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The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects,
Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meanwhile At NCIS

NCIS as in the actual Naval Crime Investigative Service, not the CBS television series.

According to this Washington Post Muslims-whine-again piece, entitled in the newspaper's hard-copy edition as "Lifting the Siege on American Muslims" and "Compassion, prejudice and American Muslims" in the online edition:
...[L]ast week, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service stopped using an anti-Muslim film "Obsession: Radical Islam's Obsession with the West" to train agents.
Not unexpected, of course, what with BHO's outreach to the Islamic world and actual ban on certain terminology.

Here's an excerpt indicating the gist of the article cited above:
Today, though, American Muslims feel under siege. Too many feel the American dream is not for them.....
Muslims in the United States feel as if they're under siege?

Is that so?

Remember the days before 9/11, all those years during which we didn't need to have security all over the place, including taking our shoes off at airports, bag searches at museums, and barriers in front of our national memorials and museums? We have the jihado-maniacal Muslims to thank for all these inconveniences and delays.

Yet, American Muslims feel as if THEY are under siege.

We are living in the Age of Inversionism.

So far, the above-cited article has four pages of comments. Just one of those comments as a sample of the dust-rolling going on at the Washington Post's web site:
goodmam wrote:
I believe myself to be a tolerant person. I have been acquainted with Muslims as neighbors, colleagues, and students and knowing them has enriched my life. I know they represent the face of American Islam far more than the fanatics do. But I can never understand their thundering silence when the fanatics shout. As Americans, aren't they offended by deadly plots against their countrymen? Have they been cowed into silence? If the fanatics distort their religion, where is their outrage? I know that moderate people are usually outshouted by extremists, but Mr. Shater's remarks will have more power if Americans hear vigorous criticism and condemnation of Muslim terrorism from American Muslims.
5/15/2010 12:35:47 PM

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San Diego State religious studies department chair trying to rehabilitate Jim Jones (yes, of the Jonestown massacre)

From Jawa Report:

Hey, it was only 918 people who were forced to commit mass suicide by a politically-connected Democratic power player and Marx-spewing Leftist. Daniel Flynn at City Journal takes down Rebecca Moore's new book, "Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple".

It would be tempting to dismiss Moore, who in addition to her latest apologia has authored such titles as A Sympathetic History of Jonestown and In Defense of Peoples Temple. But like the group whose reputation she seeks to resuscitate, Moore does not operate on the margins, however marginal her views. She chairs the department of religious studies at San Diego State. When the subject of Jonestown arises, as it did recently on the 30th anniversary of the events, media outlets solicit her expertise. Stanley Nelson’s PBS documentary “The Life and Death of Peoples Temple,” for instance, featured Moore as a talking head. And she published this latest book not out of her garage but through Praeger, a respected imprint of a major publishing house. However reassuring it is to believe that all cranks are tinfoil-hatted denizens of the furthest recesses of the Internet, the examples of Jones, the darling of the San Francisco power structure, and of Moore, a tenured, media-designated authority, prove that what’s comforting isn’t always what’s true.

For years prior to Jonestown’s cataclysmic finale, unheeded voices, such as journalist Les Kinsolving’s, warned America about the raven-haired preacher feted by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen, supervisor Harvey Milk, and mayor George Moscone. In her topsy-turvy narrative, Moore seems most concerned with refuting these lonely critics. She calls the relatives of Jonestown members who exposed oppression within the Temple “apostates” and “defectors,” faulting them for failing to “consider the effect these actions might have upon residents of Jonestown.” The slain Congressman Ryan didn’t provide adequate notice for his trip and embarrassed the Temple by bringing an entourage of journalists, Moore claims. “Violence erupted because Jonestown residents believed that Ryan jeopardized their ultimate concern, which was to be in solidarity with all oppressed peoples, but especially with African Americans. He represented the power of the state and its ability to destroy the community.” This is the kind of tripe that one would have expected to hear over a Jonestown loudspeaker. Here it is in a book by a department chair at a respected university.

Here's a lesson in how an intelligent person, with, one would assume, a real grasp of the historical facts, can still cling to wrong side on what appears to be a simple issue. Jim Jones coerced his followers (918 of them) to drink poison Koolaid and die. And yet, this SDSU professor seeks to make a hero of him.

Similarly, we read professors, politicians (ex-Presidents) tell us that "Israel is an Apartheid state", when the truth is, Israel has Arab-Muslim Parliament members and Muslims live better in Israel than they do in the Palestinian territories. Additionally, Palestinians really do insist that no Jews live in Gaza or the West Bank. That's right; No Jews allowed. But somehow, to our intellectual betters, Israel is the Apartheid State.

And, when Israel kills a few Palestinians in targeted military actions in response to Palestinian violence, we are told there is a genocide going on against the Palestinian people. The other day, the head of the UN Human Rights Commission said the blockade of Gaza has created a situation worse than the Nazi death camps of the Holocaust. Meanwhile, this same UN representative seems to care not at all that the Arab Muslim government of Sudan has killed nearly 2.5 million black Christians and Animists in a real 25 year-long genocide.

One would hope that, if there is a hell, this SDSU professor, this UN Human Rights Commission rep, and this ex-President would be forced to live with the Palestinians and the Janjaweed.
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A Brief Aside on Power

Guest Commentary by Edward Cline:

In my May 7th commentary, “’Civility’ per Obama,” I noted that:

One can’t question someone’s views or positions without delving into his motives and patriotism. (e.g., “Sir, if you know the idea is patently fraudulent, stupid, and costly, why are you for it?”) (Emphasis mine)
I would like to briefly expand on that comment, for it is important to understand the motivation of those responsible for what can only become a catastrophe for this country. It is important for Americans to grasp it, whether they are for or against ObamaCare or any other law this administration in particular authors and imposes on the country. It is crucial that men understand what moves those who advocate the blatantly demonstrable irrational. If more Americans understood it, perhaps the allure of state-managed existence in any realm would diminish and vanish, and its advocates and supporters be exposed for the monsters they are.

I characterized the words, actions, and attitude of President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and others in Washington, concerning their desire to have ObamaCare and other statist legislation passed and enacted as law, in resolute disregard for individual rights, Constitutional limitations on executive and Congressional power, and of the proven opposition to their ends, as scabrous arrogance. It is why they are “for it” in the face of all the evidence, available to anyone, that their legislation can only lead to destruction, misery, and impoverishment.

The key to such legislation is the role of compulsion, or force. The arrogance is rooted in the power to compel one to act against one’s values, against one’s own life. The monsters wish to truly GOVERN people, not let them alone. In the past I have criticized the sloppy and dangerous usage of the terms govern and democracy, and will not repeat myself here. But, free men have no need of the monsters. Men who agree that they should be “governed” or “ruled” by them are of no interest to them, either. Novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand wrote in her 1941 pamphlet, “To All Innocent Fifth Columnists“

The Totalitarians do not want your active support. They do not need it. They have their small, compact, well-organized minority, and it is sufficient to carry out their aims. All they want from you is your indifference.
And one’s indifference can complement the indifference of the legislators. Such indifference, as Rand explains, is a silent sanction of their actions and policies.

But free, independent men are truly hated by our "leaders," who are power-lusters first class. "Governing" otherwise free men -- making them think and act in ways free men might not otherwise think or act -- is their chief and principal end. If the element of compulsion or force were not woven into their laws, they would have no interest in such legislation -- they would have no reason to act, no reason to seek office, no reason to persuade their future serfs and slaves that it is in their best interests to become serfs and slaves.

Ellsworth Toohey, in The Fountainhead, in answer to Peter Keating’s question of why Toohey wanted to kill the hero, Howard Roark, answered:

“I don’t want to kill him. I want him in jail. You understand? In jail. In a cell. Behind bars. Locked, stopped, strapped -- and alive. He’ll get up when they tell him to. He’ll eat what they give him. He’ll move when he’s told to move, and stop when he’s told. He’ll walk to the jute mill, when he’s told, and he’ll work as he’s told. They’ll push him, if he doesn’t move fast enough, and they’ll slap his face when they feel like it, and they’ll beat him with rubber hose if he doesn’t obey. And he’ll obey. He’ll take orders. He’ll take orders!”*
That is the fundamental, base, evil motivation of those who wish to employ force, dramatized and expressed by Toohey, who relishes the prospect of seeing Roark -- or anyone like him -- in fetters and not free to live his own life.

You will take orders. You will be locked, stopped, and strapped, and you’ll do as you’re told if you wish to stay alive, whether you are a complacent altruist or intransigent individualist. You will obey, else you will go to jail -- or live in a country that has been transformed into a jail; that is the true meaning of Obama’s slogan, “hope and change,” all of his “audacious” policies and appointments and laws are geared to that aim -- or see your bank accounts cleaned out by the government, or your house seized by it, or your wages garnisheed at the whim of an anonymous bureaucrat.

You will help Obama, Pelosi, Reid et al. make their “ideal” society work, even though they know, but do not tell you, that jails and prisons of whatever size -- whether it is a county jail or a federal prison or a whole country -- are not independent, self-sustaining organizations, which must collapse because production is not their purpose. Witness the campaign of conquest of the Nazis when they became fully-empowered totalitarians. Their purpose is to contain and control -- and to exact obedience from its inmates, regardless of their willingness or recalcitrance, regardless of their economic status or profession, regardless of the expected consequences, which is destruction. For a dramatization of those consequences, see Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged.

That is the long and short of the motivation behind those who would “govern” Americans. It is as important an issue to understand as the fallacy and evil underlying any collectivist system. That motivation is intimately and inexorably linked to the idea of force.

*Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943). New York: Penguin/Plume Centennial Edition, 2005, p. 663.

Crossposted at The Dougout
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Sarah Palin holding a T-shirt related to the G...
Jeopardy Question:Why, despite everything, do we just eat up Sarah Palin?

At the NRA:

"Some of these animal activists are just...crazy," she said. "They think we're killing Bambi's mother. I love animals, but in Alaska, Bambi's mother is dinner."
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Cartoonist Lars Vilks House Aflame in Assassination Attempt

From Atlas Shrugs:

Tolerance and plurality, right? A shrine to jihad on the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center. We are accomplices in Muslim expansionism.

This arson attempt is fresh on the heels of the attack on Lars Vilks: Artist Attacked by Muslims During Free Speech Lecture UPDATE: VIDEO ALLAHU AKBAR!

Why was there no protection around his house? How can we, as free men, sanction this? It is matter of time before they get him.

And this is not merely merely a "Danish" jihad, this is global. You must remember that the nowVilks cartoon infamous American Jihad Jane was conspiring with other devout Muslims to murder Vilks. How many Van Goghs must we mourn before we understand we have a terrible war on our hands? Untie our hands.

Arson attack on Lars Vilks

Last night attackers tried to burn Muhammad cartoonist's house down

COPENHAGEN May 15 2010

By Uwe Max Jensen, Sappho.dk During the night of May 15 unknown perpetrators smashed a window in Lars Vilks' house in Scania, Sweden, poured gasoline into the bouilding and proceeded to set fire to it.

By coincidence the artist spent the night with his girlfriend and escaped with his life.

After being alerted by the Swedish police, Vilks has returned to his house, where Sappho.dk contacted him at noon today.

"The place is swarming with police and I can talk no further right now," Vilks told Sappho's reporter. In the background one can hear policemen talking to each other.

Sappho is following the case and will soon have a man on the spot in Scania.

Lars Vilks' blog is up and running again after being hacked following Islamicist attacks on him at Uppsala University last Tuesday.

In a comment to this latest attempt on Vilks' life, the President of the Free Press Society Lars Hedegaard expresses his astonishment.

"How was possible for these murderers to gain access to Vilks' house only a few days after a mob assaulted him at Uppsala University? What are the Swedish police and political class up to? As far as I know not a single Swedish politician has had a word to say about the attack in Uppsala. Is the truth that Swedish power-holders prefer to see Vilks killed in order to send a message to other critics of the Swedish multicultural idyll?"

“Now is the time to demonstrate practical solidarity. We can all do that by purchasing the drawing his would-be murderers are so angry about," says Lars Hedegaard.


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Avowed “Socialist” California High School Teacher Calls California “Stolen, Occupied Mexico”

From Weasel Zippers:

Here is video of FOX News’ Griff Jenkins talking with California High School teacher Ron Gochez who is an avowed “Socialist.” The teacher is featured in a YouTube video posted three years ago which shows him railing against “Capitalism, imperialism, white racist people, and calls for open revolution.”

In fact, in the video (played during this video report) the teacher actually called the state of California “stolen, occupied Mexico.”
Damn straight, we stole Mexico. And, that's a good thing, cuz if it weren't America, it would be fucking Mexico.

This dumbass motherfucker ought to think about why his people keep coming here. It's because they can make money ... so they can raise families ... so they can educate their children ... so their children can live a better life than they were able to afford.

All thanks to Capitalism, which Ron Gorchez says he does not like.

I don't much care what Ron Gorchez likes or dislikes. I do care, however, that the government of Mexico destroys the lives of tens of millions of it's citizens every generation; human beings who come into this world to work, live and die with no hope. The Mexican government is a vampire sucking on the blood of it's people. It's time to put an end to Mexico.


And, while we're at it, fire that idiot Ron Gorchez.
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How Much Manure Does a Horse Produce?

Every once in awhile, I check out our SiteMeter to see where our readers are coming from. We get readers from YidWithLid, Jihad Watch, Weasel Zippers, and other anti-Jihad sites.

And, we also get readers from Google Searches.

Today, I clicked on one of those Google Searches to see what the person had been searching. Here's what it was:

How Much Manure Does A Horse Produce?

Is that funny, or what? I would even say it is appropriate.

Maybe some of our readers, who sometimes get offended by things I write, ought to take note:

Infidel Bloggers Alliance is the number ten Google Search for "How Much Manure Does a Horse Produce.

All I've got to say is, this is not the first time I've been compared to a horse.
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Iron Maiden
Two Minutes to Midnight

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Michael Travis sent this over:

Rumors of Armageddon

By Hollis Armstrong

The world now stands at the precipice of a global conflagration, waiting for the smallest trigger to set off the unstoppable momentum that will lead inevitably to World War III.

One of its most volatile centers is Lebanon, where the nexus of international terrorist activity is coming to a head so rapidly, that the leaders of mighty nations barely understand what is happening or how dramatically it will define their own futures. Under the banner of Hezbollah, Lebanon has turned into an armed camp, supplied largely by Iran and Syria. It is here that the next global war is most likely to begin.

This will be a battle between the most fundamental views of life. On one side, the modern Western view, based on the democratic principles of personal freedom and opportunity, and on the other, the archaic Islamist view, based on theocratic principles of cultural superiority and Islam’s rightful domination over every other world view.

This is not your grandmother’s Hezbollah. The systematic takeover of the Lebanese government through something considerably less than democratic process was designed and financed by the Iranian government. And while truck bombs and suicide bombers are not a thing of the past, they have been superseded by tens of thousands of sophisticated rockets and missiles, heavy weapons, WMD from Iran, and unmanned aircraft capable of deploying lethal payloads.

The recent acceleration of arms buildup in Lebanon was masterminded and fully supported by Iran, with the fawning complicity of Syria. Supply lines were developed under close Iranian supervision. Large trucks carrying tarp-covered missiles have been seen throughout southern Lebanon, delivered across the Syrian border to the heavily wooded valleys that dot the landscape. These valleys have been declared closed military zones by Hezbollah, who guard them with heavy weapons and stern warnings to any local residents who wander into their territory (see sidebar). The large Iranian Revolutionary Guard presence throughout Lebanon makes the source of these activities crystal clear.

Under the noses of UN “peace-keeping” teams, Hezbollah has hijacked Lebanon, from the national government to the smallest of villages. They have accelerated the acquisition of land holdings by offering property owners up to five times the real value of their homes – in cash. In this way, there is scarcely any part of south Lebanon in which Hezbollah is not now firmly embedded, and their ubiquitous presence makes them difficult to find. In addition to providing a foothold in their expanding network of neighborhoods, their newly acquired property can be freely used for safe houses and the storage of weapons and materiel.

Arming Hezbollah for War
The weapons come to Lebanon by land and sea, according to eye-witness accounts. What this means to the rest of the world has been largely ignored, but the time is fast approaching when the West will need to take notice, because a third world war, sparked in this tiny corner of the world, will have a dramatic impact on us all.

Iran: Master Manipulator

A great deal of international attention has been given to Iran’s nuclear program. Far less has followed the rogue nation’s strides in ballistic missile development. As with its emerging nuclear program, Iran’s goal in advancing its missile technology (often hinted at by Iran’s raving President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) is to develop the capability for delivering nuclear warheads well beyond its borders.

Iran’s development of the Ghadr-1 missile, for example, based on modifications of the North Korean No-dong missile, has resulted in the creation of a long range, two-stage, solid-fuel missile. According to the Interna­tional Institute of Strategic Studies, Iran is also developing a new medium-range, solid propellant missile, the Sajjil-2, with a range of about 2,200 km and the potential capability of delivering a 750 kg warhead.

In Lebanon, Iran’s goals are apparently more modest, but no less dangerous to the global community: to arm to the teeth its local surrogate Hezbollah and create a military force that will incite a new war with Israel, and distract global attention from Iran’s own nuclear and military programs.

Toward that end, and working through its client-state Syria, Iran has, according to Israeli defense officials and other sources, delivered advanced M-600 rockets to Hezbollah. The M-600, a Syrian version of the Iranian Fateh-110, is a single-stage, solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile with at 200 - 300 km range, and can carry a half-ton warhead. Fired from Lebanon, the M-600 is capable of hitting targets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, both considerably less than 200 km from key points in south Lebanon, where the deployment and installation of large missile batteries has been recently accelerated.

The Unintended Consequences of a New War – A Scary Scenario

The recent flight of a Hezbollah drone over Israel may have been a shot across Israel’s bow and a warning of things to come. As Hezbollah continues to receive arms through its Syrian connection with Iran, it has been showing considerable restraint at the border, while engaging in other provocative activities, such as the drone flight. The question is whether the strategy of restraint is simply the imposed proverbial calm before the coming storm.

Hezbollah will strike – or cause Israel to strike – when it is ready (or, more to the point, when Iran decides it is time). This may be sooner than the experts think. The media have been predicting a war in July, but the best guess of this analyst is that it may well come sooner – a surprise to everyone but Iran and its clients who will make it happen.

Here is one possible scenario: The storm that brings Israel into a war with its northern neighbor will not limit itself to the two states this time. The conflict between Israel and Lebanon will be perceived by the Muslim world as a battle between good and evil, between Islam and the West, and it is likely to spread rapidly, first to Gaza and then to Muslim nations around the world. It will then likely spill into the streets of Western cities with significant Muslim populations, first in Europe, and then in the US, Australia, and the Pacific Rim. The response is likely to begin like the cartoon riots of 2006, which were carefully planned and orchestrated in cities around the world. If governments get involved, however, the conflict will escalate, with nations taking sides and engaging the world in a conflict of global proportions. Given the nuclear capabilities of the nations involved, there may be no way to stop a nuclear disaster of unimaginable proportions, once the first shot is fired.

Foreign Policy Needs to Change – and Time is Running Out

The misinformation currently circulating about events in Lebanon today is corrupting the diplomatic efforts of Western nations, turning good intentions into bad foreign policy. One cannot negotiate with any terrorists, because their motivations are diametrically opposed to our own, and because they ignore the ‘rules of war’ that govern our own engagement. They perceive our willingness to negotiate as weakness, when they are more than willing to send their sons and daughters to die in the name of their ideology.

When the terrorists are Islamist terrorists, however, the risks are higher, because the driving force is more than ideology alone. It is a religious fervor that welcomes death, with its practitioners truly believing that “Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope” (Muslim Brotherhood credo). This is far more dangerous, because the end game for them is the destruction of Western values. Fighting against people who are eager to die for their burning faith changes the rules of the game.

We must not ignore the growing military threat emanating out of Lebanon by assuming that the threat is limited to Israel. This is not about Israel, which is only Iran’s first target. It is about the future of the Western world, whose conquest in the name of Allah, and the dominance of Islam and shariah law over the world, is the ultimate target.

The time is long overdue for our leaders to wake up to the reality facing them today. How they meet this challenge will mark them as heroes if they succeed in defusing Lebanon and disarming Hezbollah. But history will brand them as consummate failures if they do not do all that is necessary to pre-empt the coming war.

Hollis Armstrong is an independent intelligence analyst working in the private sector from open and proprietary sources.


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Grrrrr. . . .

Put down the coffee. Remove all sharp objects from proximity.

Quit your job, paint a picture and your healthcare will be paid for.


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Home of Swedish Muhammad cartoonist attacked


The Associated Press
Saturday, May 15, 2010; 10:12 AM

STOCKHOLM -- The home of a Swedish artist who once drew a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog has been hit by a suspected arson attack, police said Saturday.

Lars Vilks, who lives in Nyhamnslage in southern Sweden, was not at home during the attack late Friday night and no one was reported injured.

It was the latest in a week of attacks on the 53-year-old cartoonist, who was assaulted Tuesday by a man while he lectured at a university and saw his Web site apparently attacked by hacker on Wednesday.

Police were alerted just before noon Saturday, as people passing by the artist's house noted that several windows had been smashed. When officers arrived, they discovered plastic bottles filled with gasoline and fire damage on the surface of the building. Attackers are also suspected of having tried setting the inside of house on fire, but the flames are thought to have fizzled out.

Police have no suspects in the case, police Spokeswoman Sofie Osterheim said.

Vilks, who often jokes about the threats he has received since his 2007 sketch of Muhammad, including from al-Qaida, said the latest attack doesn't raise his fears more than usual.

"I'm not really more afraid than what I think is realistic," he told the Associated Press over the telephone.

Vilks has faced numerous threats over his drawing. Earlier this year, U.S. investigators said Vilks was the target of an alleged murder plot involving Colleen LaRose, an American woman who dubbed herself "Jihad Jane," and who now faces life in prison. She has pleaded not guilty.

Vilks depicted Muhammad more than a year after 12 Danish newspaper cartoons of the prophet sparked furious protests in Muslim countries in 2006. Images of Muhammad, even favorable ones, are considered blasphemous by many Muslims.


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The We're-Not-Europe Party

From this op-ed at WSJ (hat tip to Hard Astarboard:
One of the constant criticisms of Barack Obama's first year is that he's making us "more like Europe." But that's hard to define and lacks broad political appeal. Until now.

Any U.S. politician purporting to run the presidency of the United States should be asked why the economic policies he or she is proposing won't take us where Europe arrived this week.

In an astounding moment, to avoid the failure of little, indulgent, profligate Greece, the European Union this week pledged nearly $1 trillion to inject green blood into Europe's economic vampires.

For Americans, this has been a two-week cram course in what not to be if you hope to have a vibrant future. What was once an unfocused criticism of Mr. Obama and the Democrats, that they are nudging America toward a European-style social-market economy, came to awful life in the panicked, stricken faces of Europe's leadership: Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown, Papandreou. They look like that because Europe has just seen the bond-market devil.


In the German legend, Faust was a scholar who sold his soul to the devil many years hence in return for a life now of intellectual brilliance and physical comfort. In our version of the legend, Europe's governments told the devil that, more than anything, they wanted a life of social protection and income fairness no matter the cost. Life was good. A fortnight ago, the bond devil arrived and asked for his money.


After Europe's abject humiliation, the chance is at hand for the Republicans to do some useful self-definition. They should make clear to the American people that the GOP is "The We're Not Europe Party." Their Democratic opposition could not attempt such a claim because they do not wish to.


A We're-Not-Europe Party would promise the American people to avoid and oppose any policy that makes us more like them and less like us.
My good friend Seth of Hard Astarboard commented:
Hmmmm, looks sorta’ like this “let’s be just like Europe” trip the lefties among us have been on for the last several years is coming back to bite them where the moon don’t shine, what with them trying to push us into the same barrel of socialism, in full view of the voting public, that’s dragging Old Europe’s collective economy down a deep, deep drain.

Good, let it bite ‘em hard and deep this November.
Now, can the GOP actually make the case so as to convince the electorate?

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I Am The NRA

Speaking at the NRA Annual Leadership Forum Sarah Palin had it right.

If they thought they could get away with taking our guns they would.

But the truth is they know it would be worse political suicide than even Obamacare. Gun ownership spans all parties.

As long as we keep the pressure on every attempt at gun control, no matter how seemingly innocuous, keep hammering away at them, then a gun grab is highly unlikely.

But when we let up, relax, think we're safe, is when we'll lose.

I'm proud to say I was a member of the NRA years before I ever owned any firearms.

I am the NRA.

ok, here I think she's talking about my gun club pals. . .

Bitter Clinger forever


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That's How I Like It

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Scramble! RAF warplanes are intercepting Russian nuclear bombers at least once a month

From the Daily Mail:

Streaking across the sky in front of a rising sun, the huge Russian jet heads towards Britain.

Capable of carrying nuclear weapons at supersonic speeds, it is a potential threat the RAF must tackle - and fast.

Tornado fighters are scrambled. They intercept the Blackjack bomber and shadow it until the Russian pilots turn for home.

Intercepted: A Tornado, bottom, shadows a Russian Blackjack bomber  off the Outer Hebrides

Intercepted: A Tornado, bottom, shadows a Russian Blackjack bomber off the Outer Hebrides

But this is no isolated incident. Astonishingly, such high-stakes games of cat and mouse are being played out in the skies off Britain at least once a month.

State-of-the-art British warplanes have taken to the air 64 times since 2006 to head off Russian aircraft, figures reveal.

They are being scrambled to repel the 1,380mph Tu160 Blackjack and Tu95 Bear bombers.

The RAF's elite 'Quick Reaction Alert' force is being called into action following the Kremlin's growing tendency to flex its muscles and test Western response times to its increasingly aggressive incursions.

Tornado F3 fighters from 111 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars in Fife and Typhoon F2s - also known as Eurofighters - from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire are on 24-hour standby.

The revelations come after the RAF was forced to axe the number of Tornado training flights in a bid to save £80,000 a month on fuel and other costs.

Defence chiefs admitted in March that RAF warplanes were scrambled no fewer than 20 times last year to warn off Russian bombers.

But the latest statistics, revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, uncover the true extent of Russian premier Vladimir Putin's sabre-rattling.

International experts believe the missions are an attempt by Russia to re-assert itself as a superpower after crippling budget cuts forced it to scrap the flights in the 1990s.

The supersonic Tu160, nicknamed the White Swan by its pilots, can carry up to 40tons of weapons including cruise or short-range nuclear missiles.

Mr Putin, himself a former Blackjack pilot, is suspected of ordering the training missions to the fringes of UK airspace.

Now the RAF has released a series of dramatic pictures taken by British airmen who tracked a Blackjack warplane for four hours as it snaked along the Outer Hebrides.

British fighter pilots intercepted the Russians in international airspace near Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, and took photographs of the planes in the dawn light.

The two Tornados shadowed the bombers for hundreds of miles before they turned away.

An RAF spokesman said that the revival of the training runs was not seen as a threat.

But Matthew Clements, Eurasia analyst of Jane's Defence News, said: 'Although ostensibly these are for training purposes they also provide Russia with a symbolic show that it is able to project its power beyond its own borders.'

Defence aviation analyst Mike Gething said: 'Each side is doing what it's supposed to do: they're training.

'The Russians have got a bomber force that they need to train, and they like long flights to this part of the world.

'But make no mistake - when those aircraft meet one another each side is taking pictures and monitoring radio conversations, and other emissions, from each other's aircraft.

'It's an intelligence-gathering exercise as much as a training exercise.'

A spokesman for the Russian Embassy said: 'It's just training flights - nothing more than that.

'As any other country, Russia has the right to conduct patrol flights in the international airspace-strictly abiding by the corresponding international regulations.

'Russian strategic aircraft have never entered into sovereign UK airspace or that of other states.'

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Ace of Spades On The Ground Zero Mosque: "It's a Symbol"

I'm glad to see someone from the Center Right blogosphere is getting pissed off at this.

From Ace:

Outrage: Muslims Building Super-Mosque At Ground Zero

Remember the guy who murdered his parents and then pleaded for mercy, on the grounds he was an orphan?

He just emailed me to say, "This is shameless."

Plans to bring what one critic calls a "monster mosque" to the site of the old Burlington Coat Factory building, at a cost expected to top $100 million, moved along for months without a peep. All of a sudden, even members of the community board that stupidly green-lighted the mosque this month are tearing their hair out.

Paul Sipos, member of Community Board 1, said a mosque is a fine idea -- someplace else.

"If the Japanese decided to open a cultural center across from Pearl Harbor, that would be insensitive," Sipos told me. "If the Germans opened a Bach choral society across from Auschwitz, even after all these years, that would be an insensitive setting. I have absolutely nothing against Islam. I just think: Why there?"

Why, indeed.

A rally against the mosque is planned for June 6, D-Day, by the human-rights group Stop Islamicization of America. Executive director Pamela Geller said, "What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack? Any decent American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn't dream of such an insult. It's a stab in the eye of America."

Called Cordoba House, the mosque and center is the brainchild of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. Executive director Daisy Khan insists it's staying put.

"For us, it's a symbol, a platform that will give voice to the silent majority of Muslims who suffer at the hands of extremists. A center will show that Muslims will be part of rebuilding lower Manhattan," said Khan, adding that Cordoba will be open to everyone.

It's a symbol for me, too, Khan. It's symbolic of how there is a lot of undeveloped space in Lower Manhattan, now had for discount prices, because a group of Muslims made a smoking crater of one of the world's most densely populated places and killed 2,996 people.

It's a symbol of the old rules of dhimmitude, whereby dhimmis' churches and buildings would be, by law, restricted to be shorter than Muslims', thereby symbolically affirming Islamic dominance. Except here, the dominance was first established by flying bomb filled with jet fuel.

In case you weren't sure of what the symbolism was intended to be, Khan's eager to remind you. The super-mosque -- the world's largest Temple of Murder -- is set to open on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 -- September 11, 2011.

Do I believe his crap about this being a voice of moderation? No, not at all.

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9/11 Families Outraged by Plans to Build Mosque Next to Ground Zero, Rip Muslim Group for “Trying to Rewrite History”

From Weasel Zippers:

It’s absurd when an Islamic group thinks it’s a good idea to build a giant mosque next to Ground Zero, but it’s a hundred times worse when they claim it’s “meant to heal the wounds of 9/11.” Why don’t they just spit on the victims graves while they’re at it?…

FOX NEWS- Outraged family members and community groups are accusing a Muslim group of trying to rewrite history with its plans to build a 13-story mosque and cultural center just two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamic extremists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001

“This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists,”said Debra Burlingame, whose brother died in the attack on the Pentagon that day.

“I think that it is incredibly insensitive and audacious really for them to build a mosque, not only on that site, but to do it specifically so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened,”said Burlingame, who is co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.

….Rauf insists the effort is meant to help heal the wounds of 9/11, “We’ve approached the community because we want this to be an example of how we are cooperating with the members of the community, not only to provide services but also to build a new discourse on how Muslims and non-Muslims can cooperate together to push back against the voices of extremism.”

But Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, says there are more productive ways to fight Islamic extremism.

“Even when they have the resources, they are using it for a place of worship, a cultural center for organizations,” he said. They are not using it for a counterterrorism research center.

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Medal For Restraint

The Military has implemented a new medal honoring those who show restraint in battle.

Here it is:

The Golden Pussy

What do you think? Would you want one?
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Toby Keith
Get Drunk and Be Somebody

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Islam Does Not Mean Peace

An indispensable post from Bernie at Planch's Constant:

One of the greatest deceptions and just another Islamic myth that Muslims foist on the kuffar (dirty infidels) is that Islam means peace. It does not. It never did. And it never will. A number of commenters in response to my article 13 Beautiful Muslim Women protested that true Muslims could not throw acid into a woman's face because, they allege, Islam means peace.

I responded:

Islam does not mean peace, it means submission just as Muslim means "one who submits" to God. Yes, the triliteral SLM [in Arabic] also means peace but not in the context of religion just as catholic means liberal or comprehensive but not in the religious sense.

But no Catholic would tell another person that Catholic means liberal because that would be deceptive and inaccurate.

Two kinds of Muslims parrot this "Islam means peace" nonsense:

  1. Those who do not speak Arabic, or are poorly educated or who recently converted who were taught this lie.

  2. Those who do know Arabic but practice al-Taqiyya, religion-sanctioned lying and deception for the benefit of Islam.
Those who are expert in pre-Islamic history know that the Semitic root SLM originally was used thousands of years BC with the meaning of safe or at peace.

... when used between unequals as between slave and master, loser and winner, supplicant and God, another SLM root covers the meaning of submission. For example, Musalam means "undisputed." Muslim means "One who submits." Islam means "submission to another." With regard to religion, Islam means submission to Allah and a Muslim is one who submits to Allah." Islam does not mean peace nor does Muslim mean "one who is peaceful."

When Mohammed sent letters to all the tribes not yet under his rule he ended the missives with "surrender and you will be safe." Which, to give you the taste of that pun in English: "MSLM (submit) and be SLM (safe)." Or in plain English: "Surrender or die."

In only that sense, does Islam mean peace, submit - and the result will be peace. Otherwise there is no peace.

It should be noted that the definition of submission in English when used in the context of one surrendering to another implies acceptance with fear. Which is exactly how Islam rules: by fear rather than by love. One cannot break the bonds of submission except at the pain of death.

While it is true that many American Muslims have been able to become non-Muslim without getting themselves killed, that is true only because the proportion of Muslims to non-Muslims is small. Every country with a few Muslims eventually becomes almost 99.99% Muslim, unless the Muslims are thrown out as they were in the Reconquista. Certainly one cannot become an unbeliever in a Muslim-majority country without getting his ass fatwahed.

Real Muslims do not believe that Islam means peace. CBN News traveled to London to talk with Anjem Choudary, a leading Muslim radical:

Jihad Watch, Anjem Choudary: "Islam does not mean peace. Islam means submission."

Although both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have declared that Islam is a religion of peace, Choudary begs to differ.

A Religion of Peace?

"You can't say that Islam is a religion of peace," Choudary told CBN News. "Because Islam does not mean peace. Islam means submission. So the Muslim is one who submits. There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam."
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Infidel Babe of the Week

Rachel Weisz.

She's probably a dumbass leftie, but wtf? This is a beautiful woman.

(midnight rider humbly submits a second picture for your consideration)

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The President of the UN General Assembly called the “siege on Gaza” worse than the Nazi camps of the past.

MEMRI reported, via EYE on the UN:

Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, a Libyan national, has been president of the United Nations General Assembly since June 2009. He has served three times as Libya’s representative to the United Nations, and since 2004 has been the Libyan Minister of African Union Affairs. Dr. Treki has previously held high level postings and ambassadorships for the Libyan government.

The following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Treki, which aired on Syrian TV on April 11, 2010.

Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki: “The siege on Gaza is a disgrace for the entire international community. It is a camp that is worse than the camps of the Nazis in the past. The world must uphold its responsibility. [...]

“The resistance that exists is undoubtedly legitimate, by any international standard. This is resistance against the occupation of land. The serious resistance in Lebanon forced the Israelis to withdraw. There is great resistance of the Palestinian people, in occupied Palestine, in general, and in Gaza, in particular. This ongoing resistance annoys the Israelis, and it has the right to persist until the Israelis fulfill their obligations, and until the Palestinian people are given the right to determine its destiny and establish its state.”

Israel withdrew from Gaza in August 2005.

Epaminondas comments:
Hmmmm, let's see...



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Muslim Woman Stabs Member of British Parliament At His First Meeting With Constituency?

It appears that is what happened.

Former UK Treasury Minister Stephen Timms Stabbed

Friday, former UK Treasury Minister and sitting Labour MP Stephen Timms was stabbed by a woman while attending his first advice session with his constituents since the 6th May general election, said officials.

According to police and Labour party officials, injuries sustained by Timms in the attack are not believed to be life-threatening. The Labour party in a statement said Timms was currently recovering at the Royal London Hospital, and is "in good spirits."

The incident happened at the Beckton Globe Library in east London when the former Treasury minister was holding a constituency surgery. Police officials said a 21-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the attack on the lawmaker, but the motive behind the attack is not yet clear.

"He has been taken to a local hospital with non-life- threatening injuries," the Metropolitan police said in a statement released Friday. "A 21-year-old woman has been arrested and is currently in custody."

Though the police did not provide any further details about the incident, British news agencies reported that Timms was stabbed twice in the abdomen. The suspect arrested in connection with the attack was reportedly an Asian woman with mental health problems.

54-year-old Stephen Timms, who was U.K. chief secretary to the Treasury under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, is currently the member of Parliament for the constituency of East Ham, which he has represented since May 1997. He was first elected to the British parliament in 1994 as a Labour MP for Newham North East.

Timms was the Financial Secretary to the Treasury until the Conservatives took power earlier in the week after successful power-sharing negotiations with the Liberal Democrats. He had secured a remarkable 70% of the vote polled in his constituency in last week's general elections, which saw the Labour party losing ground across the country.

Though the police did not provide any further details about the incident, British news agencies reported that Timms was stabbed twice in the abdomen. The suspect arrested in connection with the attack was reportedly an Asian woman with mental health problems.

54-year-old Stephen Timms, who was U.K. chief secretary to the Treasury under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, is currently the member of Parliament for the constituency of East Ham, which he has represented since May 1997. He was first elected to the British parliament in 1994 as a Labour MP for Newham North East.

Timms was the Financial Secretary to the Treasury until the Conservatives took power earlier in the week after successful power-sharing negotiations with the Liberal Democrats. He had secured a remarkable 70% of the vote polled in his constituency in last week's general elections, which saw the Labour party losing ground across the country.


Stephen Timms was attacked by the 21-year-old, who appeared to be wearing Muslim dress, at his regular Friday afternoon surgery in his East London constituency.

She lunged at him and stabbed him twice before being wrestled away by a security guard and arrested.Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for the Newham-based moderate Muslim organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran UK, said: 'We are shocked and saddened to hear that Stephen Timms MP has been stabbed.

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No 911 Mosque

From Pamela Geller atHuman Events

What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack?

Worse still, the design for the Ground Zero Mosque is a mockery of the World Trade Center building design. Islamic jihadists took down those buildings when they attacked and murdered 3,000 people in an act of conquest and Islamic supremacism. What better way to mark your territory than to plant a giant mosque on the still-barren land of the World Trade Center?

Any decent American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn’t dream of such an insult. It’s a stab in eye of America.

Joan Brown Campbell, director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua
Institution in upstate New York and former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, admitted that a mosque at Ground Zero could anger infidels. But it was worth it, she said: “Building so close is owning the tragedy.”

This best demonstrates the territorial nature of Islam. The very idea of building a mosque at Ground Zero is a manifestation of Islamic domination and expansionism.

The location is no accident. Just as it was no accident that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built on top of the Temple in Jerusalem. And what about the Hagia Sophia, the ancient cathedral of the church of Constantinople, which was the grandest church in Christendom at the time it was built in the 6th century and for 1,000 years thereafter? It was converted to a mosque in 1453 when the Muslims conquered Constantinople. Now it is a museum, but Islamic prayers are allowed in it while Christian prayers are not. It is now, of course, the Aya Sofya mosque—they didn’t change the name, just Islamified it.

The only Muslim center that should be built in the shadow of the World Trade Center is one that is devoted to expunging the Koran and all Islamic teachings of the violent jihad that they prescribe, as well as all hateful texts and incitement to violence. The only center in the heart of the World Trade Center should be devoted to a Vatican II for Islam—an initiative for genuine reform. That is the only kind of Islamic center that would be appropriate at Ground Zero, although it probably wouldn’t last two minutes before it would be bombed by devout Muslims.

Read it - and figure out how you can get to NYC June 6th to protest the monster.

Muslims praying at ground zero pointing to Mecca during 911 Never Forget Coalition

911 press 056

If you missed it at Atlas, this is an artists concept of what this sin will look like.

Look familiar?


midnight rider
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Aftermath Of Attack On Lars Vilks (With Subtitles)

This is instructive. If you want to understand how Muslims think, watch this video.

By the way, if you think my comment about how "Muslims think" is prejudice, then find me a Muslim who is willing to unequivocally condemn the Muslims you see in this video.
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UPDATED - Attorney General Holder Refuses to Use the Term “Radical Islam”

UPDATED - Culturist John says, Eric Holder suffers from


which is
a kind of a stammer that comes from thinking about how to lie about facts to make them palpable to multiculturalists when speaking.

Watch, as he pretends not to understand the question. Who does he think he's fooling?

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Martha Coakley: "It's Not Illegal To Be Illegal In Massachusettes"

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Poll: 71% of US Voters Say America’s a More Positive Force in World Than UN

From Weasel Zippers:

(Rasmussen)- Seventy-one percent (71%) of U.S. voters say the United States is a more positive force for good in the world today than the United Nations, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirteen percent (13%) disagree and say the international organization is a more positive force for good. Sixteen percent (16%) more are undecided.

But there’s a sharp difference of opinion between Mainstream voters and the Political Class. While 79% of Mainstream voters view America as a more positive force for good in the world today than the UN, just 45% of the Political Class agree.

Just 30% of voters see the UN as an ally of the United States while 16% regard the international organization as an enemy of the United States. Half (49%) place it somewhere in between.
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From the Astute Bloggers:
NYTIMES: E.P.A. Unveils Rule to Regulate Greenhouse Gases
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a final rule on Thursday for regulating major emitters of greenhouse gases, like coal-fired power plants, under the Clean Air Act.

Starting in July 2011, new sources of at least 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year and any existing plants that increase emissions by 75,000 tons will have to seek permits, the agency said.

In the first two years, the E.P.A. expects the rule to affect about 15,550 sources, including coal-fired plants, refineries, cement manufacturers, solid waste landfills...









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Islamberg Red House Falls Church Saylorsburg

It's not like we aren't screaming about the threat already here and waiting.

h/t Gateway Pundit:

Pakistani Taliban say America will "burn"

(Reuters) - Pakistani Taliban militants have warned America that it will soon "burn" while calling for Pakistan's rulers to be overthrown for following "America's agenda".

The United States is convinced Pakistani Taliban militants allied with al Qaeda and operating out of northwestern Pakistani border regions were behind an attempted car-bomb attack in New York's Times Square on May 1.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. If confirmed, it would be the first time their members were involved in an attempted attack in the West.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman, in a video message obtained by Reuters, repeated a claim of responsibility, saying:

"The movement proved what America could not have even imagined ... It was just an explosive-laden vehicle which did not explode.

"But it (America) will see, all imperialist forces will see that it will explode also and America will also burn," said the spokesman, Azim Tariq, sitting cross-legged on the ground in front of a rock face and speaking in Urdu.

America's allies would meet the same fate, he said.

"They can neither eliminate the mujahideen nor jihad, nor they can harm Islam," he said, referring to Muslim holy warriors and holy war.

"Instead, they will have to die themselves, they will be burned themselves, they will have to dig their own graves," said the spokesman, sporting a long black beard and turban.

Pakistan has been battling its homegrown Taliban, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban, and who have been accused of numerous suicide bombings killing hundreds of people across the nuclear-armed country.

But Tariq denied responsibility for bombings in public places, saying authorities wanted to malign the militants with such attacks.

Tariq spoke of fighting in various places in Pakistan saying his men were holding their own and the security forces, which he said were being paid with U.S. aid money, were suffering significant losses.

"They are being defeated," he said.


Tariq did not refer specifically to any attacks abroad, but said mujahideen "wherever they were, in any part of the world" were supporting each other.

Analysts have long doubted the Pakistani Taliban, operating out of remote mountains along the Afghan border, had the sophistication to plan and execute a bomb attack in a Western country on their own.

They can, however, support and train people who are able to travel to the West and carry out attacks. Tariq said the Pakistani people were being sacrificed for the sake of the United States by their own government, which he called un-Islamic.

"Now is a time to remove them from power as soon as possible. All their policies are anti-Islam, anti-people," he said.

"Jihad will continue as long as the ruling coterie and the unholy army continue to follow the American agenda," he said.

Pakistan has been cooperating with U.S. investigators trying to determine what links the Pakistani-American man suspected of carrying out the attempted Times Square bombing, Faisal Shahzad, had with militants in Pakistan.

The Washington Post reported that Pakistani authorities had arrested a man linked to the Pakistani Taliban who said he helped Shahzad travel to northwest Pakistan for bomb-making training.

It was not clear if the newspaper was referring to a man officials said earlier was detained in the southern city of Karachi on May 4.

The government has denied that any arrests have been made in connection with the case but security officials said the man held in Karachi, Mohammad Rehan, was suspected of having taken Shahzad to northwest Pakistan to link up with militants.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said despite Pakistan's recent improved efforts to tackle militants, it must do more.

"We think that there is more that has to be done and we do fear the consequences of a successful attack that can be traced back to Pakistan," she said.


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Speaking of Afghanistan and OBAMA'S STRATEGY ..from Michael Yon we have...


A new dispatch on Afghanistan is up: PENGUINS OF AFGHANISTAN

My intentions were to write several more dispatches about missions, yet there seems to be so little interest in Afghanistan that it hardly seems worth the time to write about real missions.

There is little embedded work coming from Afghanistan. McChrystal's censorship seems to be working. (For now.) He's losing the war and covering it up. The deception is easy when so few people are paying attention. We are losing the war. At this rate it will be lost.

Very Respectfully,

Michael Yon
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This Is Fuuuuucked Up

This is no time for diplomacy. We are fighting this war with more than just our hands tied around our balls.
Hit 'em, hit 'em again, until they go down, then kick 'em and kick 'em again until they can't or won't get up. And then keep hitting them until they start turning over the bad guys who may not be hiding in their houses but they certainly know where they are.
This is a fucking war. Fight the war until the enemy no longer can. Until it is destroyed. Utterly.
Security lies in overwhelming firepower.
Diplomacy failed a long time ago. . .


US War Aim: Protect Civilians First, Then Troops
Thursday, 13 May 2010 06:36 PM

A key to the U.S. approach to fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is this seemingly backward logic: The more aggressively you protect your own troops, the less secure they may be.
The idea is that troops who put themselves at risk to protect innocents will ultimately help decrease violence against Americans. That's because every time U.S. forces inadvertently kill or wound a noncombatant, it outrages the families and communities of the victims and erodes support for the battle against militants, strategists say.
So protecting civilians isn't only moral, it's considered good strategy.
The idea is enshrined in the 2006 U.S. Army and Marine Corps field manual on counterinsurgency, or COIN, which says: "Ultimate success in COIN is gained by protecting the populace, not the COIN force."
That partly explains why the U.S.-led NATO command in Afghanistan is considering recognizing soldiers for "courageous restraint" if they avoid using force that could endanger innocent lives — a proposal drawing fire in some military quarters.
It also shows why President Barack Obama, at his news conference Wednesday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, emphasized the importance — and the complications — of avoiding civilian deaths and injuries. Sometimes the strategy puts troops at greater immediate risk, he noted, but "that's a burden that we're willing to bear."
The specific rules for when troops may use deadly force in Afghanistan are classified, but commanders over the past year have publicly announced stricter guidelines limiting the use of airstrikes and night raids.
Although the policy is meant to advance the U.S. and NATO cause by building Afghan support at the grass roots, many soldiers and their families worry that by emphasizing restraint, the Pentagon is showing too much concern for the safety of foreign civilians and tying the hands of its own fighting force.
Some lawmakers also have expressed alarm.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, who opposes U.S. involvement in the war, said he is unconvinced after being briefed last week on the specific rules about when U.S. troops can use deadly force.
"You see these kids with their legs blown off and you just hope they were given a chance," he said. "They are too restricted. ... If you're going to send the U.S. military to fight, then let them fight."
The complicating factor, however, is that the final outcome of this fight will depend less on arms than on ideas, in the view of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and others who say that military force alone cannot defeat the Taliban or stabilize the country.
Iraq war veteran John Nagl, who helped write the 2006 counterinsurgency manual and is now president of the Center for a New American Security, acknowledges opinion is divided on the wisdom of making protection of civilians the first priority.
"This issue is at the heart of counterinsurgency and of the difficulty that soldiers have in conducting counterinsurgency," he said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "It's one of the fundamental dilemmas we dealt with in writing the counterinsurgency manual. The fact is that to achieve the mission, individual soldiers have to accept more risk."
Obama on Wednesday spelled it out in stark terms.
"Oftentimes they're holding fire, they're hesitating," he said of U.S. troops seeking to avoid civilian casualties. "They're being cautious about how they operate, even though it would be safer for them to go ahead and just take these locations out."
This carefulness, Obama said, is what the U.S. military stands for.
"And that puts us more at risk, and it makes it more difficult. But that's a burden that we're willing to bear."
Troops doing the fighting, as well as their families, can see it differently, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates heard when he appeared before a couple of hundred soldiers' spouses at Fort Riley, Kan., last Saturday.
One spouse told him that she was troubled that soldiers are being asked to think twice before shooting — "in my opinion, to second-guess a spur of the moment decision" in the face of danger.
"The first thing I'll tell you," Gates replied, "is that it is clear to every soldier in Afghanistan that he has every right to do whatever is necessary to protect himself. So if a soldier is under threat, he can do the appropriate thing," while keeping in mind the consequences of killing or hurting bystanders.
"If we kill an innocent civilian, we recruit a family for the Taliban," he said.
Gates said McChrystal, who devised stricter guidelines for avoiding civilian casualties when he assumed command last June, does not dispute that his approach means greater risks for U.S. soldiers in the short run.
But he argues that if the Afghan population is protected more reliably, there will be less sympathy and support for the Taliban. That, in turn, will weaken the insurgency.
"As you become more successful in winning over the local population ... over time the soldiers are actually safer," Gates said.
This has become conventional wisdom in today's U.S. military, a product in part of its experience in the early years of the Iraq war, where aggressive tactics only angered Iraqis and generated support for insurgents.
In Afghanistan, the enemy doesn't wear a uniform, leaving the U.S. trying to balance protecting its troops and winning the support of a local population that already complains of a menacing foreign presence.
During the February U.S.-led offensive in Marjah, for example, troops were told they could not fire on unarmed people, even if they emerged from Taliban hideouts after shooting erupted.
Some troops said that meant a militant could fire at them, set aside his weapon and walk away, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location.
"I understand the reason behind it, but it's so hard to fight a war like this," Lance Cpl. Travis Anderson, 20, of Altoona, Iowa, told The Associated Press at the time.
Army Col. Wayne Shanks, a U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, said Wednesday, "We absolutely support the right of our forces to defend themselves. Valuing restraint in a potentially dangerous situation is not the same thing as denying troops the right to employ lethal force when they determine that it is necessary."
Following the Marjah fight, McChrystal said the operation could have been over in one night but took three weeks because troops were so careful to avoid civilian casualties.


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