Archive for the ‘War on Terror’ Category

Pushing the Limits of Free Speech

Monday, June 9th, 2008

A 22 year old Charlotte, NC man has a rather unique hobby: maintaining an openly pro-Al Qaeda blog:

Samir Khan is the man behind — a radical Islamic site that praises Usama bin Laden and asks for Allah to “curse more American soldiers.”

The site posts videos of U.S. Humvees being blown up by roadside bombs in Iraq. It aims to inspire young Muslims to wage war against the West.

A New York Times article from last year also gives us more of Sahim Khan’s background:

Born in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khan was 7 when his family moved to New York City and settled into the Queens neighborhood of Maspeth.

He mirrored his teenage peers, from their slang to their baggy pants, until August 2001 when, at age 15, he said, he attended a weeklong summer camp at a mosque in Queens, which was sponsored by a fundamentalist but nonviolent group now known as the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA).

“They were teaching things about religion and brotherhood that captivated me,” Mr. Khan said. He said he went back to school knowing “what I wanted to do with my life: be a firm Muslim, a strong Muslim, a practicing Muslim.”

He prayed more regularly. He dressed more modestly. He stopped listening to music except for Soldiers of Allah, a Los Angeles hip-hop group, now defunct, whose tunes like “Bring Islam Back” continue to have worldwide appeal among militant youths.

He also befriended members of the Islamic Thinkers Society, a tiny group that promotes radical, nonviolent Islam by leafleting in Times Square and Jackson Heights, Queens.

After moving with his family to North Carolina in 2004, Mr. Khan said, he attended a community college for three years and earned money selling various products, including kitchen knives.

But he began spending chunks of his days on the blog he created in late 2005, “Inshallahshaheed,” which translates as “a martyr soon if God wills.” The Internet traffic counter, which rarely is able to measure the popularity of blogs because they do not have enough readers, ranked his among the top one percent of one hundred million Internet sites in the world.

If Mr. Khan’s extreme rhetoric has won him a wider audience, it has caused him problems at home. Last year, his father tried to pull him back to the family’s more moderate views by asking an imam to intervene.

“I tried to bring arguments from the Koran and scholars, and said, ‘Whatever you are thinking it is not true,’” said Mustapha Elturk, a family friend and the leader of IONA, the Islamic organization that first inspired Mr. Khan. But Mr. Khan did not budge, he said.

Mr. Khan said he separated from IONA over one matter: the organization would not support violent jihad without the endorsement of a Muslim nation’s leader, which Mr. Khan argues is unnecessary.

Mr. Elturk said, “His father and family are really scared that he might do something.”

It’s amazing that a young man, who was raised in the United States since he was seven years old, would so wholeheartedly embrace an ideology that is committed to the destruction of his country and the murder of his countrymen. This is not just some naive kid making excuses for atrocities; this is a man openly betraying his own country.

Such activities are legal under the First Amendment, but hopefully every law enforcement agency in the country has this traitor under surveillance, ready to take him down the second he crosses the line between words and deeds.

Sounds Like Another McClellan

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

The big news of the past few days seems to be former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book in which he is harshly critical of the Bush administration, particularly over the Iraq war. I don’t have very much to add to what has already been said, other than to wonder why, if McClellan’s current account his accurate, he didn’t do more to stop the war while he was part of the administration. And if he failed to stop the war, why didn’t he resign? Certainly if he is telling the truth about the evils of the administration, his conscience should have demanded it.

Anti-War Exploitation?

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Some Greeneville parents don’t want their son’s name used by anti-war activists:

The parents of an East Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq are suing an Arizona online merchant for including their son’s name on anti-war shirts that list names of troops killed in the war.

The lawsuit filed by Robin and Michael Read of Greeneville accuses Dan Frazier of Flagstaff of inflicting emotional harm by including Spc. Brandon Michael Read’s name on his shirts’ casualty lists. They say their son’s name was used without permission and that Frazier ignored a demand to remove his name.

I’m not a lawyer, but it does seem like a pretty shabby thing to ignore these mourning parents’ wishes.

The Worst Former President

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I try to be civil on this blog, but Jimmy Carter really is a scumbag. What is he trying to accomplish? Is he really trying to help–or just get himself some press attention?

Krumm to Iraq

Friday, April 4th, 2008

One of the best bloggers in Tennessee, Bob Krumm, is being deployed to Iraq as an analyst with the Multi National Corp-Iraq. Bill Hobbs provides the details. Krumm is one of the best political minds around and an all around nice guy. We should all remember him in our prayers.

The Swiftboating of John McCain

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

John McCain’s military service is under attack from some Democrats:

Steinem raised McCain’s Vietnam imprisonment as she sought to highlight an alleged gender-based media bias against Clinton.

“Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.

McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five-and-a-half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, “I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so.”

General Wesley Clark also chimes in:

In the national security business, the question is, do you have — when you have served in uniform, do you really have the relevant experience for making the decisions at the top that have to be made? Everybody admires John McCain’s service as a fighter pilot, his courage as a prisoner of war. There’s no issue there. He’s a great man and an honorable man. But having served as a fighter pilot — and I know my experience as a company commander in Vietnam — that doesn’t prepare you to be commander-in-chief in terms of dealing with the national strategic issues that are involved. It may give you a feeling for what the troops are going through in the process, but it doesn’t give you the experience first hand of the national strategic issues

Funny, Clark seemed to have a different opinion in 2004, when he ran for president almost solely based on his military experience.

It’s true that military experience alone does not qualify one to be president–indeed, nothing really prepares one for that job. But service does help one gain an understanding of how the military works, something which nobody can deny is important for a commander-in-chief.

It’s also strange that Democrats would raise such an attack given that neither of their candidates are particularly experienced. Campaign spin to the side, Hillary Clinton’s advantage over Obama in this area is only that she has served in the Senate for four years longer. The other experience she boasts was actually her husband’s. You’d think a feminist like Steinem would take issue with that.

McCain’s POW experience also speaks to his character. We all know he had the chance for release but refused to do so because he could not leave his fellow soldiers. He endured torture most of us could never imagine. To say, as Steinem does, that this is not a qualification to be president is bogus, and Steinem should be ashamed of herself.

Robot Wars

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The headline of this article made be chuckle at first glance, but the article itself makes a lot of sense:

Killer robots could become the weapon of choice for militants, a British expert said on Wednesday.

Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield said he believed falling costs would soon make robots a realistic option for extremist groups.

Several countries and companies are developing the technology for robot weapons, with the U.S. Department of Defense leading the way. More than 4,000 robots are deployed in Iraq.

I’m no expert in robotics, but it does make sense to use robots in battle since the could be programmed with superhuman abilities and would keep human casualties at a minimum. Of course, with very advancement in technology we come closer to the day of robot rights, another concept that sounds crazy today but may not in the future.

Sharia Law… in Britain?!

Friday, February 8th, 2008

If the Archbishop of Canterbury gets his way, it could happen:

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK “seems unavoidable”.

Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4’s World at One that the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

Scary stuff indeed. The idea that Britain should adopt Sharia law because some of its citizens don’t relate to its legal system is insane. If someone doesn’t relate to the British legal system, maybe they shouldn’t be in Britain. Britain is a free country; people may migrate elsewhere if they want.

Dr. Williams is probably correct that Sharia law would “help maintain social cohesion” but it probably wouldn’t be the kind of social cohesion he or his countrymen want. As leader of the Anglican Church, perhaps he should be working harder to reestablish Christianity in his nation instead of welcoming an Islamic theocracy (which aren’t usually very good for Christians). It’s hard to think of a more clear example of a quisling since, well, Quisling himself.

Via Dave Schuler; cross posted at Tennesseefree

Anti-war Groups Back Off

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Anti-war groups are reevaluating their goals:

After a series of legislative defeats in 2007 that saw the year end with more U.S. troops in Iraq than when it began, a coalition of anti-war groups is backing away from its multimillion-dollar drive to cut funding for the war and force Congress to pass timelines for bringing U.S. troops home.

In recognition of hard political reality, the groups instead will lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come.

It’s a start. It’s amazing how fast Iraq has vanished as a political issue. The recent successes of the surge have caused Democrats to think twice about raising it. But don’t expect them to say much positive about it. As Mort Kondracke notes:

None of the Democratic presidential candidates — or Congressional leaders — will acknowledge that the troop surge in Iraq creates the possibility that the United States could actually win the conflict and that their calls for hasty troop withdrawals may be misguided.

Indeed. Although the Democrats will still pander to their base (which is staunchly anti-war), they have toned down the rhetoric considerably. That’s not to say that it’s a winner for Republicans–President Bush’s unpopularity is due in large part to the Iraq war, but all sides seem to now recognize that it’s much more complicated than the talking points we get from the partisans of both sides. The issue will probably be a mild benefit for the Democrats in the 2008 elections, but they must be careful not to overstep. And it won’t win them the election, as it largely did in 2006.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree

Is It Treason?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Is a former congressman guilty of providing aid and comfort to the enemy? The AP reports:

A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

Details are vague at this point. His entry at Wikipedia (hardly an academic source) states he “takes an interest in conflict resolution, particularly in the Islamic world, and in recent years has tried to publicize the common ground between Christianity and Islam, particularly in the portrayal of Jesus in the Qur’an,” a reversal from previous, anti-Islamic positions he held. As of right now, this the most complete source of information about Siljander available that I could find. I suspect this will change in the coming minutes.

Given we know so little, it’s early to hang the guy yet. He could be completely innocent, or perhaps a complete idiot who was duped. But if these charges turn out to be true, he deserves to fry.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree