censor or not to censor; that's not the question....

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It's not that anyone believes Chinese dictator -- sorry, "premier" -- Wen Jiabao when he says, as in London this week, "tomorrow's China will be a country that fully achieves democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice."

Obviously, this is just the sugar to make the medicine go down. But the economic prostration of the West to the Chinese totalitarians, cushioned by our piles of "Made in China" belongings, feels better if we also convince ourselves that our concept of human rights is part of the Grand  Exchange: Flatscreens for us; Freedom for them.

Dream on. The Danish paper Information published a scoop of all scoops this week, a series of stories based on a most unusual...

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"There Goes the Neighborhood," Shariah Finance Watch reports today. What does that mean?

From the must-read story:

In downtown Washington, there is a major real estate development known as CityCenterDC. This $700 million development is described as a combination of office space, retail space and residential space.

The owner of this development, which will be one of the biggest in all of the District, is Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company. This is the real estate investment arm of the emir of Qatar himself, who rules the Gulf nation.

At this point it may also be worth mentioning that the emir of Qatar has also been involved in funding other projects here in the US. For example, in 2009, he granted $576,000 to the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), the non-profit operated by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, the primary promoters of the controversial Ground Zero mosque project. The $576,000 grant from the ruling regime of Qatar was...

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Ordinary or extra-ordinary, our elected officials should explain this (with thanks to Marine Mom).

The Army Times reported on May 25,  2011:

More than 7,170 soldiers will deploy to Iraq beginning in mid-summer -- despite a security agreement that requires U.S. forces to depart the country by Dec.31.

The deployments are part of the regular rotation of forces and will include a division headquarters of 775 soldiers and two brigade combat teams totaling 6,400 soldiers, according to a Defense Department announcement Tuesday.

The soldiers will begin deploying in mid-summer and continue through the fall.

The deploying units are:

• 3rd Infantry Division headquarters, Fort Stewart, Ga.

• 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

• 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

...

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This week's syndicated column:

We have watched, rapt, as Barack Obama deliberated over exactly how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan. The White House mission, as I see it, was to present the illusion of winding down an unpopular war without also disavowing or halting the disastrous Bush-Obama brand of nation-building -- which continues, we are told, until 2014. Life-and-death troop movements came to resemble a contest to guess how many jellybeans are in the jar. Distracted, no one seemed to notice the ground shifting ... in Iraq.

While we were looking the other way, the Iraq of anyone's lingering "surge" dreams vanished. But not under the drifts of rubble from the latest car-bombings to further bury the "fragile" security once secured by U.S. troops. Dream Iraq -- the "ally in the war on terror," the veritable Switzerland of Sunni-Shiite cooperation surge-improved security was supposed to enable -- completely disappeared (if it was ever there) in the hardened, U.S.-won corridors...

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After a long, long, long court process, Geert Wilders has been acquitted of "inciting hatred" of Muslims by speaking with fearless clarity about Islam.  

Rejoice, sons and duaghters of liberty.

But keep your poweder dry. As Reuters reports:



 Minorities groups said they would now take the case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing the ruling meant the Netherlands had failed to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination.









"The acquittal means that the right of minorities to remain free of hate speech has been breached. We are going to claim our rights at the U.N.," said Mohamed Rabbae of the National Council for Moroccans.











Wilders, who has received numerous death threats and has to live under 24-hour guard, argued that he was exercising his right to freedom of speech when criticizing Islam.









 



...

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Believe me, they're celebrating at the Weekly Standard over this "get":

Matthew Continetti writes:

In a speech tonight, President Obama is expected to announce the staggered withdrawal, over the course of the next year, of the surge troops in Afghanistan. Don't expect Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to praise his decision. Here's what Bachmann had to say on Afghanistan during a recent interview with me:

On Afghanistan, I firmly believe that we are a point where we've got ot stay the course, and we've got to finish the job. Reports coming out of Helmand right now are positive. ... David Petraeus, who wrote the book on counterinsurgency and on the surge strategy, ...

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More evidence (not) that the Iraq "surge" was an epic success, ready for fabulous replication throughout the Islamic world.

First, Iraq's clerics are saying US forces mission will be "haram" after 2011; now, Iraq's parliament is accusing "US institutions" of stealing  $17 billion.

(Please,  pretty please, can our troops remain in Iraq forever?)

The Australian reports:

Iraq says $US17 billion is missing, and was stolen by corrupt US institutions.

"Nujaifi [speaker of Iraq parliament] is visiting the United States to discuss several issues, including...

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Grand Ayatollah to US troops: Here's your turban, what's your hurry?

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One of the strangest national spectacles ever is that of the US apparently begging Iraq ro allow US troops to remain in Iraq after the 2011 deadline for withdrawal.

As I've written before, this seems to be a naked ploy by the Obama re-election campaign to prevent the country from unravelling completely during the 2012 campaign. But it's not going over well with "religious authorities" according to a poll of sorts of Sunni and Shiite leaders conducted by Moqtada al Sadr.

According to Iran's Fars News Agency, there's also a fatwa against US troops -- I mean, "infidel occupiers" -- remaining past the 2011 deadline.

Senior Iraqi Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Kazzem...

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Photo by Paul Avallone

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The debate over Afghanistan -- which this week comes down to how many troops Barack Obama will announce he is withdrawing from that wretched country beginning in July through 2012  -- is being conducted with a blindfold and earplugs on.

The discussion centers  on, obsesses over whether the promised "drawdown" will be "only 5,000 troops," the token withdrawal that Afghanistan-hawks want,  up to an "aggressive" plan to withdraw over the next year all of the 30,000 troops ordered by Obama into Afghanistan as...

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Above is an oil painting of former NY Gov. George Pataki, 66, the measured, trad-con, sunny-skies image he apparently hopes will endure on history's canvas.

Below is a word picture of former NY Gov. George Pataki, 66, that is rather more vivid. It is from the closing paragraph of a report in the Sunday New York Times on the recent nuptials of Christopher Nixon Cox, grandson of the former president, and Andrea Catsimatidis, daughter of the owner of Gristides supermarkets "and other holdings." It was a cosy affair for 700 guests at the Waldorf Astoria....

“I’m so happy,” said Ms. Catsimatidis, in a dress by the Lebanese designer Reem Acra. As she spoke, George E. Pataki, New York’s former governor, grooved behind her on the dance floor, pumping his arms to the orchestra’s rendition of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

The cultural Jeckyll meets the cultural Hyde.

...

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WND.com picks up today on a story that didn't exactly splash onto frontpages across the country when it occured on June 10, reporting:

A U.S. congressional delegation was kicked out of Iraq after the leader of the group, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., asked Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki if a portion of future oil revenues could be used to pay back the United States for money spent over the course of eight years following the 2003 U.S. invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The ouster came amid efforts by U.S. officials to get al-Maliki to request an extension of U.S. troops in Iraq past the Dec. 31 deadline when all U.S. troops are supposed to be out of the...

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...

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TEN CONGRESSMEN led by Reps. Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed suit today against "Defendant Barack Obama" in federal court charging that the war in Libya is unconstitutional, in violation of the War Powers Act, and calling for it to come to a halt.

Besides Jones and Kucinich, the lawsuit is signed by a bipartisan group of members of the House including Howard Coble (R-North Carolina), John Duncan (R-Tennessee), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), John Conyers (D-Michigan) Ron Paul (R-Texas), Michael Capuano (D-Massachusetts), Tim Johnson (R-Illinois) and Dan Burton (R-Indiana).

Kudos and thanks.

Link to 36-page suit here.

ABC reports:

The Kucinich lawsuit is just the latest in a series of headaches for the administration related to Libya.

Kucinich had worked to push a resolution through the House...

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News Flash: Since the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Obama administration has engaged in a trust-building effort with Pakistan....

I'm trying to be calm.

What this means after the US zeroed in on OBL living in plain Pakistani sight, the US has addressed the yawning chasm of suspicion by reaching out to Pakistan with intelligence....

It's difficult.

To be more specific, as the Washington Post reports today, "twice in recent weeks, the United States provided Pakistan with the specific locations of insurgent bomb-making factories, only to see the militants learn their cover had been blown and vacate the sites before military action could be taken, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials."

And:

The incidents are expected to feature prominently in conversations between Pakistani officials and CIA Director Leon Panetta, who arrived in Pakistan on Friday....

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This week's syndicated column:

My best guess is the sun is hot. I feel its heat. I see by its light. I understand its role in the growth of crops and other living things. If I were to come across scholarly data attesting to its high temperatures, I would probably look at the fiery pictures (if there were any) and turn to something else.

On one level, I approach a new study on violence and Islam in the Middle East Quarterly in much the same way. That is, I've lived through 9/11 and the 17,298 Islamic terror attacks since (as tabulated by the website thereligionofpeace.com). I've seen pictures of Muslims rampaging around the world over a cartoon. I also understand Islam's animating role in the terror and subversion designed to extend Islamic law (Shariah) to a point where an Islamic government, or caliphate, rules the world.

But there is something transfixing about the new study, "Shari'a and Violence in American Mosques."...

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Over the weekend, Drudge posted an alarming story from CNSNews.com high on the page: "China Divests 97% of Holdings in US Treasury Bills."

What does that mean? I checked with financial hawkeye George Ford for his take. As I read it, there's good news and bad news in his analysis (below). The good news is, China is not our worst financial enemy after all. The bad news is, we are. In fact, the real story isn't China's divestiture of 97 percent of its holdings in US treasury bills, but rather what will happen next to those holdings.

George Ford writes:

The easiest way to explain it is by extending the original Drudge headline: "China Divests 97% of Holdings in US Treasury Bills; Bernanke Will Buy Them -- With Ease."

The US Fed holds much more US debt than China. Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has added about $800 billion in US Treasuries to its balance sheet, for a total as of last month of $1.4 trillion. China holds about $850 billion, or 9.5% of the total. Japan holds about the same amount as China....

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Boy Scouts from Troop 95 (left to right) Zac Wright, 12;, Nathan Peters, 11; and leader Scott Peters help set flags along the route that Lance Cpl. Peter Clore’s cortege will follow on its arrival today in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Photo by Times-Reporter.

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This week's syndicated column is dedicated to Lance Cpl. Peter Clore (1988-2011).

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The Karzai Ultimatum story is entering national consciousness in three parts. (1) U.S.-led airstrike on May 28 kills Afghan women and children in Helmand Province. (2) Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivers ultimatum on U.S. airstrikes -- stop, or else Afghans will revolt against U.S. “occupation.” (3) US-led forces (ISAF) apologize.

...

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Back in March, I couldn't quite believe the Libya Hawks would morph from science fiction into policy but they did. Now, we enter a new dimension of horror as they cement an alliance between the GOP leadership and the Obama White House to extend this unlawful war for no American interest and plenty of American cost.

From the AP:

The House postponed a vote on a resolution demanding an end to U.S. involvement in Libya amid fears that Democrats and Republicans would unite in backing the measure and hand President Barack Obama an embarrassing foreign policy defeat.

The GOP leadership had scheduled a vote Wednesday on the resolution by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that “directs the president to remove United States Armed Forces from Libya ... not later than 15 days after the adoption” of the measure. The vote was delayed as the leadership and Obama administration realized frustrated lawmakers likely would support it.

Nearly three months after Obama launched air strikes to...

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AP photo: A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Lance Cpl. Peter J. Clore Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at Dover Air Force Base.

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The Karzai Ultimatum Story is entering national consciousness with only three parts:

1) US Air Strike on Saturday May 28  Kills Afghan Women and Children;

2) Karzai Delivers Ultimatum on US Air Strikes

3) ISAF Apologizes.

There is another part, an all-important prequel: The Marine who was killed by small arms fire, also on Saturday May 28. Neither Karzai, nor, come to think of it, ISAF are paying much attention to him. Turns out the 23-year-old Ohio native was a dog handler, just six weeks in Afghanistan, who was leading a patrol to clear IEDs, making way for still more patrols, just the way Gen. Petraeus likes them. After the Lance Cpl. was hit, his fellow Marines pursued five attackers...

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Two recent Big Stories the MSM is either confused, dishonest or silent on concern tthe British government  reaffirmation of its 2009 decision to ban conservative radio host Michael Savage from entering Britain, and the arrest of Serb leader Ratko Mladic after fifteen years in hiding.

While dissimilar in obvious respects, these two cases both reflect the dangers of double standards and anti-democratic, arbitrary power in the hands of bureacrat-ideologues.

Don't miss Aaron Klein's reflections on Savage, or Julia Gorin's essay on the meaning of Mladic's arrest.

I greatly appreciate this blog (below) by British commentator Nile Gardiner on the president's crummy decision to get in a golf game after fufilling his presidential duties at Arlington on Memorial Day. It's not that anyone begrudges the president his recreation; it's not even that most Americans don't use the day for recreation themselves. But there is an unseemly symbolism is the decision to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown in the morning and hit the links in the afternoon. Barack Obama is, after all, a symbol himself, despite himself, and there are just too many fresh graves at Arlington for a commander-in-chief with 100,000-plus troops in harm's way  to feel like playing a game -- and to let mourning Americans and the world know he feels like playing a game -- on the day we set aside to remember them. As Gardiner writes,...

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The Washington Post reports:

KABUL--President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to NATO forces to stop airstrikes on Afghan homes and warned that if they don’t, the Afghan people would drive them out as they have occupying armies in the past....

The New York Times reports:

KABUL, Afghanistan —President Hamid Karzai warned NATO on Tuesday that Afghans will no longer tolerate airstrikes that result in civilian casualties. If they continue, he said, “we will be forced to take unilateral action in this regard.”....

See Telegraph video here. to get the gist. And...

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This week's syndicated column:

The Army honored a fallen hero of the Ft. Hood Jihad Massacre with a medal this week. Not, of course, that the Army describes the November 2009 attack in such meaningful terms. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan may have shouted "Allahu Akbar"; (Arabic for "Allah is great") as he killed 14 and wounded more than two dozen; may have been in contact with jihad cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and frequented jihadist websites; may have had business cards proclaiming himself a "SoA" (Soldier of Allah); and may have created and presented an Islamically correct PowerPoint brief outlining reasons for jihad by Muslims within the U.S. Armed Forces, but no matter. His actions remain a total mystery to the U.S. Army.

To wit: "Although we may never know why it happened, we do know that heroic actions took place that day," Brig. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo said in presenting the Secretary of the Army Award for Valor to Joleen Cahill, widow of Michael Grant Cahill. Cahill is recognized as the first person to have tried to stop Hasan and the only civilian to have been killed by Hasan that day. "He will forever be a source of inspiration."

...

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Here is an update on the trial of a US soldier diagnosed by the US military as suffering from PTSD and schizophrenia whom the US military nonetheless put on trial for murdering a Taliban commander in US custody. New details below include some of the factors that just might have contributed to his battle stress -- seven fellow soldiers who were killed around him, including his chaplain.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The fate of an Indiana soldier accused of murdering a Taliban commander in U.S. custody has been decided in a plea deal with the U.S. Army.

Army Pfc. David Lawrence of Lawrenceburg, Indiana will be sentenced to 12 ½ years with a minimum of ten years at Leavenworth. He could be eligible for parole in four years. The deal was just reached with the judge at Fort Carson, Colorado this afternoon.

I-Team 8 launched an investigation into case after Lawrence was diagnosed with PTSD...

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How's this for (twisted) mirror images?

Pfc. David Lawrence  shot and killed a Taliban commander shackled in a US prison cell in Afghanistan in October 2010. Army-appointed psychiatrists determined Lawrence

suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia and therefore lacked the mental capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.



Still, Lawrence was charged with premeditated murder in the Oct. 17 slaying of Mullah Mohebullah.... The shooting happened shortly after Lawrence was returned to his unit following a visit he requested to a combat stress clinic.



Despite the diagnosis, the US Army scheduled a court-martial on a murder charge. This morning, right about now, Lawrence is expected to plead guilty in a deal that will lead to a shortened prison sentence. In other words, instead of life in prison or the death penalty, he'll get a mere 15 or 20 years, I'm guessing. [Update: He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years.]Meanwhile, of course,...

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"The trial," of course, is that of Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders for offending and inciting hatred of Muslims through factual discussions and warnings about Islamic jihad and Islamization. And on it must go, the Dutch authorities have ruled, despite gross examples of bias and even apparent witness-tampering. Expert witness Hans Jansen sent a  statement on the trial to Jihadwatch, which concludes with the following prediction:

The trial, hence, goes on where it got derailed in the fall of 2010. From now on, someone who speaks in the Netherlands about Islamic theology, law or religious practice will have to be extremely careful. Librarians will have to clean their shelves: books from whatever period may have to be removed. Tourists who bring books or newspapers with them from the outside world must hope for the best. Publishers and bookshops will surely spontaneously understand their patriotic duties. The multicultural state shall have its way.

It goes without saying that Christianity, Judaism and Atheism cannot receive similar protection from the multicultural state – because if that were the case, the Koran and all handbooks of Mohammedan law would have to be forbidden because of the offensive and abusive language these religious texts employ when discussing non-Muslim religious viewpoints. And, as we all know, to forbid Islamic books would be a very unmulticultural thing to do indeed.

...

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The Army honored a fallen hero of the Ft. Hood Jihad Massacre with a medal yesterday. Not that the Army describes or even permits itself to understand the attack of November 5, 2009 that way. Maj. Nidal Hasan may have shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is great) as he fired, killing thirteen and wounding more than two dozen, may have been in touch with jihad cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and frequented jihadist websites, had business cards printed proclaiming himself to be a "SoA (SWT)" or "Soldier of Allah (Glory to Allah)," created and presented a full and frank brief for jihad by Muslims within the US Armed Services, but his action remains to this day a Total Mystery to the Army.

To wit:

"Although we may never know why it happened, we do know that heroic actions took place that day," Brig. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo said at the ceremony Monday afternoon in presenting the Secretary of the Army Award for Valor to Joleen Cahill, his widow. "He will forever be a source of inspiration."

With those words, the general stripped away all context from 62-year-old civilian Michael Grant Cahill's valorous act of charging Hasan with a chair as Hasan fired on the crowd, during which Cahill was himself slain. In honoring Cahill's courage, the general balked at its significance in Islam's war on the West. This omission takes nothing away from Cahill and his courageous, bold response to the horrific assault. It does, however, wrongly release the nation from its debt to him. In treating Hasan's rampage as no more purposeful than a flood or a cougar attack, the general renders Cahill's ultimate sacrifice to the most personal level; exemplary, admirable, but of no further consequence beyond the scene, outside the circle. This is morally wrong. It was the general's duty to place Cahill's death in perspective, to impress upon the rest of us that he died not only for his fellows, but in defense of our liberty, which is under jihad attack.

...

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This week's syndicated column:

One feature that marks a totalitarian regime is media that serve as the government's information service. TASS, Radio Berlin, Voice of Hanoi -- these were all government entities that conveyed what the dictatorship wanted. The handout comes, the handout is published. The real danger point arrives when propaganda no longer rankles, but flows naturally. That's when authority carries more weight than evidence, and peer pressure suppresses independent thinking. It's also when captives become subjects.

Watching our free, First-Amendment-protected media react to the surprising release of President Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate, I have to wonder: What exactly is the difference? I exaggerate, but not much. It's been three weeks since Obama first made his long-form birth certificate public on April 27, 2011. Why, suddenly, did he do this, and not in 2008, 2009 or 2010 when this first of the missing bona fides became a focal point of deep national consternation?...

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How's this for a "conspiracy theory": The Obama 2012 Re-Election Campaign moonlights as author Jerome Corsi's publicity agent. I don't know how else to explain the bizarro decision by Obama campaign officials to launch a fund-raising drive specifically targeting Corsi's brand new book  Where's the Birth Certificate?

Yesterday, WND.com (whose affiliated WND Books is Corsi's publisher) wrote (links from the original):

Why is the White House in full defense mode against a book by a small publisher contending Barack Obama is not legally eligible to be president?

Today, the Obama re-election campaign launched an all-out attack on a brand new book critical of Obama,...

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Today is Michael Behenna's 28th birthday, his third birthday beind bars in prison at Ft. Leavenworth where he is serving a 15-year sentence for killing a known terrorist in self-defense in Iraq.

This is a national shame.

His parents Scott and Vicki Behenna write:

Though his spirits remain high, life in prison takes its toll on even the strongest of men and that includes our Michael who waits patiently for a decision on his appeal. The truth is we really don’t know when such a decision will be handed down.  Michael's appeal was filed in December 2009, the government responded in July 2010, and the argument before the Army Court of Appeals occurred in December 2010. We have heard nothing since.  Michael's remarkable attitude remains upbeat...

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Drudge, correctly, is trumpeting the White House shut out of the Boston Herald from pool coverage of a Boston fundraiser the President is attending today because the tabloid ran an op-ed by Mitch Romney on its front page ON MARCH 8, the date of Obama's last visi to Boston.

Not that the date affects the ugly level of media manipulation on display here; but it does add a touch of the maniacal to this childish but sinister display of White House muscle. "This is taking the control freak thing to new levels," the Herald's Joe Battenfeld wrote.

Strangely, the date of the Romney op-ed didn't make it into the lead of the Herald account: 

The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails...

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Cutest story of the day comea from Iran's PressTV.

Headline: "Iraq to expand military ties with Iran."

Isn't that cute?

Meanwhile, American officials have been in and out of Iraq begging Maliki, pretty please, to let our roughly 47,000 troops stay on past the December 31 deadline, along with those roughly 60,000 US civilian contractors.

WHY?

There are two groups pushing to stay. One group is the Obama administration, which wants to stay not for "empire," as some say, but for re-election.

How would/will it look while Obama and his teleprompter are out on the hustings in 2012 when, say, the Iranian mullahs make Karbala their summer White House, Hezbollah opens headquarters in Sadr City, and the Revolutionary Guard starts an amusement park in downtown Baghdad called...

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April 2011 AP Photo: Afghan Local Police, and villagers listen to a speech during a ceremony presenting new uniforms for ALP officers at Gizab village of Uruzgan province south west of Kabul, Afghanistan.

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On March 15, 2011, Gen. David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee about an "important new addition to the overall campaign" in Afghanistan -- the Afghan Local Police Initative (ALP). This week, Oxfam issued a report damning the program for gross abuses including child sexual abuse (including the pedophiliac pratice of "dancing boys"),...

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