Friday, October 24, 2014
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This is a picture of Prez Obama lobbing a grapefruit to the GOP to bat out of the park: namely, when in meeting with the GOP yesterday he derided conservative opposition to Obamacare (which proposes to nationalize one-sixth of the economy) and said: "You'd think this thing was some Bolshevik plot."

Um, yeah. "Bolshevik," "Marxist-Leninist," "Socialist," "Communist," "Progressive" -- take your pick.It's not a plot, of course, because it's in the open. Hiding in plain sight.

Imagine if the GOP had agreed with the president and embarked on a little history lesson to connect Obama with his ideological roots for the American people ...

But no.

Here's the relevant Obama  transcript from the White House.

...The component parts of...

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This is a "postcard" from Afghanistan created by ex-Green Beret, sometime- writer-journalist Paul Avallone. The dark humor of the captions is one way to defuse the nakedly discomforting essence of the bizarre and the malevolent on display in the photo he took -- a picture of people our troops have been ordered to bribe, placate, and, I'm afraid, serve, in a disastrous policy that amounts to submission. What else can we call a war policy that puts United States Marines in charge of mosque-building?



Shortly, I will begin posting Paul's equally evocative and vivid essay "Flirting with Afghanistan" in several installments, along with more of the photos he took while working as a journalist in Afghanistan after serving there earlier in the war.

...

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From the Times of India, January 29:

LONDON: A one-day international conference on Afghanistan on Thursday rejected India's argument that there were no degrees of Talibanism. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, hosting the conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, announced in his opening address the establishment of a $500 million 'trust fund' to buy "peace and integration" with warriors who are engaged in violence for economic rather than ideological reasons. A whopping $140 million has been pledged already for this year. During his pre-conference discussion with the British foreign secretary David Miliband,...

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Via IsraelInsider.com.

Fascinating clip (below) from KTLA-Los Angeles report Sam Rubin, who, in interviewing Mel Gibson in the run-up to his first movie in seven years, which  opens this weekend, asks him about the reception the actor might receive from audiences who remembered Gibson's anti-Semitic rant on being arrested for drunkenness in 2006.

Ugly response.



...

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This week's column presents an interview with Ayad Jamal Aldin, a Shiite cleric and member of Iraqi parliament, someone I first noticed in April 2003, before the new Iraqi constitution that enshrines sharia above all was even written. The occasion, in fact, was the first post-liberation meeting of Iraqis to discuss a new constitution. The column I wrote at the time begins like this: 

April 21, 2003:

After roughly 100 Iraqi exiles, sheiks and clerics gathered in a fortified and air-conditioned tent in Iraq this week to begin piecing together their country's future, U.S. Central Command headquarters released a 13-point summary of the meeting that included the outcome of the historic first vote in Saddam-free Iraq. The Iraqi proto-body voted to meet again in 10 days, and also voted on a string of high-minded resolutions.

Point one said "Iraq must be a democracy"; point three...

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Photo: Somali students (of Al-Shabbab?) at St Cloud State University in Minnesota protesting homemade anti-Mohammed cartoons found posted on several utility poles. (I'm not kidding.)

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There I was, innocently looking into whether CAIR-OK's outrage of Sen. Inhofe's common-sense statement -- "I believe in racial and ethnic profiling" when it comes to defending airplanes against jihadis with bombs in their underpants -- had come to anything when I found that CAIR-MN was where the action is, Or, rather, as Refugee Resettlement Watch has been chronicling, St. Cloud, MN is where the dhimmitude is.

From a CAIR-MN press release:

CAIR-MN Holds St. Cloud Town Hall on Anti-Muslim Hate

...

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There is a line between President Bush's final SOTU address in January 2008 and today's 70-nation summit in London on whether to buy off, I mean "reintegrate," the Taliban with $100 million per year for 15 years (anyway), if Hamid Karzai (above with Gordon Brown) has his way. A friend, writing in, dubs the proposal TARP -- Taliban Assistance Restitution Program.

In his culminatingly empty SOTU, Prez Bush said that "we are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century" without ever defining the ideology of the struggle. Didn't even give a hint. So much for the War President, exiting the stage with a whisper. I wrote:

Such vagueness marked his seventh and final annual address as strangely vacuous. Writing at the Counterterrorism Blog, Andrew Cochran elaborated on this theme, contrasting...

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There was something surreal about last night's SOTU by the POTUS, with his long (long) remarks on struggle and strife centering on the economy and health care (!) as though he didn't, as C-in-C, also have the US military at war(s) doing some major struggling and striving of its own. One young vet's comment: If the president is so concerned about college funding and health care for all, he could suggest that students join the Reserves where they already receive "universal" college funding and health care ("or they could go on active duty....").

I zoned in and out, but talk of "finally" strengthening laws on "hate" crimes was offhand-chilling, as was the president's, I believe, unprecedented hectoring of the Supreme Court as it sat before him over its recent decision to loosen restrictions on spending by corporations and unions on political advertising -- a victory for free speech.

...

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Photos: Bombs bursting in Baghdad and Kabul (or vice versa). Surge on.

This week, the bombs are exploding in US-liberated Baghdad. Earlier this month, they were exploding in US-liberated Kabul.

What's it all about? A January 19 feature story by a reporter-in-Wonderland from the Guardian (via RealClearWorld) sheds a surprising amount of ligh:

From "Afghanistan's Holy Violence":

Afghanistan is a curious place. Those who kill are called martyrs. Those who they kill are also called martyrs and the violence is apparently done for the sake of God.

"God is everywhere in Kabul," said a friend who recently returned to the city. "It's like a dictatorship. There is no escaping God here."...

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Today, I am posting an extraordinary letter from a soldier currently stationed in Iraq, a sometime penpal of mine to whom I sent my three-part series on the aftermath of the surge to elicit his opinion. Knowing how thoughtful he is, I expected a substantive response. Given his time constraints alone, I did not expect an essay of this scope and I decided, with his permission, to present it here. It is unlike any commentary I have read from Iraq; it is both coolly reasoned and deeply passionate, and certain to challenge and disturb readers across the political spectrum: PC-believing liberals, Iraq-as-success-believing conservatives, Islam-as-a-religion-of-peaceniks of both Left and Right.

So be it.

...

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Since when does a vice president apologize for the US justice system on foreign soil -- particularly on foreign soil where minority rights and the rule of law are regularly trampled and American interests are  not backed up?

More American bowing and scraping to the umma, as reported on by Reuters:

The [US] government will appeal a court decision to dismiss charges...

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I still can't bring myself to concentrate on this inanity of a piece (referenced here) but while considering whether to write to the NYT reporter who casually repeated an absurdly cracked slander of me as a "fascist" without calling me for comment, I came across this paragraph again: Regardless of whether Johnson’s view of Vlaams Belang is correct, it is notable that the party is defined for him entirely by the trail it has left on the Internet. This isn’t necessarily unfair — a speech, say, given by Dewinter isn’t any more or less valuable as evidence of his political positions depending on whether you read it (or watch it) on a screen or listen to it in a crowd — but it does have a certain flattening effect in terms of time: that hypothetical speech exists on the...

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A slow snooze day at the New York Times, which recently featured a piece I can hardly wake myself up to mention except that it casually defames -- as only the uninformed can casually defame -- one of the true heroes of our times, Filip Dewinter (above) of the Vlaams Belang party in Belgium.

As many readers know, I have written extensively about Filip and his party's  courageous political battle to halt and reverse the Islamization of Belgium since I first met him almost exactly three years ago.

Did I say courageous? Here's a look at what it takes to make the case against Islamization in Europe today.



Here is Filip Dewinter (with megaphone) in October 2008, after having been attacked as he arrived to participate in a debate at the University of Ghent....

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Stars and Stripes photo: Pvt. Abdulaziz Alqahtani, who serves with the special security force from Bahrain, is among 125 troops from the Muslim nation deployed to Helmand province, Afghanistan.

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Take your eyes away for a few days and look what happens:

From the AP:

KABUL — NATO forces in Afghanistan are preparing to limit night raids on private homes, even if it means losing some tactical advantage, to curb rising public anger....

Nighttime raids on private homes have emerged as the Afghans’ No. 1 complaint after Gen. Stanley McChrystal limited the use of airstrikes and other weaponry last year.

What will be next?

The U.S. and allied nations have made protecting the population a priority over the use of massive firepower as they seek to undermine support for the Taliban.

Only don't protect them at night.

“It addresses the issue that’s probably the most socially irritating thing that we do — and that is entering people’s homes at night,” Smith said Wednesday at his office in Kabul. He would not elaborate pending a formal announcement.

...

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... Mark Steyn's attempted censor has turned his sites onto Ezra Levant to trigger another round of "lawfare" airmed at, as Levant points out in a quotation in the post announcing his latest legal nightmare, increasing "the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material." Levant, a Canadian conservative activist, lawyer, publisher and member of the board of advisors of the International Free Press Society,  writes:

Khurrum Awan of the anti-Semitic Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) has finally filed his nuisance lawsuit against me, as he threatened to do last summer. You can see it here.

Awan's jihad: lawfare

Awan is the shakedown artist...

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This week's column compares the emptiness of the Ft Hood report to the substance of Geert Wilders:

"Do you believe in 'radical Islam'?" the famous Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders once asked me.

The occasion was a banquet last summer at the Reagan Library outside of Los Angeles where later that evening Wilders would receive a Hero of Conscience award from the American Freedom Alliance. I would have the honor of introducing him. "What did you say?" I could barely hear him over the speaker at the podium elaborating on the perils of, yes, "radical Islam." "'Radical Islam,'" he repeated. "Do you think there is 'radical Islam,' or only 'Islam'"?

Me, I'm an "only Islam" kind of gal, as I told him. Who am I to argue with Muslims ranging from terror-cleric Abu Qatada to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan? Erdogan is particularly interesting as a democratically elected Islamic leader who eschews all word-modifiers of Islam including "moderate," the adjective the media often applies to his AKP political party. "These descriptions are very ugly," Erdogan said in 2007. "It is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that's it." Erdogan has also bluntly rejected descriptions of Turkey itself as an example of "moderate Islam," saying last April: "It is unacceptable for us to agree with such a definition. Turkey has never been a country to represent such a concept. Moreover, Islam cannot be classified as moderate or not."

...

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Oh, the smile, the concern, the slight, unthreatening figure, the almost unruly mop, the rakish eyeglasses, the billions of dollars -- Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal!

He's everywhere lately -- publicly on view at Fox News (natch, since he owns the second largest stake in Murdoch's News Corp), Forbes, Charlie Rose ... and privately with Citigroup's Vikram Pandit, Citi’s Richard Parsons News Corp's Murdoch, Bill Gates' investment people, execs from Four Seasons Hotels ... a whirl, a whirl, toujours a whirl, he loves America, he loves News Corp, no, Obama should not tax the banks now, debt is bad, America is down but not out, raise taxes across the board, U-shaped recovery, V-shaped recovery, blah blah.

Until.

Gotta hand it to Charlie Rose, the man who pushed "the prince" past the financial patter (as opposed to poor Neil Cavuto, who showed all the signs of interviewing the boss) to reveal...

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Alfred Hitchcok (a director I'm not particularlly fond of although I adore "The Thirty-Nine Steps") popularized the term MacGuffin, a plot device that, pretty much regardless of what it is, drives the characters of a movie to action.

Today, at Debkafile, I came across what surely would qualify as the biggest MacGuffin ever -- the Arafat files, supposedly a massive compilation of secret and naturally highly compromising dossiers on world leaders. Now, I love Debfafile, but you never really know with some of their "exclusives." So, take this with a grain of salt, at least until the movie comes out.

From Debkafile:

The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, inventor and refiner of the Islamic suicide terror weapon,...

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Quote of the day (yesterday) comes from Gates of Vienna, which, hands down, features the most extensive English-language coverage of the Geert Wilders trial. There, translated from the Dutch, is an interview with Afshin Ellian (photo above) via Metronieuws.

A little background info on Ellian.

Ellian, born 1966, fled Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution in Iran in 1983 and now resides in the Netherlands where he is a law professor, poet, columnist and professor of citizenship, social cohesion and multiculturalism at the University of Leiden. 

OK. Now the quotation.

Ellian: "If you cannot say that the Islam is a backward religion and that Muhammad is a criminal, then you are living in an Islamic country, my...

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From an RNW account of the first day of the trial:

Mr Wilders' attorney, the well-known criminal defence lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, asked the court to have the entire writ against his client read out in court. The panel of three judges said it was unnecessary, but did instruct the prosecutor to read out Mr Wilders' statements on which the case is based. After the statements had been read, the senior judge had the following exchange with the defendant (translated):    Judge: "Mr Wilders, I can see that you are listening very intently, but what are you feeling right now? I cannot sense any emotion in you whatsoever."

Feeling right now? Emotion whatsoever?

What is this, a court proceeding or an encounter session? "The senior judge" on an Amsterdam court, or a spirit guide on a shamanic journey? It's hard to imagine a less appropriate and more weird question...

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The Wilders trial in the Netherlands, which may be followed live here, has sparked protests.

Outside the Amsterdam courthouse where the trial began this morning, Wilders supporters called for "Freedom, Yes, Islamization, No."

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's report on the trial included this undated photo (below) of an anti-Wilders demonstration, somewhere in the umma.

Whose side are you on?

 

 



In the summer of 2008, as many readers know, I traveled to six European countries to interview politicians dedicated to breaking, halting and/or reversing the Islamization of their countries (here is a collection of some of the writings inspired by the trip). One of those politicians was Geert Wilders, then the little-known (outside of the Netherlands) leader of a very small party, PVV, the Party for Freedom. Only a year and a half later, Wilders is the most famous Dutchman in the world, and his party rivals the current ruling party in popularity. Wilders is also now on trial for his political life and liberty -- hardly a coincidence.

But Wilders is not the only politician in Europe fighting Islamization. In my travels, I learned there were other countries...

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It's difficult to imagine a more engrossing, enervating and distracting news environment. From Massachusetts to Haiti, from Capitol Hill to the mountains of Afghanistan, colossal events rate colossal headlines. In such fraught times, how easy for Americans to ignore an equally collossal if largely overlooked and little understood event in tiny Holland where Geert Wilders, a member of Dutch parliament, will arrive at the courthouse in Amsterdam tomorrow morning to go on trial for his speech and liberty. But, as an online symposium presented by the International Free Press Society indicates, this trial in the heart of Europe is for our speech and liberty as well.

Here is a link to the IFPS symposium, featuring pre- trial commentary by Bat Ye'or, Clare M. Lopez, David Harris, Daniel Pipes, Nidra Poller, Mark Steyn, David Yerushalmi and myself.

...

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AP Photo: Geert Wilders leaving a pretrial hearing in Amsterdam, January 13, 2010.

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An influx of much-needed English-language detail on the corrupt and dangerous trap being set in a Dutch courtroom for Geert Wllders and the future of freedom on Wednesday, January 20.

From Sappho, the website of the Danish Free Press Society:

Shrugging Off Spinoza by Arthur Legger

Any one who still claims that the trial against Geert Wilders MP, leader of the Party for Freedom (9 seats in Parliament and 27 in the polls), which starts on the 20th of January, is not a political process: get a grip. Accused by the Dutch ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ exactly a year ago for insulting Islam, comparing the Koran to Mein Kampf and delivering hate speeches, the coming trial against Wilders suddenly got a Kafkaesque...

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From the mailbag -- a letter to the general.

Hey, McChrystal,   It’s Tom Stone again, that pesky old Vietnam vet.  Remember me? I wrote you some time ago with the suggestion that perhaps it would be more fitting to rename some of our armed forces to more accurately reflect the strategy that you espouse in Afghanistan. Remember? The Marine Corps becomes The Peace Corps, the Army becomes The Warmy, The  Air Force The Air Farce, and The Reserves The Reserved. Yes, you remember now. But as I wrote to someone once before, “alas, no response forthcoming, a query to no avail.” No one contacted...

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Photo: Hebrew inscriptions at the Tomb of Ezekiel with the word Allah underneath.

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In Part 3 of "Was the Iraq Surge a Success," I noted that it was Iraq's ancient Christian communities -- cut in half in since the US invasion due to Muslim persecution and violence -- that were the non-Muslims bearing the brunt of creeping sharia (islamic law) in Iraq, because Iraq's ancient Jewish communities had long been "religiously cleansed" from the country.

But there is another assault coming against the Jews of Iraq -- in absentia. 

From Arutz Sheva, a story of Iraqi government plans to turn the Tomb of the Ezekiel not into a tourist attraction as once thought, but into a mosque, and to erase all ancient Hebrew inscriptions:

Early reports that Iraq plans to retain...

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Photo: It's Gen. McChrystal's "interaction" time in Afghanistan!

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This week's column:

This wasn't supposed to happen there. According to a "counterinsurgency" plan (COIN), anti-US, anti-infidel violence just wasn't supposed to erupt in Garmsir, Afghanistan, of all places. But it did. And at least eight Afghans died in this Helmand Province district in rioting this week inspired by rumors that U.S. troops had roughed up a Koran.

Somewhere between "one thousand" (UPI) and "several thousand" (The New York Times) Afghans converged on the central bazaar in response to these rumors. "The...

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Joining Pakistan (our "ally" in the war on whatever),  Iran (never our "enemy" in the Iranian War in Iraq) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (Sharia Central) this week officially condemned Afterposten, the leading daily newspaper (circ. 250,000) of Norway, for reprinting six of the Danish Mohammed cartoons in its coverage of the most recent assassination attempt against Kurt Westergaard, creator of the little sketch above.

The OIC statement:

A spokesman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference condemned the reprint of the blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten as reaction on the alleged attempt on the life of the Danish cartoonist earlier in the month. The spokesman said that reprint of the cartoons was unfortunate and act of provocation on the part of the Norwegian newspaper...

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I cannot overestimate the epochal importance of the court proceeding taking place next Wednesday the 20th in the Netherlands where Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial for an array of charges that arises from his courageous and increasingly successful efforts to lead his countrymen against the Islamization of their country and the wider West. A man of political action, Wilders has been targeted not just for his political speech, but for his effectiveness as an advocate of liberty and pluralism, neither of which can survive in societies that are governed by, or in thrall to sharia (Islamic law).

It is not just the repressions and depredations of Islam that Wilders is outspoken about -- a subject well-ploughed by certain academics and journalists alike. He is equally if almost singularly outspoken about the political remedies necessary to halt the extension of Islam's...

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While Gen. McChrystal leads an army growing to some 100,000 US troops in an increasingly irrelevant corner of Dar al-Islam (to measure"how people feel"), people are feeling just great in Dar al-Harb, Parisian sector -- if they're Muslim. Below is a video shot in Barbes, the18th arrondissement of  Paris, on Christmas Day 2009. Please go to Galliawatch for the chilling details (which inciude the call to the Muslim faithful to go demonstrate for Hamas on Decemebr 27 at the Place de la Republique....)

Here you see a key front of the war that actually counts -- for the survival of the West -- but everyone's stays stuck on hearts and minds in Afghanistan.

Jihad genius, if you ask me.



 

...

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It feels like forever, but it's only been six months since I started following "counterinsurgency" philosophy as particularly hyped by our top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A.McChrystal. Then again, it's only been six months since McChrystal got the top job. In that time, he has made a point of publicly and frequently broadcasting -- trumpeting -- the US COIN strategy of "population protection" at the expense of "force protection" (many of his statements soundly thrashed here), that fuels the infidel fantasy of winning Islamic hearts and minds across Dar al-Islam.

(Worked out so well in Iraq -- not.)

...

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The Washington Post reports:

Thousands of Somali boys and teenagers fleeing war and chaos at home are sailing to Yemen, where officials ... now worry that the arrivals could become the next generation of Al-Qaeda fighters.

"Al-Qaeda fighters" -- read: Islamic jihad fighters. At this point, Al Qaeda is the distracting brand name. The generic threat is Islamic jihad.

Meanwhile, UPI reports:

The Central Intelligence Agency is reported to have recently conducted secret contacts in Yemen with Iraqi Baathist leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam Hussein's former vice president, in a bid to negotiate a political accord between Sunni insurgents and the Shiite-led Baghdad government. ...

Wait...

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Photos: The Met and, um, The Doha.

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Commenting on the Met's epic act of submission to Islam by de-Mohammedizing its Islamic galleries, Roger Kimball writes:

 

...the really scary thing is that the blackmail was performed without the threatening letter or malicious innuendo. There were no offers that the Met “couldn’t refuse.” They supplied the entire cycle: the intimidation a well as the capitulation. If this is blackmail, the Met is the culprit as well as the victim. In other words, the Met is the perfect dhimmi. Given...

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Some of the most striking photojournalism to emerge from nearly a decade in Afghanistan was the 2006 New York Times Magazine story titled "The Bride Price." It was about Afghanistan's culture of child sex abuse in which very young girls are chattels to be "married" off (as permitted under Islamic law) and used to settle debts or make other payments.



This 11-year-old Afghan girl (above) hoped to become a teacher but she became this 40-year-old Afghan man's "bride" instead. Below is a picture of the 13-year-old "wife" of a 45-year-old man, his first wife and their child.



Such photos came to mind on reading that Admiral Mike Mullen,...

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From today's New York Post:

Is the Met afraid of Mohammed?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art quietly pulled images of the Prophet Mohammed from its Islamic collection and may not include them in a renovated exhibition area slated to open in 2011, The Post has learned.

The museum said the controversial images -- objected to by conservative Muslims who say their religion forbids images of their holy founder -- were "under review."

Critics say the Met has a history of dodging criticism and likely wants to escape the kind of outcry that Danish cartoons of Mohammed caused...

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The early days: Pakistani Cartoon Rage, 2006

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From Islamabad:

Pakistan today condemned the reproduction of "blasphemous" caricatures of Prophet Mohammed by a Norwegian newspaper and asked the government of Norway to take appropriate steps to reprimand those responsible.

"The government and people of Pakistan strongly condemn the reproduction of Danish caricatures of Hazrat Muhammad by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten on January 8," said a statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesman. "We urge the government of Norway to take appropriate steps with a view to ensuring that those who have committed this...

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Tragically, but darkly comically also, this counts as news: The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten printed Kurt Westergaard's Motoon yesterday along with five other of the12 original Danish Motoons. As the Telegraph recaps (without running the cartoon as an illustration):

On Jan 2, an axe-wielding 28-year-old man broke into Westergaard's home screaming for "revenge" and "blood". Police - alerted by the cartoonist who had hidden in a panic room - shot and arrested him.

Aftenposten's editor, Hilde Haugsgjerd, said it seemed "natural and justified to republish the artistic and journalistic body of work that is likely the cause of this violence".

Aftenposten first published copies of the cartoons in 2005 ...

Natural and justified, to be sure. But rare as a hot cross bun in Mecca. If you take a look at the Google News queue on the story here,...

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In response to my three-column series on the Iraq surge, Paul at Powerline posted here, and when I responded here, he responded again here.

In sum:

Paul's Post 1 argued I was wrong to object to Iraq not having become a "liberal democracy" -- Paul's phrase -- because the goal of the strategy was basically limited to putting down "al Qaeda."

A tragically blinkered, stop-gap measure, I'm afraid. But the surge strategy promised much more. As the 2007 Iraq Strategy Review notes, the goal was also an Iraq that would be "an ally in the war on terror." This point was  enthusiastically promoted...

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This week's column takes us through the looking glass ....

It's more than passing strange when a former CIA director and the head of an Islamic advocacy group arrive at the same place on profiling terrorists -- or, rather, not profiling terrorists. I refer to ex-spy chief James Woolsey and executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Nihad Awad, whose post-Abdulmutallab (the underpants bomber) statements are startlingly similar.

First, Awad's statement. It is pointed as befits a media-trusted quote-meister - a gig unchanged, shockingly, by Awad's past links to Hamas and other jihadist groups, and CAIR's status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial and Muslim Brotherhood affiliate. "First look at behavior, not at faith or skin color," Awad told the New York Times. "Then spend what it takes to obtain more bomb-sniffing dogs, to install more sophisticated bomb-detection equipment and to train security personnel in identifying the behavior of real terror suspects."

...

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Lawrence Auster adds an interesting point to recent surge writings:

One of West's arguments for the failure of the surge is that Iraq has become, not a pro-Western ally of the U.S., but an adversary, exactly as we would expect of a tribal Muslim Shi'ite majority country. And here, in today's news, is further evidence of Iraq's non-Western-friendly status: it is planning to sue Israel for Israel's destruction of Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor in 1981.

Think of it: if Hussein had initiated such a suit over the loss of his reactor, which he had been building for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons to use against Israel, it would have been laughed at, even by the anti-Israel UN. But now that Iraq has been rebuilt by the U.S. as a "democratic," "self-governing" country (though in fact...

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Over at Secure Freedom Radio today, Frank Gaffney invited me to speak with him about my three-column series which argues that the Iraq surge strategy was a failure that should not be repeated in Afghanistan. Given the amazing dearth of debate, particularly among conservatives, on this controversial topic (an exception here), this was a welcome opportunity to expand on the topic with an exceptional host.

Podcast here.

 

Graphic by Guido Fawkes' Blog via Eurosoc.



The picture of the day (century) is of Lt. Col. William F. McCollough, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, at a "lunch party" on December 8, 2009 in southern Helmand Province. 

“When in doubt, I want you to be nice,” he tells his Marines.

The picture says it all, but the "success" story of "public relations" and "community building" (and canal repairs and school construction...) is here.

One analyst called the Marines’ efforts in the southern Helmand province a “petri dish” for the top U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley MChrystal..

“He’s looking at this for proof of concept,” said Jeffrey Dressler, a researcher at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C.

And while McCollough...

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Over at Powerline, Paul Mirengoff takes note of my three-column series examining the afternath of the "surge" in Iraq.

The series argues that the surge was not, contrary to the conventional wisdom from Right to Obama, a "success" that the US should repeat in Afghanistan namely because US-liberated, -protected, -supported -mentored and hallowed-by-American-blood Iraq is a lemon.

Yes, of course, the additional US troops of the 2007 "surge" (and the additional payola they brought with them) restored temporary security to Iraq, but the surge strategy was supposed to accomplish much, much more than that. Paul appears to have forgotten this. He writes:

I think Diana has misapprehended the purpose of the Iraq surge. Our goal, in those desperate days of 2007, was to avoid a military defeat, inflict a defeat on al-Qaeda in the heart of the Sunni Muslim world, and substantially diminish the amount of violence in the Baghdad and elsewhere. We also hoped in so doing to strengthen the highly imperfect fledgling democracy in Iraq. The surge achieved all of these goals.

...

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The following series of three columns examines the impact of the Iraq "surge," widely considered a success roaring enough to be replicated in Afghanistan. Since it ran in papers across the country over the last three holiday weeks, I thought I'd put them all together here for the record.    

The "Surge" and "Success," Part 1 The main reason the "surge" in Afghanistan is on is because the  conventional wisdom tells us the "surge" in Iraq "worked." The problem is, the Iraq surge did not work. Yes, the U.S. military  perfectly executed its share of the strategy -- the restoration of  some semblance of calm to blood-gushing Mesopotamian society -- but  that was only Step One. The end-goal of the surge strategy, Step Two  was always out of U.S. control -- a fundamental flaw. Step Two was up  to the Iraqis: namely, to take the opportunity afforded...

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Via DNAIndia.com:

Interpol has issued Red Corner notices for five American Muslim youths arrested in Pakistan last month for alleged terror links but authorities plan to put them on trial under local anti-terrorism laws, a senior police official said today.

"Interpol has issued the red warrants for them but we will first try them under our own laws before entertaining any such request," said Usman Anwar, the police chief of Sargodha district, where the youths were arrested.

"They will be indicted in the Sargodha district and sessions' court on January 4 under the Anti-Terrorism Act and Pakistan Penal Code for criminal conspiracy against the state and plotting terror attacks in Pakistan and a foreign land," Anwar told PTI.

The five youths could face life imprisonment if they are convicted under the charges framed by the Pakistani police.

Waqar...

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Writing at Brussels Journal today, Thomas Landen brings the attempted assassination of Kurt Westergaard on Friday in Denmark into vivid focus by comparing the horrific moment of crisis -- Westergaard and his five-year-old granddaughter in his steel-reinforced secure room (the bathroom) as the Muslim would-be assassin struck at the door with an axe yelling "blood!" and "revenge!" -- to the well-known scene in "The Shining" when the wife and child of Jack Nicholson cower behind a door as Nicholson strikes at it with an axe yelling, "Heeeere's Johnny!"

The piece is aptly titled "Heeeere's Mohammed!"

Was this Somali man, dada-esquesly tagged a "Danish national" in some reports, just an "isolated extremist," as Prez O might say? Sorry. He is a shock trooper of jihad, another tip of the sword. Or, in contemporary terms, another charge in the underpants. Or, in obeisance...

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It's a much-too news-rich environment out there, but don't lose track of Prez O's pre-Christmas (pre-Nigerian-bomber, pre-Khost-CIA-attack, pre-Iranian terror-kinpin release, pre-Westergaard assassination attempt -- have I missed anything?) executive order boosting Interpol's powers over those of the US Constitution.

The Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott stays with the case here and here, while Allan Erickson of the Portland Political Buzz Examiner has  compiled a good round-up of coverage of the story -- still ignored by the MSM. (The NYT, typically, has indeed deigned to cover the story, but only insofar as the executive order "irks conservatives.")

Don't miss the Canada Free Press report on the nexus between Interpol and the UN.

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Canadians in Afghanistan risk life and limb for spark plugs, while Canadians on campus in Calgary risk nothing to shut down freedom of speech. Via Vlad Tepes and the IFPS: 

Seeing is believing: Hearts and Minds wars are nothing short of insane. You've heard of Full Metal Jacket? Watch Total Strait Jacket (below) and say a prayer for our Canadian friends sharing the front line of madness.

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