Saturday, September 11, 2004

Captain Quarters and CBS Fraud

Captains Quarters continues their stellar coverage of CBS New's fraud for which Dan Rather refuses to take credit. Here's a summary:

So now we have the following discrepancies in the CBS documents:

1. Signatures forged.
2. Pressure allegedly applied is attributed to a command officer who had retired months before the dating of the memo.
3. No letterheads on at least two of the memos.
4. Despite CBS' description of the sourcing for these memos as having come from the personal files of the deceased Jerry Killian, Killian's family insists he kept no personal files.
5. Retired General Bobby Hodges, whom CBS claimed authenticated the material within the memos, now says that CBS lied to him about the documents. He was told that the memos were handwritten in Killian's handwriting. His conclusion that they reflected Killian's sentiments was based on that information, since CBS never showed him the documents. He has now stated he believes them to be forgeries.
6. Killian's family insists that Killian couldn't type well and avoided it whenever possible.
7. Killian's family insists that Killian retained a high opinion of George Bush until Killian died in 1984, and was proud to have been the officer to pin Bush's wings to his chest.
8. The memos vary widely from required Air Force format at the time -- although they come much closer to the more modern Air Force format, first used in the 1990s, suggesting that the creator of the documents only has exposure to recent military procedure. Since Killian died in 1984, he could not possibly have written them.
9. The typography in these memos could only have been done by a typesetting system. While several of the features in the memos could possibly have been created by using various types of typesetting machines in the 1970s, no one has come up with one machine that could do all of them simultaneously in 1972 and 1973, nor explain why a Texas Air National Guard base would own one, or why a reserve Lieutenant Colonel would use one to write memos to his personal files -- especially since the colonel in question hated to type.

This isn't going away Dan

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Friday, September 10, 2004

Kerry Tells Another Lie--Al Qaida Manual does not say go buy assault Weapons

I just heard John Kerry on FOX say that the Al Qaida Manual said go out and buy assault weapons--It doesn't--This is just another example of "say anything" John Kerry trying to make a political point

I'll be glad to furnish anyone who send me an e-mail with a copy of the chapters that have been released
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CBS's Bush Bashing Begins To Be Rewarded

Here's roundup of The Growing Falsification of Documents Scandal latest news items from Thursday evening and Friday morning.

Memogate Coverage Explodes Beyond Internet.

--After being largely confined to the internet and talk radio yesterday, coverage of CBS's apparent usage of forged documents has exploded into more traditional media outlets with several reports from the Associated Press, multiple stories by ABC News, The New York Times, Fox News Channel, a front-page story in the Washington Post and more.

CBS News hasn't been so pilloried in the press since Dan Rather's 2001 keynote speech at a fund-raiser for Texas Democrats. And it is justly being scrutinized today. Against the advice of many of his colleagues, Rather almost single-handedly put a story on the air that had relied on at least two forged documents.

Typographical experts, legacy office equipment collectors, and even the family of the man who supposedly wrote the documents have all called into question CBS's "scoop." The fact that a bunch of people working independently on the internet could so readily debunk an obvious forgery tells a very disturbing story about the journalistic practices of a news organization that has allowed one man's grudge against the Bush family to set its remaining shreds of credibility aflame.

The fiasco is getting so bad that it is tearing up CBS News. Whether news division president Andrew Heyward has the courage to make the changes needed to ensure that his organization is sufficiently ideologically diverse to prevent such an event from happening again is open to question. He has long been known as a toady to Rather and may not have the guts to do what's right.

One thing is certain, however. Microsoft needs to fix its Auto Correct feature to properly spell CBS's star anchor's name without superscripting the "th" in his last name.

To its credit, CBS has included some critical remarks from Gary Killian--the son of Jerry Killian, the deceased man at the center of the controversy--on its Web site.

Unfortunately, though, the Rather-run Evening News decided not to mention the questions surrounding the alleged memos. We also couldn't help but notice that the CBSNews.com's Opinion section (which is currently featuring a number of anti-Republican articles and no anti-Democrat ones) has not reprinted any of the media criticism its online partners National Review, and The Weekly Standard, something it was not averse to doing when one of its liberal magazine partners accused the media of being biased against John Kerry.


Did Rather Attend Democratic Fundraiser With Ben Barnes?

--Ben Barnes, who was invited by Dan Rather to come onto 60 Minutes to claim that he got George W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard, is a high-roller in the Texas Democratic party.

Barnes has already been documented as a top John Kerry campaign donor, but in 2001, a Democratic fundraiser took place in which Dan Rather was the main speaker. On March 21, 2001, an assortment of Austin's well-to-do Democrats paid as much as $1,000 to attend a party held in the backyard of Austin City Council member Will Wynn. Rather raised $20,000 for the Texas Democratic party at the event to which he was invited by his daughter, activist Robin Rather.

On the John Kerry Web site, Ben Barnes of Austin, TX is listed as giving "$100,000 and above" to the campaign. Of course, Rather has given much more.


Turmoil at Eyemark.

--Passions are high inside CBS News as the network is facing yet another outpouring of public discontent, this time over 60 Minutes's boneheaded decision to publicize phony documents "proving" that George W. Bush was AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Many staffers are placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Dan Rather who they say was the driving force behind a shoddily researched story that ought never to have aired.

Meanwhile, CBS's News publicity flacks have abandoned answering their phones, overwhelmed with calls from angry viewers and inquisitive journalists.

Update, 18:35, Conservative webzine WorldNetDaily managed to get through to a 60 Minutes spokesperson who defended the documents' authenticity.

"As is standard practice at CBS News, each of the documents broadcast on 60 Minutes was thoroughly investigated by independent experts, and we are convinced of their authenticity," spokeswoman Kelli Edwards is quoted as saying.

"CBS verified the authenticity of the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written. These individuals were close associates of [Bush commander] Colonel Jerry Killian and confirm that the documents reflect his opinions at the time the documents were written."

Update, 22:50, Matt Drudge is basically confirming RatherBiased.com's scoop. The discontent and fear over the fact that Rather may have caused the network to rush a poorly researched story onto the air is growing. According to Drudge, News Division execs have launched an internal investigation into whether 60 Minutes did get snookered.

Rather is prepared to run an on-air correction to the story if the Bush National Guard documents do prove to be false.


CBS Did Not Ask Killian Widow to Verify Documents.

--Excerpts from a front-page story in today's Washington Post:

"In a telephone interview from her Texas home, Killian's widow, Marjorie Connell, described the records as 'a farce,' saying she was with her husband until the day he died in 1984 and he did not 'keep files.' She said her husband considered Bush 'an excellent pilot.'

"'I don't think there were any documents. He was not a paper person,' she said, adding that she was 'livid' at CBS. A CBS reporter contacted her briefly before Wednesday night's broadcasts, she said, but did not ask her to authenticate the records."

More:

"A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network's sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents' alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone and Hodges replied that 'these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time.'

"'These documents represent what Killian not only was putting in memoranda, but was telling other people,' the CBS News official said. 'Journalistically, we've gone several extra miles.'

"The official said the network regarded Hodges's comments as 'the trump card' on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.


Killian Family Blasts CBS, Documents' Authenticity.

--Marjorie Connell, who was married to Jerry Killian, the deceased Texas Air National officer who allegedly wrote CBS's controversial Bush memos appeared on Thursday's Nightline, blasting the network for promoting "untruths" about her husband

Some excerpts:

"What aggravated me so much, was that he can not be here to say and yet they can drag his name onto television, making bad accusations about our president and a man that he respected and I know for a fact that he thought this young man as a second lieutenant or first lieutenant was an excellent aviator, an excellent person to be in the guard and was very happy to have him become a member of the 111th F.L.S."

"Number one, he would not have typed because he did not type. Number two, the wording in these documents is very suspect to me. I just don't believe that, it looks like some things may have been picked up out of a document and then other things just made fictitiously to fill in things, to make them flow. I just can't believe that this is his words, my late husband's words."

"Not a typist, definitely not a typist. We had no computers at home but he wasn't a typist, and what is remarkable to me is that he was a person who did not take or make copious notes. he carried everything in his mind and he didn't have time to make notes."

"He would just write little notes on the back of anything. unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, if he needed to jot something down he would jot it on any paper that he could find, on a card, like a calling card that you would have, or just little bits of paper. He always knew where everything was, and if he needed to pull it out of his wallet on a little note or something, but he just didn't take many notes."

In an interview with the Washington Post, Connell said she was "livid" at CBS.

In related news, the Houston Chronicle talked more with Jerry Killian's son, Gary, who expressed further doubts about the CBS documents' authenticity.

Confirming his mother's assertion that his father was no typist and that he had no "secret file" where controversial documents would be stored.

"It would have been against his own self-interest to keep a memo like that on file," Killian told the paper. "It was just not in his nature to do that."

Kerry also said he never saw his father sign documents using his first name and that he believes they are fakes.


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Nutwatch 2004--More Brainwashing From Out-to-Lunch Academics

Nutwatch Academics Justify Terrorism to Children

USA TODAY has a story about out-to-lunch academics now trying to brainwash children concerning the root causes of terrorism.

"Fifth-graders at Fratney Street School in Milwaukee learn about causes of terrorism with a small bag of cookies and a large map of the world.

Bob Peterson teaches students that overpopulation and poverty help make it easier to recruit terrorists for attacks like those on Sept. 11, 2001."

This guy should be fired immediately, given a public beating and be forced to go live under Islamic rule somewhere. Bet he didn't teach what happened to the children in Beslan--maybe he should give a few Russian educators a call and get their views first-hand.

Again, this is part of a politically-correct academic environment that follows the religion of diversity and inclusiveness rather than common sense. While Muslim students (even in the United States) are taught to hate Americans, Jews, Christians and just about anybody else--we have the nutty academic left trying to poison the children by trying to justify terrorism.


9/11 was another shot in a RELIGIOUS WAR. A war where followers of one religion--want to destroy us and our way of life. We do not have to tolerate or include such fanatics. We do not have to apologize. Above all, we shouldn't honor fruitcake, left wing academics like Bob Peterson who continue to make students drink the Kool Aid of liberal political correctness.
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Will It Take A nuclear Event to Get The U.S. Government to Enforce Immigration Laws?

WW: Here's the big queston yet again from Larua Mansfield at NIN

Closing the barn door is appropriate - even when the horse is already out. And when you catch the horse, he needs to go back in the barn. If the door is closed, he may even stay there! I hate to beat this poor and already abused horse but... The borders are still a problem. We need to enforce our immigration law.
Look at Russia. The following things really jump out at me:

1. Several of the terrorists involved in the school massacre had previously been in custody, but were released.

2. The terrorists were able to slip across the border

3. The terrorists were able to get jobs working on the building, and preposition weapons and explosives.

Let's look at Israel for a minute. 16 people were killed in those 2 bus bombings a week ago. One of the bombers had just been released from a Palestinian Authority prison. He was a KNOWN terrorist and had made clear his intentions to kill Israelis.

Now let me extrapolate a bit:

1. Before 9/11/2001, 3 of the 19 hijackers had been arrested on traffic stops. At least one was on a terror watch list; 2 of the others had overstayed their visas.

2. 1997 - three men arrested and charged with planning to blow up a Brooklyn subway station; one later plead guilty. Two were in the US illegally; one had been stopped coming across the Canadian border three times. The first two times he was sent back to Canada; the third time he was arrested, tagged for deportation, and then released on bond. He appealed his deportation on grounds that he would be persecuted in Israel because he was a member of Hamas.

3. 2004 - Man held in Charlotte who was caught acting suspiciously and videotaping buildings, crossed into the US over the border at Tijuana. He was reported but never showed up at the airport to leave. Several years later he get picked up in Charlotte.

4. Mohamed Saleh, currently under indictment in Chicago for funding Hamas, spend three years in jail in Israel on terrorism charges. He came back to the US in the late 1990's, even though the US KNEW he was a member of Hamas. Guess what job he got? Substitute teacher in the public schools of Chicago.

5. One prominent Muslim leader, currently under indictment in Chicago as well, said this: "We used to teach our kids to be doctors; now we raise them to be teachers, social workers, and so on. That way we can reach the children."

I can continue but you get the picture.

The police are not allowed to ask immigration status. But if those three hijackers had been held for their violations then maybe those people who died on 9/11 would still be alive.

We have to enforce our immigration laws.

We have to stop letting self-confessed terrorists into our country, and when we find them here we need to KEEP them locked up or kick them out of the country.

We need to enforce background checks - and illegal aliens and members of known terror groups should NOT be building our buildings, teaching in our schools, or dealing with our health care or food supply. The vulnerabilities are enormous.

Illegal Alien means just that. They are illegal. They are breaking the law.

Laura Mansfield, Associate director, Northeast Intelligence Network




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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Zawahiri, the Ghoul, Gives a 9/11 rant

From Al Jazeera

Al-Zawahri: US faces Afghan, Iraq defeat


Al-Zawahri says "martyrdom" attacks expected in Kabul


Al-Qaida number two Ayman al-Zawahri has forecast a US "defeat" in Iraq and Afghanistan, in a videotape aired on Aljazeera television.

"The American defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan has become just a question of time, God willing" he said in the tape telecast on Thursday.


"In the two countries, the Americans are between two fires: if they remain there they will bleed to death, and if they withdraw they will have lost everything."


The Mujahidin are in a strong position in Afghanistan and have turned US plans in Iraq "head over heels", al-Zawahri said.



In Afghanistan, the Mujahidin have driven US forces to "hide in their trenches", he said.


Al-Zawahri says US plans in Iraq
has turned "head over heels"

Al-Zawahri, the right-hand man of al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin, was seen wearing a white turban with a machine gun at his side in the videotape.



In the tape, shown two days before the third anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, he said, "east and south Afghanistan have become an open arena for the Mujahidin. The enemy is limited to the capitals."


"The Americans are hiding in their trenches and refuse to come out to face the Mujahidin, as the Mujahidin shell them, fire on them and cut roads off around them," he said. "Their defence is only to bomb by air."


"The Americans are hiding in their trenches and refuse to come out to face the Mujahidin..."


"In Kabul, the Americans and peacekeeping forces are hiding from the shells of the Mujahidin and expect martyrdom attacks at every moment," he said.


Al-Zawahri was last heard in March when Aljazeera aired a recorded message in which he called on Pakistanis to overthrow US-allied Pervez Musharraf government.



Al-Zawahri and Usama bin Ladin last appeared in a videotape aired on Aljazeera in September 2003 in which the two were shown walking in a mountainous area together.



Pakistan, with US military back-up, has been trying to capture bin Ladin, al-Zawahri and other al-Qaida supporters thought to be in hiding in the mountainous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Aljazeera + Agencies

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Bad Week For Those Gullible Enough to Believe In Media Objectivity

Is it just me or has Journalism finally reached the cesspool below the integrity of ambulance-chasing litigation attorneys? First, the Associated Press lied about Bush supporters booing when the President sent get-well wishes to former President Clinton.

Then, it appears Vice President Cheney's remarks in a town hall meeting were selectively edited to make it sound like he said a Kerry victory would make a terrorist attack more likely instead of suggesting the approach to such an attack would be with law enforcement instead of anti-terrorism and that would be wrong.

Then, CNN allows Carville and Begalia (who I actually watch and like by the way) to work on the Kerry campaign while they host Crossfire.

And now, CBS appears to have used some questionable memos that I bet don't fare well under outside scrutiny. Never mind that Kerry still hasn't released his service records and the BIG Media don't seem too interested in what they might find.

The Associated Press, Boston Globe, New York Times, and CBS Sixty Minutes should do some internal housecleaning--their journalistic integrity appears non-existent.
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Carter=Kerry=Moore They're All Tards

As a child, I used to listen to WLS which was a rock station way back then. Got them on the skip--I spent many nights under the covers listening and waiting to travel to Chicago. I'm going to have to find a way to listen to Teri O'Brien at WLS THere appears to be no PC here--stand back and see how the big dogs hunt:

Meanwhile, the Bloated, Bloviating Blowhole of BS, that endless font of lies and distortion, Michael Moore, attends the Democrat convention and shares a skybox with Mr. Malaise, the appeaser of anti-American dictators from Kim IL Sung to Castro to Hugo Chavez, the King of the Useful Idiots, Jimmy Carter. Is it just me or was it more than a tad ironic that in her statement last week denouncing the SVFT ads, a Kerry campaign flak made reference to one of Michael Moore's many scurrilous lies?

If that's not enough of a connection between the Dems and the Kerry campaign for you, how about Zack Exley? Don't know who he is? He is the former internet director of a little group called Moveon.org, famous for its President-Bush-morphing-into-Hitler ads. I said "former" because now he is the internet director for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Jim Jordan, Kerry's former campaign manager, is now a spokesman for the Media Fund, the biggest democrat 527. There's more, but maybe I should wait for the New York Times article on these connections, complete with flowchart.

Speaking of the 4th Estate--or should I say the 5th column--what do you make of their failure to note the most significant aspect of the many changing versions of the incident that is "SEARED--SEARED" into Sen. Kerry's brain, the "Apocalypse Now"-inspired tale, "Christmas in Cambodia." It's not the obvious fact that this lie says something about the senator's character. What matters about this story is that Sen. Kerry invoked this lie on the Senate floor in 1986 to support his opposition to President Reagan's efforts to keep the Soviets from establishing another repressive satellite in our hemisphere. In other words, John Kerry lied in support of the communist enemies of America. And it wasn't the first time.

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What President Bush Really Did In The Guard

Here's A Byron York article from The Hill. While a huge proportion of the media shills for Kerry--i guess i shouldn't be surprised that the BIG Media won't let this story go--still, where are the truly deep investigations into the Gigilo's record? There is something very strange about someone who only spent 4 months in Vietnam--became as decorated as John Kerry did--then return home to give and aid and comfort to our enemies amd brand everybody there as a war criminal.


by Byron York

What do you really know about George W. Bush’s time in the Air National Guard?
That he didn’t show up for duty in Alabama? That he missed a physical? That his daddy got him in?

News coverage of the president’s years in the Guard has tended to focus on one brief portion of that time — to the exclusion of virtually everything else. So just for the record, here, in full, is what Bush did:

The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training.

That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years.

Not two years of weekends. Two years.

After training, Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.

According to records released earlier this year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).

Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?

That brings the story to May 1972 — the time that has been the focus of so many news reports — when Bush “deserted” (according to anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore) or went “AWOL” (according to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee).

Read the rest The Hill.
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BEING SAD ISN'T ENOUGH

By Mark Steyn

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0904/steyn_2004_09_07.php3

Photographed from above, the body bags look empty. They seem to lie flat on the ground, and it's only when you peer closer that you realize that that's because the bodies in them are too small to fill the length of the bags. They're children. Row upon row of dead children, more than a hundred of them, 150, more, many of them shot in the back as they tried to flee.

Flee from whom? Let's take three representative responses: "Guerillas", said The New York Times. "Chechen separatists", ventured the BBC, eventually settling for "hostage-takers". "Insurgents", said The Guardian's Isabel Hilton, hyper-rational to a fault: "Today's hostage-taking," she explained, "is more savage, born of the spread of asymmetrical warfare that pits small, weak and irregular forces against powerful military machines. No insurgent lives long if he fights such overwhelming force directly . . . If insurgent bullets cannot penetrate military armour, it makes little sense to shoot in that direction. Soft targets — the unprotected, the innocent, the uninvolved — become targets because they are available."

And then there was Adam Nicolson in London's Daily Telegraph, who filed one of those ornately anguished columns full of elevated, overwritten allusions — each child was "a Pieta, the archetype of pity. Each is a Cordelia carried on at the end of Act V" — and yet in a thousand words he's too busy honing his limpid imagery to confront the fact that this foul deed had perpetrators, never mind the identity of those perpetrators.

Sorry, it won't do. I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about "asymmetrical warfare".


For one thing, Hilton is wrong: insurgent bullets can "penetrate military armour". A rabble with a few AKs and a couple of RPGs have managed to pick off a thousand men from the world's most powerful military machine and prompt 75 per cent of Hilton's colleagues in the Western media to declare Iraq a quagmire.

When your asymmetrical warfare strategy depends on gunning down schoolchildren, you're getting way more asymmetrical than you need to be. The reality is that the IRA and ETA and the ANC and any number of secessionist and nationalist movements all the way back to the American revolutionaries could have seized schoolhouses and shot all the children.

But they didn't. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators' own communities. To put it at its most tactful, that doesn't seem to be an issue here.

So the particular character of this "insurgency" does not derive from the requirements of "asymmetrical warfare" but from . . . well, let's see, what was the word missing from those three analyses of the Beslan massacre? Here's a clue: half the dead "Chechen separatists" were not Chechens at all, but Arabs. And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn't bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist, for fear presumably of offending multicultural sensibilities.

In the 1990s, while the world's leaders slept — or in Bill Clinton's case slept around — thousands of volunteers from across the globe passed through terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and were then dispatched to Indonesia, Kosovo, Sudan . . . and Chechnya. Wealthy Saudis — including members of the royal family — invested millions in setting up mosques and madrassas in what were traditionally spheres of a more accommodationist Islam, from the Balkans to South Asia, and successfully radicalized a generation of young Muslim men. It's the jihadist component — not the asymmetrical one, not the secessionist one — that accounts for the mound of undersized corpses, for the scale of the depravity.

If the Russian children are innocent, the Russian state is not. Its ham-fisted campaign in Chechnya is as brutal as it is ineffectual. The Muslims have a better case in Chechnya than they do in the West Bank, Kashmir or any of the other troublespots where the Islamic world rubs up against the infidels. But that said, as elsewhere, whatever the theoretical merits of the cause, it's been rotted from within by the Islamist psychosis.

I wonder if, as they killed those schoolchildren, they chanted "Allahu Akbar!" — as they did when they hacked the head of Nick Berg, and killed those 12 Nepalese workers, and blew up those Israeli diners in the Passover massacre.

The good news is that the carnage in Beslan was so shocking it prompted a brief appearance by that rare bird, the moderate Muslim. Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the general manager of al-Arabiya Television, wrote a column in Asharq al-Awsat headlined, "The Painful Truth: All The World's Terrorists Are Muslims!" "Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," he wrote. This is true. But, as with Nicolson's prettified prose in London, the question remains: So what? What are you going to do about it? If you want your religion to be more than a diseased death cult, you're going to have to take a stand.

What happened in one Russian schoolhouse is an abomination that has to be defeated, not merely regretted. But the only guys with any kind of plan are the Bush administration. Last Thursday, the President committed himself yet again to wholesale reform of the Muslim world. This is a dysfunctional region that exports its toxins, to Beslan, Bali and beyond, and is wealthy enough to be able to continue doing so.

You can't turn Saudi Arabia and Yemen into New Hampshire or Sweden (according to taste), but if you could transform them into Singapore or Papua New Guinea or Belize or just about anything else you'd be making an immense improvement. It's a long shot, but, unlike Putin's plan to bomb them Islamists into submission or Chirac's reflexive inclination to buy them off, Bush is at least tackling the "root cause".

If you've got a better idea, let's hear it. Right now, his is the only plan on the table. The ideology and rationale that drove the child-killers in Beslan is the same as that motivating cells in Rome and Manchester and Seattle and Sydney. In this war, you can't hold the line against the next depravity.


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Only Islamist Competency: Massive blast at Jakarta embassy

This from the
BBC



At least eight people have been killed and about 100 injured in a massive blast outside the Australian embassy in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.
Jakarta's police chief said a suicide car bomb may have caused the blast, and linked it to bomb expert Azahari Husin.

The BBC's Rachel Harvey says it left a large crater in the ground and damaged buildings and motor vehicles all about.

Helicopters, ambulances and police units are at the site, in Kuningan, a district to the south of the city.


Police chief General Da'i Bachtiar said police believed the explosion was caused by a car bomb, similar to those used to attack the Marriott Hotel last year and the Bali nightclubs in 2002.

Mr Bachtiar said it bore the hallmark of militant Islamic group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which is widely blamed for both bombings.



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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Putin Offers Bounty--Prepares for Retaliation "Anywhere"

Putin Ready To Kick Some Islamist Behind

10m bounty offered for Chechen rebels

The two leaders have been wanted by Russia for years
Russia has offered 300m roubles ($10m) for information leading to the arrest of Chechen rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Aslan Maskhadov, reports say.
Security services want any information that could help to "neutralise" the two following the Beslan school siege.

Russia says is will launch pre-emptive strikes on bases used for training militants, a senior general said.

The threats came as Beslan residents prepared to bury more of the 335 people killed in the bloody end to the siege.


Russia confirmed it would step up its fight against rebel bases.

"As for launching pre-emptive strikes on terrorist bases, we will carry out all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region of the world," General Yuri Baluevsky was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

"However, this does not mean that we will launch nuclear strikes."

'Inhuman acts'

The two rebel leaders attracting offers of rewards from the Federal Security Bureau have been wanted by Russian authorities for years in connection with various attacks in Russia.

Mr Maskhadov was elected president of Chechnya in 1997, but Moscow now considers him a terrorist.

His spokesman Akhmed Zakayev has said rebels loyal to Mr Maskhadov had no part in the school siege he called a "barbaric act of terrorism".

He blamed the attack on "local radical groups" and warned that President Putin's "punitive policy" in the region would make a "repeat of the Beslan tragedy inevitable".

Mr Basayev is a Chechen field commander, accused of masterminding operations and known for his extreme brutality.

He led the first Chechen mass hostage-taking in the southern Russian town of Budyonnovsk in 1995 and he claimed to have organised the seizing of a Moscow theatre in 2002, during which some 130 people died.

"For many years Shamil Basayev and Aslan Maskhadov, the leaders of illegal armed groups, staged inhuman acts of terrorism on the territory of the Russian Federation, which involved a tremendous loss of life," the security services said.

They called "for the information on their whereabouts, which could help neutralise those criminals. Anonymity and security are guaranteed".



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An Arab-American Cries for the Russian Children

By Nonie Darwish

Among the Chechnyan terrorists that did the unspeakable in a Russian school this past week were reported to be several Arabs. I am not surprised, but how many Arabs in the Middle East even try to connect the dots and link their current radicalized culture of Islam to these unspeakable deeds around the world? They simply do not see the connection and unfortunately, the world media is not doing its job in telling the Arab world about it. CNN feels that being "objective" means never blaming Arab culture, thus ending up supportive of Arab views in its delivery of news from the Middle East and around the world.

Until age 30, I lived as a Muslim in the Middle East. Horrible news such as that from Russia, or other incidents in the Philippines, India, the Sudan or Pakistan, were always covered up and twisted to portray Muslim terrorists around the world as just victims of terrible discrimination. They were always portrayed as "freedom fighters" in the minority who need to rise against the majority Christian or non-Muslim population. The larger picture in these countries and the reasons behind the turmoil was never explained in any other way. I will never forget the prayers that many gave in support of minority Muslims all over the world who were believed to be the frontier for Jihad in spreading Islam in the "lost" world around them of Dar-El-Harb, the land of war, to be conquered by the sword.

I once had a guest from Egypt in my home who was the most kind and wonderful man you will ever meet. While watching Chechnyan rebels on TV, I saw him pray and cry for their success against the Soviet Union. Praying for killings never seemed holy to me.

The world has been seeing Arab radical terrorism growing without much international outcry for half a century. I started seeing many men and women in my culture of origin turn into robotic monsters with a wish to destroy life on earth to go to heaven. Many thought it was only against Israel and its interests and ignored it.

The world and its lazy media are not doing Arabs or the rest of the world any favor by sticking their heads in the sand like ostriches. Even after 9/11, many in the West and the UN are still finding excuses for terrorism. Even the Arabs' best friends, the French, thought they would get special treatment from terrorists by selling out the US and supporting Saddam Hussein. But in the eyes of the terrorists, the French were always just temporary friends until the right time came to strike; one enemy at a time.

Where are Arab Muslim demonstrations against terror? All I noticed were celebrations in the Arab world after 9/11. Taking a stand against terrorism and for reformations in the Muslim world is viewed as an Israeli conspiracy. The very few courageous Arab writers who think and speak independently are often attacked and terrorized for their views, and accused of being puppets of the Zionists. Apparently, standing strong against terrorism and for reformations in the Muslim world is viewed as a "Zionist" conspiracy, no matter how heinous the murders conducted by militant Islamists.

Since 1967, there have been thousands of Arab terrorist attacks. There was only one such attack against Arabs by a crazed Israeli man, and that attack was condemned by almost all of Israel's citizens. The Israeli government never tried the Arabs who beat the attacker to death after he surrendered. Yet I hear apologists for terrorism here in the US cite that one incident as justification for the thousands and thousands of terrorist attacks on Israel and America over the years.

Even worse, how many resolutions by the UN Commission on Human Rights condemning an Arab country for human rights violations have ever been proposed or passed? The answer is zero. But the number of Commission on Human Rights resolutions condemning Israel for human rights violations is 26. Imagine that. Is there any doubt that much of the state-sponsored and culturally encouraged terrorism all over the Middle East by the Arab states is not a violation of someone's human rights? Could it be that the United Nations is contributing to the problem?

After I saw the horror on the faces of the Russian children, who looked underfed and poverty stricken to begin with, I decided to make a stand against the Islamic culture of terror I grew up in and the madness resulting from its teachings. The intense and repetitive teachings of hate produce inhumane robots. Make no mistake about it, my motivation is out of love for the goodness in the Muslim world that I do know exists, so that it prevail. Accusing me of being part of a "Zionist conspiracy" is a joke at this point, made by the other side to cover up what is going on.

It is time for the world media and the UN to take a serious stand against Islamic - yes, Islamic - terrorism. The UN should immediately issue a very strong resolution condemning terrorism, with serious consequences to oil-rich Arab countries that finance terrorism or teach that terrorists are heroes going to heaven. No "ifs," "ands" or "buts" and no diluted language by the international media. The out-of-control culture in the Middle East needs a wake up call and a dose of reality.

I cannot defend the cruel teachings and hate speech in my culture of origin any more. No other Arab with any integrity should. There is no cause in the world that could justify this insanity. I lived it and know what will end it. What is needed immediately is a united world stand against the Arabs' stagnant and barbaric view of the world and of themselves. The world cannot stand by, confused and equivocal about 9/11 and Islamic terrorism any more.

Please, America and the good people of the world, save my Arab culture of origin from itself.


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World Tribune--Surprise!!! Beslan Murderers have Al Qaida Ties

10 of Beslan Savages had al Qaida Ties

MOSCOW – Russian investigators said Arab operatives linked to Al Qaida played a major role in the takeover of a Russian school in which 400 people were killed.

Russian officials said authorities have determined that 10 of the 32 suicide attackers who took over a high school in Beslan in North Ossetia last week were nationals from several Arab countries. Most of the attackers were Chechens and Ingush who had been trained at Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan.

The 10 Arab nationals came from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria, officials said. They said security forces seized notebooks in Arabic in the school taken over by insurgents. Officials said survivors told authorities that some of the captors spoke Arabic during the three-day hostage ordeal.

All of the captors were said to have been killed, but three accomplices were arrested, Middle East Newsline reported.

The Arab nationals were said to have been recruited in the Middle East and hosted by Shamil Basayev, head of the Chechen insurgency and aligned with Al Qaida.

"We're hoping to release additional information over the next few days," an official said. "But precise details will require cooperation from our allies."
The officials said the attackers were trained in Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan and financed by Abu Omar Al Seif, regarded as a leading Al Qaida operative and the organization's representative in Chechnya.

Al Seif, identified as the chief Islamic ideologue in the Chechen insurgency, was brought to Chechnya in 1995 by Saudi national Samir Saleh Abdullah Al Suwailem, known as Abu Khattab. Abu Khattab was said to have been killed in 2002.

Officials said Basayev received Saudi financial aid for at least a decade, most of it through Al Seif. They said Basayev and Al Seif employed hundreds of Saudi volunteers for suicide and other mass casualty attacks in Chechnya and other parts of Russia as well as raised funds required for the attack on the school in Beslan.

In December 2003, Federal Security Service spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko said virtually all of the suicide attacks in Russia over the last few years were organized by Al Seif and Abu Al Walid. Ignatchenko identified Al Walid as responsible for the Arab fighters in Chechnya.

"Major financial resources reach Al Walid and Abu Omar from extremist centers in a series of Arab countries," Ignatchenko was quoted as saying by the Itar-Tass news agency.

Several Middle East countries planned to increase security cooperation with Russia, officials said. On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to meet Israeli leaders in an effort to pave the way for expanded security cooperation. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have also agreed to increased security cooperation with Moscow. Victims of the insurgency attack included at least one Turkish national.

"The recent terrorist act in Russia has showed the importance of international cooperation in fight against terrorism," Turkish Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said.


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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Beslan School Video

Beslan murderers video
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Stupid is as Stupid Does--Media PC for Baby Killers

They're Terrorists - Not Activists
by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/2066
http://www.nysun.com/article/1339

"I know it when I see it" was the famous response by a U.S. Supreme Court justice to the vexed problem of defining pornography. Terrorism may be no less difficult to define, but the wanton killing of schoolchildren, of mourners at a funeral, or workers at their desks in skyscrapers surely fits the know-it-when-I-see-it definition.

The press, however, generally shies away from the word terrorist, preferring euphemisms. Take the assault that led to the deaths of some 400 people, many of them children, in Beslan, Russia, on September 3. Journalists have delved deep into their thesauruses, finding at least twenty euphemisms for terrorists:

Assailants - National Public Radio.
Attackers – the Economist.
Bombers – the Guardian.
Captors – the Associated Press.
Commandos – Agence France-Presse refers to the terrorists both as "membres du commando" and "commando."
Criminals - the Times (London).
Extremists – United Press International.
Fighters – the Washington Post.
Group – the Australian.
Guerrillas: in a New York Post editorial.
Gunmen – Reuters.
Hostage-takers - the Los Angeles Times.
Insurgents – in a New York Times headline.
Kidnappers – the Observer (London).
Militants – the Chicago Tribune.
Perpetrators – the New York Times.
Radicals – the BBC.
Rebels – in a Sydney Morning Herald headline.
Separatists – the Christian Science Monitor.
And my favorite:
Activists – the Pakistan Times.

The origins of this unwillingness to name terrorists seems to lie in the Arab-Israeli conflict, prompted by an odd combination of sympathy in the press for the Palestinian Arabs and intimidation by them. The sympathy is well known; the intimidation less so. Reuters' Nidal al-Mughrabi made the latter explicit in advice for fellow reporters in Gaza to avoid trouble on the Web site www.newssafety.com, where one tip reads: "Never use the word terrorist or terrorism in describing Palestinian gunmen and militants; people consider them heroes of the conflict."

The reluctance to call terrorists by their rightful name can reach absurd lengths of inaccuracy and apologetics. For example, National Public Radio's Morning Edition announced on April 1, 2004, that "Israeli troops have arrested 12 men they say were wanted militants." But CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, pointed out the inaccuracy here and NPR issued an on-air correction on April 26: "Israeli military officials were quoted as saying they had arrested 12 men who were ‘wanted militants.' But the actual phrase used by the Israeli military was ‘wanted terrorists.'"

(At least NPR corrected itself. When the Los Angeles Times made the same error, writing that "Israel staged a series of raids in the West Bank that the army described as hunts for wanted Palestinian militants," its editors refused CAMERA's request for a correction on the grounds that its change in terminology did not occur in a direct quotation.)

Metro, a Dutch paper, ran a picture on May 3, 2004, of two gloved hands belonging to a person taking fingerprints off a dead terrorist. The caption read: "An Israeli police officer takes fingerprints of a dead Palestinian. He is one of the victims (slachtoffers) who fell in the Gaza strip yesterday." One of the victims!

Euphemistic usage then spread from the Arab-Israeli conflict to other theaters. As terrorism picked up in Saudi Arabia such press outlets as The Times (London) and the Associated Press began routinely using militants in reference to Saudi terrorists. Reuters uses it with reference to Kashmir and Algeria.

Thus has militants become the press's default term for terrorists.

These self-imposed language limitations sometimes cause journalists to tie themselves into knots. In reporting the murder of one of its own cameraman, the BBC, which normally avoids the word terrorist, found itself using that term. In another instance, the search engine on the BBC website includes the word terrorist but the page linked to has had that word expurgated.

Politically-correct news organizations undermine their credibility with such subterfuges. How can one trust what one reads, hears, or sees when the self-evident fact of terrorism is being semi-denied?

Worse, the multiple euphemisms for terrorist obstruct a clear understanding of the violent threats confronting the civilized world. It is bad enough that only one of five articles discussing the Beslan atrocity mentions its Islamist origins; worse is the miasma of words that insulates the public from the evil of terrorism

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Next Democratic Attack Book--Former Senator Bob Graham

Read the rest in the Miami Herald

Graham book: Inquiry into 9/11, Saudi ties blocked

By FRANK DAVIES

fdavies@herald.com


WASHINGTON - Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Sen. Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.

The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers ''would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration,'' the Florida Democrat wrote.

And in Graham's book, Intelligence Matters, obtained by The Herald Saturday, he makes clear that some details of that financial support from Saudi Arabia were in the 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's final report that were blocked from release by the administration, despite the pleas of leaders of both parties on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Graham also revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, just four months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many important resources -- including the Predator drone aircraft crucial to the search for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda leaders -- were being shifted to prepare for a war against Iraq.

Graham recalled this conversation at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa with Franks, then head of Central Command, who was ``looking troubled'':

``Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan.''

''Excuse me?'' I asked.

''Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq,'' he continued.

Graham concluded: 'Gen. Franks' mission -- which, as a good soldier, he was loyally carrying out -- was being downgraded from a war to a manhunt.''

Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from June 2001 through the buildup to the Iraq war, voted against the war resolution in October 2002 because he saw Iraq as a diversion that would hinder the fight against al Qaeda terrorism.




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USA TODAY POLL--Bush leads Kerry by 7 points

By Susan Page, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Bush widened his lead over John Kerry after a combative Republican National Convention reinforced questions about the Democratic candidate's leadership, especially on terrorism. (Related link: Poll results)
As the campaign enters its last eight weeks, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday shows Bush at 52%, Kerry at 45% and independent candidate Ralph Nader at 1% among likely voters. Before the convention, Bush led Kerry by 2 percentage points.

Among registered voters, Bush was at 48%, Kerry at 46% and Nader at 4% in the first nationwide post-convention poll.

Bush's lead remains within the survey's error margin at Labor Day, the traditional start of the campaign's homestretch.

By historical standards, the race is too close to call. But the New York convention altered the political landscape and attitudes toward the candidates in ways helpful to Republicans. Views of whether Bush has the personality and leadership qualities to be president improved by 6 points; those of Kerry declined by 14 points.

And the importance of terrorism — the issue on which Bush has his biggest advantage — surged. Voters now say terrorism is as important as the economy in determining their vote. Bush is preferred by 27 points over Kerry in handling terrorism, up from a 10-point edge last month.

Bush strategist Matthew Dowd says Bush is further ahead than the campaign expected. With the conventions over, he says Kerry "has lost any ability to have any one-way conversation" with voters.

Mark Mellman, Kerry's pollster, says there is "no doubt" that "ugly and inaccurate speeches" at the Republican convention had an effect. "Equally, there's no doubt they'll fade pretty quickly," he says.

The lessons of presidential races since World War II indicate that either candidate could prevail in November. Since World War II, three contests have been within the margin of error among registered voters at Labor Day.
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Monday, September 06, 2004

'INNOCENT RELIGION IS NOW A MESSAGE OF HATE'

(Filed: 05/09/2004) The Sunday Telegraph (London) September 5, 2004

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed is general manager of Al- Arabiya news channel. Yesterday, his article appeared in the pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/05/wosse605.xml

It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

The hostage-takers of children in Beslan, North Ossetia, were Muslims. The other hostage-takers and subsequent murderers of the Nepalese chefs and workers in Iraq were also Muslims. Those involved in rape and murder in Darfur, Sudan, are Muslims, with other Muslims chosen to be their victims.

Those responsible for the attacks on residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar were Muslims. The two women who crashed two airliners last week were also Muslims.

Bin Laden is a Muslim. The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim.

What a pathetic record. What an abominable "achievement". Does all this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?

These images, when put together, or taken separately, are shameful and degrading. But let us start with putting an end to a history of denial. Let us acknowledge their reality, instead of denying them and seeking to justify them with sound and fury signifying nothing.

For it would be easy to cure ourselves if we realise the seriousness of our sickness. Self-cure starts with self-realisation and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture.



Let us listen to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Sheikh - the Qatar-based radical Egyptian cleric - and hear him recite his "fatwa" about the religious permissibility of killing civilian Americans in Iraq. Let us contemplate the incident of this religious Sheikh allowing, nay even calling for, the murder of civilians.



This ailing Sheikh, in his last days, with two daughters studying in "infidel" Britain, soliciting children to kill innocent civilians.



How could this Sheikh face the mother of the youthful Nick Berg, who was slaughtered in Iraq because he wanted to build communication towers in that ravished country? How can we believe him when he tells us that Islam is the religion of mercy and peace while he is turning it into a religion of blood and slaughter?



In a different era, we used to consider the extremists, with nationalist or Leftist leanings, a menace and a source of corruption because of their adoption of violence as a means of discourse and their involvement in murder as an easy shortcut to their objectives.



At that time, the mosque used to be a haven, and the voice of religion used to be that of peace and reconciliation. Religious sermons were warm behests for a moral order and an ethical life.



Then came the Neo-Muslims. An innocent and benevolent religion, whose verses prohibit the felling of trees in the absence of urgent necessity, that calls murder the most heinous of crimes, that says explicitly that if you kill one person you have killed humanity as a whole, has been turned into a global message of hate and a universal war cry.



We can't call those who take schoolchildren as hostages our own.



We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us, whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds. These are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image.



We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.



We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit all these heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to re-invent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people's sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleges.








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South Asia Terrorism Review Publisher: Too Many Paper Pushers in Terror War

A Loss of Direction
By K.P.S. Gill
Publisher, SAIR; President, Institute for Conflict Management

As the third year since the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001, in USA approaches completion, with much of the world sliding, once again, slowly but steadily into a torpor of denial, terrorism has once again issued multiple reminders over the past weeks that liberal democracies everywhere are under siege.

The worst of shocks were reserved for Russia, where Chechen terrorists, apparently aided by a number of Arab nationals, took over 1,200 persons hostage - a majority of them children - in a school in Beslan. The bloody dénouement of this operation left 338 dead, including at least 155 children. But this was only the worst of what Russia had already been subjected to in the preceding week: two Russian passenger planes were blown up, apparently by Chechen women suicide bombers, killing 89 persons on August 24. Then, on August 31, another suspected woman suicide bomber blew herself up, along with 10 commuters, at a Moscow subway.

In Iraq, on August 31, terrorists of the Ansar-al-Sunna slaughtered 12 Nepali hostages in cold blood, because they were "working for Jews and the Christians". A number of other hostages of various nationalities continue to be under threat in the custody of a variety of Iraqi groups, including two French journalists, who they have threatened to execute if the French Government fails to lift its ban on headscarves for Muslim schoolgirls.

And so it has been over the past three years, with some tactical and operational variations. Americans, Spaniards, the French, Italians, Russians, Indians, Iraqis, Philippinos, Afghans, even Pakistanis and Saudis - the terrorists' now-ambivalent allies and supporters - , along with others of various nationalities, have repeatedly been targeted over the past three years by Islamist extremists hell-bent on imposing their fantastical vision of a 'cleansed' and 'Islamised' world order.

The liberal democratic response, however, has been, at best, tentative and inconsistent. Indeed, the pattern of Islamist terrorist attacks is itself at least partially responsible for this. While targets have been attacked across the world, there has been no attempt to engineer simultaneous attacks in a wide range of countries. While part of the reason for this would be purely operational, it is also the case that this has resulted in a substantial fragmentation of responses. There is clearly a deliberate, calibrated terrorist strategy, relying on a systematic exploitation of the ideological divisions, the historical faultlines and the geopolitical tensions in the free world - everything, in fact, that creates obstacles to the emergence of a concerted and coordinated global counter-terrorism response.

These multiple tensions within the loose global counter-terrorism coalition remain visible even at moments of the greatest crisis and tragedy. In the aftermath of the terrible catastrophe at Beslan, at least some expressions of shock and condolence - most notably, those emanating from Europe - were qualified by entirely inappropriate riders seeking 'explanations' from the Russian Government about how such a tragedy 'was allowed to happen'. Some commentators dwelt on the 'root causes' and 'legitimate grievances' of the Chechens at a time when all such political issues should have been clearly and unambiguously subordinated to the unqualified condemnation of the enormity and inhumanity that had far transgressed any conceivable borders of explicable violence. It is useful, in this context, to recall that Chechen separatism and terror continues to receive 'diplomatic support' and 'moral sympathy' at a number of international, particularly including European, fora, as well as a substantial measure of material support from sympathetic state sources that largely remain outside the ambit of the international condemnation of the 'sponsorship of terrorism'.

Within this context, it is useful to note that no single country in the world has, in fact, any concrete idea, policy or strategy on how it would deal with the kind of mass hostage situations - particularly those targeting 'sensitive' segments of the population, such as children, women, or very important personalities - on the pattern of the Beslan Operation. For those who believe that it is too soon after Beslan to expect state institutions to have devised an operational policy of response, it is useful to recall that this is far from the first hostage crisis at this scale, and Russia itself has witnessed several in the past. Among the more prominent of these, on October 25, 2002, Chechen rebels took 800 people hostage in a Moscow theatre, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. All 41 attackers were shot dead, and 129 hostages also died as a result of the anaesthetic used to immobilize the terrorists. Earlier, on January 9, 1996, militants seized as many as 3,000 hostages in Kizlyar. They were eventually attacked by Russian troops, and at least 78 persons were killed. On June 14, 1995, rebels took 2,000 hostages in Budyonnovsk. In this case, Russia eventually negotiated the release of hostages in exchange for the rebels' escape, but more than 100 persons were killed during the crisis.

Most Governments across the world would respond to comparable crises with hysteria, despair and confusion, adding to the natural risks attending such calamities. It is, consequently, imperative that hard answers now be defined for the many questions of morality, policy and tactics raised by such horrific possible scenarios. A clear, detailed, unequivocal and unremitting policy for dealing with hostage situations needs to be defined at the earliest, and this must secure the sanction, if not of the entire 'international community', at least of those within it who are committed to the 'war against terrorism'. Regrettably, the struggle against terrorism needs an ideological commitment far beyond the opportunism and political expediency that currently dominates the policies of most countries.

It is imperative, moreover, to revaluate our understanding of the 'war on terror'. This struggle cannot simply be conceptualised as a military operation, and has far deeper and more complex dimensions, which require inputs across a wide range of non-military parameters. Unfortunately, the world has substantially failed to recognize these parameters, and existing institutional responses, sanctions and penalties are simply not enough.

The reasons for this failure are not, by any means, rooted in the impossibility of the task. Indeed, responses are not all that difficult to work out. The tragedy is, most of the 'experts' currently working in this field are mere academics, desk officers, policy makers and politicians, most of whom have little real experience of the field, and who jealously guard their 'turf' against hard practitioners of counter-terrorism strategy and tactics.

The examples of the miscalculations and misadventures of these doctrinaire 'experts' are too numerous to be listed and can, indeed, be multiplied ad infinitum. What is needed, however, is to evolve systems within and between countries that will optimize coordinated responses on a day-to-day operational basis. It is critical to realize, today, that we are in fact confronted with the challenge of policing a menace that is dispersed across the globe, and the formalism of international treaties, bilateral agreements, and the joint working group mechanisms that have been hammered out between some countries, remain mired in legal and diplomatic formalism, and are simply not working.

Unless we develop instrumentalities beyond these paper exercises, we will only see horrifying events like 9/11 and the Beslan tragedy multiply in ever-widening areas of the world. Any country that believes that it is safe, or that it can exempt itself through policies designed to appease or conciliate the terrorists is simply deluding itself.


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Not all Muslims Are terrorists but most Terrorists are ...

Siege Prompts Self-Criticism in Arab Media

By SUSAN SEVAREID
Associated Press Writer

September 4, 2004, 12:37 PM EDT


CAIRO, Egypt -- Images of dead, wounded and traumatized Russian children being carried from the scene of a rebel school siege horrified Arabs, prompting forthright self-criticism Saturday and fresh concern about an international backlash against Islam and its followers.

Arab leaders, Muslim clerics and ordinary parents across the Middle East denounced the school siege that left more than 340 people dead, many of them children, as unjustifiable.











Some warned such actions damage Islam's image more than all its enemies could hope. Even some supporters of Islamic militancy condemned it, though at least one insisted Muslims were not behind it.

The hostage-takers were reportedly demanding the independence of the mostly Muslim Russian republic of Chechnya -- a caused embraced by Arab Islamists. "Holy warriors" from the Middle East long have supported Chechen fighters, and Russian officials said nine or 10 Arabs were among militants killed when commandos stormed the Beslan school in southern Russia on Friday.

Middle East security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was too early to know the nationalities of the Arabs among the dead militants. However, a prominent Arab journalist wrote that Muslims must acknowledge the painful fact that Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism.

"Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television, wrote in his daily column published in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. It ran under the headline, "The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are Muslims!"

Al-Rashed ran through a list of recent attacks by Islamic extremist groups -- in Russia, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen -- many of which are influenced by the ideology of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader of the al-Qaida terror network.

"Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been Muslims," he wrote. Muslims will be unable to cleanse their image unless "we admit the scandalous facts," rather than offer condemnations or justifications.

Read the Rest Here
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Teri O'brien's Blog About Kerry and Media Hypocrisy

This Dog Won't Hunt
Recently, a Washington Post news analysis piece contained the following paragraph:

“Privately, key Democratic strategists fear that attack ads against Kerry will undermine the Democratic presidential nominee's character and credibility, no matter whether the charges are accurate, because they dovetail with an argument Bush's campaign has tried to pound home in its advertising -- that Kerry is unreliable and untrustworthy. Many of the charges have been rebutted by veterans who served with Kerry and by military records.

But some Republican strategists see the potential for a backlash developing that will hurt the president, who they say must overcome doubts about his leadership on Iraq and the economy and can ill afford voters concluding that he and his campaign orchestrated the attacks on Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. “
“Dispute Over Kerry's Vietnam Service Cuts Both Ways,” Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei, August 25, 2004


The mainstream media may think it’s the “attack ads against Kerry” that undermine his credibility, but is that really true? Isn’t that a little like saying that the Modesto County DA undermined Scott Peterson’s reputation as a faithful husband?

After all, Mr. Peterson may in fact be innocent and nothing to do with killing his late wife, but it was the charge that revealed the awful truth of his two-timing, cheating, lying double life. I submit that the Swift Boat ads that have caused Sen. Kerry so much distress are the direct result of his own invitation—no brazen dare—to look into his heroic war record. If a liar’s lies are pointed out, who undermined his credibility—the liar or the one who pointed it out?
Then there were the foreign leaders who told him that he had to beat President Bush, his claim that he “volunteered” to go to Vietnam when he sought and was denied a deferment, and of course, the now infamous many-versioned story of Christmas in Cambodia. So, no doubt about it—his character and credibility have taken a beating, but like that first Purple Heart related injury, it was self-inflicted.

Read the rest here!
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Putin Prepares For Some Russian Justice

Putin's warning as terror deaths top 360

Nick Paton Walsh in Beslan, Jonathan Steele in Moscow and Peter Beaumont

The Guardian

As the death toll in the siege of Beslan's School Number One climbed to 330 - 156 of them children - President Vladimir Putin warned yesterday that terrorists had declared 'a full-scale war' on Russia. Officials said all 35 hostage-takers were also dead as doctors struggled to cope with more than 600 injured children and adults.
In a grim televised address Putin pledged an unremitting crackdown on terrorists and their sympathisers; but said his country's security forces had to bear responsibility for allowing the kidnappers to launch their devastating attack.

Putin said he would attack terrorism across the North Caucasus and called on Russia's security forces to fight more effectively against the threat. He said that following the collapse of the Soviet Union the nation had been weakened and unable to respond as effectively as it must.

In an aside aimed at the widespread outrage in Russia at the bungled and apparently unplanned assault to free the hostages, which may have contributed to the large number of deaths, Putin said: 'It is vital to create an effective crisis management system, including fundamentally new approaches in the activity of the security forces.

'In general, we need to admit that we did not show an understanding of the complexities and dangers of the processes occurring in our own country and in the world. In any case, we could not adequately react ... We showed weakness, and weak people are beaten.'

He noted that Russia's borders had become porous and 'unprotected' and that corruption had pervaded the law enforcement agencies.


Putin also called for a mobilisation of the nation before what he called the 'common danger' of terrorism. He said measures would be taken to strengthen Russia's territorial integrity, create a more effective crisis management system and overhaul the law enforcement structures.

'We stopped giving enough attention to questions of defence and security, and allowed corruption to infect our judicial and law enforcement sphere,' he said.

'Moreover, our country - which used to have the strongest defence system of its external borders - became unprotected from either the west or the east' he added.

Putin said some enemies wanted to tear off parts of Russia, and others were helping them. 'They help, supposing that Russia, as one of the greatest nuclear powers, still poses a threat to them, so they have to get rid of that threat.'

His comments came after he made a lightning pre-dawn visit to Beslan, where he said he had ordered the region's administrative borders to be closed while authorities searched for the attackers' accomplices. Later he decreed that Russia would observe two days of mourning on Monday and Tuesday. 'I ask you to remember those who died at the hands of terrorists in recent days,' he said in his address.

He looked and sounded as grim as the events warranted and by blaming the security forces for a lack of professionalism, he voiced an opinion many Russians share. He also appealed to middle-aged and older Russians by talking sympathetically of the collapse of the Soviet Union as something that had undermined people's security. His stern and serious broadcast last night will have satisfied many Russians, at least in its tone and some of its content.

Eyewitness accounts from inside the gym, where most of the 1,000 or so hostages were held, appear to contradict earlier claims by Russian authorities that nine or 10 Arab fighters were among the terrorists. Instead, survivors said most spoke with Ingush, Chechen or Russian accents, largely communicating in Russian.

Only one of them was described as having darker skin that could have marked him out as a foreign fighter. The behaviour of the terrorists towards the hostages as explosions ripped through the gym, triggering the Russian assault, also appears complex, with some witnesses describing how fleeing gunmen shot hostages, while others said one gunmen, called 'Hassan', helped hostages as the fire caught hold.

Meanwhile, the international community continued to express its horror and sympathy over the outcome.

At the Vatican, the Pope condemned the attack as a 'vile and ruthless aggression on defenceless children and families', and offered his 'heartfelt affection to the Russian people in this hour of dismay and anguish'.

The Archbishop of Canterbury revealed that even his faith had been tested by the depth of the horror. 'It is probably the suffering of children that most deeply challenges anybody's personal faith,' he told Radio 4's Today programme.

'When you see the depth of energy that people can put into such evil, then of course, yes, there is a flicker, there is a doubt. It would be inhumane, I think, not to react that way.'

He quoted the Bible in which Jesus said it would be better for people who committed offences against children to have millstones put around their necks and cast in the sea. He noted the Koran said God did not love those who overstepped the limits. 'They were performing deeply evil acts, perhaps the most evil kind that we can imagine.'




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Sunday, September 05, 2004

Newsweek Poll finds similar Bush Bounce

By Brian Braiker
Newsweek


Coming out of the Republican National Convention in New York, President George W. Bush now holds a 11-point lead over Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry (52 percent to 41 percent) in a three-way race, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The poll was taken over two nights, both before and after Bush’s acceptance speech. Respondents who were queried only on Friday, after Bush’s speech, gave the Republican a 16-point lead over Kerry.

The 11-point lead represents a 13-point bounce for Bush since an Aug. 5 to Aug. 10 poll conducted by Newsweek’s pollster, Princeton Survery Research Associates, for the Pew Research Center. The president’s post-convention bounce was substantial vs. the two-point increase received by Kerry after last month’s Democratic National Convention and in line with the size of other post-convention bounces.

In late July, Kerry led the incumbent by 7 points. Removing independent candidate Ralph Nader from the mix actually has no significant effect on the spread between the other two candidates: Without Nader, Bush draws 54 percent of the vote, Kerry 43.

The poll shows that Bush and Cheney have gained ground, and now lead, on almost all key election issues: The president’s approval rating is back over the halfway mark (52 percent, with 41 percent disapproving) after having slipped to 45 percent in July; his favorability ratings (55 percent favorable versus 40 percent unfavorable) are the highest they have been all year, after having fallen to 48 percent unfavorable in the poll at the end of the DNC. And with perceptions of the president climbing back from a low over last month, more registered voters say they would like to see Bush reelected than not (53 percent versus 43 percent)—the most favorable ratio he has had since July, 2003.




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Fun Sunday: Take a look at Tiki Girl

Fun Sunday, what blogging should be check her out
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Al Qaeda’s Dread Touch Falls on Moscow, Beslan, Beersheba...

From DEBKA-Net-Weekly 172 of Sep 3, Updated by DebkaFile

On Friday, September 3, DEBKA-Net-Weekly 172 wrote:

It took White House spinmeisters less than a day to get President George W. Bush to modify the astonishing statement he made Monday, August 30, when he told NBC’s Today Show “I don’t think you can win” the war on terror but “you can you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world”.

Persuaded to reverse course by the flap his remark stirred during the Republican National Convention in New York, the president said in a speech in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, August 31 “We meet today at a time of war for our country, a war we did not start, yet one that we will win."

No matter how he tries to sell it, Bush’s initial comments were right on the money, reflecting the intelligence briefings put before him day by day.

In “Al Qaeda Today, Centralized Strategic Decisions, Decentralized Operations”, (DEBKA-Net-Weekly 168, August 6) , examination of the terrorist network’s operational deployment revealed that its supreme leadership was losing direct control over target selection or the modalities of attacks decided by local branches, beyond general directives. The brutal school siege in Beslan, North Osettia, this week, was on example of a regional operation run by semi-autonomous regional or local affiliates over which the overall leadership has little control.

The school siege was masterminded by the Saudi wing of al Qaeda in Chechnya. Al Qaeda cells based in Iran are prone to manipulation by Tehran for political and military ends that are foreign to the movement’s objectives. Al Qaeda is also found in league with Iran and the Lebanese Hizballah in attempting to grab footholds in South Lebanon and Gaza Strip.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi sometimes acts out his own agenda in Iraq.

The first cracks are marring the once rock-smooth relations of unity and obedience binding the fundamentalist terror network’s various operational branches to the directives handed down by the top leaders.

This fragmentation of al Qaeda into ungovernable entities allied with outside forces, embedded in civilian populations and targeting other civilians, seriously hampers the efforts of counter-terror force to catch – let alone prevail over - all its widely-diffused fighting elements – certainly not by conventional military means.


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Shedding Innocent Blood Will Not End Occupation

Khaled Almaeena, almaeena@arabnews.com

The group that murdered 12 Nepalese workers in cold blood has added another ugly page to Iraq’s continuing story of agony.

The so-called Ansar Al-Sunna who posted pictures of their hideous act on the Internet are nothing but plain murderers. One wonders if such a group even exists.

Somehow in their demented minds the Ansar Al-Sunna believe that their actions are justified. With their twisted logic, they transformed poor helpless workers, who were mainly cooks and cleaners, into enemies of the Iraqi people. They claimed that these poor souls marched into Iraq with their mops and kettles to support the “American Crusaders.” The kidnap and murder of these impoverished breadwinners has caused all of us shock and revulsion. May their families find solace in the fact that we grieve for their loved ones.

These barbaric acts of terrorism in which innocent people are killed should be condemned and denounced by everyone. These people who call themselves “Ansar Al-Sunna” are nothing but a band of criminals who have shamed all Muslims. We ask them from where did they get the teachings to kill defenseless people? Where is it written that prisoners should be slaughtered? Who gains from this act? Why attack the Buddhists who are a peace-loving people? Why infuriate a whole area of Southeast Asia that traditionally has been hospitable to us?

A few years ago, when the Taleban in their twisted logic bought special Howitzers and ammunition to shoot and destroy historical Buddhist monuments I criticized them in this very newspaper. I received a lot of hate mail attacking me. I replied in another article that there would be reactions to such aggression and there were. Copies of the Holy Qur’an were burned in Japan. A mosque was attacked in Vietnam and Muslims in Southeast Asia bore the vengeful brunt of these reactions. Reacting to the latest killings of the Nepalese, a mosque was attacked in Katmandu.

While the Nepalese drama was going on, there was concern for the two French journalists held captive by yet another Iraqi group. I must ask: When did kidnapping become the appropriate way for Muslims to solve international disputes? Personally, I do not believe that these animals have any religious affiliation. They are plain cutthroats and murderers and as such should be hunted down and brought to absolute justice.

These people seem to thrive on media attention. It is time for the international media to wake up and institute a global agreement to refrain from using the statements of these criminal organizations. It is disgusting to see them shown on television as they invoke God’s name and kill people. We are not in the age of the Inquisition. If Iraqis have grievances against the occupation of their nation, they should display them in a more civilized manner.

True, thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have died because of American bombings. True, Palestinians are being subjected to unimaginable suppression, degradation, humiliation and depravity. But committing crimes, such as the kidnapping and murder of innocents as a response, is not acceptable. There are legal means to express anger and outrage.

We all know the intentions of our enemies. We should confront their challenges to our sovereignty in a very cool and calculated manner. Shedding innocent blood and committing barbaric acts will not remove the Americans from Iraq nor make the Israeli usurper leave the Occupied Territories.

So what should we do? We all must rise up with one voice and not only condemn these acts as Arabs but the Iraqi people should actively demonstrate the rejection of these acts and expose the perpetrators. We cannot afford to lose any more time. Enough blood has been spilled. In our values it is enjoined upon us to feed the prisoner that has come to attack us before we feed our children.

I do not believe in conspiracy theories but something is gnawing at my mind. The sudden mushrooming of these groups who have taken upon themselves the kidnapping and killing of innocent people is certainly suspicious. Who is behind them? What are their motives? Even a simple person would understand that these acts are detrimental to our cause.


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Ralph Peters--Slaughtering of Innocents--Where is Muslim Outrage?

September 4, 2004 -- THE mass murder of children revolts the human psyche. Herod sending his henchmen to massacre the infants of Bethlehem haunts the Gospels. Nothing in our time was crueler than what the Germans did to children during the Holocaust. Slaughtering the innocents violates a universal human taboo.
Or a nearly universal one. Those Muslims who preach Jihad against the West decided years ago that killing Jewish or Christian children is not only acceptable, but pleasing to their god when done by "martyrs."

It isn't politically correct to say this, of course. We're supposed to pretend that Islam is a "religion of peace." All right, then: It's time for Muslims to stand up for the once-noble, nearly lost traditions of their faith and condemn what Arab and Chechen terrorists and blasphemers did in the Russian town of Beslan.

If Muslim religious leaders around the world will not publicly condemn the taking of children as hostages and their subsequent slaughter — if those "men of faith" will not issue a condemnation without reservations or caveats — then no one need pretend any longer that all religions are equally sound and moral.

Islam has been a great and humane faith in the past. Now far too many of its adherents condone, actively or passively, the mass murder of school kids. Instead of condemnations of the Muslim "Jihadis" responsible for butchering more than 200 women and children in cold blood, we will hear spiteful counter-accusations about imaginary atrocities supposedly committed by Western militaries.

Well, the cold fact is that Western soldiers, whether Americans, Brits, Russians or Israelis, do not take hundreds of children hostage, then shoot them in cold blood while detonating bombs in their midst. The Muslim world can lie to itself, but we need lie no longer.

The tragedy in southern Russia occurred thousands of miles from the United States, but, in essence, that massacre happened next door. The parents, teachers and students kept for days without water or food in a sweltering school building before being butchered were our children, our sisters, our wives, our parents.



The mass hostage situation wasn't about Chechen rebels (and at least 10 Arabs) opposing the Russian government. It was a continuation of the universal struggle between good and evil. And there is no doubt which side is evil, scorned though the word may be by our own elite.

How can any human being with a shred of conscience dismiss what occurred in that school as anything less than evil?

The attack in Beslan wasn't about Russia's brutal incompetence in Chechnya — as counter-productive as Moscow's grim heavy-handedness may have been. It was about religious bigotry so profound that the believer can hold a gun to a child's head, pull the trigger and term the act "divine justice."

We will hear complaints that the Russian special forces should have waited — even after the terrorists began shooting children. Negotiations are the heroin of Westerners addicted to self-delusion. Who among us would have waited when he or she saw fleeing children cut down by automatic weapons? The urge to protect children is as primal as any impulse we ever feel.

Make no mistake: No blame attaches to the Russians for the massacre at that school. The guilt is entirely upon the Islamic extremists who have led the religion they claim to cherish into the realms of nightmare.

There will be repercussions. Having suffered the hijacking and destruction of two passenger jets, a deadly bombing at a Moscow subway station and a massacre in a primary school all in less than two weeks, the Kremlin will have learned to rue the day it imagined that there was anything to gain by opposing American efforts against terrorists, whether Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.

As they inevitably do, the terrorists reminded the world of their heartless barbarism. Even if France manages to beg the release of its kidnapped journalists in Iraq, it has begun to sense its vulnerability. And all Europeans with a vestige of sense will recognize that the school seizure in Russia could easily repeat itself in Languedoc or Umbria, Bavaria or Kent.

An attack on children is an attack on all of humanity.

No matter what differences Western states discover to divide them, the terrorists will bring us together in the end. Their atrocities expose all wishful thinking for what it is.

A final thought: Did any of those protesters who came to Manhattan to denounce our liberation of 50 million Muslims stay an extra day to protest the massacre in Russia? Of course not.

The protesters no more care for dead Russian children than they care for dead Kurds or for the hundreds of thousands of Arabs that Saddam Hussein executed. Or for the ongoing Arab-Muslim slaughter of blacks in Sudan. Nothing's a crime to those protesters unless the deed was committed by America.

The butchery in Russia was a crime against humanity. In every respect. Was any war ever more necessary or just than the War on Terror?

And what will terror's apologists say when the killers come for their own children?

Ralph Peters is the author of "Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World."





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