Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Tree in the Forest: Va. ACLU Ex-Prez Arrested for Child Porn

Bill O'Reilly reported Friday about Charles Rust-Tierney, a former president of the ACLU of Virginia, who was arrested for posession of child pornography. He also questioned which news organizations would report this story, which was sent out over the AP wire service to all media outlets, major and minor.


ABC reported it (link), and the Washington Post put it in the "B" section, according to Mr. O'Reilly. The NY Post, a conservative paper, didn't report it (which he didn't point out), along with most of the liberal MSM. The question is: why? O'Reilly says it was because Rust-Tierny is a big liberal ex-president of the ACLU's Va. chapter, and he may have a point. A former NRA chapter president would probably have gotten more coverage, at least from most of the MSM.

The story itself is rather graphic, if one wants to report the details. This could be a reason for many outlets to pass on reporting it, as well. Disturbing news sells, though, so I wonder back to my NRA analogy. I am more convinced that the lack of reporting is somewhat slanting leftward.


The bigger picture, of course, is that this guy was caught up in a worldwide investigation. The important people to focus on are the producers of this, as well as the distributors, who may be in foreign countries. This is a story worth reporting, beyond a doubt. O'Reilly's bloviating about the relevance of a former ACLU chapter president being a buyer of this deviant material "muddies the waters," so to speak, of the bigger picture.


While it gets attention from the right, and people who disagree with the ACLU, that is not always the best way to draw attention to this story. Still, it is true that high-profile cases are what draws the public's attention. Perhaps some good may come of this, if O'Reilly succeeds in making this a "high-profile" case.


This is another time when I'm on Bill's side, and even appreciate his use of the ACLU connection to put this "on the radar" of people who care about children's civil liberties. When this "tree fell in the woods," O'Reilly heard it, and so did we.


Does anyone think this guy will give up any info on his suppliers? Will his case be followed in any other media outlets? There are many questions I have about this story. Will the ACLU defend him in court? (NOT!) What other reasons were behind the non-reporting of this story?


Let's hear it, if you have anything to add, or rebut!

DEM'S SHAKE-OUT BEGINS


Tom Vilsack dropped out of the Democratic primary race, and it sounded like a tree falling in the middle of a forest. No-one heard it.The same fate awaits Chris Dodd, as well as Joe Biden. These guys are has-beens, and never-will-be's. The real stars of the left are Al Gore and Hillary.



Al deserves his place at the table, and has gone to amazing lengths to get there. If he wins an academy award for his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," he could step on Hilary like a bug in the primaries. He has the freedom to be as "left" as he wants, and can try to slide back to the right enough to fool the average voter, after the primaries.



Hillary's other biggest threats are Barack Obama and John Edwards, according to the MSM. David Geffen has created a firestorm between Hil and Obama, and Edwards had a minor dustup with Hil a few weeks ago. This looks like choreographed chaos to me, and Hil looks to come out on top.



One question: why is there no such heavy brawling between Giuliani, McCain, and the other Republican candidates? (I'm sure it will come, a little later...)



...Just some random thoughts about the way things will shake out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Terrorism in the U.S.A, and Slanted Reporting

I've seen this so many times, it hardly suprises me any more. A terrorist attack by a Muslim in a Salt Lake City mall is called something else (1 BobG). Over the years, the MSM have willfully played down numerous individual attacks as not being influenced by Wahabbi ideology.

Another example of this MSM non-reporting was just exposed by the
NY Daily News. It seems that the Empire State Building attack in 1997 was terrorism, according to the suicide attackers' wife. She says now that she was told to deny his terrorist motive afterward by the Palestinian Authority, so that the "peace process" would not be threatened (2 BobG).

Now there's the cab driver, who got into an argument with his passengers "over religion," and ended up trying to run them over (
3 Malkin). Could they have been arguing about Islam? Is this not terrorism based on fanatical Islamic faith? What sect(s) of Islam promote this hideous ideology?

The Wahabbis, and the Khomenists are the leading purveyors of this type of terrorism, though there are many smaller groups that are spreading the "kill Americans and Jews" line. The problem is that our media refuse to acknowledge that we are being attacked by Islamic terrorists on a different scale; a much smaller one than 9/11.

Does anyone remember the 1994 shooting of a Hebrew School mini-bus, on the Brooklyn bridge? I remember it NOT getting alot of MSM attention (
4 NY Times). A school van with 4 Jewish kids was shot up by a terrorist, killing Ari Halberstam. I know Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) remembers this. He said so in a press release letter he wrote to the FBI on Jul. 23, '02.

If you didn't read the link, Rep. Weiner urges the FBI to investigate the El Al shooting at LAX as a terrorist attck. Yes, this was another attack against innocent civillians on U.S. soil. He reminds them not to make the same mistakes they made in 1994, initially calling the B'klyn bridge attack "road rage."

Here's an excerpt from the PBS Newshour on the EL AL shooting (
5 PBS.org):

In a press conference, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn said there was no
indication that the shooting was connected to terrorism and that it appeared to
be an isolated incident.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Thursday that Israel would help
the U.S. find those responsible for what Israeli officials were quick to call a
"terrorist attack."


There is more: The college kid who ran down a bunch of students; the Jihaddist-influenced D.C. snipers, and many others. There are US citizens that hate this country as much as our worst enemies, and they are working with them, in many areas. The AP is a great example. These idiots pick up press reports that are packaged by Al Queda, Hamas, or other terrorist groups on an almost daily basis (6 Bookworm).

How does that contrast with their lacking complete coverage of domestic Islamic terrorism? Someone, or group of people is behind the "soft-pedaling" of the terrorist intentions behind these "small" attacks by "lone wolf" individuals in the MSM, and the federal government. It could be as simple as the fact that they don't want to be called "Islamophobic."

When will the MSM wake up? After the people do. The good news is that more are waking up, and not watching or reading the liberal MSM these days. Terrorists are called terrorists in the new media, because some media voice had to say it. It's the truth.

American Terrorist Returned To US

BobG from Sweet Spirits of Ammonia has this tidbit:


The FBI has taken an American citizen, Daniel Maldonado, into custody. He is being charged with receiving terrorist training by Al-Qaeda in Somalia and with conspiring to use an explosive device.



Maldonado, also known as Daniel Aljughaifi, was captured by the Kenyan military and turned over to US law enforcement. When apprehended, he was fleeing the Ethiopian and Somali government forces battling the islamomaniacs of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia.



He faces life imprisonment if convicted on the bomb-making charge. The penalty should be death, just as he planned for others.




More at FOXNews.



------------------------



What does one make of this guy Maldonado, nee Aljughaifi? Is he just another "misguided soul," who went to Somalia with "good intentions?" I can predict some of that in future reporting. Still, his being in Somalia, and the undeniable connection of the people he was working for with Al Queda doesn't bode well for this young man. This is a new area of law, since most of the charges are violations of the PATRIOT act. Look for liberal groups like the ACLU to defend him.



I agree with BobG's sentiments, but it seems that additional charges would have to be brought to merit the death penalty. I'm skeptical of that happening in this case.

Friday, February 16, 2007

ACLU Fights Parent's Rights in Public Schools

Lawyers representing a Massachusetts school district named as a defendant in a parent's civil rights complaint have said teachers at Estabrook Elementary School have a "legitimate state interest" in teaching the homosexual lifestyle, and parents have no input into those decisions.


"of the people, by the people and for the people", taxpayers, aka parents "have no input into those decisions." The "State" no longer serves the people, the people serve the "State".

"A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society."
- Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and third U.S. president (1743-1826), in a letter to George Hammond, 1792

The arguments came in a recent hearing on the district's motion to dismiss the complaint filed by David Parker, a parent whose concern over the school's promotion of the homosexual agenda to grade-schoolers prompted a meeting with school officials, for which they had him arrested for trespassing.

According to a report from the activist group MassResistance.org, those arguments echoed the claims made earlier in the case when a brief in support of the school's position was filed by a collection of homosexual advocacy organizations.

"The state must fight 'discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation' in ways that 'do not perpetuate stereotypes,'" the lawyers for the school district argued. They also explained to the judge that, in their opinion, parents have no right to control what ideas the school presents to elementary schoolchildren, and if parents disagree with that dictate, they can take their children elsewhere.

"Once I have elected to send my child to public school, my fundamental right does not allow me to direct what my child is exposed to in the public school," said the school's lawyer.

Dozens of parents' rights supporters of the Parker family braved freezing temperatures to offer moral support to David Parker in the hearing on his case against school officials in Lexington, Mass.

Parker was represented by lawyers Jeffrey Denner, Robert Sinsheimer and Neil Tassel, who argued before Judge Mark Wolf that what the school calls "diversity training" more accurately would be called "indoctrination," since several viewpoints were absent from the school's presentations, and only the pro-homosexual position was present.

And lawyers said the school "ultimatum" to "remove yourself and go somewhere else" was vulgar.

"American values rely on religion. Religious rights trump the secular. Parents have the right to direct the moral upbringing of their children," said Sinsheimer. "It is the Constitution that protects the minority segment from the majority… The Parkers choose to send their children to the Lexington Public Schools to be part of the fabric of the community."

The elementary curriculum promoting homosexuality, he said, was specifically intended to change a child's outlook of the world to something that his parents didn't teach him.

An ACLU lawyer, however, told the judge that "it is a tremendous bonus" for children to be given information of which their parents wouldn't approve, and that teaching children homosexuality when their parents' Biblical beliefs do not support that has nothing to do with a violation of religious freedom, according to the MassResistance.org reports.

"David Parker's dilemma … threatens the parental rights and religious freedom of every Massachusetts parent, and indirectly every parent in America," said John Haskins of the Parents' Rights Coalition.

"As the Lexington schools themselves are arguing, the state's right to force pro-homosexuality indoctrination on other people's children arises directly from former Gov. Mitt Romney's nakedly false and unconstitutional declaration that homosexual marriage is now legal."

Haskins said when the Massachusetts state Supreme Court demanded homosexual marriages in the state, it didn't have the constitutional or legal authority to order the governor to act or to order the Legislature to make any changes.

Officials said Wolf usually announces a decision within several weeks of a hearing, and that's what is expected in this case. Parker's lawyers are scheduled to supplement their oral arguments with written briefs this week.

The brief filed earlier by the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in support of the school's homosexual promotions said parental rights "have never meant that a parent can demand prior notice and the right to opt a child out of mere exposure to ideas in the public schools that a parent disapproves of."

Brian Camenker, a spokesman for MassResistance.org, said the high-profile groups must see Parker's claims "as quite a threat to their ability to push their message on children."

He said his organization, a "pro-family action center for Massachusetts" which equips citizens to fight attacks on freedoms, constitutional government, children and parental rights, can see the "true agenda" of the homosexual organizations in their demands.

Parker was arrested and jailed in Lexington in April 2005 over his request – and the school's refusal – to notify him when adults discuss homosexuality or transgenderism with his elementary-age son. The school took that position despite a state law requiring such notification.

Then in April 2006 the same school chose to present the same single-perspective information, and again refused to notify Parker, who followed with the federal civil rights lawsuit.

[snip]

The arguments on behalf of homosexuals were remarkably similar to a recent European court's conclusion.

The European Human Rights Court several months ago concluded in a case involving similar objections that parents do not have an "exclusive" right to lead their children's education and any parental "wish" to have their children grow up without adverse influences "could not take priority over compulsory school attendance."

That court said a German family had no right to provide homeschooling for their children. The family had argued the public school endangered their children's religion beliefs and violated the family's Christian faith.

Irrelevant, said the court. "The parents' right to education did not go as far as to deprive their children of that experience," it said.

"The (German) Federal Constitutional Court stressed the general interest of society to avoid the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions and the importance of integrating minorities into society," the European ruling said.

In Germany, the situation has continued to deteriorate for homeschoolers, with one 15-year-old student recently being taken into custody by a SWAT team and ordered by a judge to a psychiatric ward of a hospital because she was being homeschooled. WND's latest update on that situation has confirmed authorities now have removed the teen from the psych ward, and she has been taken to a location that is being withheld from her parents and lawyer.



We have listed the "Communist Goals" on this site several times in the past two years and this is a good time to repost two of them...

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NYS BATTLE ROYALE: Gov. Spitzer vs. Bipartisan Dysfunction


Politics in NY State have gotten very interesting of late. Democrat Governor Spitzer, elected by around %70 of NYS voters, is taking on both legislative houses, especially the Democrat-controlled Assembly, in his quest to "change everything" in Albany.



Gov. Spitzer lost the first round, failing to get the combined legislature to vote for one of three candidates his impartial panel had chosen to succeed Alan Hevesi as NYS Comptroller. Assembly Speaker Silver was set on having an Assemblyman take the seat, but none were among the final three chosen by Spitzer's panel. Silver said there were supposed to be five candidates on the final list, and because Spitzer only listed three, their deal was off. The Governor had no say on who was chosen, but had gotten Silver to publicly agree to select one of the panel's recommended candidates.



Instead, Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli was elected by the combined legislature to be the NYS Comptroller. Here's where the fun begins. (1 NY Post)





With a combined 212 members of the Senate and Assembly sitting in a joint session, Silver needed at least 107 votes to elect Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli comptroller.



The Democratic leader could only muster 104 votes from his Assembly delegation.



But the vast majority - all but three - of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno's Republicans on hand for the vote lined up with Silver and backed the Long Island Democrat he wanted for the job.




Here's the total breakdown: (2 TimesUnion.com blog)




Ex-Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli received: 104 votes from Assembly Democrats, 17 from Assembly Republicans, 29 from Senate Republicans and none from Senate Democrats (two of the 28 minority senators were excused/absent, Craig Johnson has not yet been sworn in).




So all but three Senate Republicans vote for a Democrat, but NONE of the Senate Democrats do. I must note that Gov. Spitzer appeared in commercials for Sen-elect Craig Johnson, just before his recent special election, leading me to think he would have sided with the Governor. So, what caused this strange situation?



The simple answer is the most common word used to describe NYS politics, especially the Legislature: Dysfunction. The underlying reason for the dysfunction is bureaucratic corruption of the NYS Legislature, of course, but dysfunction is the acceptable, almost diplomatic term that everyone seems to use.



Gov. Spitzer, whatever his faults, seems to be making an amazing effort to clean up Albany. He chose an interesting first battle, sticking his nose into a situation that he has no constitutional role in. Perhaps he isn't surprised to get his nose bloodied on this issue. He came back with several counterpunches: (3 NY Post)




"We have just witnessed an insider's game of self-dealing that unfortunately confirms every New Yorker's worst fears and image of all that goes on in the Legislature of this state," Spitzer said. "They returned to the cocoon of the Albany status quo that has driven their behavior for too long."




(4 NY Post)




"There’s nothing like losing a skirmish that leads me to want to win the next round more," Spitzer told a group of donors at a breakfast in Manhattan, according to a source at the event. "The knockout blow is coming very soon," he threatened - hinting at a possible coup against Silver.



Hours later, Spitzer tore into DiNapoli and Assemblyman William Magnarelli, a fellow Democrat, at a stop in the latter’s Syracuse district.



The new governor described DiNapoli as a nice guy but "thoroughly and totally unqualified for the job," according to the Syracuse Post-Standard’s Web site.



As for Magnarelli, who voted for DiNapoli, Spitzer called him "one of those unfortunate Assembly members who just raises his hand when he’s told to do so, and didn’t ever stand up and say, ‘Whose interest am I representing?’ "



"There is no ambiguity in my mind about who I am representing - the public. Nineteen million New Yorkers," Spitzer said.



Also yesterday, the governor canceled a lunch, scheduled for Monday, that was designed to get him and his staff better acquainted with Assembly Democrats. He also pulled out of a Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee fundraiser he was slated to headline next Thursday.



Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari (D-Troy) called Spitzer’s behavior "unsettling."



"I don’t think tactics that impugn our integrity work," Canestrari said. "We need to deal with these things in a rational, unemotional manner."



Another shocked Assembly Democrat said, "He’s f- - -ing nuts. He’s like a maniac. . . I first thought his aggressive thing was a posture, a strategy to make us the enemy, but I no longer think that. Now I think he’s got a very serious tempermanagement issue."



Capitol observers are warning that Democrats could become more entrenched in trying to block Spitzer’s agenda. "The thinking is, Spitzer will try and take out Shelly down the road," said one Assembly Democrat. "If you follow this path to its conclusion, it can only lead to one place - a leadership conflict."




Wait, it gets deeper: (5 NY Post)




Spitzer's war on fellow Democrat Silver and the Assembly escalated yesterday when those close to the governor said he'd like to see Silver gone.



"He has very serious concerns with him remaining as speaker," said a source familiar with Spitzer's thinking.



Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson wouldn't say whether Spitzer wants a new Assembly speaker.



"Clearly Eliot thinks the relationship has been damaged and there's serious questions about whether you can trust someone who clearly goes back on their word," Anderson said when asked if the governor still has confidence in Silver as speaker.



"He has serious concerns about his ability to negotiate with him in the future."



Silver yesterday insisted he can work with Spitzer, and made it clear he has no plans to go anywhere.



"I feel very secure," Silver said when asked if his leadership is in jeopardy.




I wouldn't, if I were him. Gov. Spitzer then broke out the big guns: (6 NY Post)




In his ongoing attack on sleazy Albany politics, Gov. Spitzer said yesterday that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should disclose the salary he pockets as an attorney for a major personal-injury firm.



Spitzer told The Post yesterday that "additional disclosure about secondary income is important" for the whole Legislature, and he plans to address the issue in the future.



Silver - who helps lead a Legislature often called one of the most dysfunctional in the nation - has worked "of counsel" to the Manhattan firm Weitz & Luxenberg since 2002.



The firm often represents slip-and-fall clients suing the state and city, and last year, posted an ad on its Web site seeking people injured at state parks.



Silver has vehemently insisted that his position does not create a conflict of interest.




The same story also notes this:




Under the state Constitution, which classifies legislators as part time, it's legal for a lawmaker to hold outside jobs.



At the same time, there is no law requiring those legislators to publicly disclose information about their outside incomes. In the past, Silver has refused to reveal his salary at the firm, which won at least $280 million for its clients from 1986 to 2003.




This is the interesting part of this whole situation. Exploiting loopholes in the NYS Constitution and law has allowed this Legislature to be legally corrupt. What Gov. Spitzer is doing now is still his opening gambit, I am sure. He has already gotten the nickname "steamroller" in some circles, because he called himself this in a rant to some state legislator. I have to believe he has some anger management problems, but if that's what it takes to get things done, I'm all for it.



I'm not switching back to being a Democrat, but I'll support Gov. Spitzer against the Senate Republicans, as long as he's also going against the Assembly Democrats. The place is a rat's nest, but the fault is in the laws, and perhaps the state constitution. Spitzer must change the leadership in the Legislature before any reform will be passed by that body.



My worst fears are that Spitzer is just doing this so that he can have more control, which is not an unreasonable assumption, given Republicans' experience with Pataki. They all come in on a bright white horse, claiming to cut taxes, or clean up Albany, in Spitzer's case. It took Pataki two years to cave to the corrupt power structure of Albany (health care workers' and Teachers' unions, as well as a huge lawyers' lobby, among others).



Spitzer's fight with Silver and Bruno is just a precursor to the bigger battles he must wage, if he really intends to "change everything" in New York State. I like him so far, but will watch for signs of a Pataki-type cave-in to the "status quo" bureaucracy. I haven't been as excited about a Democrat since I was one, though. If he does the right thing, and makes a dent in the bureaucratic corruption, he will earn my support for re-election.



Either way, he has already made for some fascinating political fireworks!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

IRAQ IS NOT A CIVIL, SECTARIAN, OR RELIGIOUS WAR: AMIR TAHERI

This is worth republishing in full. The latest from Amir Taheri (NY POST):

February 2, 2007 -- THE claim that Iraq is in a state of civil war or heading toward it has been a staple of Washington political debate for four years now. More cautious commentators prefer "sectarian war," but implicitly draw the same conclusions: Iraqis are a bad lot, better left to stew in their juice of fanaticism and violence.

The truth, however, is that, although there is a great deal of killing in Iraq, there is no civil war in any reasonable sense of that term.

"Sectarian war" is also hard to sustain. Although there is killing prompted by sectarian hatred, what we have today is a war of the sectarians, not a sectarian war. The difference is not mere semantics.

In a sectarian war, the overwhelming majorities of rival religious sects subscribe to the aims of their own side and actively participate in their pursuit. I saw this in the '90s, when I covered the various wars in the former Yugoslavia.
You could be sure that almost all Serbs, from the taxi driver that took you from the airport to the hotel to the nation's leading poet, would be a sectarian - hating the Croats and the Muslims with passion.

And most Croats and Muslims (while also hating each other) dreamed of crushing the Serbs as a nation. Peasants, factory workers, the urban poor, bishops and muftis, artists and filmmakers, ballet dancers and chefs - all were sectarian.

Nothing of the sort exists in Iraq today. The deadly disease of sectarianism has not contaminated the majority of Iraqis. Shiites and Sunnis both organize on the basis of political affiliations and interests, rather than sectarian loyalties.

Iyad Allawi and Muqtada al-Sadr, both Shiite, have little in common politically. Nor does it make sense to bracket Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the Shiite vice president, with Dhia Abdul-Zahra, leader of the Army of the Heaven gang in Najaf.

Meanwhile, President Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd, is as much of a Sunni as Vice President Tariq Al-Hashemi or elder statesman Adnan Pachachi, both ethnic Arabs - but it would be an error of analysis to put them all together in the same political camp. Nor could any be bracketed with the remnants of the Saddamite clan or al Qaeda, despite a shared religious affiliation.

The government in Baghdad is a coalition of many different parties and groups: Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish. True, some members of this government are sectarians. But even then, their sectarianism comes in the form of nepotism and clientelism - designed to favor families and clans. Their rivalries are motivated by social, economic and political considerations, rather than religious differences.

Unlike the unraveling Yugoslavia of the '90s, sectarianism hasn't consumed Iraq at the grass-root level. Grandmothers don't say special prayers, asking God to destroy the rival sect. Poets don't write sectarian verse. Artists don't portray members of other sects as devils incarnate. Not one of the gangsters who destroyed the golden-domed shrine in Samarra was Iraqi.

Anyone closely familiar with the situation, rather than making judgments from thousands of miles away, would know of countless cases where Sunnis and Shiites protected one another against the violence of sectarian terrorist groups. In Anbar province, where Arab Sunnis are more than 95 percent of the population, several Shiite pockets owe their survival to the protection of local tribes. In some cases, Sunni tribes have fought al Qaeda terrorists to prevent the massacre of Shiites.

Indeed, most Iraqi tribes include both Sunni and Shiite members. There are also tens of thousands of mixed families of Sunnis and Shiites, especially in Baghdad and Basra.

In many cases, the fight is between rival militias belonging to the same religious sect. Sadr's Mahdi Army, a hodgepodge of armed groups often controlled by Iran, has clashed with Abdul-Aziz Hakim's Badr Brigade, another Shiite militia partly under Iranian control.

Iraqi and U.S. troops killed hundreds of militiamen this week in a battle near Najaf. Most of those killed were Shiite followers of a charlatan who claimed to be the Last Imam. But, according to Iraqi authorities, those killed or captured also included Sunni terrorists, some from Sudan and Algeria.

Sectarian violence has displaced many Iraqis, perhaps more than a million. There have also been instances of ethnic cleansing, through the forcible expulsion of families and clans. But even such cases cannot be imputed to religious sectarianism.

Consider the Sunni families forced out of their homes in Basra and Baghdad by Shiite death-squads: In almost all cases, the death squads belong to a single group: the Sadrists, who seek to pose as the most effective defenders of Shiism against a mythical Sunni threat.

In Kirkuk, the Kurds are forcing out Shiite and Sunni Arabs - but the motives are not religious, but ethnic. In the same city, the Turkmen, both Sunnis and Shiites, act together on the basis not of religious affiliations but of ethnic origin.

There is no doubt that there is a war in Iraq. It is important to know what kind of a war this is.
If it is a civil war, we should identify the two camps and decide which to support. If it is a sectarian war, the only way to end it is either by geographical separation (as was the case with Croatia and Serbia) or through massive foreign occupation, as in Bosnia.

What is happening in Iraq, however, is neither a civil nor a sectarian war (although elements of both exist within the broader context). This war is a political one - between those who wish Iraq to succeed as a new democracy and those who want it to fail.

Those who want the new Iraq to succeed represent the overwhelming majority of Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Those who want it to fail are made up of Saddamite bitter-enders, some misguided pan-Arab nationalists, death squads financed by Tehran - and a variety of non-Iraqi terrorist outfits who have come to Iraq to kill and die in the name of their perverted vision of Islam.

In short, the war in Iraq is part of the broader war against terrorism and its many dark forces.


Amir Taheri is an Iranian-born journalist and author based in Europe.

-from LEAV: He is also an intelligent and important voice, which no-one seems to hear.

Friday, February 02, 2007

THE WORLD TODAY: A Rambling View

The Western World faces the greatest threat to global democracy and freedom since the fall of the U.S.S.R, yet many in the West blame the U.S.A. for creating it, if not actually being worse than it! If I believed the hype that Kerry spews about the U.S.A. being "a sort of international pariah," I would have to believe that nations around the world are shunning involvement with the U.S.A.

That's not the world I see. I see people, services, and commodities from at least 20 different nations every day, and that's a conservative estimate. No nation is more involved with "the world" than the U.S.A, though George Washington is probably spinning in his grave over it.

Iraq, the so-called "lost cause," is still the main distraction of the MSM, while the Emirate of Waziristan isn't even a blip on their radar screen. These people need to wake up! The U.S.A. is not a repressive or imperialist "regime" under President Bush. The same can't be said for most of these nations:

Russia is using capitalism as it used socialism, to bludgeon it's neighbors into submission with threats of cutting off natural gas supplies. It also has repressed it's internal freedom of expression, with multiple killings of journalists, both native and foreign. The corruptocracy of Russia sent a big message with the murder of Alexander Litvenenko: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

China takes the long view, but can't help being changed by the internal policies they are implementing. Perhaps to "stay relevant" on the world stage, they recently destroyed one of their obsolete satellites with a missile, without warning. Since this satellite was at the same altitude as our communications, as well as spy satellites, it was provocative. More troubling is their refusal to act against Sudan or Iran in the U.N. Security Council. Still, few see China as a "threat to world peace."

South America seems to be swinging to the left, reversing the trend after the U.S.A.'s efforts there in the past decades. The brightest star of the left is Hugo Chavez, who is determined to take up Castro's mantle. He's resurrected Ortega in Nicaragua, and supported other anti-U.S.A. candidates in other regional nations.

More disturbing is Chavez' meetings with Iran's President Ahmedinejad. There is no subject that these two have in common more than the destruction of the U.S.A. It might be on a different scale, but I present their meeting as equivalent to Stalin meeting Hitler: "A seperate peace" between the Islamist from Iran and the Infidel from Venezuela. The death of Saddam might be forcing some of these folks to accelerate their plans. We should be ready.

Africa remains in jeopardy. The "Dark Continent" has little hope of emerging to enjoy the freedoms of the modern world, though where there is struggle, there is always hope. What is the force that opposes all of the international efforts to help African nations? Why does the U.S, but not the U.N, call Sudan a "genocide?" Here's a hint: Russia aligns with China on "non-interference" with the Islamic government of Sudan, regardless of the atrocities.

With the USSR not around anymore, the U.S.A. should be frightening repressive regimes around the world, and we are, to some degree. The death of Saddam has sent shivers up the spine of every two-bit dictator (see Hugo Chavez) who hasn't secured a promise of asylum from some nation that doesn't extradite war criminals. The counter to that is the ongoing insurgency, fueled by Al Queda (Saudis and others) and Iran. The images of devastation from Iraq have dampened support for that front of the greater war we are in.

Speaking of which, Pakistan has spun off "Waziristan" into it's own Emirate. Is Waziristan under Pakistan's "nuclear umbrella," or can we invade that mountainous country, to find Osama Bin Ladin (as Hillary advised)? India has nuclear weapons as well, but is more concerned with Kasmir than Waziristan. The Kasmir conflict is as intractable as any in the world, on par with the Israeli conflict with the surrounding Muslim nations. Palestinians and Kasmirs are being used to advance the Islamofascist agenda of Sharia, though there are cracks in both fronts.

Freedom must grow through these cracks in the repression, as it did in the former U.S.S.R, and can in Iran, China, and elsewhere today. (More on that in another post.)

Many in the West call Bush an "imperialist," a "fascist," and claim that he has single-handedly restricted all of our liberties. People that have actually seen a repressive regime first-hand scoff at these accusations, but many people in other Western nations seem to believe them. However, opinion polls don't always represent public policy; nor should they.

The world today is linked by immediate communications on a level that has never been factored into politics, war, or international relations in the past. The telecom age has changed international politics dramatically, impacting everything mentioned in this post. There is also the quicker transfer of goods and people around the globe than ever before to consider. We worry about a nuke in a shipping container, while the world worries about our response to such an act.

My concern about the world today is not what the world thinks of us in the U.S.A, but what we in the U.S.A. think about our nation, and the negative image so many show the world. If Bush has made our nation so evil, how can Hillary change our nation back to being good? I worry that even if President Hillary appeases the evil opponents of the U.S.A, we will still be perceived as "the Great Satan," or just plain evil, as we were under her husband's gentle stewardship.

We need a wake-up call, before it's too late. We're gonna get one, though; sooner or later.

Here are three posts that relate to some of the points made here. I read these just after posting this. (hat tip to JWR)

David Limbaugh: Don't underestimate antiwar forces

Michael Ledeen: Our Blithering World: Where's the vision and leadership?

Charles Krauthammer: Who's to blame for the killing