Scared yet? You shouldn’t be!


scared_faceThere’s good news on the horizon for all of you who have believed the news pounded in the Nation’s subconscious since 911 that there’s some sort of Muslim plot to terrorize the homeland into submission.  We’ve always said such notions simply don’t exist among Muslim citizens of America and each year we’ve been proven right.  Well the trend keeps supporting that notion, with the latest news describing the prospects of terror from America’s Muslims as “nil”.

Try as al-Qaida might to encourage them, American Muslims still aren’t committing acts of terrorism. Only 14 people out of a population of millions were indicted for their involvement in violent terrorist plots in 2012, a decline from 2011′s 21. The plots themselves hit the single digits last year.

So much for a widespread stereotype. According to data tracked by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina and released Friday (.PDF), there were nine terrorist plots involving American Muslims in 2012. Only one of them, the attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, actually led to any violence. There were no casualties in that or any other incident. And the Triangle study tracks indictments, not convictions.

……The sample of Muslim Americans turning to terror is “vanishingly small,” Kurzman tells Danger Room…..Yet the scrutiny by law enforcement and homeland security on American Muslims has not similarly abated. The FBI tracks “geomaps” of areas where Muslims live and work, regardless of their involvement in any crime. The Patriot Act and other post-9/11 restrictions on government surveillance remain in place.

So while you don’t have anything to fear from your Muslim neighbors, you still have an intrusive, bloated, super secret, covert government that is finding ways to insert itself into your daily routines at your expense.  What the government and most Americans fail to realize is America’s Muslims are busy living their lives and finding their niche on this multi-cultural landscape like this Muslim American8424302590_8c1284e1c2 , Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim woman to compete on behalf of the United States in international competition.

Ibtihaj, a two-time U.S. National Fencing Champion and a member of the U.S. National Fencing Team since 2009, began fencing at the age of 13. She was raised in an athletic household with four siblings and played many recreational sports growing up. After searching for a sport that would enable her to comply with the Muslim requirement of modesty by remaining fully covered, her mother pointed out students fencing in full body uniforms while driving by their local school. Muhammad said because of this chance moment, “I’d like to think fencing found me.” Reminding students again of the ability to find a passion regardless of circumstance she added, “Don’t let anyone tell you no. There’s nothing you can’t achieve.”

America, it’s time to throw off your shackles of fear and embrace those who make up a part of the American fabric, albeit with different names and clothing than your own, but who are your equal in their fealty to the rule of law and the pursuit of happiness.  You can do it America if you stop being afraid.

Hat tip to @ZahraBillo

Memory hole material-Muslim Americans are not extremists and don’t support it


Muslim Americans

Muslim Americans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite news and opinions to the contrary, Muslim Americans are just as normal as any other American citizen and NOT inclined to the violence we are all told they engage, but the negative image of Islam is  not for lack of trying.  Pundits have been pounding the message that Muslims in America are a threat to the American fabric ad nauseam; public officials have jumped on the bandwagon with congressional hearings and campaign speeches that are simply demagoguery that have lead to violence against Muslims or those who were mistaken for Muslims.  However, the facts do not support these rather erroneous conclusions.  Rather they point to an entirely different conclusion altogether. (The emphasis in red is mine)

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, a comprehensive public opinion survey finds no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years. There also is no evidence of rising support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans.

On the contrary, as found in the Pew Research Center’s 2007 survey, Muslims in the United States continue to reject extremism by much larger margins than most Muslim publics (countries) surveyed this year by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. And majorities of Muslim Americans express concern about the possible rise of Islamic extremism, both here and abroad.

…..Nonetheless, Muslim Americans have not become disillusioned with the country. They are overwhelmingly satisfied with the way things are going in their lives (82%) and continue to rate their communities very positively as places to live (79% excellent or good).

At a personal level, most think that ordinary Americans are friendly (48%) or neutral (32%) toward Muslim Americans; relatively few (16%) believe the general public is unfriendly toward Muslim Americans. About two-thirds (66%) say that the quality of life for Muslims in the U.S. is better than in most Muslim countries.

…..As in 2007, very few Muslim Americans – just 1% – say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are often justified to defend Islam from its enemies; an additional 7% say suicide bombings are sometimes justified in these circumstances. Fully 81% say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians are never justified.

A comparably small percentage of Muslim Americans express favorable views of al Qaeda – 2% very favorable and 3% somewhat favorable. And the current poll finds more Muslim Americans holding very unfavorable views of al Qaeda than in 2007 (70% vs. 58%).

….Opposition to violence is broadly shared by all segments of the Muslim American population, and there is no correlation between support for suicide bombing and measures of religiosity such as strong religious beliefs or mosque attendance. Yet opposition to extremism is more pronounced among some segments of the U.S. Muslim public than others.

….

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Muslim Americans endorse the idea that most people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard; just 26% say hard work is no guarantee of success. Among the general public, somewhat fewer (62%) say that most people who work hard can get ahead.

U.S. Muslims are about as likely as other Americans to report household incomes of $100,000 or more (14% of Muslims, compared with 16% of all adults), and they express similar levels of satisfaction with their personal financial situation. Overall, 46% say they are in excellent or good shape financially; among the general public, 38% say this. Muslim Americans are as likely as the public overall to have graduated from college (26% of Muslims vs. 28% among the general public). Because as a group Muslim Americans are younger than the general public, twice as many report being currently enrolled in a college or university class (26% vs. 13%). Similar numbers of Muslim Americans and members of the general public report being self-employed or owning a small business (20% for Muslim Americans, 17% for the general public).

When it comes to many other aspects of American life, Muslim Americans look similar to the rest of the public. Comparable percentages say they watch entertainment television, follow professional or college sports, recycle household materials, and play video games. About one-in-three (33%) say they have worked with other people from their neighborhood to fix a problem or improve a condition in their community in the past 12 months, compared with 38% of the general public.

When asked to choose, nearly half of Muslims in the U.S. (49%) say they think of themselves first as a Muslim, while 26% see themselves first as an American; 18% volunteer that they are both. In a 2011 survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 46% of Christians in the U.S. say they identify as Christian first while the same number identify as American first. White evangelicals are much more likely to identify first as Christian (70%).

The survey also finds that compared with Muslims elsewhere, Muslim Americans are more supportive of the role of women in society. Virtually all Muslim Americans (90%) agree that women should be able to work outside of the home. Most (68%) also think that there is no difference between men and women political leaders. These are not the prevailing views of Muslims in most predominantly Muslim countries surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

And on a key foreign policy issue, Muslim Americans are far more likely than Muslims in the Middle East to say that a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights of the Palestinians are addressed (62% say this; 20% disagree). In this regard, the views of Muslim Americans resemble those of the general public, among whom 67% say a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist while protecting the rights of the Palestinians; 12% disagree.

….Many Muslim Americans are highly religious: 69% say that religion is very important in their lives, and about half (47%) report at least weekly attendance at a mosque for prayer. Similarly, about half (48%) say they make all five salah prayers daily, and another 18% report making at least some salah daily.

….Overwhelming numbers of Muslim Americans believe in Allah (96%), the Prophet Muhammad (96%) and the Day of Judgment (92%). Yet the survey finds that most reject a dogmatic approach to religion. Most Muslim Americans (57%) say there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of Islam; far fewer (37%) say that there is only one true interpretation of Islam. Similarly, 56% of Muslim Americans say that many different religions can lead to eternal life; just 35% say that Islam is the one true faith that leads to eternal life.

What the study shows is American Muslims are engaged in their communities, optimistic about their future and the future of the country in which they live, have strong bonds to America and its way of life, eschew violence overwhelmingly, yet identify with their religion and are productive members of the society. I remember as a 9th grade student studying civics being told all of the characteristics above were examples of good citizenship, yet today despite having embraced life in America, Muslim Americans are condemned for the very attributes we hold dear.  Stop the hypocrisy America, you can do better than this!

The good news is America can now withdraw from Afghanistan


The reason is the Taliban admit they cannot win the war against the American forces and they are fed up with their alliance with al-Qaida, that is if you believe the word coming from some sources in the Taliban movement. I don’t know why anyone would think that a less than third world country could stand militarily with the largest, strongest military in the world, the Russian war notwithstanding, unless you believed in miracles.  With this admission coming from the Taliban, and I submit they’ve conceded defeat even before the war began back in 2001, the US, if it’s true to its mission of ridding the country of the Taliban and al-Qaida, has a golden opportunity  to end the conflict and withdraw honorably while getting the Taliban and the Karzai government to come to peaceful terms.  Unfortunately, the US’ track record of taking advantage of opportunities offered them by their opponents is less than sterling.

One of the Taliban‘s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces in the country.

In a startlingly frank interview in Thursday’s New Statesman, the commander – described as a Taliban veteran, a confidant of the leadership, and a former Guantánamo inmate – also uses the strongest language yet from a senior figure to distance the Afghan rebels from al-Qaida.

“At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaida. Our people consider al-Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens,” the commander says. “To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama [bin Laden]. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.”

“The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect. Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel. The leadership knows the truth – that they cannot prevail over the power they confront,” Mawlvi (the Taliban senior commander) says.

As a result, he says that the Taliban has had to shelve its dream of re-establishing the Islamic emirate it set up when it was in power from 1996 to 2001. “Any side involved in a conflict like this has decided to fight for power. If they fall short of achieving national power, they have to settle for functioning as an organised party within the country,” he admits.

He is scathing about President Hamid Karzai, who the Taliban has consistently derided as a US puppet. “There is little point in talking to Kabul. Real authority rests with the Americans,” he says. “The only other serious political force in Afghanistan is that of the Northern Alliance” – a Tajik-led coalition that led the resistance to Taliban rule and is now a powerful player in Kabul.

That sounds like nothing short of capitulation and America should jump at the chance to embrace it, negotiate and get out.  Campaign rhetoric most likely will make chances of that happening until after the elections, but whoever the winner is in November, his first priority should be getting America out of a quagmire it’s enemy has said it can’t win and with whom it can easily settle.  That the world wide community is fixated on the horrific video taped execution of a woman by a “Taliban” member, who most likely was really a family member of the victim engaged in an honor killing (have we ever maintained forces in a country because of the honor killings of some of that country’s citizens?) would really serve an injustice to the people in the Taliban movement who are clearly signalling their willingness to stand down from hostilities with American forces.  The pessimism in me anticipates seeing  more of that kind of distraction in the international media, away from this peace offering, in order to  prolong the Afghan war.

 

America’s jaundiced justice-UPDATE


Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, Massachusetts was convicted on terrorism charges last year and sentenced to 17.5 years in prison earlier this month for viewing and translating jihadi videos online thereby giving material add to a terrorist organization and lying to federal authorities.  His prosecution also included mention of a trip Mehanna made to Yemen where it is said he tried to enter a ‘terrorist training camp’, but after a brief stay, a week,  in that country unable to connect with any terrorists returned to America.  What he did when he returned from his travel in 2004 was lend ‘CDs to people in the Boston area in order, as the prosecution asserted, to create like­-minded youth discuss with friends his views of suicide bombings, the killing of civilians, and dying on the battlefield in the name of Allah,  translate texts that were freely available online and look  for information there about the 19 9/11 hijackers . He even inquired into how to transfer files from one computer to another, and how to keep those files from being hacked’  oh and he lied to the government about his activity.  For all that he was sentenced to over 17 years in jail.  The charges against him were/are so egregious that the ACLU filed an amicus curiae brief , denied by the trial judge, which stated the defendant

“engaged in discussions and watched and translated readily available media on the topics of global politics, wars, and religion, all of which are topics of public concern. That his views may be offensive or disagreeable, or that they may ‘create like-minded youth,’ is of no consequence to the heightened protection to which his expression is entitled as a result of the First Amendment.”

The executive director for the ACLU in the state of Massachusetts went on record in an op ed to suggest the First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn’t apply to Muslim Americans, like Mehanna

The Mehanna case ruling and sentencing suggest that Muslims do not have the right to protected speech, and that “venting” can cost them the long years in prison spared the Hutaree militia.

Not only did the prosecution and judge shun any discussion of what the First Amendment protects and does not protect.   They steered clear of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Holder v.Humanitarian Law Project ruling which criminalizes any kind of “material support” if carried out in connection with a group on the State Department’s terrorism list, while upholding “independent advocacy,” even of the most controversial kind.

….

While the prosecution showed 9/11 videos to the jury and sprinkled its language during the trial and in its sentencing memorandum with repeated references to al Qaeda, the defense maintained that “the government has from the beginning of the case attempted to portray Mehanna as weaving some kind of spell over others to bring them into a terrorist cell. This is a fantasy of the government’s own making.”

Mehanna’s translations were independent advocacy, the defense claimed, and the government had never proven otherwise.

In her closing argument during the trial, defense attorney Janice Bassil stated that “the only idea that Tarek Mehanna had in common with al Qa’ida is that Muslims had the right and the obligation to defend themselves when they were attacked in their own lands. And we believe that. When the British came to reassert their hold over America – let’s face it, we were a colony – we fought back.  We rebelled.  We defended our land.”

The lesson of the Mehanna case is that where Muslims are concerned, sentiments like these could constitute ‘thought crime.’

In other words, Muslim defendants can expect to face the full brunt of the law for crimes which other Americans go free. In the case of the militia group, the Hutaree, the defendants in that case were on record advocating crimes and violence against Americans and had amassed weapons with which to carry out their crimes.  Moreover, there were seven defendants in that case as opposed to Mehanna and his two co-defendants, yet the judge in the Hutaree case proclaimed those defendants had protected First Amendment rights, and we hailed that decision here on Miscellany101 as an appropriately just one. In fact we posted

Roberts took the concept of freedom of speech to the very limits of the law and concluded that while what the defendants said was horrible, scary, frightening, absent any defined and definite action to do what they said they wanted to do, they had the right to that speech and  opinion. (You can read more about the acquittals here)  In today’s America that’s an extraordinary position to take, considering the slightest innuendo is enough to get you locked up for life, depending upon your political, religious and/or racial inclinations.  If you looked at the way the trial was conducted it follows so closely with all the other federal prosecutions of people related to terrorism offenses but with a far different outcome.  I assert the difference was this judge, Victoria Roberts got it right…..

However such judicial standard was absent in Mehanna’s trial and one can see why.  America is still consumed with its hatred and fear of things dark, foreign and Islamic.  The standard of administering justice for people with those attributes who come before the American judicial system is lower, more certain to have the full might of America’s judiciary brought to bear with the lengthiest and harshest of punishments.  The Hutaree benefited from American justice as it should be applied to all; Mehanna was a victim of it and  because of the way it was administered in his case, the likelihood is that all others who come before it that look like him, or believe as he does, might very well be its victims too.

*********************UPDATE************************

Danios at Loonwatch.com does an excellent job of dissecting the writing and thinking of Mehanna in a piece he wrote on his blog here. The bottom line is there is no proof Mehanna tried to incite people ANYWHERE to kill civilians and especially in America….nor surprisingly, is there very little textual evidence that Mehanna was a supporter of any terrorist organization he was linked to during his trial. Glen Greenwald also tackles the Mehanna case and includes the full speech Ahmed Mehanna gave to the court at his sentencing hearing.  I include it here because it speaks to a frame of mind most Americans have had about the thought of injustice either at home or abroad.  Mehanna, born and raised in America and an American citizen is no different.

TAREK’S SENTENCING STATEMENT
APRIL 12, 2012

Read to Judge O’Toole during his sentencing, April 12th 2012.

In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful Exactly four years ago this month I was finishing my work shift at a local hospital. As I was walking to my car I was approached by two federal agents. They said that I had a choice to make: I could do things the easy way, or I could do them the hard way. The “easy ” way, as they explained, was that I would become an informant for the government, and if I did so I would never see the inside of a courtroom or a prison cell. As for the hard way, this is it.

Here I am, having spent the majority of the four years since then in a solitary cell the size of a small closet, in which I am locked down for 23 hours each day. The FBI and these prosecutors worked very hard-and the government spent millions of tax dollars – to put me in that cell, keep me there, put me on trial, and finally to have me stand here before you today to be sentenced to even more time in a cell.

In the weeks leading up to this moment, many people have offered suggestions as to what I should say to you. Some said I should plead for mercy in hopes of a light sentence, while others suggested I would be hit hard either way. But what I want to do is just talk about myself for a few minutes.

When I refused to become an informant, the government responded by charging me with the “crime” of supporting the mujahideen fighting the occupation of Muslim countries around the world. Or as they like to call them, “terrorists.” I wasn’t born in a Muslim country, though. I was born and raised right here in America and this angers many people: how is it that I can be an American and believe the things I believe, take the positions I take? Everything a man is exposed to in his environment becomes an ingredient that shapes his outlook, and I’m no different.  So, in more ways than one, it’s because of America that I am who I am.

When I was six, I began putting together a massive collection of comic books. Batman implanted a concept in my mind, introduced me to a paradigm as to how the world is set up: that there are oppressors, there are the oppressed, and there are those who step up to defend the oppressed. This resonated with me so much that throughout the rest of my childhood, I gravitated towards any book that reflected that paradigm – Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and I even saw an ehical dimension to The Catcher in the Rye.

By the time I began high school and took a real history class, I was learning just how real that paradigm is in the world. I learned about the Native Americans and what befell them at the hands of European settlers. I learned about how the descendents of those European settlers were in turn oppressed under the tyranny of King George III.

I read about Paul Revere, Tom Paine, and how Americans began an armed insurgency against British forces – an insurgency we now celebrate as the American revolutionary war. As a kid I even went on school field trips just blocks away from where we sit now. I learned about Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, John Brown, and the fight against slavery in this country. I learned about Emma Goldman, Eugene Debs, and the struggles of the labor unions, working class, and poor. I learned about Anne Frank, the Nazis, and how they persecuted minorities and imprisoned dissidents. I learned about Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King,
and the civil rights struggle.

I learned about Ho Chi Minh, and how the Vietnamese fought for decades to liberate themselves from one invader after another. I learned about Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Everything I learned in those years confirmed what I was beginning to learn when I was six: that throughout history, there has been a constant struggle between the oppressed and their oppressors. With each struggle I learned about, I found myself consistently siding with the oppressed, and consistently respecting those who stepped up to defend them -regardless of nationality, regardless of religion. And I never threw my class notes away. As I stand here speaking, they are in a neat pile in my bedroom closet at home.

From all the historical figures I learned about, one stood out above the rest. I was impressed be many things about Malcolm X, but above all, I was fascinated by the idea of transformation, his transformation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “X” by Spike Lee, it’s over three and a half hours long, and the Malcolm at the beginning is different from the Malcolm at the end. He starts off as an illiterate criminal, but ends up a husband, a father, a protective and eloquent leader for his people, a disciplined Muslim performing the Hajj in Makkah, and finally, a martyr. Malcolm’s life taught me that Islam is not something inherited; it’s not a culture or ethnicity. It’s a way of life, a state of mind anyone can choose no matter where they come from or how they were raised.

This led me to look deeper into Islam, and I was hooked. I was just a teenager, but Islam answered the question that the greatest scientific minds were clueless about, the question that drives the rich & famous to depression and suicide from being unable to answer: what is the purpose of life? Why do we exist in this Universe? But it also answered the question of how we’re supposed to exist. And since there’s no hierarchy or priesthood, I could directly and immediately begin digging into the texts of the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, to begin the journey of understanding what this was all about, the implications of Islam for me as a human being, as an individual, for the people around me, for the world; and the more I learned, the more I valued Islam like a piece of gold. This was when I was a teen, but even today, despite the pressures of the last few years, I stand here before you, and everyone else in this courtroom, as a very proud Muslim.

With that, my attention turned to what was happening to other Muslims in different parts of the world. And everywhere I looked, I saw the powers that be trying to destroy what I loved. I learned what the Soviets had done to the Muslims of Afghanistan. I learned what the Serbs had done to the Muslims of Bosnia. I learned what the Russians were doing to the Muslims of Chechnya. I learned what Israel had done in Lebanon – and what it continues to do in Palestine – with the full backing of the United States. And I learned what America itself was doing to Muslims. I learned about the Gulf War, and the depleted uranium bombs that killed thousands and caused cancer rates to skyrocket across Iraq.

I learned about the American-led sanctions that prevented food, medicine, and medical equipment from entering Iraq, and how – according to the United Nations – over half a million children perished as a result. I remember a clip from a ’60 Minutes‘ interview of Madeline Albright where she expressed her view that these dead children were “worth it.” I watched on September 11th as a group of people felt driven to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings from their outrage at the deaths of these children. I watched as America then attacked and invaded Iraq directly. I saw the effects of ’Shock & Awe’ in the opening day of the invasion – the children in hospital wards with shrapnel from American missiles sticking but of their foreheads (of course, none of this was shown on CNN).

I learned about the town of Haditha, where 24 Muslims – including a 76-year old man in a wheelchair, women, and even toddlers – were shot up and blown up in their bedclothes as the slept by US Marines. I learned about Abeer al-Janabi, a fourteen-year old Iraqi girl gang-raped by five American soldiers, who then shot her and her family in the head, then set fire to their corpses. I just want to point out, as you can see, Muslim women don’t even show their hair to unrelated men. So try to imagine this young girl from a conservative village with her dress torn off, being sexually assaulted by not one, not two, not three, not four, but five soldiers. Even today, as I sit in my jail cell, I read about the drone strikes which continue to kill Muslims daily in places like Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Just last month, we all heard about the seventeen Afghan Muslims – mostly mothers and their kids – shot to death by an American soldier, who also set fire to their corpses.

These are just the stories that make it to the headlines, but one of the first concepts I learned in Islam is that of loyalty, of
brotherhood – that each Muslim woman is my sister, each man is my brother, and together, we are one large body who must protect each other. In other words, I couldn’t see these things beings done to my brothers & sisters – including by America – and remain neutral. My sympathy for the oppressed continued, but was now more personal, as was my respect for those defending them.

I mentioned Paul Revere – when he went on his midnight ride, it was for the purpose of warning the people that the British were marching to Lexington to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock, then on to Concord to confiscate the weapons stored there by the Minuteman. By the time they got to Concord, they found the Minuteman waiting for them, weapons in hand. They fired at the British, fought them, and beat them. From that battle came the American Revolution. There’s an Arabic word to describe what those Minutemen did that day. That word is: JIHAD, and this is what my trial was about.

All those videos and translations and childish bickering over ‘Oh, he translated this paragraph’ and ‘Oh, he edited that sentence,’ and all those exhibits revolved around a single issue: Muslims who were defending themselves against American soldiers doing to them exactly what the British did to America. It was made crystal clear at trial that I never, ever plotted to “kill Americans” at shopping malls or whatever the story was. The government’s own witnesses contradicted this claim, and we put expert after expert up on that stand, who spent hours dissecting my every written word, who explained my beliefs. Further, when I was free, the government sent an undercover agent to prod me into one of their little “terror plots,” but I refused to participate. Mysteriously, however, the jury never heard this.

So, this trial was not about my position on Muslims killing American civilians. It was about my position on Americans killing Muslim civilians, which is that Muslims should defend their lands from foreign invaders – Soviets, Americans, or Martians. This is what I believe. It’s what I’ve always believed, and what I will always believe. This is not terrorism, and it’s not extremism. It’s what the arrows on that seal above your head represent: defense of the homeland. So, I disagree with my lawyers when they say that you don’t have to agree with my beliefs – no. Anyone with commonsense and humanity has no choice but to agree with me. If someone breaks into your home to rob you and harm your family, logic dictates that you do whatever it takes to expel that invader from your home.

But when that home is a Muslim land, and that invader is the US military, for some reason the standards suddenly change. Common sense is renamed ”terrorism” and the people defending themselves against those who come to kill them from across the ocean become “the terrorists” who are ”killing Americans.” The mentality that America was victimized with when British soldiers walked these streets 2 ½ centuries ago is the same mentality Muslims are victimized by as American soldiers walk their streets today. It’s the mentality of colonialism.

When Sgt. Bales shot those Afghans to death last month, all of the focus in the media was on him-his life, his stress, his PTSD, the mortgage on his home-as if he was the victim. Very little sympathy was expressed for the people he actually killed, as if they’re not real, they’re not humans. Unfortunately, this mentality trickles down to everyone in society, whether or not they realize it. Even with my lawyers, it took nearly two years of discussing, explaining, and clarifying before they were finally able to think outside the box and at least ostensibly accept the logic in what I was saying. Two years! If it took that long for people so intelligent, whose job it is to defend me, to de-program themselves, then to throw me in front of a randomly selected jury under the premise that they’re my “impartial peers,” I mean, come on. I wasn’t tried before a jury of my peers because with the mentality gripping America today, I have no peers. Counting on this fact, the government prosecuted me – not because they needed to, but simply because they could.

I learned one more thing in history class: America has historically supported the most unjust policies against its minorities – practices that were even protected by the law – only to look back later and ask: ’what were we thinking?’ Slavery, Jim Crow, the internment of the Japanese during World War II – each was widely accepted by American society, each was defended by the Supreme Court. But as time passed and America changed, both people and courts looked back and asked ’What were we thinking?’ Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist by the South African government, and given a life sentence. But time passed, the world changed, they realized how oppressive their policies were, that it was not he who was the terrorist, and they released him from prison. He even became president. So, everything is subjective - even this whole business of “terrorism” and who is a “terrorist.” It all depends on the time and place and who the superpower happens to be at the moment.

In your eyes, I’m a terrorist, and it’s perfectly reasonable that I be standing here in an orange jumpsuit. But one day, America will change and people will recognize this day for what it is. They will look at how hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed and maimed by the US military in foreign countries, yet somehow I’m the one going to prison for “conspiring to kill and maim” in those countries – because I support the Mujahidin defending those people. They will look back on how the government spent millions of dollars to imprison me as a ”terrorist,” yet if we were to somehow bring Abeer al-Janabi back to life in the moment she was being gang-raped by your soldiers, to put her on that witness stand and ask her who the “terrorists” are, she sure wouldn’t be pointing at me.

The government says that I was obsessed with violence, obsessed with ”killing Americans.” But, as a Muslim living in these times, I can think of a lie no more ironic.

-Tarek Mehanna
4/12/12

The Never-ending Terror Threat


By Ivan Eland

Now that the big kahuna — Osama bin Laden — has been killed, the “War on Terror” is much less exciting.

Even before Osama’s demise, experts sent chills through the massive post-9/11 U.S. government anti-terrorism bureaucracies by concluding that the threat from al-Qaeda had been much weakened by the group’ s own bloody excesses against civilians, many of whom were Muslims.

Yet the way government works, every agency needs a threat to hype to keep the cash flowing in from scared taxpayers. So the anti-terrorism agencies need to keep the threat, however declining, fresh in the public mind and publicize their efforts to successfully combat the danger.

Recently, two incidents illustrate the extent of the government’s refrain that the “terrorists are (still) coming, the terrorists are (still) coming!”

As the public has tired of drawn-out, muddled and costly (in blood and treasure) counterinsurgency wars in faraway places that seem to have only a tangential relationship to battling insidious terrorists, technology has ridden to the rescue.

Now any U.S. president can kill potential terrorists with pilotless drone aircraft much more cheaply and without casualties from putting troops on the ground. For example, the U.S. is using such technology in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen to take out alleged Islamic terrorists.

Recently, an American drone successfully assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who spoke fluent English and was inspiring Islamist militants with charismatic speeches. U.S. authorities also made vague allegations that he was operationally involved in the BVD (underwear) bombing and a plot to blow cardboard boxes on cargo planes out of the sky.

Even disregarding the obvious problem of what legal authority the United States used to justify violating the Fifth Amendment’ s prohibition on taking life, liberty or property without due process — the Justice Department’ s legal memo justifying Awlaki’ s killing is classified, and Awlaki doesn’ t seem to be covered by the post-9/11 authorization for war, which only approved military action against those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or harbored the attackers — the U.S. government clearly hyped the threat that Awlaki posed.

Awlaki was little known in the Middle East, and one knowledgeable scholar termed him “a-dime-a-dozen cleric.” Thus, his importance to the war on terror was largely a creation of the American government and media.

Seeing the opportunity for some free publicity — what terrorists crave — al-Qaeda then pushed Awlaki further into the manufactured limelight.

And now that the U.S. has made him a martyr by assassinating him on the basis of secret criteria, vague allegations, and no due process, the State Department had to put out a worldwide travel alert to American citizens warning of retaliatory attacks to avenge Awlaki’s death.

Also as part of the post-9/11 terrorism hype, the government has created a terrorist watch list containing 420,000 names, with no public disclosure of the criteria used to put that many people on it and no due process for such persons to answer the allegations. If only a fraction of that massive and wildly inflated list is trying to do harm to the United States, we are all in trouble.

In sum, in the war on terror, the U.S. government hypes the threat to justify expanding anti-terrorism efforts and budgets, argues that war is the only means to effectively combat the inflated threat (instead of using low-key intelligence and law enforcement measures, which don’t generate more terrorists by poking the hornet’s nest), and creates a wider retaliatory threat by using such draconian military action.

This wider danger is used to justify the need for even harsher military action, and the action-reaction cycle escalates. In sum, the government is creating the demand for its own services; private businesses should be in awe of such ability.

And not only is the government hyping the terrorist threat, it is creating it.

Like the hapless BVD bomber, who didn’t even have a bomb big enough to bring down the airliner, a graduate student the FBI recently arrested for plotting to blow up the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol with hobbyists’ remote-controlled aircraft would have been foiled by the fact that the planes just couldn’t carry enough explosives to do the job.

The student, a U.S. citizen, got very different treatment than Awlaki. Instead of being assassinated, he was arrested, but before that, the U.S. government purposefully helped him. The government, in order to entrap him, gave him money and grenades, assault rifles, C-4 plastic explosives, and even the remote-controlled aircraft to carry out the attack.

Without all this money and equipment, the student would have likely been no threat at all. In fact, according to The New York Times, Carmen M. Ortiz, the U.S. attorney in Boston, admitted, “The public was never in danger from the explosive devices.”

This is not an isolated case. In similar cases, the FBI has provided the means to carry out terrorist attacks but then arrested the alleged plotter. Such entrapment provides opportunities for people to do what they otherwise would not or could not do.

And Muslims have complained that the FBI is targeting their community with such “gotcha” tactics.

Such governmental hyping of the terrorist threat, or actual creation of it, to justify greater federal coercive action makes one wonder whether to fear more the low probability of a successful terrorist attack or the massive, expensive and intrusive government efforts to combat it.

More News to Scare you or maybe not!


You’ve gotta wonder how many of the ‘terror threats’ are just as baseless as the two highlighted below are.  Indeed, just a week before the 10th anniversary of 911, we the public were regaled with news about an unsubstantiated terror threat that could possibly interrupt the 10th anniversary celebrations.  Nothing happened to get in the way of our post 911 angst  except our own fears.

Local and federal law enforcement officials had told ABC News Sunday initial reports of “suspicious behavior” by multiple passengers that prompted the emergency call for F-16s was suspected of being a couple “making out” in the plane’s lavatory mid-flight. When the flight landed, the plane was taken to a remote area for security screening and three passengers were briefly taken into custody.

In the course of their investigation, the FBI found that one of the passengers, who felt sick, happened to get up and head to the bathroom at approximately the same time as another passenger. None of the three people taken into custody knew each other, the FBI said.

Of course we’ve been all conditioned to say the response of authorities was appropriate and not comical, which was really the case.   We’ve also been conditioned to look the other way when people who disrupt the transportation industry are not our typical view of what a terrorist should look like.

A Long Island woman worried about her mom and brother flying to New York on the eve of 9/11 was busted for trying to ground their flight — by twice phoning in false bomb threats against the Southwest Airlines plane they were taking from Arizona, the feds said today.

The loony Saturday morning stunt by ex-con Mary Purcell, 37, of Lake Ronkonkoma, sparked a massive security response at Tucson Airport — where a horde of police, bomb-experts and explosive-sniffing dogs quickly swarmed around Flight 2475 to re-screen luggage and passengers as a security alert for the entire airport was elevated.

“We felt that it was a credible threat,” said John Ivanoff, chief of the Tuscon Airport Authority Police. “We were already at a heightened state of alert [because of the 9-11 anniversary Al Qaeda threats], but more manpower was needed.”

Purcell, a convicted felon, doesn’t fit our image of a terrorist, but America doesn’t seem to be upset that a lot of resources were wasted on her ‘threat’ or that Americans somewhere in the transportation system of our country were inconvenienced or maybe had their rights as citizens of this Republic abridged because of the actions of a loony and an over responsive federal government.

Finally, there’s the story of the American teenager who was found driving around in his city alone without a drivers license BUT with an AT4 rocket launcher in the back seat of the SUV.  It’s clear this boy’s name is not Arabic or his religion Islam, for had it been, he, his father and brother, who are connected to the US military, would be linked to al-Qaida, conspiracies hatched and foiled and headlines proclaim how Islam is trying to take over the country and establish sharia. The young man was not named because he’s underage, but driving around during school hours with blaring music is a sure way to draw attention to ones self.  As far as the press is concerned, however, it’s just another teenage prank.

So, while we were informed of security alerts surrounding the 10th anniversary of 911 based on unsubstantiated  information that cannot be verified, the two news items above barely scratched the attention of the Nation and were strictly a local event……as they should have been.   However, we should not have been frightened with alerts that really had no basis in fact but which served a political purpose for the party(ies) in power.  Don’t we deserve better than that?

Could this be the terror threat


We heard about a terror threat centered around the 9/11 anniversary remembrance taking place.  I don’t think this is the terror threat the corporate media had in mind, but it is terror nonetheless

Authorities say an anonymous caller threatened to detonate a bomb inside a mosque in Tennessee on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

According to a police report, an unidentified person made the threat Monday in a voicemail left at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. The report says the message included extreme profanities and derogatory remarks toward Muslims.

Murfreesboro Police spokesman Kyle Evans told The Associated Press on Wednesday that security at the mosque has been increased and that marked and unmarked vehicles are patrolling the area.

Evans says federal authorities are helping in the investigation.

The mosque has been the target of vandals who defaced signs at the site where it plans to build a bigger site of worship. Last year, arsonists also torched construction equipment there.

 

Coming out of vacation to post this brilliant piece by Glen Greenwald


As vacations go this is one of my better ones to date, but the shootings in Norway and the typical missteps by main stream media to cast blame on the culprits has made it just too unbearable for me.  Thankfully, Glen Greenwald’s piece sums it all up for me and it’s a must I post it here in its entirety.

For much of the day yesterday, the featured headline on The New York Times online front page strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo; that led to definitive statements on the BBC and elsewhere that Muslims were the culprits.  The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates.  The morning statement issued by President Obama — “It’s a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring” and “we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks” — appeared to assume, though (to its credit) did not overtly state, that the perpetrator was an international terrorist group.

But now it turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn’t from an international Muslim extremist group at all, but was rather a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and an affection for Muslim-hating blogs such as Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugged, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch.  Despite that, The New York Times is still working hard to pin some form of blame, even ultimate blame, on Muslim radicals (h/t sysprog):

Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking Al Qaeda’s brutality and multiple attacks.

“If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda,” said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation in Washington.

Al Qaeda is always to blame, even when it isn’t, even when it’s allegedly the work of a Nordic, Muslim-hating, right-wing European nationalist.  Of course, before Al Qaeda, nobody ever thought to detonate bombs in government buildings or go on indiscriminate, politically motivatedshooting rampages.  The NYT speculates that amonium nitrate fertilizer may have been used to make the bomb because the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, owned a farming-related business and thus could have access to that material; of course nobody would have ever thought of using that substance to make a massive bomb had it not been for Al Qaeda.  So all this proves once again what a menacing threat radical Islam is.

Then there’s this extraordinarily revealing passage from the NYT –first noticed by Richard Silverstein — explaining why the paper originally reported what it did:

Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks. American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

There was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible.

In other words, now that we know the alleged perpetrator is not Muslim, we know — by definition — that Terrorists are not responsible; conversely, when we thought Muslims were responsible, that meant — also by definition — that it was an act of Terrorism.  As Silverstein put it:

How’s that again? Are the only terrorists in the world Muslim? If so, what do we call a right-wing nationalist capable of planting major bombs and mowing down scores of people for the sake of the greater glory of his cause? If even a liberal newspaper like the Times can’t call this guy a terrorist, what does that say about the mindset of the western world?

What it says is what we’ve seen repeatedly: that Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target.  Indeed, in many (though not all) media circles, discussion of the Oslo attack quickly morphed from this is Terrorism (when it was believed Muslims did it) to no, this isn’t Terrorism, just extremism (once it became likely that Muslims didn’t).  As Maz Hussain — whose lengthy Twitter commentary on this event yesterday was superb and well worth reading — put it:

That Terrorism means nothing more than violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes has been proven repeatedly.  When an airplane was flown into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, it was immediately proclaimed to be Terrorism, until it was revealed that the attacker was a white, non-Muslim, American anti-tax advocate with a series of domestic political grievances.  The U.S. and its allies can, by definition, never commit Terrorism even when it is beyond question that the purpose of their violence is to terrorize civilian populations into submission.  Conversely, Muslims who attack purely military targets  — even if the target is an invading army in their own countries — are, by definition, Terrorists.  That is why, as NYU’s Remi Brulin has extensively documented, Terrorism is the most meaningless, and therefore the most manipulated, word in the English language.  Yesterday provided yet another sterling example.

One last question: if, as preliminaryevidencesuggests, it turns out that Breivik was “inspired” by the extremist hatemongering rantings of Geller, Pipes and friends, will their groups be deemed Terrorist organizations such that any involvement with them could constitute the criminal offense of material support to Terrorism?  Will those extremist polemicists inspiring Terrorist violence receive the Anwar Awlaki treatment of being put on an assassination hit list without due process?  Will tall, blond, Nordic-looking males now receive extra scrutiny at airports and other locales, and will those having any involvement with those right-wing, Muslim-hating groups be secretly placed on no-fly lists?  Or are those oppressive, extremist, lawless measures — like the word Terrorism — also reserved exclusively for Muslims?

UPDATE:  The original version of the NYT article was even worse in this regard.  As several people noted, here is what the article originally said (papers that carry NYT articles still have the original version):

Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking al-Qaida’s signature brutality and multiple attacks.

“If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from al-Qaida,” said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation in Washington.

Thus: if it turns out that the perpetrators weren’t Muslim (but rather “someone with more political motivations” — whatever that means: it presumably rests on the inane notion that Islamic radicals are motivated by religion, not political grievances), then it means that Terrorism, by definition, would be “ruled out” (one might think that the more politically-motivated an act of violence is, the more deserving it is of the Terrorism label, but this just proves that the defining feature of the word Terrorism is Muslim violence).  The final version of the NYT article inserted the word “Islamic” before “terrorism” (“even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause”), but — as demonstrated above — still preserved the necessary inference that only Muslims can be Terrorists.  Meanwhile, in the world of reality, of 294 Terrorist attacks attempted or executed on European soil in 2009 as counted by the EU, a grand total of one — 1 out of 294 — was perpetrated by “Islamists.”


UPDATE II:  This article expertly traces and sets forth exactly how the “Muslims-did-it” myth was manufactured and then disseminated yesterday to the worldwide media, which predictably repeated it with little skepticism.  What makes the article so valuable is that it names names: it points to the incestuous, self-regarding network of self-proclaimed U.S. Terrorism and foreign policy “experts” — what the article accurately describes as “almost always white men and very often with military or government backgrounds,” in this instance driven by “a case of an elite fanboy wanting to be the first to pass on leaked gadget specs” — who so often shape these media stories and are uncritically presented as experts, even though they’re drowning in bias, nationalism, ignorance, and shallow credentialism.

Here ya’ go, corporate media, suck on this!

America’s Celebration of Death


Osama bin Laden is dead and America is celebrating in such grotesque and macabre ways that some commentators have said such a celebratory mood is excessive and inappropriate. However this attitude of partying at the news of the death of a foe or opponent is a part of the American tradition, even when we did it to ourselves as.

I guess for some it was especially easy to celebrate because we attributed what happened on September 11, 2001 to bin Laden  and we all know what happened and what it meant to our Country, but it signifies the continued deterioration of our Nation’s morality and spirit.  We equated “justice” with assassination without blinking an eye and see no contradiction in that position.  From the simplest of minds to the most classically trained in jurisprudence, there was universal acceptance that a dead bin Laden was one who met justice.  We  allowed ourselves to be ruled by the mob mentality that says justice is what satisfies us emotionally not what is right or wrong, even if our happiness isn’t based on the law we’ve been told since kindergarten we must assiduously obey.

We gave into our hatred…much like the throngs of Iranians who surrounded the American embassy during the hostage situation and shouted ‘death to America’ and in such a frenzy allowed ourselves to be judge, jury and executioner, without blinking an eye.  Let’s not forget however, that when we’ve done that  before this is how we looked.

What are Muslims saying


Here it is without the filter; Muslims in the West commenting on the Osama bin laden execution

On the eve of Peter King’s hearings on Islam


Photo image of Zaid Shakir

Image via Wikipedia

King’s committee hearings on Islam are another politician’s pandering to the racist Islamophobes in American culture even when his hearings, which will be stacked against Muslim Americans, have no merit in fact.  King seems to think Muslims aren’t helping America in its war on terror.  False again.  Muslims have been active in fighting extremism, and here is just one example.

(Zaid) Shakir (Islamic activist and teacher at Zaytuna College, pictured above) answered critics who say that the violent extremists are only following a literal reading of the Quran with the verse, “Allah does not forbid you concerning a people that have not fought you over your religion nor expelled you from your homes that you have amicable and just relations with them and Allah loves those who are just.” Some may respond by saying that “the Americans are driving people out of their homes” but Shakir countered this by saying “most Americans I know haven’t driven anyone out of their homes.” Rather, he advised Muslims, especially frustrated and angry young Muslims that want to do something to join forces with those Americans like Michael Ratner and Chris Hedges that have dedicated their careers to shutdown the Guantanamo Bay prison and oppose the invasion of Iraq.

“Michael Ratner has dedicated the last 8 years of his career with others in trying to shutdown Guantanamo Bay. What have you done to help him in this effort, did you go to law school or learn about the political mechanisms of this country and add your voice, organize your community, educate your neighbors, use the media…Where were you when Chris Hedges and Veterans for Peace chained themselves to the White House fence and were arrested while trying to draw attention to those veterans protesting the war? Had Shakir, a military veteran been here, he says he would have a joined them.

Most likely, Mr. Shakir will not be called to testify before Peter King’s committee because frankly King is not interested in hearing anything that counters his subversive notions of the role Muslims play in American life.  But Shakir, et.co aren’t the only ones saying that American Muslims don’t deserve this negative attention.  Time magazine ran this story in one of its recent editions claiming this

Though acts of violent extremism by U.S. Muslims appear to have grown, their potency has not. American Muslims remain more moderate, diverse and integrated than the Muslim populations in any other Western society. Despite the efforts of al-Qaeda propagandists like al-Awlaki, the evidence of even modest sympathy for the enemy existing inside the U.S. is minuscule. The paranoia about homegrown terrorism thus vastly overstates al-Qaeda’s strength and reflects our leaders’ inability to make honest assessments about the true threats to America’s security….

A comprehensive report by the Rand Corporation last year concluded that just one out of every 30,000 American Muslims could be said to have joined jihad, “suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence.”……

So why does the myth of homegrown terrorism persist? In part because, like every hardy political meme, it serves the interests of loudmouths on both ends of the ideological spectrum. To the right, the threat of homegrown terrorism helps to perpetuate the notion of a ceaseless, civilization-wide struggle against Islamic extremism. To the left, the prospect of American Muslims taking up jihad fits with the idea that the U.S.’s foreign policy is creating a new generation of terrorists.

In other words, Muslims in America are a political football that’s used to influence foreign policy or advance a politician’s career, which is also known as demagoguery.  King fits the latter profile and that should come as no surprise in today’s political climate.  Instead of being a leader, a statesman for his constituents, he’s become a follower of political crosswinds that ostensibly serve to minimize the effect of Islam in America and abroad.

What if this were news about a Muslim?


Loonwatch. com does an excellent job pointing out the hypocritical nature of today’s news when it comes to reporting on issues of national and international  importance and any reader of Miscellany101, should visit that site regularly to get the latest example of a press obsessed with Islamic/Muslim violence that at the same time turns a blind eye and deaf ear to acts of violence committed by almost everyone else.  I must admit, this first news story I got from that site here, where the press is excoriated by Loonwatch, and justifiably so, for the double standard articles like this receive from media  intent on magnifying, mentioning, impugning and declaring guilty, every person mentioned on its pages or in its airwaves with an Arabic sounding name.

Along comes the largest cache of arms found on a private citizen’s property in the history of America and there is not one inference made to any group except al-Qaida, even when the perpetrator of the crime is a Serbian national bank robber!  The lengths the press goes to identify anyone anywhere with anything to do with Islam and terror, no matter how tangential the link is mental ambidexterity no contortionist could master.  George Djura Jakubec had PETN, a plastic explosive that’s been around since at least the second world war, used by people all over the world and even in some cases medicinally, but that fact is forgotten, or conveniently reduced to only one group of people who use it, that being al-Qaida. Of course no one has called for him to be imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay or waterboarded to see if he belongs to an even larger plot to terrorize America, because he’s not Muslim, and therefore couldn’t possibly be a terrorist.  We’ve even heard the common refrain, ‘he’s mentally unstable’ be the reason why he’s amassed such a large quantity of explosives in his home since only Muslims intentionally commit acts of terrorism, and everyone else just does so because of some kind of diminished mental capacity, and are therefore not responsible.

The other bit of news I found extraordinary is this. We’ve read about the importance of secularism in Europe but this is going too far.  Menstruating women being discriminated against in the workplace by their employers is enough to make any recoil in disgust in the 21st century, but evidently not enough for some people in Norway.  That this is being done by more than one employer yet hasn’t made its way in banner headlines across every newspaper in the world, prompting all the world’s super powers to enact sanctions against Norway and anything it produces because of the terrible way it treats its female employers; that there aren’t plane loads of soldiers sitting on tarmacs on every US military base, ready to take off at a second’s notice to invade and overthrow the Norwegian government and liberate their working women (one of the excuses made for the invasion of Afghanistan); that  a boycott hasn’t been called against Norway’s Nokia telecommunications, can only mean that some people, classes, ethnicities are allowed to denigrate and oppress their people (are you listening France) in a way that others can’t.   Political correctness does exist among members of the media and it’s a edge that cuts both ways.  The right isn’t the only group that can claim it cuts them and Muslims are as much its victim as its beneficiary.

Islamophobe of the Week


The entire cast at FoxNews, or rather the Republican Television Network, can win this award because of the constant racist rhetoric they are allowed to get away with over the American airwaves.  Bill O’Reilly was owned by Whoppie Goldberg and Joy Behar who walked out on him during his appearance on their show, The View.  That confrontation appears below

 

There’s so much wrong with what he said on so many levels…..did anyone catch his dig to Behar about learning something from him….that’s after he told her to shut up.  Classy guy, eh? So O’Reilly, a Fox employee was clear why the two hosts walked out and the very next day………

Brian Kilmead, another Fox employee makes the following statement, ‘Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim…..You can’t avoid that fact. And that is ridiculous that we got to keep defining this — the people that equate Timothy McVeigh with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which is growing and a threat that exists.”  Of course this remark was an explicit approval of O’Reilly’s comments made on The View a day before and there we have two Fox employees engaging in racist commentary on a national platform.  I had this to say in the comments section here

The double standard is in your face…I mean Sanchez gone, Octavia Nasir gone, Helen Thomas gone. None of them were given a chance to clarify their statements which were far more harmless and not pejorative as this Fox guy’s. In his one idiotic statement, ‘Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim’ substitute any other ethnic group and tell me he would survive one hour after going off the air. Let’s see, ‘not every Jew is a terrorist but every extremist, terrorist is a Jew’…or how about ‘not every African-American is a murderer/rapist but every murderer is black’. Or how about ‘not every blond woman is dumb, but every dumb woman is a blond’ or not every Polack is stupid but every stupid person is a Polack… I mean this is like looking at or hearing an episode of Archie Bunker’s Place all over again. That Kilmead moron makes his comments because he can get away with it; his bosses let him, maybe even encourage him because it’s good for ratings and perhaps even revenue and that’s the history of our country. Whatever sells works, despite evidence to the contrary. So 94% of terrorism committed from 1980 to 2005 according to the FBI, not Fox, was done by other than Muslims gets spun into 100% with a stroke on the keyboard because those people committing 94% of terrorism resemble the folks who make the decisions at FoxNews. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

Brian Kilmead, one of  your racist Islamophobes on the Fox channel.  Do we really want an America where we are all at one another’s throats because of the lies of people in the media.  For an excellent analysis of who’s doing what in the world of terrorism, run over to the thread here.  It’s very revealing about who is and isn’t a terrorist in the real world.

 

More terrorism news


The terror attack of December25, 2009 was meant to force the hand of the US to go to war in or with Yemen.  Thankfully the attack failed, but that hasn’t stopped the beating of war drums to attack and Joe Lieberman an ardent war supporter was one of the first to make that call.

Lieberman, the neoconservative solon who wanted to be the Secretary of Defense in the administration of John McCain (his 2008 candidate for president) and who would gladly play the same role in the administration of a Sarah Palin or any other saber-rattling Republican, is proposing the launch of a new preemptive war on Yemen……

Referencing his own travels to Yemen, and meetings with unnamed U.S. officials, the senator chirped: “Iraq was yesterday’s war, Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war.”

Lieberman, whose refusal to serve in the military when he could have during the Vietnam era has never prevented him from spouting hawkish views………….

Lieberman was also a sponsor of the Senate bill S.J. Res.46 which called for war with Iraq and never met a war he didn’t like, as long as he doesn’t have to fight it himself. Just what we need, a mini-Bush. Everyone is jumping on the blame the Obama administration bandwagon and that is no doubt one of the planned consequences of this failed attack, which was really meant to be Obama’s 911 trial by fire. There are some other rather interesting sidebars to this terror attack.

The name ICTS has surfaced again. You know who they are don’t you? The same people who were responsible for airport security at Logan International Airport, the departure point for two of the fatal aircraft of 911 were responsible for security at the Amsterdam airport, despite their statement to the contrary.  If anyone should be made to squirm under the light of scrutiny it should be ICTS who has been at the security helm during terrorist attacks on 911 and 12/25.  Don’t let the phony debate about technology divert you from the responsibility this company has for what happened on December, 25.  The airport in Amsterdam has 15, count them 15 full body image scanners which AbdulMuttaleb managed to evade under the watchful eye of ICTS personnel. There’s also the claim that the terrorist got on the plane without a passport or had someone speak on his behalf with gate agents to have him board without proper credentials.   That seems plausible, for if he had a passport with his name it should have set off alarm bells throughout the aviation community because his name was also attached to a terrorist watch list generated by the UK government and American CIA. Government officials have managed to deflect that criticism by pointing out there is more than one terrorism list.

The interesting issue about the hot potato of 12/25 is despite all the security we were told we needed after 911 and for all the reasons given for that increased security here we are  eight years later, with the same excuses given for the lapse in security and with the same response for our vulnerability, that of going to war in a foreign nondescript country, Yemen.  What happened to the increased efficiency we were told would result under the newly formed Department of Homeland Security that was supposed to facilitate communications between the various agencies responsible for America’s security so that the moment the suspect’s father informed the American embassy in his country of his suspicions about his son’s inclinations that message would go to the very top of the nation’s security apparatus? Instead we’re mired in the various degrees of watch lists and the distinction between watches and no-fly lists and suspects and terrorists.  Does anyone think increased expenditures  to a bloated federal agency will fine tune even this mess called Homeland Security?   How did a “security” company with all the latest up to date technological equipment at its disposal fail to use it on this  suspect?   Why the obvious ruse at the boarding gate, witnessed by two American lawyers, who have gone on record to say other far more incriminating things about the nature of security at the Amsterdam airport.

The only terror unleashed on 12/25 was the realization that despite all the country has gone through, and all the dollars spent, and all the experience those responsible for security should have gained over the last eight years, government is no more serious now about its security of citizens than it was  in 2001.  The event was just another in a long line of deceptions initiated to start another military campaign in some far region of the world and enrich the coffers of the 21st century’s welfare recipient, security companies.  Colin Powell, with whom I have serious misgivings at times said it best

are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. … The only thing that can really destroy us is us. We shouldn’t do it to ourselves, and we shouldn’t use fear for political purposes—scaring people to death so they will vote for you, or scaring people to death so that we create a terror-industrial complex.

We are well on the road to such a relationship between catastrophic events and burgeoning government contracts to the likes of ICTS whose existence depends on their own ineptitude, planned or chance.  Watch for another round of “security” individuals to pop up with their cures for a problem that was cured even well before 911.  We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be manipulated this way.

Islam, Body parts and Islamophobia


device The Islamophobic rantings of a mentally challenged press along with the help of a few well placed idiots in the Muslim world continues unabated.  The two news items below have taken the sublime to the level of ridiculous. First off, the so called female virginity-faking device is really a condom, not a device, that a man would have to wear before it could serve its purpose of making the wearer think his wife is a virgin.  The explanation of how this condom works is

The product……. consists of a flexible, open-ended sheath (like your regular Trojan), but is outfitted with an additional burstable pouch “containing a red colored fluid simulating blood.” The pouch is constructed from a weaker material than the condom itself so that the blood compartment “ruptures during sexual intercourse, while the sheath remains intact.” Unlike your standard translucent condom, this prophylactic is meant to be made from a dark material to help conceal the red liquid stored inside. If all goes according to plan, the man straps on the condom before sex, the woman appears to bleed during intercourse, and nobody is the wiser.

Naturally, if the man wants a virginal  bride on his wedding night, he won’t be the one purchasing this “device” but rather the woman, and if Egypt is a society where even men aren’t too disposed to purchase condoms it’s even more unlikely a conniving bride would do so, unless she enlists the help of a male relative, but then the secret would be out of the bag, wouldn’t it? Who and how then does anyone benefit from such a “device” under these circumstances?  You don’t have to be an expert in condoms to figure too that the condom you’re putting on has liquid in it and not be more than a little curious what that liquid is, wouldn’t you? Frankly it’s an obsessed West who loves taking pot shots at Islam and its “spokesmen” like Mr. Abdul Mouti Bayoumi who loudly proclaims the death penalty for anyone importing the $15 buck a piece  device into Egypt, making themselves  and the religion of Islam irrelevant.  Men unfortunately must bare some  responsibility in this charade played out by all parties, East and West.  The notion that virginity is a prized attribute of a wife is noble, as it should be for the goose as well,  but human physiology  and science can sometimes get in the way of that ideal, especially when bleeding is not always the outcome for females in an initial sexual encounter,  for varied reasons.  It certainly shouldn’t be the goal of men who love their spouses and want to equally and legally enjoy their sexuality with them.  The objectification of women into “bleeders” and breeders then is as abhorrent as the insane heights a racist press goes into demonizing marginal characters  like Mr. Bayoumi who make no real contribution to their societies.  It’s kinda like picking on the village idiot who can neither read nor write in order to score points and amuse a crowd of spectators.  It’s not only pointless but inhumane and immature.

The second story that piqued my interests was the anal bomber story out of Saudi Arabia.  According to the press, this terrorist implants explosives and a detonator in his anus, arranges a meeting with a high ranking Saudi official, waits for an extended period of time to see this official, goes through a myriad of security checkpoints (or does he?) and detonates the device only to slightly wound his intended target!  All that trouble and he didn’t succeed, through no fault of his own or of the target?!?!?  I still am at a loss how he was able to keep a chemically solvent explosive ready for detonation in such a sensitive area of the body, and of course it raised all sorts of concerns how this would affect airport security and keep the state from anal terrorist bombers lurking in bathrooms of airports the world over, stuffing themselves with bombs.  You can be sure the requirements for screening at airports will change for the worse for passengers/consumers, becoming more invasive.  It seems government gets off on exploiting the dangers terrorism poses to society, making such high tech devices as image scanners  mandatory instead of optional as they are currently.  However, back to the anal bomb story, it seems according to Saudi authorities it wasn’t wedged in the bomber’s anus but rather in his underwear.  That’s not comforting either, since if it’s true the explosives were in an article of clothing that  should have been discovered by a pat down, social sensitivities be damned.  Finally, the scenario goes the culprit was standing next to his target who was only slightly injured if at all if you take this account into consideration, though he, the bomber was seen exploding in a flash of light.  I’m still trying to figure out how that happens, unless the Saudis are really stretching the meaning of “slightly” or not injured to new heights.  Along with the assertion the bomb wasn’t in the anus as the last link above  seems to imply and the fact that the Saudi prince did NOT have the bomber searched seems to point more to Saudi incompetence and negligence than to the ingenuous anus of an  al-qaeda member. Check out the  picture of the bomber, dismembered amidst an almost totally destroyed room.  My point, another media story which focuses on the ridiculous and salacious shows just how irrelevant media has become in its attempts to scare and disgust you.

Stunning words from the mainstream


Paul Craig Roberts is a maverick of sorts, ever since he left the Reagan administration and began writing editorials about current events.  He still reflects fondly on Reagan, the conservative most modern day conservatives like to pattern themselves after, but speaks disdainfully of GW Bush and the people who surrounded him, calling them ‘brownshirts with the same level of intelligence and morals as Hitler’s enthusiastic supporters.’ Amen to that.  However, he has written a damning editorial on the war on terror, written by the way, at about the same time as Dick Cheney’s rather high treasonous remarks, which speaks volumes on how that war has been carried out and whether it’s real.  I’d like to produce exercepts of it below. He does a far better job of saying it than I ever could.

According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush’s last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.

If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harassments when they fly.

The “war on terror” is a hoax that fronts for American control of oil pipelines, the profits of the military-security complex, the assault on civil liberty by fomenters of a police state, and Israel’s territorial expansion.

There were no al Qaeda in Iraq until the Americans brought them there by invading and overthrowing Saddam Hussein, who kept al Qaeda out of Iraq. The Taliban is not a terrorist organization, but a movement attempting to unify Afghanistan under Muslim law. The only Americans threatened by the Taliban are the Americans Bush sent to Afghanistan to kill Taliban and to impose a puppet state on the Afghan people.

Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine, or what little remains of Palestine after Israel’s illegal annexations. Hamas is a terrorist organization in the same sense that the Israeli government and the US government are terrorist organizations. In an effort to bring Hamas under Israeli hegemony, Israel employs terror bombing and assassinations against Palestinians. Hamas replies to the Israeli terror with homemade and ineffectual rockets.

Hezbollah represents the Shi’ites of southern Lebanon, another area in the Middle East that Israel seeks for its territorial expansion.

The US brands Hamas and Hezbollah “terrorist organizations” for no other reason than the US is on Israel’s side of the conflict. There is no objective basis for the US Department of State’s “finding” that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations. It is merely a propagandistic declaration.

The retired American generals who serve as war propagandists for Fox “News” are forever claiming that Iran arms the Iraqi and Afghan insurgents and Hamas. But where are the arms? To deal with American tanks, insurgents have to construct homemade explosive devices out of artillery shells. After six years of conflict the insurgents still have no weapon against the American helicopter gunships. Contrast this “arming” with the weaponry the US supplied to the Afghans three decades ago when they were fighting to drive out the Soviets.

The films of Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza show large numbers of Gazans fleeing from Israeli bombs or digging out the dead and maimed, and none of these people are armed. A person would think that by now every Palestinian would be armed, every man, woman, and child. Yet, all the films of the Israeli attack show an unarmed population. Hamas has to construct homemade rockets that are little more than a sign of defiance. If Hamas were armed by Iran, Israel’s assault on Gaza would have cost Israel its helicopter gunships, its tanks, and hundreds of lives of its soldiers.

The great mystery is: why after 60 years of oppression are the Palestinians still an unarmed people? Clearly, the Muslim countries are complicit with Israel and the US in keeping the Palestinians unarmed.

The unsupported assertion that Iran supplies sophisticated arms to the Palestinians is like the unsupported assertion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. These assertions are propagandistic justifications for killing Arab civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure in order to secure US and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.


WOT=War on Islam?


There’s no mistake that America had every reason to be angry at what happened on September 11, 2001, but that tragedy was used by some to take out centuries old grudges against people in the Middle East and steer America on a course which has led it to become a violator of international treaties and agreements unparalleled in our nation’s history.  Nowhere is that exemplified more than with Guantanamo Bay where scores of Muslim men were snatched up from all over the world and placed in an isolated military camp where they were tortured for no apparent reason.

An Algerian man who spent nearly seven years in Guantanamo Bay says his U.S. interrogators never questioned him on the main terrorism allegation against him.

Mustafa Ait Idir, who was freed this week and returned to his adopted homeland of Bosnia, was accused of planning to go to Afghanistan to fight against U.S. forces.

“They’ve never asked anything about charges which were brought against us. They’ve never asked about Afghanistan,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Ait wasn’t captured on some battlefield endangering the lives of US servicemen and women, rather he was taken from his country, Bosnia and imprisoned in Gitmo Bay after his own country’s court had determined he was innocent of the charges for which the US government picked him up. It seems however that US authorities were interested in Islamic relief organizations working in Bosnia, which appears to be even the focus of officials even here in America.  (The Holy Land Foundation trial recently concluded in Texas is an example where relief efforts particularly for Palestinians suffering under the worse case of state sponsored terrorism were shut down under flimsily constructed charges.)

The charge for which the US picked up Ait, conspiring to attack the US embassy in Sarajevo,  was dropped by authorities while he was in Gitmo and a US federal judge ordered and government officials acceded to the order that he be released from his unlawful imprisonment, but why was he picked up in the first place?

From this observer’s perspective it appears America has given into its dark side, filled with sadism and masochistic fantacies played out in our artistic and entertainment culture which could be acted out in reality against an enemy we were told only responded to such brutality.  The Bush administration was/is not the least bit interested in fighting its true enemies it merely wanted bodies, the 21st century version of the body count notion that came out of the Vietnam war, to fill up Guantanamo and justify its existence.

At a Pentagon briefing in the spring of 2002, a senior Army intelligence officer expressed doubt about the entire intelligence-gathering process.

“He said that we’re not getting anything, and his thought was that we’re not getting anything because there might not be anything to get,” said Donald J. Guter, a retired rear admiral who was the head of the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps at the time.

*snip*

In 2002, a CIA analyst interviewed several dozen detainees at Guantanamo and reported to senior National Security Council officials that many of them didn’t belong there, a former White House official said.

Despite the analyst’s findings, the administration made no further review of the Guantanamo detainees. The White House had determined that all of them were enemy combatants, the former official said.

Rather than taking a closer look at whom they were holding, a group of five White House, Justice Department and Pentagon lawyers who called themselves the “War Council” devised a legal framework that enabled the administration to detain suspected “enemy combatants” indefinitely with few legal rights.

The threat of new terrorist attacks, the War Council argued, allowed President Bush to disregard or rewrite American law, international treaties and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to permit unlimited detentions and harsh interrogations.

The group further argued that detainees had no legal right to defend themselves, and that American soldiers — along with the War Council members, their bosses and Bush — should be shielded from prosecution for actions that many experts argue are war crimes.

This attitude that the executive could unilaterally re-write or even ignore existing law is a theme that has been consistently explored during the Bush administration and found expression in a doctrine known as  “unilateral executive”. With this gloves off approach, people in the field were allowed to do whatever they wanted; there were no limits to the power or the abuse they could reap on people under their control and consequentially torture and physical abuse were more normal than not.

(Ait) said he was kept for four months, lightly dressed, in a very cold refrigerated container. For short periods of the day he was taken outside, where it was very hot. Other prisoners were subjected to long periods in total darkness or very bright light, he said.

There was torture every minute,” Ait Idir said. “It did not matter to them if we were terrorists or not.

Indeed.

Memory hole stuff about Mumbai


There’s been so much said about what happened in Mumbai, India and it’s constantly changing so I’m putting together a few, just a very few, links here to refer to in the future when the story has changed to fit the Islamist, jihadist theories which seem to predominate the news these days.

Let me begin by saying that some of the wildest conspiracy theories are those which have become accepted as fact, like OBL planning and directing 911 from Afghanistan or the lone gunman theory in the assassination of JFK, and so too, the Mumbai terrorist operation whereby 10 men are responsible for all the carnage that took place over a wide area of that city is highly implausible, especially when you look at what is reported to have happened.  This is my attempt to highlight some things that will most likely be forgotten when the official narrative is in place.

It appears the police were not too enthusiastic about engaging the terrorists.

The gunmen were terrifyingly professional, making sure at least one of them was able to fire their rifle while the other reloaded. By the time he managed to capture the killer on camera, Mr D’Souza had already seen two gunmen calmly stroll across the station concourse shooting both civilians and policemen, many of whom, he said, were armed but did not fire back.

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

The identity of the terrorists, even the one alive is at best unknown.

The Faridkot link is a key element in the evidence cited by Indian officials that the attackers of Mumbai came from Pakistan.

The captured terror suspect was said to come from Faridkot. He was said to be 21 and to speak fluent English. A photograph of him shows a modern-looking young man swaggering in Western clothing, with an AK-47 in hand.

In Faridkot, no one appeared to be able to speak much English, and most could converse only in a dialect of the provincial language, Punjabi. None of the villagers recognized the face in the photograph, nor could they think of anyone mysteriously missing from the village.

They said the intelligence agents wanted to know if there was any presence of the radical Deobandi or Alhe Hadith religious movements in the village, to which the answer was a flat “no.”

*snip*

To add to the confusion, there are several other places called Faridkot in the Punjab, although this village seemed to be the most likely Faridkot, because it’s near Multan. There’s also a well-known Faridkot in India, just across the border in the Indian half of the Punjab province.

An exasperated local police chief, Kamran Khan, who sent his men twice to Faridkot (the one outside Kanewal), told McClatchy: “Whatever we’re doing to investigate, we’re doing off our own initiative. No definitive information has come to us from any official channel. We’re still not clear this is the right Faridkot.”

There have been conflicting eye witness accounts of what the gunman looked like which provide an interesting portal to conspiracy theories.

One police officer who encountered the gunmen as they entered the Jewish centre told the Guardian the attackers were “white”, although this could mean they were paler-skinned Indians from the country’s north.

“I went into the building late last night,” he said. “I got a shock because they were white. I was expecting them to look like us. They fired three shots. I fired 10 back.

Another account described two attackers thus:

Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad, says he saw at least two men who started the firing outside the Leopold Cafe.

He was returning to his hotel from the seaside with a friend when he saw two men carrying bags and brandishing AK-47s walking in front of them, shooting.

“They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed,” says Mr Amir.

It doesn’t help that several news reports are claiming that terrorists and many hostages’ remains were unrecognizable, some due to mutilation, thereby making identification even more difficult.  How one can say that the identity of the attackers is a sure thing doesn’t seem to fit the news coming from India.

It’s clear the evil-doers want to make this a religious war, a clash of civilizations between Islam and the rest of the world.  At one point the allegation was even made that Israelis were tortured and mutilated more than other victims of this brutal act, but that was quickly denied.

The Jewish victims from the Mumbai Chabad House siege showed no indications of torture, a Mumbai doctor said.

Dr. Ganjanan Chawan saw the bodies when they arrived at JJ Hospital in Mumbai.

His statements in Wednesday’s edition of the Jerusalem Post contradicted an interview with a morgue employee of the hospital printed the previous day by the newspaper. The  morgue employee had said the Jewish victims had more injuries than the other victims in last week’s terrorist attacks on the Indian city. More than 180 people were killed.

A hospital doctor was quoted Sunday on the Rediff Indian news site as saying that the bodies of the Jewish victims bore torture marks.

There were suggestions that people were killed because of their religious persuasion, but judging by the indiscriminate firing of the terrorists most eye-witness accounts suggest they didn’t care who they were shooting, and a country with the largest Muslim population in the world is sure to have had Muslim victims of this rampage. An interesting sidebar to this aspect of the attacks is despite the claim certain faiths were singled out, it could be that the ineptness of the Indian military led to many of the fatalities.

A private rescue group from Israel has claimed that Indian commandos inadvertently killed some of the hostages in the terror attacks in Mumbai, and the claim has evidently embarrassed both governments, news reports said on Tuesday.

“Based on what I saw, (although) I can’t identify the type of bullets in the bodies (of the victims), I don’t think the terrorists killed all the hostages, to put it gently,” Mr Haim Weingarten, head of the six-member team of Zaka voluntary organisation dealing with rescue and recovery, told The Jerusalem Post.

Terrorism is used by states and groups to influence policy and the policy which some are hoping comes out of the Mumbai attacks is the expansion of the WOT into Pakistan, directly or indirectly with India as a surrogate partner.  The “evil-doers” who want this expansion are the same ones who manufactured the manufactured the 911 inspired war on terrorism and Mumbai was their last dying act before the coming to power of the Obama Administration.  It’ll be interesting to see if Obama takes the bait or calls the war party out for what it truly is.

American Muslims to Al-Qaida-Get the f*ck outta’ here!


There is no Islamic terrorist threat from American Muslims.  Inspite of every effort on the part of the American government to find one it simply doesn’t exist.  Oh sure, there are the occasional kooks and weirdos that garner a lot of media attention but there is no concerted, organized effort on the part of Muslims living in America to subvert the way of life of America.  In fact, Muslims generally have tried to incorporate themselves into the American way of life only to find their efforts maligned, misdirected and denied by the very people who claim to believe in the American system.

So along comes al-Qaida, that nefarious group of individuals in the ethernet, on the heels of the Obama victory to call him and those who support him out and what happens?  Zawahiri gets the smack down from Muslims in America.

I am offended that this group consistently portrays Islam as a murderous and irrational religion practiced by racists and sexists.  Just as I would not portray the Ku Klux Klan as “Christian” or Hitler as “Catholic”, I can’t call the streaming absurdities of these kinds of people – “Islam”! Racism and murder are not part of Islam – Al-Zawahiri’s comments were (as usual) racist and divisive.

I was also offended at the hijacking of Malcolm X’s legacy in which Mr. Al-Zawahiri implied that Malcolm would approve of their un-Islamic murderous methods.  Malcolm X has said that he believed in the sanctity of life and the rule of law.  The Al-Qaeda gang of lawless murderers is looking to cover their bloody tracks by dragging Brother Malcolm X into their dark and musty cave of division.

And again……

SO LET US MAKE IT CLEAR THAT AMERICA IS, AS THE AUTHOR AND RESEARCHER SYLVIANNE DIOUF POINTS OUT, THE ONLY WESTERN COUNTRY WITH AN INDIGENOUS MUSLIM POPULATION OF AFRICAN DESCENT. NO ONE AT HOME  OR ABROAD SPEAKS FOR MUSLIM AFRICAN AMERICANS BUT THEIR OWN LEADERS.
FURTHER, OVERWHELMINGLY, AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSLIM LEADERS REJECT CALLS TO BOTH RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL EXTREMISM , PARTICULARLY WHEN SUCH CALLS ARE BASED UPON APPEALS TO EMOTION AND A PROJECTED INTERNATIONAL AGENDA DECLARED BY OTHERS, INSTEAD OF A DOMESTIC AGENDA DECLARED BY OURSELVES.

Miscellany101 to al-Qaida, it ain’t working with American Muslims so you’d better try another tactic!  It’s clear Muslims in America have made their own path on the world’s stage, are able to think for themselves, set their priorities as citizens of America and won’t be led (misled) by people with agendas that are not in their interests as Muslim Americans.  For all the commentators  who use terms like Islamofascists, Islamoterrorists, etc, slinging such terms so glibly this message is directed towards  you too!!!

The Neocon’s coup within the US government


The attack on Syria was the neocon’s way of asserting their position of dominance within the US government.  It was a signal to the winner of next week’s election that the winner would have to deal with the neocon’s reality of foreign policy and not with any campaign promises, and that reality is there will be no reconciliation with the Syrian government ever and that US troops will not leave Iraq anytime soon.  I disagree with fellow blogger Xymphora who seems to think Obama’s supposed imminent victory means a demise of neocon control over government, but I do agree with Xymp’s statement that ‘peace is the death of zionism’, hence why else would America attack a government that has shown a willingness to be at peace with its neighbors and America’s allies, unless that ally (Israel) doesn’t want peace.  The excuse that the attack was against infiltrators into Iraq from Syria has also been thoroughly discounted.

A top US commander Thursday voiced optimism US troop levels could be cut substantially in western Iraq particularly after provincial elections in the former insurgent stronghold.

Marine Corps Major General John Kelly, who commands the 25,000 US troops in the west, said the tally of security incidents had fallen so low as to be “almost meaningless now.”

“So I would say that I’m very optimistic that we could start to reduce numbers,” he said.

In fact, one could view this attack as a shot across the bow of certain elements within even the military that talk of troop reductions and stability are not consistent with the program of instability and perpetual war that has fueled both the Israeli government and now our own.

There is the possibility that whoever was killed was an enemy to both Syria and the US and as such was a targeted assassination agreed upon by both parties.  As with so much about Mid East occurrences that will never be known; however the message is that the US is in Iraq to stay, regardless of the Maliki government’s decision on the SOFA agreement that for the moment is dead.  That reality has been foisted on the winner of Tuesday’s election whether he likes it or not.

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