Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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This week's syndicated column:

One thing I’ve learned while researching my new, nearly finished book is that both history and news, history’s so-called rough draft, are not written by the “victors” as much as they are censored, twisted and reconfigured by what I can best describe as “the mob.”

I’m not referring to the Mafia. What I’m talking about is a mob-like amalgam of sharp elbows and big mouths who dictate acceptable topics, their narrative flow and an approved range of opinion – the consensus-makers. Defying consensus, breaking what amount to Mafia-like vows of “omerta” – silence – and delving into the verboten, is the worst possible crime of anti-mobness, punishable by eternal hooting and marginalization.

Few transgress. Which explains the news blackout on an extraordinary chain of recent events that took place in and...

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Like a postmodern-day ziggurat, the $750 million US Embassy in Iraq stands as a grotesque symbol of Washington hubris, not to mention dumbness. It is now practically approaching white elephant status, according to a New York Times report, but not soon enough. Meanwhile, things are getting ugly at the embassy salad bar ....

The Times reports:

Less than two months after American troops left, the State Department is preparing to slash by as much as half the enormous diplomatic presence it had planned for Iraq, a sharp sign of declining American influence in the country.

Officials in Baghdad and Washington said that Ambassador James F. Jeffrey...

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For years now, we've watched an increasingly totalitarian Europe arise in the courtrooms of infamous speech trials in Holland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, France, England and elsewhere as dictatorial government authorities use the courts to maintain their political power against political rivals and freethinkers who dare call out the dishonesty and deceptions of the State. With the speech trial today of a fabled and elderly parfumier in Paris (described below), however, we see a strain of totalitarianism that is qualitatively different but equally sinister.

When parfumier Jean-Paul Guerlain (picture above) told an TV interviewer in 2010 that in order to create the popular perfume Samsara ("blends notes of ylang-ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, and tonka bean") "for once, [he] started working like a negro," he threatened no government power structure, he called out no deception. He made a banal comment, simply not worth parsing although it's hard to resist noting that he chose the simile to convey something he is obviously proud of --  a sustained and apparently arduous effort to create something beaitiful. But that is utterly and completely beside the point: The French state here is more and more inserting itself into the regulation of its citizens' minds, not in an overt attempt to maintain political power (Wilders, Dewinter), not to destroy facts and principles that threaten its fabrications (Sabaditsch-Wolff, Hedegaard, Robinson), but rather, in the evil tradition of Communism's relentless social engineers, to rewire all thought processes down to the most trivial. It is the totalitarian effort to create the New Man.

...

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BBC Head of News Andrew Roy: More dangerous than Abu Qatada

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As readers know, I go back a long ways with Abu Qatada --hands down, my favortite jihadist ever since 2003 when he said the immortal words: "I am astonished by President Bush when he claims there is nothing in the Koran that justifies jihad or violence in the name of Islam. Is he some kind of Islamic scholar? Has he ever actually read the Koran?"

Now he's back in the news -- or rather his "extremistm" and fatness are due to instructions from on high that journalists mustn't talk about them. Might imply a "value judgement."

The Telegraph, via Andrew Bostom,  reports

The BBC has told its journalists not to call Abu Qatada, the al-Qaeda preacher, an "etremist."

In order to avoid making a “value judgment”, the corporation’s managers have ruled that he can only be described as “radical”.



 Journalists were...

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More on this story from The Guardian:

The French prime minister and his cabinet have stormed out of parliament after an opposition MP accused the rightwing interior minister of flirting with Nazi ideology.

The Socialist Serge Letchimy, from Martinique, questioned the interior minister and close Sarkozy ally, Claude Guéant, over his controversial comments this weekend that "not all civilisations are of equal value", and his assertion that some civilisations, namely France's, are worth more than others.



Letchimy (pictured above) said Guéant was "day by day leading us back to these European ideologies that gave birth to concentration camps".

After a loud interruption of protests, he added: "Mr Guéant, the Nazi regime, which was so concerned about purity, was that a civilization?"

What a fat, gorgeous softball to bat out of the park -- if only Gueant and his fellow ministers had just one single clue among them. This was the perfect moment to read Gueant's...

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France 24 updates the continuing Gueant controversy, which grew from an anodyne but heterodox remark by the French interior minister on Saturday that cultures which defend liberty, equality and fraternity (sounds like France) "seem to be" superior to those which accept tyranny, the subservience of women, social and ethnic hatred (Islam to a T).   Questioned on Sunday evening on France Inter radio, Gueant insisted he had not targeted “one culture in particular”.





Wow. That was quick. But not enough. Never enough.

French Muslims asked interior minister Claude Gueant on Monday to clarify his recent statement that not all civilisations have equal value...

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French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, truth-teller and Establishment-marked man

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Silvio Berlusconi's finest 1/2 hour came shortly after 9/11 when he became the first and only Western leader to point out the duh-obvious distinctions between Western civilization and Islam -- essentially, one culture enshrines liberty, one does not -- and made the rather modest call for us to be aware of the distinction. For this he was pilloried, excoriated, heaped with scorn the world over, and beat a retreat rapido. (I discuss the episode  at some length in The Death of the Grown-Up.)

This plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face observation thus successfully purged from the political mainstream, it became the hotly controversial domain of so-called "far right" political figures across Europe, from Filip Dewinter in Belgium to Geert Wilders in Holland to Oskar...

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The Department of Defense official announcement:

The Department of Defense announced toda annouced the death of a the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. 

 Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus, 22, of Greenville, Miss., died Feb. 1 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

This incident is under investigation.

The Jackson Clarion Ledger's report:

Mississippi's first casualty this year from the war in Afghanistan died at the hands of an Afghan soldier who was guarding a joint operating base with him in the Helmand province, officials said. ...

...

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Sally Quinn thinking Georgetown thoughts ...

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This week's syndicated column:

Even after all these years, journalist-socialite Sally Quinn still embodies a Washington way of thinking – a heart-of-Georgetown, A-list set of salon-tested assumptions “everyone” knows that provides attitudes for any occasion.

Take the surreal state of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One day, William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a highly decorated retired Army general and ordained minister, and a founding member and leader of Delta Force, was scheduled to speak at a West Point prayer breakfast. The next day, following a campaign to stop Boykin’s appearance by what the New York Times describes as “liberal veterans’ groups, civil liberties advocates and Muslim organizations,” Boykin was not scheduled to speak at West Point. “In fulfilling its commitment to the community,” West Point announced, “the U.S. Military Academy will feature another speaker for the event.”

Quinn’s reaction? West...

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Eight years and three months ago, I wrote a column inspired by the furor over statements by General William Boykin attesting to the religious dimension of the so-called war on terror. The thought that there might be a religious dimension to Islamic terrorism is, absurdly and disastrously,  the Big No-No-No of our age (as noted once or twice in my body of work). That a devout Christian might appreciate the religious dimension of Islamic terrorism and express it in Christian terms is similarly verboten. And if he dare express it in the uniform of the country that expunges this key piece of the strategic puzzle, doctrinally, historically culturally, in its official war- and policy-making capacities,. "furor" breaks out.

Back then, I decided to imagine how future historians might explain this early controversy in the "war on terror."

"The 'war on terror,' later rechristened -- sorry, renamed --...

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France has decided to pull out of Afghanistan in 2013, only one year early, following the recent killings of six French troops at the hands of their (and our) wonderful uniformed Afghan allies.

The decision hasn't gone over too well with Afghan MP Tahira Mujadedi, who argues that Afghan forces are not (all together now) ready to go it alone. As for those recently murdered sons of France, Miz Mujadedi isn't exactly overflowing with condolences or mea culpas (does that even translate into Dari or Pashto?)

"When military forces are present in a war zone, anything can happen," she said. The French troops "are not here for a holiday," she added.

Sacrebleu.

This week's syndicated column:

No doubt Deborah Scroggins believes she just published a dual biography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former Dutch parliamentarian, and Aafia Siddiqui, jailed al-Qaida terrorist, and so she did. What may surprise the biographer, however, is that she also provided a third study: post-9/11 moral equivalence.

This begins with Scroggins’ outre decision to pair a peaceable writer and politician with a violent al-Qaida scientist who married Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew and co-plotter after 9/11 as the “Wanted Women” of the book’s title (Wanted Women: Faith, Lies and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui).





Wanted by whom? Hirsi Ali is wanted for violating Islamic law against apostasy (leaving Islam is a capital offense) and criticizing Muhammad, Islam’s prophet (ditto). Siddiqui was wanted by the FBI as an accomplice of al-Qaida, an operational arm of Islamic law. How to knit the two together? Scroggins writes: “Like...

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Beastweek decided to take a swipe at Geert Wilders this month -- no particular reason, just because he's still there. It's a singularly empty piece, a selection of complaints by Christopher Dickey rattling around, anchored by an almost comically validating chorus.

Example:

There’s no such thing as moderate Islam, Wilders insists, and he’s tired of hearing that radical Islam is something different from the mainstream faith.

BTW, Beastweek, Turkey's Erdogun goes ballistic at the very notion of "moderate Islam." The Turkish PM doesn't like assimilation, either -- calling it "a crime against humanity." But never mind. You're perfect the way you are. Don't ever change.

Beastweek:

It means nothing to him that among Muslim believers there are many different sects and currents.

Chorus:

...

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Click "read more" to see DoD video from Kajaki Sofla bazaar, November 2011. Don't miss the motorcycles whizzing by, a chilling prefiguring of last week's suicide bomb attack.

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Military censorship only goes so far. Now we know, contrary to official reports, at least two US Marines were hit by the bomb driven into the  Kajaki Sofla bazaar by a suicide-bomber on a motorcycle on January 18, 2012. Corporal Phillip McGeath, 25, was killed; Corporal Christopher Bordoni, 21, was critically wounded.

Why the official silence? And why the frustration, almost palpable in the public affairs office emails yesterday, over reports that break the silence?

Maybe it's because Kajaki is supposed to be, has been reported as a shining  COIN success story. On January 12, 2012, for example, six days before the suicide bomb in the bazaar, the US government spelled it all out in a story headlined: "Soccer field, symbol of hope to Kajaki Sofla children":

Operation...

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The Kajaki Sofla "bazaar"

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From the emailbag this a.m.:

Ms. Diana West,   My name is LT Joe Nawrocki.  I am a Public Affairs Officer in Regional Command Southwest, at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.   I just read your article titled, “Uncle Sam Hides the Truth about Kajaki” and wanted to ask whom did you try to contact at Camp Leatherneck?  We never received any word that you were trying to contact us, so I apologize for that.

If you have any further questions, please send them my way and I will do my best to answer.

R, LT Nawrocki   LT Joseph M. Nawrocki (USN)   Regional Command Southwest Public Affairs Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

So thoughtful! So polite! And, more interesting, no beef with my facts as written. I replied:

Dear Lt Nawrocki,

How nice of your to "reach out."

No, I am simply trying...

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I've received kind feedback on last night's interview with Brian Lamb on CSPAN, as well as some questions related to a couple of items covered in the show.

The book I consider more instructive to non-Muslims than the Koran regarding the exercise of Islam on society is the Sunni sharia book Reliance of the Traveller.

Peter Braestrup's magnus opus on the widespread misreporting of the Tet Offensive is called The Big Story. Sadly, it is long out of print, but fairly inexpensive used copies are available here.

...

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Flash:

KABUL: An Afghan soldier who shot dead four French troops says he did it because of a recent video showing US Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban insurgents, security sources say.

The attack on the soldiers, who were unarmed, happened last week at a base in eastern Afghanistan and left 15 other French troops wounded, eight of them seriously.

Cause and effect? Case closed? NATO, ISAF, the White House, and, probably, France's Sarkozy (above) wish.

What a relief it would be to pin the murders of four French troops and the additional wounding of 15 (all unarmed) onto a video of four Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban. The solution to the "problem" -- the epidemic of Afghan Muslim security forces murdering Western infidel troops and contractors -- then becomes so simple: more cultural sensitivity training. More submission to Islam's...

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... on C-SPAN on Sunday, January 22, 8pm and 11pm (after which the interview is available online).

It is a one-hour conversation, the subjects of Brian Lamb's choosing from a stack of my columns going back some years. I could see the yellow highlighting on the page from where I was sitting, which was, of course, quite flattering but also rather intimidating: as in, Whatever did I write next?!

     



AP photo and caption: "An Afghan man stands at the scene of Wednesday's suicide attack in Kajaki, Helmand province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. The suicide bomber blew himself up at a bridge under construction in Kajaki district of Helmand province, according to Mohammad Ismail, the deputy of the Afghan security forces coordination office in the area. Ismail said NATO troops also were working at the construction site, but it was unclear whether any were injured or killed."

Unclear?

Fortunately, my friend the Marine Mom is keeping a close eye on news out of Afghanistan. This week, holes in the news the military is releasing -- as she flagged, for example, in this AP report below on the week's...

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Always love to hear from UKIP's Nigel Farage, particularly when full-blasting the authoritarians at the EU (EUSSR). Via Vlad Tepes.



Another attack by an Afghan service member has killed four French troops and wounded 16.

This brings my unofficial tally of the grim toll to 52 Western personnel killed by Afghan security forces in the past 26 months since the November 2009 attack by an Afghan policeman that killed five British troops inside the wire.   

But looking back, I find that on October 3, 2009, two Americans were killed and two others wounded as they slept by an Afghan Army soldier on duty.

To the best of my caclulations, that makes 54 infidels murdered...

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Pfc. Dustin Napier

This week's syndicated column:

Is there a single public official who is examining – who cares about – the murder spree by Afghan security forces against Western troops and security contractors in Afghanistan? I can list well over 40 such murders in the past two years. These incidents even have their own phrase in military jargon – “green-on-blue” shootings – but the color we should all be seeing is red. Does Obama see red? Pelosi? Romney? Newt? Anyone?

In the last several months, there have been five six separate attacks on Western forces by uniformed Afghan army members. The toll includes three Australian soldiers killed (as they ended a regular weekly parade) and...

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Having declared its policy of censoring information about Afghan-on-Western attacks inside the wire, ISAF now seems to be censoring information about every other kind of troop casualty, too.

From the AP today:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide attacker set off a vehicle laden with explosives Thursday outside a gate at a sprawling base for U.S. and NATO operations, killing seven civilians in a second suicide bombing in as many days in southern Afghanistan, officials said...

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the afternoon attack at a crowded entrance to Kandahar Air Field, claiming they were targeting a NATO convoy.

Two witnesses told The Associated Press that they suspect the suicide car bomber was trying to hit U.S. forces because he detonated his explosives just as two pickup trucks, which they say are often used by American special forces, were leaving the base.

The coalition said no NATO troops were killed. It does not disclose information about...

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ISAF HQ in Kabul

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The story below, concerning ISAF's alarming and quite sinister decision to supress information regarding Afghan security force shootings of NATO troops and military contractors in Afghanistan, is a time bomb. It started ticking yesterday  in USA Today. Today, the Air Force investigation into Afghan Air Force Colonel Ahmed Gul's murder of nine Americans last April 2011 hit the news, thanks to a FOIA request by the Air Force Times (the subject of this week's upcoming column). I'm not sure whether this genie goes back so easily into the bottle.

From USA Today, January 17:

"ISAF limits details of troops killed"

Military commanders in Afghanistan have stopped making public the number of allied troops killed by Afghan soldiers and police, a measure of the trustworthiness of a force that is to take over security from U.S.-led...

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Tim McGirk, source of the Haditha myth-acre.

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Eight charged; seven cleared; one, please, let's hope, to go.

Finally, the last "Haditha" trial is in progress, and, thanks to Nat Helms at Defend Our Marines, everything you need or want to know about the proceedings, the witnesses, the facts about the case of SSGT Frank D. Wuterich, the last of the Marine Mohicans, is here.

Of course, I still have a few questions -- the exact same questions I had when I first looked at the case back in late 2007/early 2008. That was just about one year after all the charges related to claims of a 2005 Marine massacre of civilians in Haditha had come down. Even by early 2008, however, the case was already turning into a big flopola for prosecutors, media and other champions of the massacre myth, including the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).     

From my January 2008 column:

What a difference a year has made since charges came down at the end of 2006. The New York Times in October...

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It was when anti-abortion advocate Austin Ruse explained to his audience that because his sturdiest allies at the United Nations were Muslims countries, his international anti-abortion coalition could not also be an international religious freedom coalition that my dhimmitude-meter kicked on -- dhimmitude in this case meaning appeasement of Islam. (This is what I first wrote about it.)

Ruse was describing a classic example of the divide-and-conquer reversals that ensue when the Free World seeks common ground with totalitarian Islam. In isolating the subset of commonality -- in this case, opposition to abortion -- the greater set of Western principles abjured by Islam must be bracketed away. The thinking is, concessions as a matter...

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This week's syndicated column:

Granted, it’s not civil, palace etiquette, or, more important, U.S. military doctrine to urinate on battle-killed enemy fighters – in this case, three dead Taliban in Afghanistan. But could we just move on?

That’ll be the day. Get set for Abu Ghraib 2, a national wallow in a wholly manufactured and inflated evil, the kind of masochistic frolic our twisted elites, safe on their sound stages, find so extremely pleasurable. Get set for the exclusion of any and all context related to heat-of-battle conditions, battle fatigue or Taliban depredations. We have met the enemy and he is us, again – and thank God. Or is that thank Allah?

Most distressing is watching the International Security Assistance Force’s PR machinery crank up. The desecration of Taliban bodies – killed according to ISAF orders and assorted United Nations-NATO-focus-group preferences – is of immeasurably greater concern than the recent cold-blooded murder of a 20-year-old U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, shot in the head while playing volleyball by an Afghan army member. (Three other Americans were wounded.) By my unofficial count, this makes Kill No. 43 of NATO forces by Afghan security forces inside the wire over the past two years.

...

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Granted, it's not civil, acceptable, palace etiquette or, more important, US military doctrine to urinate on battle-killed enemy fighters -- in this case, three dead Taliban in Afghanistan. But could we just move on? 

That'll be the day. Get set for Abu Ghraib 2, a national wallow in a wholly manufactured and inflated evil, the kind of masochistic frolic our extremely twisted elites, safe on their soundstages, find so extremely pleasurable. Get set for the exclusion of any and all context, either related to heat-of-battlefield conditions, battle fatigue, or Taliban depredations. We have met the enemy and he is us, again -- and thank God. Or is that thank Allah?

What is most distressing is watching the ISAF pr machinery crank up. The desecration of Taliban bodies -- as in already dead, according to ISAF's own orders and assorted...

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Trust us.

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Ever wonder how Taliban "re-integration" in Afghanistan works?

The Stars and Stripes reports on one case, which started after a tribal elder with (an "oyster-grey beard") paid a call on the US military at an Afghan government center.

“We would like Zareef to be released,” he said. “We do not think the military should be holding him.”

[LTC] Wilson knew the name. Coalition soldiers detained the insurgent in October after finding him with a large stash of automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

“Before we can do anything,” Wilson said, “we need you and the rest of the elders in your tribe to be willing to be accountable for him.”

They arranged to talk further the next day at Forward Operating Base Bostick, about 15 miles north of Nishigam, where the 2-27 is stationed. The man arrived with a band of elders to meet with Wilson and area commanders of the Afghan military and police.

The group reached an agreement several...

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The Secretary of State wears clothes, all right, but is she really ready to deal?

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The Wall Street Journal reports:

JANI KHEL, Afghanistan—In the American war against the Taliban, on whose side are the Afghan police? For many U.S. soldiers serving in the insurgent heartland, the answer is: both.

"They smile to our face when we're here, giving them money and building them buildings," says U.S. Army Capt. Cory Brown, a provost marshal officer helping to oversee Afghan security forces here in volatile Paktika province. "But they've given insurgents money, food and even rides in Afghan police cars."

Worse, he says, some policemen are also suspected of selling their U.S.-provided weapons to the Taliban.

The rest of the story lies behind a subscription wall, but it's not necessary to read more. Anyone could write the rest. In fact, it writes itself, another...

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Somehow, the face of American-born Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Daood Sayed Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley, comes as news to me. Don't know how I missed it, but it strikes me that news stories detailing his poisonous international career as a star facilitator of jihad in Mumbai, in Copenhagen and elsewhere generally carry photos of someone else, a more distinctly Pakistani-looking accomplice -- often AQ jihadist Illyas Kashmiri.



Anyway, there Headley is (top photo), son of a Pakistani employee of Voice of America who also worked in the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, and, on his American mother's side, grandson of a University of Maryland football star (or so says Wikipedia) named L. Coleman Headley. This terror-thug, who declares his allegiance to Pakistan, was a most effective instrument of global jihad until his arrest in Chicago in 2009 before jihad-jetting...

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The way the GOP field is attacking Mitt Romney by attacking free enterprise has now torn it for me with this latest lowdown distortion of the Romney's "firing people" comment. This is something to expect from the Left, the media, the Obama campaign (one and the same), not the Republican Party. Folllowing up on Gingrich's anti-capitalist attacks, now we have Perry and Huntsman piling on Romney by willfully distorting Romney's obvious pitch for choice for consumers of services as though they were channeling Rachel Maddow. Since Santorum's non-reflective, reflexive Bush-mongering leaves me cold and Paul is not my cup of tea, Romney it is.

Go Romney. Beat Obama.

The New York Times sees -- but knows not what it sees.

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan soldier turned his gun on American military personnel while they were playing volleyball at a camp in southern Afghanistan, killing one and wounding three others before being fatally shot, the Afghan police said on Monday.

It was the third time in just over two weeks that a man wearing an Afghan Army uniform attacked NATO personnel.

And at least the 43rd such fatality in 26 months.

In the earlier cases, the Taliban claimed responsibility, although there was no immediate claim in this case that the Afghan soldier had Taliban sympathies.

Card-carrying Taliban or not, as a Muslim, the ANA soldier was subject to the call of jihad. Fact. I'm sorry about that, but I didn't write the Koran.

The attack took place on Sunday afternoon in Qalat, the capital of Zabul Province. The Afghan soldier approached the volleyball game and appeared to watch the soldiers play before opening fire with an M-16 assault rifle, said Ghulam Jilani Farahi, deputy police chief of Zabul Province. Another American soldier who heard the firing shot and killed the attacker, he said.

...

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US Army and Afghan Army play volleyball in southwestern Kandahar in 2011. On Sunday, a similar match in Zabul province turned deadly when an Afghan Army member shot and killed one American, wounding three.

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It would be most helpful for at least one of the GOP candidates to think long and hard about what is going wrong with the Bush-Obama Afghanistan War and share his thoughts with his fellow citizens. A good place to start would be with examining -- noticing -- the serial murders of ISAF soldiers by Afghan Army members, particularly given the fact that the Bush-Obama strategy is to train the Afghan security forces (at exhorbitant US taxpayer cost) as the supporting pillar of our so-called Exit Strategy. As George W. Bush used to say about Iraq, as they stand up, we stand down. And that worked out so well.

In the last three months the murder count in five separate attacks by uniformed Afghan security forces  inside the wire includes:

Three Australian Diggers killed and ten wounded;...

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I am deeply saddened and shocked to learn that Tony Blankley has died. Tony, by virture of his quite remarkable career and background spanning Hollywood and Washington, California and the East Coast, the US and Great Britain, was himself a wealth of experience and treasured knowledge, very much of the "old school" despite his Baby Boom birth. A man of a debonair and ebullient patriotism, Tony, his sharp pen and steadying voice will be greatly missed. 

On a personal note, I will add that as editorial page editor at the Washington Times between 2002 and his much-lamented departure in 2007, Tony was always extremely supportive of my work, both my weekly column -- then at the Wash Times and on Tony's arrival still in its earlier phase of jihad and dhimmitude exploration -- and my 2007 book The Death of Grown-Up, which he quite generously...

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In an urgently important piece today at NRO today, my friend Andy McCarthy elucidates the complex: the crude power grab by Barack Obama that is underway, camouflaged and fuzzed up by abstruse procedure and eye-glazing acronyms. Skewering all that is wrong with the Grand Old Party -- all that is wrong with those entrusted with safeguarding the Republic against the encroachments of the Superstate  -- McCarthy lays out how Barack Obama is entrenching and expanding dictatorial powers unopposed.

Hint: the Constitution goes in the shredder while Republicans "tweak."

Of course, as Andy reminds us as a matter of almost guilty comic relief, this no doubt thrills the likes of Thomas Friedman, whose longings for the "right" kind of dictatorial...

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On Dec. 31, 2011, Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki declared a national holiday to celebrate the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Funny way to say “thank you” for all the blood and treasure, no?

Not that al-Maliki was saying thank you. He wasn’t even saying good riddance. He was saying, in effect, that it was all a dream. Or, in the Associated Press’ words: “The prime minister sought to credit Iraqis with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and made no mention of the role played by U.S. forces that invaded Iraq in March 2003.”

No mention, huh? I guess it was just a trillion-dollar mirage, a figment, a never-never fantasy best dropped from speeches, polite conversation, maybe history books. Then again, silence suits the American political classes fine. Amazingly, following the U.S. withdrawal, the questions, “What was that all about?” or, “What went...

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