Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism

Joe the Biden Follies

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Joe the Biden – the gift that keeps on giving. He asks what a Romney Justice department might look like, and implies it's something we should fear. Well, it probably won't look like this:

 Sell guns to Mexican drug lords in order to pretend there is a gun problem in the States.

 Ignore voter intimidation by thugs at the polling place.

 Rail against voter ID laws in venues that require ID to enter.

 Incite race animosity.

 Ignore leaks from the EXOP on National Security.

 Sue states trying to protect their borders from illegal immigration.

 Try enemy terrorists in court as if they were American citizens.

 I'm probably missing something, but I'll take a Romney Justice Department over this record any day.


Shame on You Scotland, Shame!

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Scotland should be ashamed of itself. I am personally embarrassed about my own Scottish heritage – through which I trace my lineage to some fairly illustrious historical figures. But today I am ashamed of my Scottish blood for the first time in my life.

Scottish citizens might not be able to purchase English translations of Israeli masterpieces such as “A tale of love and darkness” by Amos Oz and “Someone to run with” by David Grossman, due to a boycott on Israeli books.

Two and a half years ago, shortly after Operation Cast Lead, the West Dunbartonshire Regional Council, located west of Glasgow, approved a bill that called to boycott goods produced in Israel.

According to the law, the council and all public bodies under its jurisdiction are forbidden to sell goods that originated from Israel.

Despicable. The full article is here. But for the first time, Scotland displays an anti-semitism of the sort which is more properly confined to Nazi Germany.

Shame on you Scotland. And until my Scottish cousins cease to support murdering terrorists because they are against the Jews, I will not buy another bottle of Scotch. I urge all of my readers to do the same.

Scotland wants to boycott Israeli goods? Then let the Scots feel the pain themselves. I will buy no more Scottish goods and I call for a boycott until they cease their despicable anti-semitism.

Update: While I’m at it, I’ll supplement my purchase of non-Scottish brown liquors with a search of some of these Israeli books that have Scotland so spooked. I hear some of them are pretty good novels.

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May 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

TSA Follies

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One more post about the TSA. On my return trip, I passed through security, jacket off, shoes off, belt off, laptop out, small containers of toiletries in a ziploc bag out, and at the same time wondering about my colleague who had been whisked behind closed doors for special screening. Then I saw this:

I have to give the TSA credit – they at least saw the humor in the fact that they had clearly discombobulated us.

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January 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Posted in General, GWOT

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TSA Passes, Sorta

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As in, they made no pass. Or what might have been had they done it. Which they didn’t.

In short, I flew out of Boston today, and passed through security ungroped, unx-rayed, and apparently undangerous.

I’m almost disappointed …

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January 18, 2011 at 1:26 am

Posted in Boston, GWOT

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Democrats and Ground Zero

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This one has been hard for my liberal friends. They simply don’t get it. It certainly won’t help their understanding when cogent analysis of Bill Clinton’s views weigh in:

Bill Clinton is beneath contempt. He was in Egypt and said in defense of the ground zero mosque, that it should be built and dedicated to the 60 muslim victims of 9/11. What about the non-muslim victims? What a disgusting display of pandering. I’m so sick of our political leaders excessive pandering to muslims. If they are going to speak before muslim audiences, why not at least have the courage to condemn the oppression and violence in the name of islam? Why couldn’t Clinton have condemned the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt while he was there?

MartiniPundit fully associates himself with this notion, and wonders the same about Bill Clinton. I’d also like to add my amazement that the Dems continue to control the voting of American Jews despite their manifest anti-Semitism.

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October 6, 2010 at 1:46 am

September 11th + 9

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We are approaching a milestone of sorts. It is but one year until a decade has passed since the 9/11 attacks. Here is what I wrote in 2004.

What a difference a presidency makes. Since George Bush left office, we are less safe – at least three attacks on US soil: three more than occurred under Bush post 9/11. A president who seems more concerned with what the world thinks than keeping America safe. A president more inclined to apologize for America than defend it.

It is also a time to reflect. Nine years still sees Ground Zero empty. It see a debate over whether a mosque should be built near the site and in a building upon which debris rained.

It is a time in which I have to wonder has the nation forgotten the attacks or does the nation want to ignore them. That we want to move beyond is normal and natural. That we seem to want to do so before the job of defeating terrorism is done is shameful and cowardly. I grew up with the twin towers. I miss them. And I still want justice for those who died in them.

Remember September 11th!

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September 11, 2010 at 2:13 am

Posted in GWOT

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General Petraeus Errs

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Let me start by saying I’m a fan of David Petraeus. He’s clearly the most consequential American general since Norman Schwarzkopf and thus in the top commanders of the past thirty years. It goes without saying that I would not second-guess his battlefield acumen – I obviously wouldn’t know what I was talking about.

So, all that being said, I think General Petraeus was wrong to comment on the wacko Florida pastor’s plan to burn the Koran. He has given far too much weight to a buffoon.

I’m no fan of Islam. I was first exposed to it as a teenager when I worked with a black muslim who was a follower of Warith Dean Mohammed. I still have the Koran that co-worker gave me. I also have another one I purchased on my own (Everyman). And yes, I have read the Koran cover to cover. I remain unconvinced and unimpressed.

And yet – burn a book? Is that the right call Reverend Hitler? My personal library is over 3000 volumes and contains the aforementioned two Korans. I would no sooner burn them than I would burn my oldest book published in 1568 (not kidding). Reverend Whoever down there in Florida is obviously a little man and has nothing to contribute to the discussion of religion in the Public Square. He ought to be ignored.

This brings me to my issue with General Petraeus. I understand that in Afghanistan there have been riots over the FL buffoon. However, when a man of General Petraeus’s stature deigns to notice such a buffoon, then the buffoon has won. Yes, the buffoon has the right to burn the Koran under our system, but like the mosque near Ground Zero, which has the right to be built, it shouldn’t. The right and the right thing to do are here identical.

I encourage thinking Christians and Jews to read the Koran as I have done. I’ll bet that the vast majority of those who do so will see it for what it is – bad poetry and worse theology. But even the risk that some may be convinced, can never justify the burning of such a book. For to do so lends it a mystique, nay a majesty, it simply does not deserve. Books – be they the Koran or the Bible or pulp fiction – should stand on their own. To say they must be burned gives them persuasion without the necessity of reading them. And General Petraeus, great man though I believe him to be, should not lower himself to comment on a so-called Christian who would stoop to book-burning.

Update: Michael Zebulon over at American Thinker agrees.

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September 8, 2010 at 1:53 am

Time Surrenders

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Time Magazine has surrendered. Apparently, it can no longer keep up the pretense that it’s an objective, professional reporter of the news. Time Magazine, once respected, is just a hack – at best.

But not just any kind of hack – a hack who has made common cause with the enemies of freedom. I thought it was bad enough a couple of weeks ago to see this cover slandering the American people:

But then this week, there was this anti-Semitic trash:

Sure, one cover is posed as a question and the other has flowers, which makes them oh so reasonable. Right? Who can object to an innocent question? No one, unless the questions are loaded to start. Americans are racists and Israelis are warmongers. One can’t even call that the subtext – that’s the lead. I can only conclude that Time has surrendered, and no longer has any pretense of objectivity. Time is on the side of the Islamofascists and just ought to admit it. Certainly there’s no reason to actually read this rag anymore.

Update: Henry Oliner over at American Thinker has more.

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September 7, 2010 at 12:44 am


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A number of years ago I debated a close friend on environmental issues. As a scientist with a PhD. he supposedly was qualified to opine where I was not. Yet I did not feel that his appeal to authority trumped any argument I might have based on the subject as it touched morality. I can recall one debate he and I had more than a decade ago about the propriety of embedding ceramic shards in trees to deter logging efforts. For those unaware, a logger who took a chainsaw to such a ‘spiked’ tree would find himself in serious danger from razor-sharp ceramic shards. No points for guessing which side I came down on. I was unmoved by the idea that science could determine the righteousness of such a question – it seemed pure emotion to me and I said so.

I was reminded of that long ago debate by today’s news about an attack in MD.

Although one extremist does not indict an entire group, that extremist can reflect on the group depending upon how the group reacts. It is hardly uncommon to see the group rally around the individual or the cause and rationalize otherwise reprehensible actions in defense of the cause. It is common currency on the Left to indict all conservatives for the actions of a few extremists. I saw this recently in the NYC mosque debate which among some of my liberal friends somehow morphed into the killing of abortion doctors, though every Christian of my acquaintance denounced the handful of such incidents. I know of no one who approves of Timothy McVeigh and his murderous actions. But the Left, so quick to point the finger, has not in my experience denounced its own.

So here’s an opportunity for the environmental Left – as much a religion as any I’ve seen – to denounce their extremist. Anyone?

Update: Evidently, that denunciation will need to include Al Gore.

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September 2, 2010 at 1:54 am

That Didn’t Take Long

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Michelle Malkin posts that gunmen have fired at the US embassy in Yemen.

Gee, Obama’s been in office less than a week. But I suppose it’s somehow still Bush’s fault. 

One of the reasons that I cannot pull the lever for a democrat for president – indeed the single most important reason – is their fecklessness on matters of national security. Do you think the hot air coming out of Washington about Gitmo might have something to do with this? All of a sudden, our enemies around the world great and small (and these guys in Yemen do seem to fall into that latter group) know they’ve got a neophyte to deal with. Worse, a neophyte who doesn’t actually take terrorism seriously. After all, they’re talking about turning back the clock and making it a law enforcement matter. Because that worked so well under the Clintons. 1930s economic policies and 1990s terrorism policies. This is not ‘change’ we can believe in, unless Tinkerbell is somehow involved.

Carter Redux – we’re on our way. Elections have consequences folks. They’re just beginning to roost.

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January 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Feeling Silly on 9/11 + 6

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I spent most of today high up in Boston’s Prudential Tower, and I felt a strange foreboding. Odd, since I haven’t felt that on any other post 9/11/01 anniversary, but perhaps my cousin’s recent death is a contributing factor.

It’s not that I really thought anything would happen — I don’t believe the terrorists will successfully hijack planes in the west again — but I couldn’t shake the gloom today.

However, thanks to George W. Bush, we’ve had no more attacks on our soil. Unless we’re smart enough to elect someone like Condi Rice, or perhaps Rudy Guiliani, in 2008, I’m not sure we’ll be able to keep on saying that.

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September 11, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Zarqawi Dead

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The Al Qaeda leader and savage Abu Musab Zarqawi has kept a long-overdue appointment with a pair of 500 lb. bombs. Some have qualms over this – I do not. His death is a good thing, and will lower the overall death toll in the long run. The terrorists are losing, and though they aren’t yet giving up, the end result is clear so long as the US maintains its resolve.

I have no doubt there will be some ‘reprisal’ attacks, that some other strongman will emerge to take Zarqawi’s place, but the fact remains that organizations like Al Qaeda don’t have a very deep bench. They can’t due to political infighting where strong and ambitious men vie for position. Smart leaders in organizations like that eliminate potential rivals, and those they don’t, we do. Whoever replaces Zarqawi won’t be as dangerous, but that’s no reason for us to drop our guard. For today however, we can be glad that one savage has been brought to justice.

Some good background here.

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June 8, 2006 at 10:38 am

Posted in GWOT

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Is Iran Run by Pathological Liars?

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The other day I was watching an interview with the Iranian Foreign Minister, and had to shake my head in disbelief. There the man sat, speaking with the female western journalist, and expounded at length on Iran’s ‘right’ to peaceful nuclear power. He accused the United States of employing a “double-standard” in Iran’s case for no good reason. My first thought was that I could think of 444 good reasons right off the bat, but when a war has been going on for a quarter century and only one side knows it, something is wrong. Duplicitous, one might say. After all, this was a Foreign Minister attempting to be eminently reasonable, while presenting the US as eminently unreasonable at the same time his loon of a president is talking about death and annihilation for the US and Israel. Doesn’t sound like a peaceful approach to me. But then, it is clear they’re trying to play a double-game, like always.

This brings me to Iran’s latest wonder weapons. It seems rather funny that a nation that has trouble keeping its air force aloft yet manages to produce “super-weapons” among other things. (Let’s be clear that the technical issues in completing a nuclear weapon are not that high – it is, after all, technology that dates back to the 1940s.) With the thought in mind that much of the Iranian ‘advances’ are actually repackaging old technology, I couldn’t help but be amused at this analysis of Iran’s so-called “super-cavitating torpedo” which is actually a thirty-year old Russian weapon.

[O]bserving the errors of fact and occasional tone nearing hysteria in some media lately, I feel compelled to first address an — enemy” weapon and put it in its proper place. This weapon has been called in print — hellacious.” It’s been described as a — quantum leap” in the nature of naval warfare from this day forth — a disruptive technology for which America is woefully unprepared. It’s even been said that there’s no physically possible friendly defense against it, and the target won’t even realize the weapon is coming until it impacts and the target’s crew are dead. Paints a scary picture, doesn’t it? Yet none of these statements are true. 

The article is well-worth reading, and indirectly shows that what Iran is really up to here is not ‘super’ weapons, but a psychological operation aimed directly at the western media and and Leftists. Duplicity is just the heavy artillery in that fight, and much of the target is soft already.

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April 20, 2006 at 9:32 am

Posted in GWOT, Iran

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Mark Helprin on Iran

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It’s Mark week apparently here, and that’s good as there are many things on my plate to do. So, I’ll point you to Mark Helprin this time:

Even were one to believe that, despite its low and stagnant per capita gross national product and having the world’s second-largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas, Iran would invest uneconomically in nuclear power generation, one would also have to disbelieve that it wanted nuclear weapons. But with an intermediate-range strategic nuclear capacity, it could deter American intervention, reign over the Persian Gulf, further separate Europe from American Middle East policy, correct a nuclear imbalance with Pakistan, lead and perhaps unify the Islamic world, and thus create the chance to end Western dominance of the Middle East and/or with a single shot destroy Israel.

Lot’s of people like Helprin are speaking sense on Iran. People like Brent Scowcroft are not. He, apparently is part of the Madeleine Albright school where we reward obnoxious regimes with nuclear candy. I read a phrase like “Tehran has every right” and I wonder if I’m living on the same planet as an ostrich like Scowcroft. Iran is not – as Mark Steyn has pointed out – a nation that we can deal with as a sovereign state. It is a Thugocracy, and it must be challenged, thwarted, and ultimately, overthrown.

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April 13, 2006 at 10:40 am

Posted in GWOT, Iran

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Mark Steyn on Iran

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You know it’s good – I sure don’t have to tell you. But I will prod a bit for here is a taste:

So the question is: Will they [Iran] do it?

And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer. If, say, Norway or Ireland acquired nuclear weapons, we might regret the — proliferation,” but we wouldn’t have to contemplate mushroom clouds over neighboring states. In that sense, the civilized world has already lost: to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness — the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge.

Conversely, a key reason to stop Iran is to demonstrate that we can still muster the will to do so. Instead, the striking characteristic of the long diplomatic dance that brought us to this moment is how September 10th it’s all been. The free world’s delegated negotiators (the European Union) and transnational institutions (the IAEA) have continually given the impression that they’d be content just to boot it down the road to next year or the year after or find some arrangement — this decade’s Oil-for-Food or North Korean deal — that would get them off the hook. If you talk to EU foreign ministers, they’ve already psychologically accepted a nuclear Iran. Indeed, the chief characteristic of the West’s reaction to Iran’s nuclearization has been an enervated fatalism.

Back when nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, your average Western progressive was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom any minute. The mushroom cloud was one of the most familiar images in the culture, a recurring feature of novels and album covers and movie posters. There were bestselling dystopian picture books for children, in which the handful of survivors spent their last days walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now a state openly committed to the annihilation of a neighboring nation has nukes, and we shrug: Can’t be helped. Just the way things are. One hears sophisticated arguments that perhaps the best thing is to let everyone get ’em, and then no one will use them. And if Iran’s head of state happens to threaten to wipe Israel off the map, we should understand that this is a rhetorical stylistic device that’s part of the Persian oral narrative tradition, and it would be a grossly Eurocentric misinterpretation to take it literally.

 A must read.

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April 11, 2006 at 11:36 am

Posted in GWOT, Iran

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The Goal of Islamofascism

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A fine piece in today’s OpionionJournal by Efraim Karsh outlines the goals of today’s Islamofascist’s by recounting the history of Islamic aspirations for universal empire. It’s a history written in blood.

Islamic history has been anything but reactive. From Muhammad to the Ottomans, the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of an often astonishing imperial aggressiveness and, no less important, of never quiescent imperial dreams. Even as these dreams have repeatedly frustrated any possibility for the peaceful social and political development of the Arab-Muslim world, they have given rise to no less repeated fantasies of revenge and restoration and to murderous efforts to transform fantasy into fact. If, today, America is reviled in the Muslim world, it is not because of its specific policies but because, as the preeminent world power, it blocks the final realization of this same age-old dream of regaining, in Zawahiri’s words, the “lost glory” of the caliphate.

Nor is the vision confined to a tiny extremist fringe. This we saw in the overwhelming support for the 9/11 attacks throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds, in the admiring evocations of bin Laden’s murderous acts during the crisis over the Danish cartoons, and in such recent findings as the poll indicating significant reservoirs of sympathy among Muslims in Britain for the “feelings and motives” of the suicide bombers who attacked London last July. In the historical imagination of many Muslims and Arabs, bin Laden represents nothing short of the new incarnation of Saladin, defeater of the Crusaders and conqueror of Jerusalem. In this sense, the House of Islam’s war for world mastery is a traditional, indeed venerable, quest that is far from over.

To the contrary, now that this war has itself met with a so far determined counterattack by the United States and others, and with a Western intervention in the heart of the House of Islam, it has escalated to a new stage of virulence. In many Middle Eastern countries, Islamist movements, and movements appealing to traditionalist Muslims, are now jockeying fiercely for positions of power, both against the Americans and against secular parties. For the Islamists, the stakes are very high indeed, for if the political elites of the Middle East and elsewhere were ever to reconcile themselves to the reality that there is no Arab or Islamic “nation,” but only modern Muslim states with destinies and domestic responsibilities of their own, the imperialist dream would die. [emphasis mine]

The death of that dream is our goal. It’s that simple.

A must read.

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April 4, 2006 at 9:40 am

Posted in GWOT

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Stoneless Story

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The Telegraph appears to be drumming up a story with very little substance. Perhaps they forgot to bring the stone before they tried to make soup.

I’m pleased Jill Carroll has been released, and thought her statements before leaving Iraq seemed odd, I’m more than satisfied with her explanation that she had to make them in order to be released in the first place. But this is ridiculous:

Miss Carroll has been under sustained assault from some on the pro-war Right. Bloggers and hosts on the country’s influential talk radio stations have attacked her for stating that she had not been threatened during her confinement.

Others attacked her for wearing Muslim dress and the news channel CNN carried an interview suggesting that she was suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”, in which victims begin to sympathise with their captors. One blogger called for Miss Carroll to be arrested for treason.

This is absurd. No bloggers are identified. No bloggers are linked. No bloggers are quoted directly. This isn’t journalism – it’s slander. I can’t help but note that the only entity mentioned by name is CNN, which if the Telegraph thinks is part of the “pro-war Right” they need to update their glossary.

I haven’t seen her attacked by a single blogger on the Right, at least from among the ones I read regularly.

I still get the meme from liberal friends that the media is not biased towards the Left. Articles like this show how ridiculous that view is.

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April 3, 2006 at 10:32 am

Posted in GWOT, MSM

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Abdul Rahman Safe

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Michelle Malkin notes that Abdul Rahman is safe in Italy which has granted him asylum.

But the savages apparently aren’t satisfied yet – we need to keep vigilant.

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March 29, 2006 at 12:41 pm

Posted in GWOT

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Getting it Wrong on Abdul Rahman

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I don’t usually find much out and out wrong on the American Spectator, but there are exceptions. In a piece on Afghanistan, one G. Tracy Mehan III proves one:

Americans were justifiably outraged that judicial authorities in Afghanistan considered executing Rahman for his act of conscience and are genuinely relieved that he has been spared execution at the hands of an allied government. They believed that they did not go to war in that remote region for the purposes of enshrining a regime of retrograde religious persecution and disregard of human rights generally. This is not what democratization was supposed to be.

Unfortunately, most Americans have forgotten that they did not, in fact, go to war in Afghanistan to promote democracy, liberate women, promote religious freedom, or for any other humanitarian purpose. They sent their crack military forces there to destroy the terrorists responsible for destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th and the regime that sheltered and sustained them. [emphasis mine]

This is precisely the myopic thinking that drove foreign policy during the Clinton years and earlier, and is exactly the wrong prescription for the post-9/11 world. Our enemy is Islamofascism and until it is destroyed root and branch the world is not safe. Planting democracy, making sure the rights of women and religious minorities are respected is poison to the Islamofascists and they should be made to drink it down everywhere American power can be extended. Executing Abdul Rahman would have been a victory for the savages and preventing it is a defeat. We went to war to inflict defeat on our enemy, and we must make sure we understand who the enemy truly is – forgetting that is the path to slavery and barbarism for all of us. With all due respect, Mr. Mehan doesn’t seem to understand that.

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March 29, 2006 at 11:32 am

Posted in GWOT

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Abdul Rahman Saved – For the Moment

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It looks like the Afghan ‘authorities’ have blinked:

A court on Sunday dismissed the case against an Afghan man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity, officials said, paving the way for his release.

The move eased pressure from the West but raised the dilemma of protecting Abdul Rahman after his release as Islamic clerics have called for him to be killed.

One official said freedom might come as soon as Monday for Rahman, who became a Christian in the 1990s while working for an aid group in neighboring Pakistan.

Now comes the tricky part of avoiding the Islamic lynch mobs which are already forming. But let’s celebrate that for now, it’s Civilization 1, Barbarism 0.

Update I heard on the news that Rahman is looking for asylum in Germany – sounds like a smart move.

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March 27, 2006 at 10:03 am

Posted in GWOT

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