Saturday, April 10, 2010
If we are attacked with WMD we will not respond with nukes: Federal authorities monitoring Hizbullah cells in several U.S. cities
The United States has increased its domestic monitoring of Hizbullah.
Officials acknowledged that Hizbullah was using the United States to raise money for operations in both Lebanon and other parts of the world. They said Hizbullah helped set up fronts through American citizens in several parts of the United States, including Florida, Michigan and New York.
"There are members of Hizbullah in the U.S. who are capable of being activated to carry out terrorist attacks," Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and a consultant to the U.S. law enforcement community, said. "However, these agents have refrained from attacking the homeland. In the case of hostilities breaking out with Iran, all bets are off, however."
Federal authorities have identified Hizbullah-aligned cells in several cities in the United States. In February 2010, four Florida men were charged in a plot to relay millions of dollars to Hizbullah through a shopping center in Paraguay. The suspects were said to have been working with Mohammed Yusef Abdullah, identified as Hizbullah's main liasion in South America.
These guys have obviously been reading Vince Flynn
Other Hizbullah cells were identified in Detroit, Philadelphia and New York City. In November 2009, four men, including a Brooklyn resident, Mussa Ali Hamdan, were charged with conspiracy to export 1,200 guns to Syria as well as sell forged passports and counterfeit currency to raise money for Hizbullah. All four have been deemed fugitives.
"This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg." Emerson said in an interview with the U.S. television network Fox News.
Officials said Hizbullah has been working with Iran in operations in the United States. They said Hizbullah and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were sharing agents and fronts in an effort to acquire funds and technology.
"It poses a continuous danger to New York City," New York City Deputy Police Commissioner David Cohen said.
A leading U.S. analyst on Middle East insurgency groups, Walid Phares, said Hizbullah maintains a range of cells in the United States. Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, asserted that the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement community has underestimated Hizbullah's capabilities to attack numerous targets simultaneously.
"You have those Hizbullah supporters who would rise to strike against limited targets, tactical targets but then you have those units that are part of the central force of Hizbullah which have been inserted inside the United States -- probably inside major cities of America," Phares said. "So that when instructions will come they want to wreak havoc inside this country."
A Malice That Dares Not Show Its Face
I ended my July 5th, 2009 commentary, “Parsing Obama,” with reference to a remark made by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, that, to understand President Barack Obama, one must pay attention to what he does, not to what he says.
On March 23 we paid attention to what he both said and did: he conscripted the medical and insurance fields into government service, and claimed he looked up into the sky and saw no asteroids hurtling toward the earth as punishment for enacting such a law. It was an “historic event” that he proved did not trigger the wrath of nature. Such flippant mockery of the opponents of ObamaCare is easy to understand, and the “historic event’ will be another day that will live in infamy.
Trying to shame a flippant Obama over his lies, posturing, and political subterfuge is as futile as throwing spitballs at a charging rhino, or shooting rubber bands at a provoked bull. He isn’t going to be stopped. He intends to knock you down and gore you until you move no more, and for extra measure, toss you into the air a few times to make sure you‘re no longer a threat or a provocation. His collectivist soul and commitment to subduing America requires that he be deaf to public opposition to his agenda and heedless of the consequences of bringing it to implementation. This requires the habitual and ultimately ingrained psychological insulation adopted by all power-lusters and dictators. They don’t like being contradicted, questioned, or doubted.
It is akin to the psycho-epistemological state of James Taggart in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, who introduces himself with an impatient, “Don’t bother me, don’t bother me, don’t bother me.” As it is with Taggart, reality is Obama’s enemy; wishing seems to make it go away, and if there are unfortunate consequences of that action, they will fall on other people, not on him.
In an excellent analysis of Obama’s habitual pragmatism, Doug Reich on The Rational Capitalist site ably parses the workings of the mind of a pragmatist when dealing with unwelcome questions and issues. It was not Mr. Reich’s purpose, but his essay doesn’t address the question of why an individual would adopt such a practice, for example, of Obama’s evident hostility for anything that threatens to contradict his own ideological premises. Examining Obama’s 17-minute “answer” to a simple question about the wisdom of raising taxes, Obama oscillated between using words, on one hand, as weapons, and on the other, as excelsior.
Obama does not speak so much “Newspeak” as he does “No Speak.” His delivery style, in which he cannot or will not speak truthfully in generalities, and when faced with public questions, can be characterized as tossing a hundred tightly crumpled pieces of paper into a waste basket, and leaving listeners to retrieve them, flatten them out, and piece them together, if possible, into a coherent whole.
As a pragmatic policy, it is one he is comfortable with. But it doesn’t mean that it is unintentional, either. It is his preferred way of fending off ideas and words that imperil his epistemology and metaphysics. He is probably certain that a basketball will go through a hoop and that a golf ball will land on the green somewhere. But he cannot be certain of much else. More importantly, certainty isn’t crucial to him. Things like economics, finance, market forces, individual rights, and certainly the language of the Constitution are beyond his grasp because he chooses them to be.
He is not the only president to adopt a policy of public and personal obfuscation (Ayn Rand called it “blanking out“); Republican and Democratic ones honed the practice over generations. Obama is only the latest but crudest practitioner of it.
For example, an Associated Press report reveals that Islam and jihad are no longer going to be acceptable subjects in reviewing national security strategy.
President Barack Obama's advisers plan to remove terms such as "Islamic radicalism" from a document outlining national security strategy and will use the new version to emphasize that the U.S. does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terrorism, counterterrorism officials say….Obama is certainly wrong about Bush’s strategy. But note that excising all terms referring to Islamic terrorism and jihad will accomplish Obama’s goal of de-demonizing Islam, terrorism, and jihad, as though doing so will render them non-existent and therefore unrelated to national security. This is putting on the proverbial rose-colored glasses, but a pair that can filter out the guns, bombs, 9/11, Iran’s nuclear fuel program, and Islam’s decades-old war against the West.
The revisions are part of a larger effort about which the White House talks openly, one that seeks to change not just how the U.S. talks to Muslim nations, but also what it talks to them about, from health care and science to business startups and education. That shift away from terrorism has been building for a year, since Obama went to Cairo and promised a "new beginning" in the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world. The White House believes the previous administration based that relationship entirely on fighting terrorism and winning the war of ideas.
He doesn’t wish these things to have any substance. His solution is to banish any terms that serve as referents to them. Is this indicative of a hostility towards his own country, of a desire to see it vanquished by Islamists? Yes, because he would not banish the terms if he did not concede, in some dark corner of his consciousness, that their referents existed. He would rather paste a smiley face on the head of a cobra. And if the cobra strikes Americans again, it will be their fault for antagonizing it.
Another example of Obama’s mockery of words that mean something -- and not just anything -- was reported in the Washington Examiner. Wading into criticisms from the press that reported his declining poll numbers and that the country is “divided” on ObamaCare, he went stand-up comic:
"Can you imagine if some of these reporters were working on a farm?" Obama asked. "You planted some seeds, and they came out the next day, and they looked, and nothing’s happened! (Laughter and applause.) There’s no crop! We’re going to starve! Oh, no! (Applause.) It’s a disaster! (Laughter.)"Reality will have the last laugh. The economic consequences of the legislation he signed into law will be catastrophic. He knows it, as well as do Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, and every politician who voted for it. Yet, it may seem odd that he is still campaigning for it. That is because he must overcome Americans’ loyalty to reality.
In another twisting of words, Obama claimed that without “reforming” health care, “this country was going to go bankrupt.” But, isn’t it already? What are trillion dollar government debts, with no way to even service the debt except to confiscate more lives and wealth, but a sign of bankruptcy? He must have had a sneak peek at the Director of the Congressional Budget Office’s blog notice that:
Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, because federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run.But Obama is claiming that astronomical federal spending programs on ObamaCare and everything else would make the federal budget sustainable. Is this mere pragmatism, or evidence for a contempt for the truth?
Harry Smith of CBS spent some time with Obama at the White House, and asked him what he thought of what was being said about him.
"I’ve been listening to talk radio, the kindest of terms is a socialist, worst of which I’ve heard is you called a Nazi, are you aware of the level of enmity that crosses the airwaves about you?" asked Smith.It may be comforting to know that at least Harry Smith listens to the enemy, but one must question his stock of political knowledge; even a National Socialist would wonder why he makes a distinction between the terms socialist and Nazi; because a Nazi is a socialist and a socialist is a Nazi, for after all, it‘s just a matter of the nature and scope of government controls. He then prompts Obama to agree about the “level of enmity that crosses the airwaves” about the President, the key term being enmity. Not about disagreement, or opposition, or even stance, either of which might have elicited a different response from Obama. Smith acted as Obama’s walking, talking teleprompter.
"Well I think that when you listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, it's pretty apparent, but keep in mind that there have been periods in American history where this kind of vitriol comes out," said Obama. "It happens often when you've got an economy that is making people more anxious, but that's not the vast majority of Americans. I think vast majority of Americans know that we're trying hard. I want what's best for the country. They may disagree on certain policy issues but I didn't buy all the hype right after inauguration where everybody was only saying nice things about me and I don't get too worried when things aren't going as well because I know that, over time, these things turn.
Obama’s first sentence falls in line with Smith’s prompting. He complements enmity with “this kind of vitriol,” charging popular talk show hosts Limbaugh and Beck with inflammatory, violence-inciting speech, but, more importantly, insinuating, as many liberal pundits and politicians have, that such speech naturally triggers violence.
Such speech “happens often when you’ve got an economy that is making people more anxious.” So, it’s nothing important, anxiety about the future of the country, Americans worried about the future of their freedom and livelihoods, that’s all just a knee-jerk response to the prospect of more taxes, controls and regulations, all the destruction that seems to be ahead of them because of Obama’s and his predecessors’ economic policies -- that’s to be expected. Obama may as well have suggested that Americans take a sedative and stop making so much noise.
Oblivious or indifferent to polls conducted by friendly and opposition pollsters alike, Obama then claims that it’s just a minority of Americans making all the noise, they’re just the wingnuts and the lunatic fringe, they can be dismissed, because other Americans understand that he’s “trying hard.” “I want what’s best for the country.” Which is what? What he promised during his campaign and has promised while in office all the while, in sugary, not so hard to decipher rhetoric, a command economy that is essentially socialistic with fascist trappings.
“They may disagree on certain policy issues” -- but not on his whole agenda? Not on his push to force Americans to buy insurance, or to enslave the medical profession, or to take over one-sixth of the economy, or to usurp the Constitution and toss it into an Orwellian memory hole?. Pish! Stuff and nonsense! Mere details!
A moment later Obama remarks: “I do think that everybody has a responsibility -- Democrats or Republicans -- to tone down some of this rhetoric, some of these comments” -- or else what? What is it about the “tone” that bothers him and his Democratic allies? And why is it that Democrats can exhibit “tone,” but not their opponents, lest they be accused of “hatefulness”? Hate is an emotional response to something one fears. One of its contributing emotions is anger. And what is it that his critics and enemies are angry about?
Why would Obama believe that such hatefulness and anger are undeserved -- unless he believed that he was committing treason, but that it was okay, because others were complicit in the treason, so it couldn’t be a crime, it‘s just politics, it‘s just “community organizing.” It is only the “tone” he hears, not the ideational content of that tone. That, he refuses to acknowledge; his self-induced insulation protects him from it.
So, who is it that is also imbued with hatefulness and anger, and whose actions precipitated deserved reciprocation?
Being hateful and angry about political policies that are asphyxiating freedom, as The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson sneers, is not “political maturity.” Grow up, Americans. This is a democracy, not a republic that ensures the protection of rights against majorities or minorities, against a real or imaginary “will of the people.” Take your medicine and stop complaining.
George Orwell, in an essay appended to his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, remarks that:
Prerevolutionary literature could only be subjected [by government lexicographers] to ideological translation -- that is, alteration in sense as well as language. Take for example the well-known passage from the Declaration of Independence:And it is absolute government that Obama and Congress are promoting, enacting, and imposing on what is left of the American republic -- but calling it a paradise of “social justice.” And saying that it is a “social crime” to think otherwise. Beneath the patina of Obama’s words as weapons and the excelsior of his mockery lies a leaden malice that dares not show its face -- for his country, for Americans, for reason.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government.
It would have been quite impossible to render this into Newspeak while keeping to the sense of the original. The nearest one could come to doing so would be to swallow the whole passage up in the single word crimethink. A full translation could only be an ideological translation, whereby Jefferson’s words would be changed into a panegyric on absolute government.
*“The Principles of Newspeak“ in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text, Sources, Criticism, 1963. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1982 edition), pp. 204-205.
Crossposted at The Dougout
CAIR Sues DuPage County, Illinois
The Council on American and Islamic Relations sued DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom and several other county officials Thursday over the refusal to grant a permit to build an Islamic learning center.Not a surprise, really, that CAIR is attempting this.
Alleging violations of the First Amendment (free exercise of religion, speech and assembly), the 14th Amendment (equal protection) and the 2000 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Chicago-CAIR is charging that the county unfairly discriminated against the proposed Irshad Learning Center, an Islamic institution...
I can't imagine that CAIR can win this one. But in these days of surreal inversionism, who knows?
Pressure starts, Zbig follows Ignatius with push in WaPo on Israel
To achieve Mideast peace, Obama must make a bold Mideast trip
By Zbigniew Brzezinski and Stephen Solarz
Sunday, April 11, 2010; B04
More than three decades ago, Israeli statesman Moshe Dayan, speaking about an Egyptian town that controlled Israel's only outlet to the Red Sea, declared that he would rather have Sharm el-Sheikh without peace than peace without Sharm el-Sheikh. Had his views prevailed, Israel and Egypt would still be in a state of war. Today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with his pronouncements about the eternal and undivided capital of Israel, is conveying an updated version of Dayan's credo -- that he would rather have all of Jerusalem without peace than peace without all of Jerusalem.
This is unfortunate, because a comprehensive peace agreement is in the interest of all parties. It is in the U.S. national interest because the occupation of the West Bank and the enforced isolation of the Gaza Strip increases Muslim resentment toward the United States, making it harder for the Obama administration to pursue its diplomatic and military objectives in the region. Peace is in the interest of Israel; its own defense minister, Ehud Barak, recently said that the absence of a two-state solution is the greatest threat to Israel's future, greater even than an Iranian bomb. And an agreement is in the interest of the Palestinians, who deserve to live in peace and with the dignity of statehood.
However, a routine unveiling of a U.S. peace proposal, as is reportedly under consideration, will not suffice. Only a bold and dramatic gesture in a historically significant setting can generate the political and psychological momentum needed for a major breakthrough. Anwar Sadat's courageous journey to Jerusalem three decades ago accomplished just that, paving the way for the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt.
Former Palestinian Plane Hijacker Leila Khaled: 'The Ultimate Goal of the Struggle is the Establishment of a Palestinian State Within the 1967 Borders, Including Jerusalem...But This is Just One Stage'; 'We Have the Right to Return To... All [of] Palestine'; 'If You Use Force, the Enemy Withdraws'
Palestinian students visit a re-enactment of the Aug. 19 Sbarro pizza restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem, replete with body parts and pizza slices strewn around the room, during the opening of an exhibition at Al Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001. The exhibit on the suicide bombing, which killed 15 Israelis and the bomber, is part of an exhibition
Palestinian students walk under a replica of a Sbarro pizza restaurant sign, which reads "Kosher" in Hebrew, during the opening of an exhibition at Al Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001, to commemorate one year since renewed violence broke out between Israelis and the Palestinians. The Sbarro section of the exhibition, replete with body parts and pizza slices strewn across the room, is a replica of the Aug. 9 Sbarro suicide bombing which killed 15 Israelis and thebomber in Jerusalem.
Palin: Kryptonite to an imagined superman in the mirror
Image via Wikipedia
I hope Epam doesn't mind me butting in but this is a perfect followup on this post. Palin responds to the charge of no nuclear experience. The money shot starts around 0:50 but it's all good. --MR
DID PUTIN HAVE THE POLISH PRESIDENT MURDERED?
POLAND'S PRESIDENT AND 132 OTHERS DIE IN PLANE CRASH ON WAY TO COMMEMORATE THE KATYN MASSACREBBC:
Polish leader dies in plane crash
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and scores of others have been killed in a plane crash in Russia.
Polish and Russian officials said no-one had survived after the plane apparently hit trees as it approached Smolensk's airport in thick fog.
Poland's army chief, central bank governor, MPs and leading historians were among more than 80 passengers.
They were flying in from Warsaw to mark 70 years since the Katyn massacre of thousands of Poles by Soviet forces.
The BBC's Adam Easton, in Warsaw, says the crash is a catastrophe for the Polish people.
He says Prime Minister Donald Tusk was reportedly in tears when he was told.
Mr Tusk, who runs the day-to-day business of government, has called an emergency meeting of ministers.
The Russian emergencies ministry told Itar-Tass news agency the plane crashed at 1056 Moscow time (0656 GMT).
SAD. HORRIBLE. RIP.
Putin Marks Soviet Massacre of Polish Officers
MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin on Wednesday became the first Russian or Soviet leader to join Polish officials in commemorating the anniversary of the murder of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II.
Mr. Putin cast the executions as one tragedy out of many wrought by what he called the Soviet Union’s “totalitarian regime.”
“We bow our heads to those who bravely met death here,” Mr. Putin said at a site in the Katyn forest close to the Russian city of Smolensk, where 70 years ago members of the Soviet secret police executed more than 20,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet Army invaded in 1939.
“In this ground lay Soviet citizens, burnt in the fire of the Stalinist repression of the 1930s; Polish officers, shot on secret orders; soldiers of the Red Army, executed by the Nazis.”
THE MASSACRE WAS NOT ATYPICAL; IT WAS AN S.O.P. - FOR AND STALIN AND THE USSR.
GENOCIDE AND DISINFORMATION ARE THE PILLARS OF TYRANNY.
Lech Aleksander Kaczyński (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛx alɛˈksandɛr kaˈtʂɨɲskʲi] ( listen); 18 June 1949 – 10 April 2010) was the President of the Republic of Poland from 2005 to 2010, a politician of the party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, PiS). Kaczyński served as Mayor of Warsaw from 2002 until 22 December 2005, the day before his presidential inauguration. He was the identical twin brother of the former Prime Minister of Poland and current Chairman of the Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński.
... In the 1970s Lech Kaczyński was an activist in the pro-democratic anti-Communist movement in Poland, Workers' Defence Committee, as well as the Independent Trade Union movement. In August, 1980, he became an adviser to the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee in the Gdańsk Shipyard and the Solidarity movement. During the martial law introduced by the communists in December, 1981, he was interned as an anti-socialist element. After his release from internment, he returned to trade union activities, becoming a member of the underground Solidarity.
When Solidarity was legalized again in the late 1980s, Lech Kaczyński was an active adviser of Lech Wałęsa and his Komitet Obywatelski Solidarność in 1988. From February to April, 1989, he participated in Polish Round Table talks.... In 2001 he founded the conservative political party Law and Justice (PiS) party with his brother Jarosław. Lech Kaczyński was the president of the party between 2001 and 2003. His brother Jaroslaw is its current chairman.
... During his inauguration he stated several goals he would pursue during his presidency. Among those concerning internal affairs were: increasing social solidarity in Poland, bringing justice to those who were responsible or affected by communist crimes in the People's Republic of Poland, fighting corruption, providing security in economy, and safety for development of family. Kaczyński also stated that he would seek to abolish differences between regions. In his speech he also put emphasis on combining modernisation with tradition and remembering the teachings of Pope John Paul II.
On December 21, 2008, Lech Kaczyński became the first Polish head of state to visit a Polish synagogue for a religious service. His attendance coincided with the first night of Hanukkah.
A SAD DAY FOR POLAND.
- HMMM... IT'S CERTAINLY NOT OUTSIDE THE CHARACTER, ABILITY OR HISTORY OF THE KGB:
- THE KATYN MASSACRE WAS COMMITTED BY THE FORERUNNER OF THE KGB - UNDR DIRECT ORDERS OF THE RUSSIAN LEADER AT THE TIME.
- AND IT COMES A WEEK AFTER OBAMA APPEASES PUTIN WITH AN ARMS TREATY - AND DAYS AFTER PUTIN'S ALLIES SEIZE (RE-TAKE) KYRGYZSTAN.
I THINK IT LOOKS VERY MUCH LIKE PUTIN IS EXPANDING RUSSIA'S GLOBAL POWER WITH NO FEAR OF OBAMA.
IT LOOKS LIKE OBAMA IS PUTIN'S BITCH.
AHMADINEJAD AND MAHMOUD ABBAS MUST BE GETTING JEALOUS.
Labels: tea parties
Friday, April 09, 2010
Come. Know the Peace of Islam. In All It's Many Faces.11:53:00 p.m. permanent link# 5 Comments
CEO OF FANNIE MAE TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS THAT SOCIALISM CAUSED THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE
I believe in retrospect that there was overinvestment in housing. I believe in retrospect origination standards slipped. Home ownership rates probably rose too high.In other words, government-owned mortgage companies, who were told to give mortgages to people who could not ordinarily afford them, "contributed" to the current economic "crisis".
The GSEs (Government Supported Entities, meaning Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac) were chartered to expand and increase home ownership -- while operating as private companies.
In doing so, they contributed to the crisis, but they did not precipitate it.
He says, "They (the GSE's) did not precipitate it (the economic collapse)", but I think it is safe to say that everyone knows that this crisis started in the Mortgage industry.
The government should never tell banks to lend money to people who are not good risks. That is not only anti-Freedom, it is theft.
Would you want the government to tell you who to loan your money to? If they did, wouldn't you consider it theft?
Get the government out of the economy. Let the Free Market work on it's own.
Al Qaida has hurt us.
Al Qaida wants to hurt us again.
Al Qaida wants to get nukes.
Al Qaida wants to hurt us really badly.
It is a good thing to have a summit to keep nukes out of terrorists hands.
Therefore POSPOTUS says we should get rid of our nukes too.
wha. . .?
Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have them. Outlaw nukes and only. . .
U.S.: Al-Qaida Hunting for a Nuclear Bomb
Friday, 09 Apr 2010 05:49 PM
The White House on Friday warned that al-Qaida is quietly hunting for an atomic bomb, adding urgency to a historic summit next week where President Barack Obama will try to persuade world leaders to step up efforts to keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.
Expectations for decisive action by the 47 countries are low, because existing controls haven't worked as well as hoped and some nations worry tighter regulation will only slow civilian nuclear power projects.
But the White House has high hopes for the two-day summit, where the U.S. and Russia are to sign a long-delayed agreement to dispose of tons of weapons-grade plutonium from Cold War-era nuclear weapons. That is the kind of preventive action the summit is meant to inspire.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the gathering will be the largest assembly of world leaders hosted by an American president since the 1945 San Francisco conference that founded the United Nations.
Clinton said some attendees are "helping us keep a very close watch on anyone we think could be part of a network that could lead to the sale of or transfer of nuclear material to al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations."
Obama will try to set the tone Sunday by meeting the leaders of India and Pakistan — two nuclear armed foes who have managed to avoid atomic war — as well as South Africa and Kazakhstan, two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons programs.
The conference itself will open Monday with a working dinner hosted by Obama, who also plans to meet individually that day with the leaders of Jordan, Malaysia, Armenia and China. It will close Tuesday with a joint statement on the threat of the illicit transfer of nuclear materials and technology and a plan for keeping them locked up.
Three countries at the heart of the international debate over nuclear dangers — Iran, North Korea and Syria — were not invited to the summit, and Israel, whose undeclared nuclear arsenal is a core grievance among Muslim nations, scrapped plans for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend.
An Israeli official said Netanyahu canceled after getting word that other participants would use the summit to criticize Israel's nuclear program. Israel is believed to have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of nuclear weapons. In Netanyahu's absence, Israel will be represented deputy prime minister Dan Meridor.
Clinton welcomed Israel's participation.
"Israel shares with us a deep concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions and also about the threat of nuclear terrorism," she said.
Iran and other Muslim countries accuse the United States of hypocrisy for ignoring Israel's nuclear arsenal while demanding that others forego such weapons.
In the U.S. view, a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten Israel and the West, while North Korea, which has tested a nuclear device, is a continuing threat to sell its nuclear know-how to other hostile nations.
The U.S. believes Syria also has nuclear ambitions; an Israeli airstrike in 2007 destroyed what the U.S. asserts was a nearly completed nuclear reactor designed to make plutonium.
But the nuclear security summit is less concerned with countries that acquire nuclear weapons than with the terrorists and criminals believed to be seeking them.
Obama has set a goal of securing all of the world's nuclear materials from theft or diversion within four years, and he hopes next week's summit will endorse that objective.
Gary Samore, Obama's chief adviser on limiting the spread of nuclear weapons, said a number of countries are expected to announce Monday that they are taking unilateral actions.
That may include plans to retrofit nuclear reactors to use a form of uranium fuel less easily converted to use in weapons. Some countries are expected to announce their intent to sign international conventions on nuclear security.
The 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, for example, was amended in 2005 to require states to protect such materials even when not in transit. The convention also expands measures to prevent nuclear smuggling.
But not enough countries have approved the 2005 amendment to put it into force, and the White House hopes to persuade countries attending the summit to accept it.
Sharon Squassoni, a nuclear expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, estimates there are 500 tons of weapons-usable materials in civilian and military reactors that could be targets for sabotage or diversion.
The summit's main focus, Samore said, will be on keeping two key ingredients for a nuclear bomb — plutonium and highly enriched uranium — from traffickers and terrorists.
Thomas Cochran, senior staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Friday that the top security priority should be highly enriched uranium, which is easier than plutonium to engineer into a weapon.
"A crude but potentially devastating nuclear device can be made with as much of this material as would fit in a six-pack of soda cans," Cochran said.
Fear of nuclear terror crystallized after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Obama last week declared that it poses a graver danger than the risk of war between nuclear nations.
Not all countries share the Obama administration's view of the threat; some worry more about countries like Iran, North Korea and Syria illicitly developing a nuclear arsenal.
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said Friday that the threat of nuclear-armed terrorists is urgent.
"We know that terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, are pursuing the materials to build a nuclear weapon and we know that they have the intent to use one," Rhodes said.
Clinton described the threat in stark terms Friday in a speech in Louisville, Ky.
"A 10-kiloton nuclear bomb detonated in Times Square in New York City would kill a million people," Clinton said, referring to a weapon with explosive power about half that of the U.S. bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki in August 1945, killing an estimated 80,000.
"Many more would suffer from the hemorrhaging and weakness that comes from radiation sickness," she added. "Beyond the human cost a nuclear terrorist attack would also touch off a tsunami of social and economic consequences across our country."
Although Iran will not attend the summit, its nuclear program is likely to come up there. Obama is pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for additional sanctions against Iran.
Pretty ineffective bunch them teabaggers
Tea Party target Stupak won’t seek re-election
Congressman did deal over abortion funding to pass health care bill
The Associated Press
updated 2:30 p.m. ET, Fri., April 9, 2010
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Rep. Bart Stupak, an anti-abortion Democrat targeted for defeat by tea party activists for his role in securing House approval of the health care overhaul, said Friday he's retiring after 18 years in Congress now that his main legislative goal has been accomplished.
Stupak said at a news conference that he decided within the last 36 hours not to seek a 10th term. He said he had considered retirement for years but was persuaded to stay because of the prospect of serving with a Democratic majority and helping win approval of the health care overhaul.
"I believe every American has a right to health care," Stupak said. "We did it."
Stupak, 58, told The Associated Press earlier that he believed he could have won re-election. He insists he wasn't being chased from the race by the Tea Party Express, which is holding rallies this week in his northern Michigan district calling for his ouster.
"I've struggled with this decision. I've wanted to leave a couple of times, but I always thought there was one more job to be done," Stupak said at the news conference. "Either I'll run again and be there forever, or it's time to make the break and move on."
His decision comes amid a string of recent retirements by Democrats, including Reps. William Delahunt of Massachusetts and Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, and Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.
Three little-known hopefuls are seeking the GOP nomination for Stupak's seat, and he faced a primary challenge from a Democrat who supports abortion rights. Stupak said he was tired after 18 years in office and wanted to spend more time with his family.
He said he's committed to helping Democrats retain the seat and that his announcement gives other Democratic hopefuls time to organize and get their names on the primary election ballot before the May 11 filing deadline.
He also mentioned threats he has received because of his stance on various issues.
"The three o'clock in the morning phone calls, that's people outside the district," he said. "That's not my district. I know these folks. They wouldn't do that. You sort of just ignore it and move on."
Stupak said the decision whether to retire was the main topic of conversation when he, his wife and son traveled to the NCAA Final Four to cheer on Michigan State.
"It allowed my family — the three of us — to sit down," he said. "There's a lot of windshield time between Menominee and Indianapolis."
A political moderate, Stupak is known for an independent streak that sometimes put him at odds with his party's leadership. He voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and an assault weapons ban in the 1990s, despite appeals from then-President Bill Clinton.
During the health care debate, Stupak emerged as spokesman and chief negotiator for Democrats who withheld support from Obama's plan because they feared it would allow public funding of abortions.
At one point, Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer shouted out "baby killer" during a floor speech by Stupak.
Just hours before the vote, Stupak reached an agreement with the White House under which President Barack Obama would issue an executive order confirming that the legislation would not allow federal funding of abortion. With that, Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats voted for the bill, sealing its passage.
Since then, Stupak has become a symbol for critics of the overhaul. The Tea Party Express labeled him its No. 2 target for defeat after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
"The surprising announcement that Congressman Bart Stupak is abandoning his campaign for re-election shows the power of the tea party movement," said a statement posted Friday on the group's Web site.
Stupak was the first "casualty" of the health care overhaul vote, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser said in a statement.
Michigan's 1st District is notoriously difficult turf for anyone trying to unseat the incumbent. Measuring 600 miles wide, it encompasses about half the state's land mass — including the entire Upper Peninsula — and has no major media market. The largest city, Marquette, where Stupak announced his retirement, has about 20,000 residents.
Stupak has routinely won re-election by wide margins, defeating former state Rep. Tom Casperson with 65 percent of the vote in 2008.
He acknowledged the criticism he received over the health care overhaul had taken a toll, but said he had thrived during the debate. What wore him down, he said, was the grind of constant travel across his sprawling district.
Stupak said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had urged him to seek re-election. Republicans represented his rural, blue-collar district for nearly three decades before he won in 1992, and his departure will create a strong opportunity for the GOP.
He said a moderate Democrat would have a good chance.
"There are a lot of great Democratic elected officials and activists throughout the entire district. I'm confident we'll have a very strong candidate," said Mark Brewer, chairman of Michigan Democratic Party.
Democrat Connie Saltonstall, an ex-teacher and ex-Charlevoix County commissioner, was endorsed last month by the National Organization for Women in her bid to win the 1st District seat.
"This retirement presents Republicans with a very promising opportunity heading into the November elections," said Tom Erickson, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. They're certainly going to have a tough time trying to hold on to this seat."
Click on the title to get the whole story over at Weasel Zippers.
Germany: intelligence warns of "terrorist families"
Parents travelling with children have in the past raised less suspicion than single men or women travelling to and from Germany.
...Authorities say the new breed of terrorist - including Germans who have converted to Islam - even travel with babies to the 'bandit country' of Waziristan.
'Authorities are also concerned by the sheer speed with which this third generation are radicalised and their abrupt readiness to disappear and start a new life in a terror training camp,' said a report in Der Spiegel magazine on Monday.
Jihadi families! Isn't this gorgeous?
The report by Der Spiegel can be read here.
Afghanistan: Support for Taliban Hits 25%
Polling data compiled by the Canadian Military shows 25 per cent of respondents said they had a favourable view of the Taliban, including six per cent with a “very favourable” opinion.
The Canadian Press reports the data says “International economic assistance is heavily preferred over military assistance.”
The survey was part of the 2009 military spring campaign assessment.
The survey also finds one-third of respondents said they had an unfavourable impression of foreign soldiers.
25% of support means than one out of four have a favourable view of the Taliban while one out of three have the opposite opinion of foreign troops, that is NATO. It's an important part of the population, specially because there is a growing trend of support for the Taliban:
"The Taliban (is) not winning public consent," said the study. "Afghans still strongly prefer the (government of Afghanistan), but confidence is waning due to lack of security, justice, basic services."
The report's analysis focused on the tide of rising violence that followed the spectacular attack on Sarpoza prison in June 2008, a seminal event that ground commanders hoped would only dent public confidence.
As it turned out, the perception of insecurity it created was long-standing and the numbers did not "bounce back" as expected, the survey noted.
"Fewer Kandaharis report feeling safe than in previous polls; more believe that security is worsening than improving," said the study, carried out in February 2009.
So, this means that actually the Taliban are not winning the people's favour, but rather that the foreign troops are losing it.
Ajmal Samadi, director of the Human Rights group Afghanistan Rights Monitor, defends that foreigners have not understood Afghan politics and that there are people in the country who considered that, even if they were harsh, they made them feel strong and protected.
Meanwhile Kandahar's governor considers that people in villages are "hostages" of the Taliban and that they can't do anything but supporting them.
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- Martin: Harper joins chorus condemning Afghan leader's defection threat (calgaryherald.com)
- Karzai's threat to join Taliban misunderstood: envoy (ctv.ca)
- Karzai seeks tribal support for military operation (cnn.com)
In the air around Obama this morning, April 9th 2010
LIMBAUGH: Obama 'inflicting untold damage on this great country'...
PALIN: Obama's Nuke Stance Like Kid Who Says 'Punch Me in Face'...
LIZ CHENEY: Obama Putting America on 'Path to Decline'...
SAVAGE: 'Obama The Destroyer'...
Netanyahu cancels trip to Obama's nuclear summit
ROB THY NEIGHBOR: HALF OF HOUSEHOLDS PAY NO FED INCOME TAX...
IRAN VOWS TO STRIKE USA IF ATTACKED...
Uruguay's new leader strengthens ties with Chavez...
In the meantime, the tea party = slightly more polite KKK meme seems to be getting a slight rest in favor of this growing theme as desperation at not being able to reason away raging housewives, working husbands, and working singles FAILS:
"It's all just politics as usual."
That the Tea Party is fundamentally a way for conservatives to reclaim the reins of power while the brand-damaged Republican Party undergoes a right-wing makeover.
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- Why is everyone trying to pretend that the Tea Party is separate from the conservative movement? (crooksandliars.com)
- Tea Party Eclipses Obama Popularity (dakotavoice.com)
- Chris Matthews: Would Lincoln Be A Republican Today? (newsbusters.org)
- Media Myth Debunked: More People Agree With Tea Party's Views Than Obama's (newsbusters.org)
For Anonymous & Epa6:42:00 a.m. permanent link# 2 Comments
TELLS YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAIR
We supposed to have sympathy for this POS?...
The Council on American Islamic Relations in Detroit has released autopsy photographs taken of a Detroit Imam shot to death by federal authorities late last year.
Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was shot 20 times by federal authorities during an attempt to arrest him. Police say he fired first.
The photos (warning: photos may be graphic) show Abdullah’s body handcuffed in the warehouse where he was shot, and also shows injuries CAIR officials say could have been caused by an FBI dog. A police dog assisting in the arrests was shot to death that day. CAIR says it received 75 photographs, but has only released five of them.
CAIR’s Executive Director Dawud Walid says on his blog that he intends to ask Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D to review the photographs and autopsy report.
“One of America’s foremost forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D. will be reviewing the photos along with an autopsy to give an independent analysis of the initial autopsy report including his expert opinion about the raw wounds on Abdullah’s face.”
JERUSALEM, April 9 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a planned trip to Washington next week for President Barack Obama's 47-country nuclear security summit conference.
He made the decision after learning Egypt and Turkey intended to raise the issue of Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal at the conference, a senior government official said on Friday.
Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East but has never confirmed or denied that it possesses atomic weapons. It has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, or NPT.
Netanyahu saw Obama at the White House late last month for talks on the stalled Middle East peace process with the Palestinians, but they failed to see eye to eye and relations between the two leaders remain at a low ebb.
"The prime minister has decided to cancel his trip to Washington to attend the nuclear conference next week, after learning that some countries including Egypt and Turkey plan to say Israel must sign the NPT," the official said.
Israeli media said Netanyahu feared that Islamic countries attending the summit would try to shift its focus from nuclear terrorism to a concerted attack on his country's presumed nuclear weapons capacity.
Conservatism is the New Progressivism
The first chapter of Mr. Ted Honderich’s 2005 book Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair?floats several meanings of the term ‘conservatism.’ He proposes each tentatively and then shoots them down. Charmingly conveying his argument in the form of an honest inquiry, Honderich problematizes the concept of conservatism in order that we might become surer of its meaning. This article will use the same method to clarify culturism’s position within the conservative world. And, in doing so it will show that Honderich fails to note convervatism’s being oriented towards the future.
In his very thoughtful inquiry Honderich questions what the mission to conserve traditions implied in the word conservatism entails. One problem concerns how far back the proposed time period conservation seeks to maintain lays. Does conservativism require we reinstall the West’s old distinction between nobles and commoners? Then again, after how long does a feature become a tradition? Fifty years after the implementation of Obama’s health care legislation will it become a tradition conservatives will seek to preserve? Honderich casts about for a method of distinguishing the nature of values beyond their age.
Honderich’s inquiry reviews Edmund Burke’s foundational book Reflections on the Revolution in France. Written while the French revolution was underway, Burke contrasted change and reform. In the age of Obama, it was refreshing to remember Burke’s attack on change. The agenda of change, in Burke’s usage, sweeps away too much of the past in the name of the new, whereas reform conserves much of the past as it improves society. As Burke predicted the French Revolution became a nightmare because it tore up all of the relationships that helped stabilize society.
But the author then honestly interrogates Burke’s concept of reform. He asks if some self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives’ efforts to get rid of government programs constitute change? Casting out programs such as welfare would mean a radical disjunction with present policies. Both Reagan and Thatcher brought on great changes. And, if this, again, constitutes a return to the 1900s, do we want to deny that some progress and innovations have happened that deserve adoption? Thus Honderich finds the facile definition of conservative as one who wants to conserve traditions to be inadequate. The culturist answer to his problem would come from noting the future orientation of our past.
The West, ironically, has a long- standing, even ancient, tradition of being progressive. That is our past has traditionally aimed at creating a better tomorrow. Our very history shows a struggle towards ever more progressive values. We have struggled against the odds to reignite Athens’s view that men can self-govern. The West has vindicated the right of men to dissent. We have embraced the goal of women’s rights and the separation of church and state. To support our civilization, to guard it by conserving its cultural and economic foundations, is to protect progressivism in the world. It is to conserve the past in the name of passing “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
Being appreciative and protective of our progressive culture requires that we once again adopt the traditional Western civilization narrative wherein America stands as a light unto nations. We must look back with pride upon our progressive history. Conservatives have not fought the textbook wars in order to bring us back to a repressive golden age. They have done so to sustain the only progressive civilization on earth. In a world full of Jihadis, preserving America means preserving progressive values such as the separation of church and state. In a world where China is ascendant, protecting America means allowing freedom in a non-racist state that believes in freedom of speech and individual rights to survive.
Those who recognize that liberty is always under attack know that conservatism is the new progressivism. Multiculturalists look upon the Old World and tradition worshipping cultures with rose-colored glasses. They dream of a world where tradition locks men into their station within a stagnant community. But, worshipping the past blindly, looking with favor on nations that are not increasingly exulting the capacities of individuals, falls outside of our traditions. Western culturists affirm western culture. And they seek to distinguish liberty from license as the Greeks, Romans, Puritans, and Founding Fathers did. But that celebration of the heroic duty-bound past gets embraced with a view to securing our liberties. The West likes the new and improved. We locate our hopes in the future.