Saturday, August 14, 2004

AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT SPENCER--Fear and political correctness in the age of terrorism

Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, is a writer and researcher who has studied Islam for more than twenty years. He is the author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery) and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter). He is co-author, with Daniel Ali, of Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics (Ascension), and editor of the essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, forthcoming from Prometheus Books. Mr. Spencer is here interviewed by Executive Editor Michael S. Rose. One of the popular phrases going round the globe these days is "clash of civilizations," indicating an ongoing conflict between the cultures of Islam and the West. Incredibly, nearly every time we see this term used in the media, the whole idea of such a culture war is dismissed as rather ridiculous. American politicians, for example, insist that our current ongoing conflict with terrorism hasn't a thing to do with religion or a clash of civilizations. Well then, is there a clash of civilizations going on?

Spencer: According to the radical Muslims, there certainly is. They see this as a war of Islamic values against Western values. Is it up only to one side to determine the nature of a conflict? Why can't the mainstream media or Western politicians face up to this reality? Why can't we seem to acknowledge this as a society?

Spencer: The answer to that is simple: Fear and political correctness. Political correctness again? You wrote at length about the problems of political correctness in your book Onward Muslim Soldiers. It seems that political correctness in at least some of the European countries has led to tolerant laws for Islamic immigrants. Countries like France, Britain, and the Netherlands now have a significant population of Muslims. What are some of the ill effects of these nations' tolerant laws?

Spencer: The ill effects are many. Muslims in Norway are pushing to make it a crime to blaspheme the Prophet Muhammad. Britain is instituting religious hatred laws that would be aimed at muzzling criticism of Islam; a Protestant minister has been questioned by police recently after he noted that parts of the Qur’an teach aggression against unbelievers. Such laws are supposed to keep the peace between Muslims and non-Muslims, but they have the unintended effect of muzzling genuine questions that ought to be considered by the Islamic communities in Europe if they really want to live in peace in the existing secular societies. Cardinal Ratzinger recently made bold by suggesting that Turkey seek an association with Muslim-rooted countries rather than with Europe. President Bush, however, has lobbied the EU to admit Turkey into the European Union. In your opinion, is this a good idea, considering that Turkey is not rooted in Judeo-Christian Western culture as is the rest of Europe.

Spencer: No, it's not a good idea. Turkey is a secular state, but it continues to exist in an uneasy tension with jihadists in Turkey who want to roll back secularism and reinstitute the Sharia. In recent years the secular government has made a large number of concessions to the radicals. If Turkey were to become a Sharia state as an EU member, it could seriously disrupt all the societies of Europe. We hear the word 'jihad' quite a lot, but I'm not sure the majority of Europeans or Americans have an accurate understanding of what is jihad? How do you explain the concept?

Spencer: I'll give you the definition I offer on my website: Jihad is a central duty of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as jihads: defending the faith from critics, supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But it's important to note that violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are used by radical Muslims today to justify their actions and gain new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad. The theology of jihad, which denies unbelievers equality of human rights and dignity, is available today for anyone with the will and means to bring it to life. If jihad is justified by the Qur'an, does Islam also sanction the beheading of non-combatants in war zones?

Spencer: Contrary to popular belief, yes. The Qur’an says: "when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks…" (47:4). Islamic law stipulates that prisoners of war may be killed, enslaved, ransomed, or freed, at the discretion of the Islamic leader — who is to make the decision based on what is best for the Islamic community. The leads to another controversial question. Does Islam really motivate the terrorists or are these terrorists simply perverting the Islamic faith, 'hi-jacking' and abusing religion to promote their own personal agenda?

Spencer: Islam most certainly does motivate the terrorists. Their stated motivation has consistently been to establish the rule of the Sharia, Islamic law, within the Islamic world, and to reestablish the caliphate. The caliph was the successor of Muhammad as the spiritual and political leader of the Islamic community; the caliphate was abolished by secular Turkey in 1924. Many commentators have suggested that if the United States were to adjust its policies in Israel and Iraq, terrorism would cease, and the 'war' would come to an end. Is this an accurate appraisal?

Spencer: No, not at all. In his exhaustive, 30-volume exposition of the Muslim holy book, Fi Zilal al-Quran (In the Shade of the Quran), Sayyid Qutb, a leading radical Muslim theorist, wrote: "As the only religion of truth that exists on earth today, Islam takes appropriate action to remove all physical and material obstacles that try to impede its efforts to liberate mankind from submission to anyone other than God. … The practical way to ensure the removal of those physical obstacles while not forcing anyone to adopt Islam is to smash the power of those authorities based on false beliefs until they declare their submission and demonstrate this by paying the submission tax."

Likewise, a contemporary high-school textbook entitled Islamic Culture, produced by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education, states: "Islam is Allah’s religion for all human beings. It should be proclaimed and invite [people] to join it wisely and through appropriate preaching and friendly discussions. However, such methods may encounter resistance and the preachers may be prevented from accomplishing their duty … then, jihad and the use of physical force against the enemies become inevitable.…"

These and many similar statements from Islamic radicals make it clear that they are pursuing an expansionist program that is based on Islamic theology. They will not be mollified by the removal of some or all of their grievances regarding Iraq and Israel; the globalist vision articulated by Qutb is not focused simply on the redressing of grievances. Doesn't the Church teach that Muslims and Christians worship the same God? After all the Pope kissed the Qur'an on at least one occassion.

Spencer: No. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that "the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims. These profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us adore one Merciful God, mankind’s judge in the last day" (Article 841). This is a carefully worded statement that warrants close examination.

"The first place among whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham." This statement is not saying that Muslims actually believe in Abraham’s faith, but only that they profess to hold the faith of Abraham. Professing and possessing are two different things: certainly there are many more Christians who profess Christ than there are people who actually live for Him.

"Together with us [they] adore one Merciful God, mankind’s judge in the last day." Again, the statement is very careful: it doesn’t say that they adore the same merciful God, but only that, like us, they adore one merciful God. The Council simply doesn’t address the question of whether Allah is the same God Who is written about in the Old and New Testaments. Muslims would also reject this idea: many of them believe that Christians are polytheists for professing faith in the Sacred Trinity.

As for the Pope kissing the Qu'ran, he did so no doubt out of his overflowing sense of irenicism and desire to make the first move in charity. But this one was perhaps ill-judged and will never meet with reciprocation. I can't help but ask about the comments that are always made about the Crusades. Many commentators are fond of claiming that every religion be twisted to justify violence in the same way, and they invariably point to the Crusades.

Spencer: Obviously any religion can be used to justify violence, but that doesn’t mean that they all have an equal capacity to inspire violence. However well or poorly Christians have lived up to his words, Jesus in the New Testament teaches: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (St. Matthew 5:44); the Qur’an, on the other hand, teaches: "Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another, but ruthless to unbelievers" (48:39). That doesn't exactly sound like the 'religion of peace' I keep hearing about. If Islam is really a 'religion of peace,' why don't more Muslims fight against terrorism?

Spencer: Islam is the only major religion with a developed doctrine, theology, and law that mandates violence against unbelievers. One classic manual of Islamic sacred law, which bears an endorsement from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates that "the caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians . . . until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax." It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh ‘Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only "provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya) . . . while remaining in their ancestral religions." But the manual also states that in the absence of a caliph, Muslims must still wage jihad. But how can the terrorists use Islam to justify what they're doing, when Islam forbids offensive warfare and the killing of the innocent?

Spencer: Traditional Islamic law allows for the killing of non-combatants when they are perceived to be aiding somehow in the war effort. This is used to justify suicide attacks on buses and in restaurants in Israel, and is also used by radical Muslims to justify the September 11 attacks in the U.S. What can be done to stop Islam-inspired terrorism?

Spencer: First, we must acknowledge its sources and roots. As long as we continue to delude ourselves that socioeconomic or political fixes will solve the problem, and ignore the fact that jihadists are being recruited in mosques around the world every day, we will continue to be faced with this threat. We must recognize that the roots are in Islamic theology, and call on the Islamic world to reform. But that would require the nations of the Western World to rid themselves of their high penchant for abiding by the strict laws of political correctness. How has political correctness in Europe and/or in the US hamstrung abilities to deal with Islamic terrorism?

Spencer: Because authorities refuse to acknowledge that Islam plays any significant role in global terrorism, they have declined to investigate mosques and other places where Islamic terrorists have recruited and planned. Luckily, this is changing. What is the final solution? Or isn't there one?

Spencer: There isn’t one. We must call on Islam to reform, but it is wildly unlikely that this will happen. We must keep up our defenses, recognize where the problem is coming from, and develop reasonable law enforcement and immigration policies. Above all, we must recover our own spiritual resources, for ultimately this is a spiritual conflict.

Robert Spencer can be contacted through his website at


What Can You Do About Terror? Join A Citizen's Brigade

Here's a great article from the Christian Science Monitor

from the August 13, 2004 edition -

In war on terror, an expanding citizens' brigade
By Sara B. Miller | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Off the nation's coasts, recreational boaters scan the waters for "suspicious" acts, from scuba diving in unlikely places to yachtmen sketching bridges or ports.

Manhattan's doormen learn how to spot packages that may contain biological weapons.

In Pennsylvania, amusement park operators train to recognize unusual phone calls or inappropriate requests for information.

Call them the new "first responders" in the war on terror. As average Americans, from truck drivers to handymen, are increasingly standing sentry, they're swelling the ranks of a citizens' army, always poised and on guard.

Last week, terror warnings sent law-enforcement officers fanning out across five financial buildings in Manhattan, Washington, and Newark. But grass-roots groups form another wall of defense, mobilizing in a nationwide watch for suspicious activity - from the supermarket to the state fair.

To some, it's the most effective, pervasive counterterrorism strategy there is. But even as officials warn that limousines or helicopters may be the next big targets, some worry that a sharp-eyed citizens' force could turn into an army of hypervigilant spies, one that may ultimately trample on civil rights.

"I have said for a long time that probably the last person who will have an opportunity to prevent an attack ... could be a 22-year-old deputy sheriff on a cold rainy night, someone who just sees something that's not right," says Randall Larsen, CEO and founder of Homeland Security Associates, a private consulting firm. "We need an alert, educated public ... but can't go too far. Where do you find that line? We don't seem to know."

It takes a village ...
For the most part, these citizen groups have voluntarily assumed their roles in the war on terror. In Pennsylvania, the state's Commission on Crime and Delinquency has been running antiterrorism training for everyone from Rotary Club members to small business owners.

Don Numer, the training supervisor there, says at least 60,000 residents have received training since 2002.

The program is a basic hourlong lesson to define terrorism, the best ways to report it, and suspicious signs - perhaps a phone call asking if a CEO is in or where he parks, Mr. Numer says.

The model will be taken national in September, says Eric Schultz, project director for USAonwatch, which provides terrorism-awareness training for Neighborhood Watch groups across the country.

Mr Schultz says 10,000 groups are registered with the National Sheriff's Association, and his organization hopes to reach out to even more communities.

Eyes on the road
Then there are Highway Watch, America's Waterway Watch, and Airport Watch. More than 10,000 truck drivers have joined Highway Watch, an American Trucking Association (ATA) initiative that trains drivers to notice and report emergency or suspicious situations on the road.

The ATA launched the program in 1998 and added an anti-terrorism component after 9/11. With a $19.3 million grant from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the ATA hopes to train 300,00 to 400,000 more drivers by December.

For driver Philip Gould, who works for Jevic Transportation of Delanco, N.J., the program was a chance for civic involvement. He joined Highway Watch in 2003. "I figured, I'm an American. I live in America. If we can't all pull together and do something for our own country what good are we?" Mr. Gould asks.

The role of public awareness
Experts say programs that train professionals to look out for specific risks can be effective tools. "These kinds of programs, particularly those that relate to critical infrastructure protection, are particularly useful," says Jack Riley, associate director of infrastructure, safety, and environment at the RAND Corporation. Truckers, for instance, are likely to notice if hazardous materials they transport have been tampered with.

And Mr. Larsen points to Israel, where he says an estimated two-thirds of suicide bombers are apprehended prior to detonating their bombs - which he attributes to an alert and educated public.

Mr. Riley is more skeptical of the average neighbor taking an active antiterror role. Though communities can provide response capability, they are unlikely to prevent attacks, he says. Before the terrorist attacks on 9/11, for example, some of the hijackers lived in American communities.

"I'm not aware of behavior they may have demonstrated in the neighborhood which would have led them to be caught," he says. "The neighborhoods themselves are not at risk of being attacked. Attacks will occur in public spaces."

Still, as threats of attacks on high-rises in several cities came to light, at least some doormen have begun training. In Manhattan, while the city braces for the upcoming Republican National Convention, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ is training members to recognize and respond to criminal and terrorist activities.

'Not what someone looks like'
Since May 2004, 1,122 of New York's building employees - including doormen, janitors, and handymen - are undergoing training. In a four-hour session, they learn to identify threats and communicate effectively in emergencies, says Matthew Nerzig, a spokesman for 32BJ.

Those involved in training say their intent is not to make spies out of the citizenry. In Pennsylvania, for instance, Numer focuses on behavior, not appearance, to steer citizens away from racial profiling.

The Pennsylvania program features a slide show of individuals identified as terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden and Sarah Jane Olson, the "soccer mom" who pleaded guilty to possessing bombs with the intent to murder Los Angeles police officers.

The lesson: "It's not what someone looks like," Numer says.

Meanwhile, new programs continue to evolve. America's Waterway Watch, run by the US Coast Guard, is planning a national launch soon, says spokeswoman Jolie Shifflet. It will include brochures, stickers to put on boats, and video training to help "enlist the eyes and ears of the public." While many local units have implemented such training, the national program will help target the 70 million recreation boaters in the US.

A subtle new approach
The attention to average citizens is not necessarily a change in strategy, nor a signal that smaller attacks are likely. "As security gets tightened up at airports and other [places] terrorists might exploit, we naturally start moving down the list of things they might exploit next," Riley says. "So it makes sense that we're looking to sew up as many other risks as we can."

In Las Vegas, Gary Thompson, a spokesman for Harrah's Entertainment, says security and surveillance workers are getting new instructions to be on the lookout for potential terrorists.

"Employees' training has changed," he says. "The changes have been primarily with the security people on the [casino] floors. We've responded to increases or decreases in the homeland security levels." The changes aren't anything customers would notice, he says - but they're definitely there.

From bomb threats to flooding
Even in areas where terrorism risks aren't the highest priority, neighborhood groups are flourishing. "There's been a groundswell of very interested citizens who want to make the homeland safe," says Mike Pacheco, the New Hampshire state coordinator for Citizen Corps, which is run by the Department of Homeland Security and gives citizens the opportunity to help protect their communities.

There are 20 Citizen Corps councils in the state, many of which were formed in the first quarter of this year, Mr. Pacheco says. There are 2,000 nationwide.

It was terrorism that prompted Rich Hanegan, a firefighter in Pelham, N.H., to form a local Citizen Corps Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in 2003. But the group's focus has evolved to meet other community priorities, too, including flooding issues.

"A lot of people ask: 'What's going to happen in Pelham, New Hampshire?'" says Mr. Hanegan. But the need to be prepared - for natural disasters and terrorist attacks alike - is an opportunity that he says the community can't pass up.

It's that spirit, say many, that is fueling the expanding citizens' army. "I felt powerless after 9/11," says Numer. "These programs empower people. They give you a feeling, 'Hey, I can be a part of this.' "

• Alexandra MacCrae in New York and Cathy Scott in Las Vegas contributed to this report.


Friday, August 13, 2004

Fun Friday Continues--Congrats to the Cool Drink on Reaching A Milestone

Many Cool Drinks and a milestone .... And she did all this with the biological clock wailing away!
You've got to admire intelligent, funny women who can write and actually like NASCAR ... Keep up the good work

Fun Friday

Sometimes there are things that just need to be taken in Visions

DAWN: Osama calls for attacks; 2 Turks held in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Osama bin Laden has called for attacks on targets in the United States and Britain, Pakistani intelligence officials said on Wednesday, but it was not clear if his appeal was accompanied by more detailed orders.

"Osama has given the go ahead to target important places and personalities in the US, UK and Pakistan," one Pakistani intelligence source said.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Osama's order emerged during the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspects in Pakistan caught in a month-long crackdown that has dealt the network a major blow.

One of at least three top operatives, Tanzanian Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, also gave authorities information that led to the arrest on Sunday of two Turkish Al Qaeda members linked to an attack on a Jewish target in Turkey and who fought in Chechnya, officials revealed on Wednesday.

Officials say the network's local and global threat has been reduced, but they warn of further attacks by Al Qaeda and local Islamic militant allies in Pakistan who are incensed by the country's decision to back the US-led war on terror.

Wednesday's Washington Times, citing US intelligence officials, said Al Qaeda could be planning to target an American or foreign leader either within the United States or abroad.

The sketch of a plot to target US President George W. Bush surfaced on an online magazine of Al Qaeda's organisation in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. A one-line answer to a Saut al-Jihad reader's query said: "The plan you have drawn up to assassinate Bush is good but would need a lot of preparation."

"Perhaps you can take part in it, if possible, and thanks," the magazine told the reader - named only as Madad - without giving further details. The reader's question was not published.

RED HERRING? A Middle East security expert who reviewed the site said it would be rare for a known Al Qaeda figure to discuss a detailed plan over a Web site. He said, however the message may have some "operational value", but using Bush's name indicated if a plot were afoot, it was in an early stage.

The specific reference could also be a red herring. Pakistani intelligence agencies have been questioning key Al Qaeda figures including Ghailani, wanted for the attacks on US embassies in east Africa in 1998, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a top al Qaeda operational chief in Pakistan, and computer engineer Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan.

Khan's laptop computer has proved a treasure trove of information on al Qaeda's plans to launch attacks, including in the United States and on Heathrow airport in London. -Reuters


Thursday, August 12, 2004

From Our brethren at Al Muhajiroun:TERRORISM IS A PART OF ISLAM

Well now, it seems our government and media want to continually beat the "Islam is a Religion of Peace," drum--but here's a snippet from our loving Brothers At Muhajiroun Showing Some Love that--if I read it right--Says that terrorism IS a part of Islam and you can be banned for saying it isn't.

Now I know there are some incredibly dumb beasts within the government and media--but even James Carville can't spin his way out of this one--Why do have to continually hear this silly swill about how peaceful Islam is?

Read the rest at the above link

Allah (swt) says,

“Prepare as much as you can from power (missile weaponry) and steeds of war, in order to terrify the enemy of Allah” [EMQ Anfal: 60]

Allah (swt) made it obligatory in this ayah to prepare (Al I’daad) and to terrify (Al Irhaab) the enemy of Allah. This is waajib and this ayah is qati’ (clear cut) and whoever denies it’s meaning is kaafir regardless of his ‘interpretation’ of terrorism. Allah (swt) says,

“Nobody rejects the ayat except the Kafirun.” [EMQ Ankabut: 47]

The ayah mentioned Al Ijhaad, which means:

“To reject and say by the tongue: ‘it is not true’.”

Furthermore, Allah (swt) says,

“Who is more oppressor than the one who lies about Allah or denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not a place in hell for the Kafirun? As for those who strive hard in our cause, we will surely guide them to our paths. Verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun.” [EMQ Ankabut: 68-69]

Whoever says that Islam is free from terrorism or wants to differentiate between Islam and terrorism is committing Al Juhoud and that is Kufr Akbar – and will take them out of the fold of Islam.

The one who says ‘we should fight against terrorism’, he is fighting against Islam. We know very well that USA meant no one else by the term ‘terrorists’ but Islam and Muslims and the one who wants to avoid terrorism, is avoiding Islam.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Swift Boat Campaign Strikes Home

Well, it didn't take long for the Swift boat story to start drawing blood .... here's the Kerry campaign's anti-spin fresh from my e-mail

I'm interrupting John Kerry's dispatches from the road to tell you about something that will make you angry, but which is important for you to hear.

We knew it was coming: the Bush campaign and several allied right-wing groups are using August to launch a vicious smear attack against John Kerry. They think we're vulnerable this month because while George Bush is still able to raise money for attack ads, Kerry had to stop fundraising at the Democratic convention last week. They're taking this opportunity to go for the jugular.

We need you to join us in this fight today by supporting the Democratic Party.

The worst of the current wave of attacks is coming from a Republican-funded group called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." (I'll call them by a more accurate name: Swift Boat Veterans for Bush.) The group is led by a longtime Republican operative and financed by GOP contributors with strong ties to George Bush. Its function in the overall Republican strategy is this: tear down John Kerry since Bush has no record or vision to run on.

The swift boat ad is full of lies. Thirteen men who never served with John Kerry lie about knowing him and viciously attack his record. It is a new low for the Republicans.

Every time they have attacked us like this, it has only made us stronger. When they ran dishonest attack ads (like the unbelievable new one on the air right now), thousands of new supporters flocked to our campaign to give us the resources we need to fight back on the airwaves.

Now that the general election has begun, they're hoping things are different. They're going to be sorely disappointed because we are not alone. The Democratic National Committee is well prepared to take on this fight.

And therefore I'm asking you: everything you did for our campaign, please do now for our Democratic Party. Give the party the resources it needs to fight against these right-wing attacks:

The Democratic Party is responsible for putting organizers and volunteers into the field and turning out the millions of votes we need to win. We literally cannot win this election without the party.

You and I know that if we so much as yield an inch to George Bush and the Republicans this month, we'll live to regret it. In fact, we may live to regret it for four long years. Join with me in supporting the Democratic Party today.

Thank you,

Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager


Nutwatch 2004--The Ultimate Left-Wing, Tin Foil Hat Plot

Sweet grunting mother of Buddha! The winds of insanity are blowing hurricane force and the gene pool crys out for purging.

Nutwatch 2004 has finally seen the ultimate in madness. Here at, Seriously Deranged Democrats is a story that evolves from news that al Qaida plans assassinations of politicians. But of course, some twisted no-longer-on-their-medication member of the left sees a plot.

Yes folks, President Bush is going to have Kerry whacked and blame it on al Qaida! Snuffed out as he and Theresa sit down for a bowl of pasta when they make a campaign stop to Baltimore's Little Italy.

I'm certain that Michael Moore is already planning to cover it in one of his pseudo-documentaries and Al Jazeera will somehow miraculously cover it in their continuing search for truth.

Now, i know their is precedent here--people in Texas will still tell you that Johnson had Kennedy snuffed out--but that was two democrats--so only a minor party foul if it were true.

How can any sane person be a member of this party? As a group, they have elevated schizophrenia to a constitutional right--

Nutwatch 2004 is upon you

I do not have time for treason, politics, and intrigue

Becki at the The Kerry Fairy The Kerry Fairy has a powerful editorial about politicians and the Washington cesspool in general

" ...I do not have time for treason, politics, and intrigue. I do not have time for shills in Congress to play partisan games, or for pompous public servants to condemn those patriots trying to defend me. I do not have time for false calls to peace, or pandering to murderers, or sympathy for the devil; I and my children may well be dead tomorrow, at the hands of these men who hate me ..."

Read it all

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I'm tracking back to this

TRACKBACK TO Drink this... ..... Certainly one of the most appealing chica's in the blogosphere .... and one I read daily

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate—the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is:as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst

The above GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate, which may take several days or weeks. To locate the full data set, just search for any sites that contain this GUID.

Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)

To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).
REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
(1) I found this experiment at URL:(2)

I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Browsing the web.

(3) I posted this experiment at URL:

(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 08/10/04
(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 15:55
(6) My posting location is (city, state, country):Washington DC United States of America
(7) My blog is hosted by:
(8) My age is: 39 and holding :-)
(9) My gender is:male
(10) My occupation is: a bunch of things
(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: xml? Huh?
(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: MovableType
(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 26/08/2003
(14) My web browser is: Internet Explorer (rolls eyes, sighs...)
(15) My operating systems are: varied from computer to computer, all Windows


Is There ANy Candidate Willing To Stop The Illegal Alien Invasion?

Vote whoring is a really nasty thing--since when did a conservative republican and a liberal democrat agree on the one thing that a huge majority of Americans do not want? This is from

Presidential Candidates Reiterate Support for Amnesty

President Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry are on parallel paths seeking to gain minority support by voicing their commitment to amnesty for illegal aliens. Both candidates spoke last week at the 2004 UNITY Conference, a coalition made up of minority journalists.

Kerry reiterated his commitment to a broad amnesty plan for illegal aliens that leads to U.S. citizenship and said if elected he will propose such a plan within the first 100 days of his presidency.

President Bush touted his guestworker amnesty plan to "match willing workers with willing employers" and called on Congress to increase the number of Mexican immigrants legally allowed into the United States.

For more information on where Bush and Kerry stand on amnesty and other immigration issues, read Dan Stein's latest editorial and check out FAIR's side-by-side comparison of the 2004 presidential candidates.


Tell President Bush to Implement 9/11 Commission Recommendations on Immigration Enforcement and Document Security

Send a free fax

Tell President Bush to Implement 9/11 Commission Recommendations on Immigration Enforcement and Document Security

Send a FREE fax to President Bush today urging him to immediately implement key 9/11 Commission recommendations to correct fatal weaknesses in our immigration enforcement and documentation policies. (Click on the link above then click the take action now box to send this pre-written, editable fax.) Follow up your fax with a phone call to the White House comment line (202-456-1111).

Among the flaws cited by the Commission as contributing to the tragedy of 9/11 were lax enforcement of our immigration laws and the failure to secure vital identity documents. Some of these loopholes can be closed immediately by executive order from the President.
With new threats to major financial institutions on the east coast and landmarks on the west coast, it is vital that the president enact the following administrative reforms to protect America's homeland security:

Bar federal and bank acceptance of unverifiable consular identification documents, including the Mexican-issued matricula consular.
Instruct the Department of Justice to actively promote cooperative programs in enforcing federal immigration law with state and local governments.
Suspend the Visa Waiver Program that allows nationals of 27 nations to enter the U.S. without prior screening by a consular officer.
Instruct the Federal Aviation Administration to discontinue acceptance of driver's licenses issued by states that do not require and verify applicants' Social Security numbers for the purpose of boarding commercial flights within the United States.
Proclaim federal standards for a national birth/death registry database and anti-fraud features to protect Americans from identity theft.
Reverse the announcement that Mexican and Canadian travelers will be exempt from the USVISIT requirements for a machine-readable travel document with a biometric identifier. Specify that the data be entered into the USVISIT database.
Every week, it seems, brings new warnings of a terrorist threat against America and American interests. It is vital that the President act immediately to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to get into the country, more difficult to evade detection from law enforcement, more difficult to obtain valid identity documents or use counterfeited documents, and more difficult to finance their operations.
Read our press release, "Talk is Cheap: President Bush Can Act Now To Implement Some of the 9/11 Commission's Recommendations."

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Monday, August 09, 2004

Beware when things appear too easy

This from CBS

(CBS/AP) The Bush administration believes it has undermined al Qaeda's plans for attacking the United States with the recent arrests of suspected terrorists and the seizure of detailed surveillance of financial buildings. "I certainly think that by our actions now that we have disrupted it," said Frances Fragos Townsend, President Bush's homeland security adviser. "The question is, have we disrupted all of it or a part of it? And we're working through an investigation to uncover that," she said in a broadcast interview

You can read the entire story at

Remember these words--this is one of the more unfortunate things to come out of the mouth of a government official in a long time. At the most, we've uncovered one of the plotlines planned for this fall. But again, I will tell you, bin Ladin has a much bigger and spectacular strike planned for the United States this fall. It is also possible that the entire computer seizure was a plant, as DEBKA warns in this article Al Qaida is very sophisticated in their information security and you can bet that somewhere within one of the intelligence agencies somebody is questioning this windfall that has led to Ms Fragos Townshend's overconfidence.

Or at least you've got to hope this is the case.

Beware the sucker punch--it's coming


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Road to Al Qaeda runs through Pakistan

Computer files show web of terrorist contacts reaches from Pakistan to US and Britain.

by Jim Bencivenga |

The spotlight on Al Qaeda's plans to target big banks and financial icons in New York, Washington, and London, as well as the discovery of a terror cell intent on bombing Heathrow Airport, is about to get brighter.

And as it does, Pakistan will in turn come under its glare as the United States and England rachet up efforts to crush Al Qaeda, reports the Times of India.

Pakistan is "widely seen as the ground zero of terrorism," and a "flurry of arrests over the last 48 hours of suspected Al Qaeda elements, all of whose trail leads back to Pakistan," further confirms this, reports the Times.

CNN reports that the recent arrests "have exposed an intricate web of Al Qaeda contacts in which the terror network's operational information flowed among Pakistan, Britain and the United States."

Overshadowed by coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, as well as the ongoing conflict in Iraq, has been "an intense Pakistani military operation directed at suspected Al Qaeda hideouts along the Afghan-Pakistan border" reports the Washington Post.
The military effort has forced the fighters out of the rugged remote tribal areas, just inside Pakistan, and into more urban areas, where they are more visible and vulnerable to capture...
And the hoped-for arrests did follow. In all, at least 20 people have been detained in Pakistan in the past month, reports the Associated Press.

But as important as the military action and arrests have proven, the real victory is the major intelligence coup that has resulted, reports the Washington Post.
The seizure of a number of Al Qaeda suspects and the discovery of a cache of computer information ... contributed to last weekend's decision to increase the terror alert in several US cities, Pakistani officials said Thursday.

The capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghaliani, a Tanzanian indicted by the US for his role in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in East Africa, and a Pakistani computer expert identified as Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, provided US intelligence agents with their greatest leads, reports the AP. Maps, photographs and other details of possible targets in the US and Britain were found on computers belonging to Mr. Ghailani.

As a result of his arrest in Pakistan, Mr. Khan was "forced to take part in an undercover 'sting' operation to help the authorities in Britain and the US track down key Al Qaeda agents," reports the Times of London.

The arrest of Abu Issa al-Hindi, an Al Qaeda suspect now in custody in Britain, was triggered "after computer forensic specialists [from the US] were dispatched to Pakistan to retrieve and decipher the information found on computers linked to Ghaliani and Khan," reports the New York Times.

He was said to have been under surveillance by British authorities even before the computer files were discovered last week reports the Times.
Hindi directed the surveillance of financial institutions in New York, New Jersey and Washington during 2000 and 2001 and prepared the detailed reports about them that have prompted fears of an attack, senior [US] government officials said on Thursday.

Hindi was described by a US senior government official as "a key Al Qaeda operative in Great Britain," and by far the most important Al Qaeda "figure detained as part of an American-led effort to unravel the tangle of clues uncovered with the discovery in Pakistan of computer files containing the surveillance reports."

Will such successes continue?

No one is suggesting that the threat from Al Qaeda doesn't remain high. But it may be that a significant shift in momentum in the terror war has commenced - starting in Pakistan and carrying over to England and the US.

Referrring to the spate of arrests in both Pakistan and England, a senior US counterterrorism official told the New York Times that "Over the next 60 days, my guess is you're going to be seeing more of this kind of thing, As we look more, we're going to find more."

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