Permit mass murder, submit to injustice 1

Obama has stopped the prosecution of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, “a major al-Qaeda figure”, who coordinated the lethal attack on the USS Cole.

October 10 will be the 10th anniversary of the bombing.

The Washington Post reports:

The attack …  killed 17 sailors and wounded dozens when a boat packed with explosives ripped a hole in the side of the warship in the port of Aden.

In a filing this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department said that “no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future.”

The statement, tucked into a motion to dismiss a petition by Nashiri’s attorneys, suggests that the prospect of further military trials for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has all but ground to a halt, much as the administration’s plan to try the accused plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in federal court has stalled.

Why  has the prosecution of al-Nashiri been dropped?

We hear pundits on TV saying that it is because the US “needs Yemen”.

What for?

If  Yemen is a country that requires terrorist murderers to be acquitted, why does the US have anything whatsoever to do with it?

Oh, we remember now: Yemen is an Islamic country, and the president of the United States wants the country he leads to submit, submit, submit to Islam.

Slavery now 0

Right now, in 2010, slaves are owned by Arab masters.

Here is a documented case, a report about slaves and their suffering in the miserable land of Yemen:

Officially, slavery was abolished back in 1962 but a judge’s decision to pass on the title deed of a “slave” from one master to another has blown the lid off the hidden bondage of hundreds of Yemenis.

The judge in the town of Hajja, which is home to some 300 slaves, according to residents, said he had certified the transfer only because the new owner planned to free the slave. …

A 2009 report by the human rights ministry found that males and females were still enslaved in the provinces of Hudaydah and Hajja, in northwest Yemen — the Arab world’s most impoverished country.

Mubarak, who has seven brothers and sisters, has never set foot outside the village where he was born into a family which was inherited as slaves by their local master.

Sheikh Mohammed Badawi’s father had bought Mubarak’s parents 50 years ago, shortly before Yemen’s 1962 revolution which abolished slavery. Mubarak has known no other life except that of a slave.

“Whenever I think of freedom, I ask myself, ‘Where will I go?'” he [said] as he stood outside a hut which serves as home for him and his family.

Black-skinned Mubarak does not know his birthday but he knows he has been a slave from birth 21 years ago. He has two children with a wife who was also a slave until she was emancipated by her master, a few years before they married.

“Sometimes I wonder what the fate of my children will be, having a slave father and an emancipated mother,” he said.

Mubarak and his family are just one case among many. …

In addition to “slaves whose owner can use them however he wants,” the [human rights activists’] report also refers to other groups subjected to slave-like conditions, although they are not bound by documents. … “former slaves who have been officially set free, but remain at the service of their former masters, who continue to feed them but never pay them wages. ”

One group includes “former slaves who have been officially set free, but remain at the service of their former masters, who continue to feed them but never pay them wages,” the report said. … Such people are still referred to as “the slaves of such and such a family, or the slaves of such and such a tribe.”…

The authorities do not want to get into a conflict with the powerful tribes, who form the backbone of Yemeni society, over the slavery issue …

Mubarak dreams of living a normal life, though he doubts being capable of coping with it.

“I dream of living like other people … (But) I have always known myself to do nothing but work on the farm and tend the cattle,” he said.

Ashram, enslaved for 50 years before being freed five years ago by his dying master, appeared to have gone through what Mubarak fears.

“When my master Sheikh Ali Hussein told me ‘I have freed you, Ashram,’ I was happy. I started wondering how to live, where to go, and how to make a living.”

Ashram decided to revert to his old life, becoming a “slave of the village,” he said. “I carry water daily to the houses from a well [so that] I will not die of starvation.”

Is anything being done by World Opinion about slavery? Has the International Court of Justice indicted the slavers and slave-owners? Is the United Nations in uproar over slave labor and the traffic in human beings? Does the General Assembly regularly raise the topic? Does the Human Rights Council condemn slavery in the strongest terms? Has the Security Council passed resolutions (supposed to be binding international law) to put a stop to it? Do Western ambassadors raise the subject of contemporary slavery wherever it is practiced, and propose in the UN what should be done to end it?

Not that we’ve noticed.

What about the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN “specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights”? What is it doing about slavery?

Ah, yes! That organization published a report titled Stopping Forced Labour, which was discussed by the ILO’s 175 member States at the 89th session of the International Labour Conference. It was a thing to be proud of. It asserted that –

Although universally condemned, forced labour is revealing ugly new faces alongside the old. Traditional types of forced labour such as chattel slavery and bonded labour are still with us in some areas, and past practices of this type haunt us to this day. In new economic contexts, disturbing forms such as forced labour in connection with the trafficking of human beings are now emerging almost everywhere.

“The growth of forced labour worldwide is deeply disturbing,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia in announcing the publication … “The emerging picture is one where slavery, exploitation and oppression of society’s most vulnerable members – especially women and children – have by no means been consigned to the past. Abusive control of one human being over another is the antithesis of decent work.”

Although they might vary outwardly, different types of forced labour share two common features: the exercise of coercion and the denial of freedom. It was in recognition of this affront to the human spirit that the ILO Declaration included the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour.

“In light of these findings the entire world needs to re-examine its conscience and instigate action to abolish forced labour and the often terrible living and working conditions that go with it,” Mr. Somavia said.

But that was in May 2001. Maybe they’ve been quietly struggling to “abolish forced labour” ever since, but they certainly haven’t succeeded. (They have not been wholly idle. In 2005 they published another report on what they called “forms of slavery”, dealing chiefly with, and objecting to, the exploitation of illegal Guatamalan immigrants working as fruit-pickers in Florida, and of Romanian migrant workers in German abattoirs.)

Some charitable organizations have made it their business to free slaves held by Muslims in Africa. Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is one such. They conceived the idea of buying slaves and setting them free. Though their motives could not have been higher, the dreadful (and surely predictable) result of their well-meant activity was a boom in the slave trade as more helpless Africans, especially women and children – often the same ones over and over again – were kidnapped in order to be sold to CSI.

We listen attentively for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s bold denouncement of slavery, to be followed of course by the Obama administration’s effective action to eliminate it.

Any minute now, d’you think?

PS: The UN must be destroyed!

Keeping the homeland safe 0

This information comes from Dr Terry  Kelhawk at PoliticalMavens. A Palestinian passed through Paris on his way from the Middle East – we are not told where to – and this is what happened:

The Arab Muslim screeners [in Paris] found out he was Palestinian, and while the other passengers were being heavily scrutinized, he got the “hail fellow well met” treatment. Smiles and sympathy replaced not only his walking through the metal detector, but exempted his backpack from the indignity of x-ray as well. Good thing he was not in the mood to blow up a plane that day.

That needs to considered along with this report by CNS News (worth reading in full):

Four months after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit and nine years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, only 14 of the 57 U.S. consulates identified as being at “high risk” for potentially providing visas to terrorists have been furnished with units of the Department of Homeland Security’s Visa Security Program (VSP).

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011.

The VSP, established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, puts Department of Homeland Security officials in the field at U.S. consulates to vet the backgrounds of people applying for U.S. visas. …

While administration officials have said publicly that five additional VSP units should be in place at high risk consulates by the end of 2011, President Barack Obama’s fiscal Year 2011 budget for DHS–submitted almost two months after the Christmas Day bombing attempt—does not increase funding for the program from its fiscal 2010 level.

According to a March 8 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, a lack of funding could hamper expansion of the Visa Security Program to the many high-risk consulates that still do not have a unit. …

President Obama’s proposed freeze on VSP funding and the administration’s slow pace in putting new VSP units in high risk consulates is unacceptable to some congressional Republicans, who have introduced legislation to address these issues.

The Secure Visas Act (HR 4758), introduced in March by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), would allocate $60 million to the program for fiscal 2010 and another $60 million for fiscal 2011 for placing VSP units in the 15 “highest risk” consulates beyond the 14 that already have units in place. That bill would approximately double the funding the Obama administration has allocated for the program in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011.

“The visa security process is our first line of defense against terrorists and others who wish to do us harm,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the lead sponsor of the Secure Visas Act, told CNSNews.com. “But under President Obama, new Visa Security Units ground to a halt.” …

At the current rate of VSP placement — about five consulates every two years — it would take until 2021 for 75 percent of high-risk consulates to have the program in place. …

“If the Obama administration will not exercise its authority to develop new VSUs (Visa Security Units) at the highest risk posts identified by its own Department of Homeland Security, Congress must step in,” said Smith. …

Smith and Secure Visas Act co-sponsor Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) noted that it took 12 months for the DHS to start the process for putting a VSP unit in Yemen, the country where Christmas Day bombing suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was radicalized.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano waited 12 months before even sending a request to the State Department to open a unit in Yemen,” the senators wrote. …

The cloud of knowing 5

Traces of some very abstruse reasoning emerge tantalizingly from the Cloud of Knowing – the thinkers who influence current US foreign policy. Secretive ends are being pursued. Can we discern what they are, or guess what they might be, from the clues dropped by the press?

The Washington Post reports:

American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and “uncompromising Western secularism” that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

So, according to a body that calls itself the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, secularism “feeds” religious extremism. Presumably that means it nourishes it, energizes it, makes it stronger than it would otherwise be.

Now how could it do that? Does it drive the religious mad by simply being non-religious? And if so, is it to blame for that, or are the religious perhaps over-reacting?

Wait. Its not any old secularism that is guilty of annoying the religious; it is specifically Western secularism. Other sorts – if there are sorts of secularism – are not bad, or not as bad.

Why? Apparently because Western secularism, in contrast to, say, Eastern secularism if it exists, is “uncompromising”. But how should not-being-religious compromise? Should it be a little bit religious? If so, how much? And would it then still be secularism?

One may begin to suspect that here is another formulation of the now familiar accusation from the left that the West has only itself to blame for being attacked by religious extremists – aka Muslim terrorists – because it is not Muslim. Or is that leaping too quickly to an as yet unwarranted conclusion?

Let’s proceed cautiously. As well as “feeding” religious extremism, this Western secularism also “threatens traditional cultures”. How? Does it proselytize non-belief? Not that anyone’s heard. Does it try to force non-belief on believers? Again, no, not noticeably. Then does its mere existence raise questions that endanger the belief of “traditional cultures” – in which case what would the Chicago Council on Global Affairs have it do to lift the threat from those intimidated folk?

Wait again – the list of accusations against this dangerous force called secularism is not yet exhausted. It also “fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights”.

Which groups would those be – could we have some names, please? And why can they only carry out their noble mission if they are encouraged?

Answers to these questions cannot be found in the Washington Post story.

What it does tell us is that it took this body two years to reach its conclusion. So we  should not brush it off as nonsense: in two years it is possible to go very deeply into grievances.

What’s more, the conclusion requires, and will elicit, action by the government of the United States.

The council’s 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious “capabilities gap” and recommends that President Obama make religion “an integral part of our foreign policy.”

A serious capabilities gap? Not a mere pothole in the diplomatic road to perfect global accord? And it could be filled in by – what exactly? A state religion? No – that could not be the recommendation of 32 officials and scholars representing all major faiths.

Just a generalized religiosity then?

But how is religion, whether specific or a mere aura of sanctity assumed by the State Department, going to improve American foreign policy, soothe the extremists of foreign creeds, reassure traditional cultures,  and stiffen the backbone of groups (presumably different from the religious extremists) intent on virtuously promoting peace  and human rights?

We are not told, and can only hope that the Chicago Council’s report to the White House provides answers to these difficult questions.

Thomas Wright, the council’s executive director of studies, said task force members met Tuesday with Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and State Department officials. “They were very receptive, and they said that there is a lot of overlap between the task force’s report and the work they have been doing on this same issue,” Wright said.

Something is already being done by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to make religion in some way an integral part of US foreign policy? It would be most interesting to know what exactly.

DuBois declined to comment on the report but wrote on his White House blog Tuesday: “The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership and the National Security Staff are working with agencies across government to analyze the ways the U.S. government engages key non-governmental actors, including religious institutions, around the globe.”

Ah! He’s not being exact, but there’s a clue in here somewhere.

The Chicago Council isn’t as influential as the Council on Foreign Relations or some other Washington-based think tanks, but it does have a long-standing relationship with the president. Obama spoke to the council once as a state senator and twice as a U.S. senator, including his first major foreign policy speech as a presidential candidate in April 2007.

It could depend on his sympathy then, with whatever it is they want done.

Michelle Obama is on the council’s board.

Again, ah!

Now we learn that the problem, however obcure it may seem to the public, has been troubling smart people for quite some time.

American foreign policy’s “God gap” has been noted in recent years by others, including former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright.

Well, she has been an adherent of a few faiths in her time – Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism. So perhaps she would be especially aware of a shortage of religious belief in the State Department. Could have struck her forcibly when she assumed office.

“It’s a hot topic,” said Chris Seiple [read something very politically correct that he’s written here], president of the Institute for Global Engagement in Arlington County and a Council on Foreign Relations member. “It’s the elephant in the room. You’re taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it’s at the nexus of national security. The truth is the academy has been run by secular fundamentalists for a long time, people who believe religion is not a legitimate component of realpolitik.

Come now, politics can hardly be avoided by a Council of Foreign Relations. But you say that religion is “the elephant in the room”? And it is “at the nexus of national security” ?

The Chicago Council’s task force was led by R. Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame and Richard Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Who is Richard Cizik, and what is the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good? According to Newsweek he was the Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals for nearly 30 years, and then, towards the end of 2008, he announced “the formation of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a group devoted to developing Christian responses to global and political issues such as environmentalism, nuclear disarmament, human rights, and dialogue with the Muslim world”.

Hmm.

“Religion,” the task force says, “is pivotal to the fate” of such nations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Yemen, all vital to U.S. national and global security.

So the particular religion they have in mind is Islam?

Not neceesarily … don’t jump to conclusions …  it could also be  .. hmmm-mmm … Hinduism and …  Christianity and … who knows what?:

“Despite a world abuzz with religious fervor,” the task force says, “the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role.” Those include the growing influence of Pentecostalism in Latin America, evangelical Christianity in Africa and religious minorities in the Far East.

All of which feel threatened by Western secularism? Are crying out for it to compromise a little?

But okay, mostly Islam:

U.S. officials have made efforts to address the God gap, especially in dealings with Islamic nations and groups. The CIA established an office of political Islam in the mid-1980s. … During the second Bush administration, the Defense Department rewrote the Army’s counterinsurgency manual to take account of cultural factors, including religion.

Could that have had something to do with the shooting of soldiers by an “extremist” Muslim officer at Fort Hood? Just wondering.

The Obama administration has stepped up the government’s outreach to a wider range of religious groups and individuals overseas

… even, say, the Dalai Lama if he’ll use the back door …

…  trying to connect with people beyond governments, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Very hush-hush stuff this.

The effort, he said, is more deliberate than in the past: “This issue has senior-level attention.”

He noted that Obama appointed a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference …

The envoy being a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer [see our post The trusted envoy, February 20, 2010], and the Organization of the Islamic Conference being a major instrument of the Ummah for the conquest of the non-Muslim world, chiefly by methods of “soft jihad” in Europe.

… and created a new Muslim outreach position in the State Department. In the past year, he said, embassies in Muslim-majority countries have held hundreds of meetings with a broad range of people not involved in government.

Huh? Muslim-majority countries have had hundreds of meetings with individual people not involved with government? What people? Why? To what end? How does the government know about them?

Whatever was going on with that, it was apparently too “episodic and uncoordinated”. Now there must be something more programmatic, more official, more formal, more defined, and definitely involving government:

To end the “episodic and uncoordinated nature of U.S. engagement of religion in the world,” the task force recommended:

— Adding religion to the training and continuing education of all foreign service officers, diplomats and other key diplomatic, military and economic officials. …

— Empowering government departments and agencies to engage local and regional religious communities where they are central players in the promotion of human rights and peace, as well as the delivery of health care and other forms of assistance.

Leaving aside the code words “human rights” and “peace” which in such a context as this usually mean “leftism” and “Islam” – diplomats, and military and even economic officials should deliver health care?

But here comes the stunner. (Remember that “clarify” in diplomatic talk always means “take it back and say something more to our liking”.)

– Address and clarify the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.

Cizik said some parts of the world — the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example — are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government’s emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS A FORM OF IMPERIALISM?

We give up. Such nuanced thought is beyond our grasp.

A realm of deadly failure 0

‘The most destructive address in the history of American foreign policy’, is the verdict of Ralph Peters on President Obama’s Cairo speech. We agree.

This is the worst time imaginable to have a pro-Islam leftist occupying the Oval office.

Taking a realistic, and consequently pessimistic, survey of the Islamic lands from the Mediterranean to the border of India – and the sole exception to their failure, the small singular Jewish state beleaguered among them – Peters writes in the New York Post:

No region — not even sub-Saharan Africa — competes with the greater Middle East when it comes to wanton savagery, thwarted opportunities and the danger posed to innocent populations around the world. With fanatical terrorists of unprecedented brutality, Islamist extremists pursuing nuclear weapons, rogue regimes, disintegrating states and threats of genocide against Israel, the lands of heat and dust between the Nile and the Indus form a realm of deadly failure that will haunt the civilized world throughout our lifetimes.

A survey of the region’s key countries — and problems — doesn’t offer much good news for the Obama Administration’s naive foreign policy efforts:

LEBANON: This isn’t a country — it’s a temporary stand-off. Recently, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose father, Rafik, was assassinated by Syria, had to make a humbling visit to Damascus. Syria’s decades-long penetration of the government in Beirut and various Lebanese factions (not least, its backing of the Hezbollah terror organization) has kept Beirut dependent on Damascus to break the political gridlock in parliament. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been rearming mightily in the wake of its 2006 war with Israel. A new war would devastate much of Lebanon — if internal strife doesn’t do it first.

EGYPT: A US client long counted among the most stable states in the Middle East, Egypt faces a potential succession crisis as octogenarian president Hosni Mubarak, who’s ruled the country for almost three decades, grooms his singularly unimpressive son, Gamal, to take over upon his death. The government and armed forces are more factionalized than they seem to outsiders, Islamist movements have proven ineradicable, and violence against Egypt’s minority Christians is on the rise again…

TURKEY: Long in NATO, but denied membership in the European Union, Turkey has grappled with an identity crisis. Increasingly, its political bosses back an Islamic identity. The ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) soft-peddles its religious agenda when dealing with the West, but has been methodically dismantling the secular constitution left behind by Kemal Ataturk — who rescued Turkey from oblivion 90 years ago… Will the military move to preserve the legacy of Ataturk? Unlikely. But if the generals did move, the Obama administration would back the Islamists

SYRIA: The neighborhood’s in such awful shape that this police state’s beginning to look like a success story… On the other hand, the Assad family’s government backs terrorism, harbors remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime, still hopes for Israel’s destruction — and wouldn’t mind having nukes, if it could figure out how to get them. When Damascus looks like a beacon, it’s getting awfully dark in the Middle East.

ISRAEL: Civilization’s last hope in the region, Israel remains the target of international leftists dreaming of another, more-thorough Holocaust. The “peace process” will continue to fail. Arabs need Israel to blame for their failures. And President Obama empowered the worst Arab elements with his Cairo speech, which convinced the dead-enders there’s no need to compromise with Israel — that the US would shift its support to the Arab cause. That Cairo speech may prove to have been the most-destructive address in the history of American foreign policy.

IRAQ: Can’t say we didn’t try. After years of serious progress toward a national compromise, Shia political agents close to Iran recently banned over 500 influential Sunni candidates from standing in Iraq’s upcoming elections. Reconciliation has come to a screeching halt. The Shia are smug, the Sunnis feel betrayed, and the Kurds are still denied title to the traditionally Kurdish city of Kirkuk. Every faction’s fighting for a greater share of oil revenues. And the Obama administration’s AWOL (this was Bush’s war — we wouldn’t want a positive outcome)… the old blood feuds and thirst for vengeance go deeper than we thought

SAUDI ARABIA: Its two main exports are oil and fanaticism. Saudi funding supports a global effort to drive Muslims into the fold of its severe Wahhabi cult — and to prevent Muslims (including those in the US) from integrating into local societies. The Saudis care nothing for the fate or suffering of fellow Muslims (check out the Palestinians). They care only for their repressive version of Islam. The birthplace of Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia’s differences with his terror organization are over strategy and tactics, not over their mutual goal of forcing extremist Islam on all of humanity.

IRAN: Racing to acquire nuclear weapons, delighting in the prospect of a cataclysmic war that would lead to the “return of the hidden imam,” beating the hell out of its own people in the streets, murdering members of the intelligentsia, and explicit in its vows to destroy Israel, the government of Iran continues to be protected by China and Russia. There will be no meaningful sanctions. Over the next few years, we’ll see a nuclear test in the southeastern desert region of Baluchistan. Will Israel strike first? Perhaps. Would the US? Not under this administration. The best hope is for a miracle that leads to a popular overthrow of the current maddened regime. But strategy can’t be based upon the expectation of miracles.

YEMEN: It’s Saudi Arabia without oil, running water or literacy. Perhaps the most-backward country in this stubbornly backward region, Yemen has harbored terrorists for years (we really didn’t want to know). Its government cannot control its territory, its tribes are so fanatical they alarm the Saudis (who have had to fight them), and Iran backs the Shiite minority in its revolt against the state. Throw in Yemen’s strategic position astride the world’s most-sensitive oil-shipping routes, and this pretense of a country looks far more important than Afghanistan.

DUBAI: The late Michael Jackson’s flirtation with this high-rise bazaar apparently couldn’t rescue an economy built on sand…

AFGHANISTAN: We’re there, and we don’t know why. We know why we went in 2001, but al Qaeda’s long gone. Initially, we were welcomed. Now, the more troops we send, the stronger the Taliban becomes. We’re tied to a corrupt, inept government despised by the people. Afghans won’t fight for that government, but they’ll give their lives for the Taliban. And we’re determined to turn the place into Disney World.  Should we just leave? No. Afghanistan provides a crucial base for striking the terrorists across the border in Pakistan… Afghanistan is worthless in itself. Instead of concentrating on killing our enemies, we’re buying worthless real estate with American blood.

PAKISTAN: 180 million anti-American Muslims, thanks to generations of politicians who took American aid while playing the anti-American card with their constituents. The government won’t crack down on the Taliban factions it’s preserving for a reconquest of Afghanistan after we exit… Promised another $7.5 billion in aid, Pakistan’s response has been not only to bite the hand that feeds it, but to gnaw it to a bloody pulp. And, in an act of strategic folly, we’ve left our troops in Afghanistan dependent upon a single supply line that runs for over a thousand miles through Pakistan. .. Isn’t it about time we got a grip? Around Pakistan’s throat? … Leaving the greatest power in history at the mercy of the impossibly corrupt regime in Pakistan guarantees that our troops lives are wasted next door in Afghanistan. Afghanistan isn’t our problem. Pakistan’s the problem.

Policy that passes understanding 0

We invite our readers to ponder this information:

From CNS News:

The State Department has awarded 1,011 special “diversity visas” allowing Yemeni nationals to immigrate to the United States since 2000, the year 17 U.S. sailors were killed when the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists in the Yemeni port of Aden.

The “diversity visas” are designed to encourage immigration from countries that do not otherwise send significant numbers of immigrants to the United States.

The State Department roster of all countries whose nationals have received “diversity visas” to immigrate to the United States in 2010, for example, shows that 2 of these immigrants will be from Luxembourg, 3 from the Solomon Islands, 4 from French Guiana, 5 from Reunion, 6 from Cape Verde, 7 from Malta, 8 from Guinea-Bissau, 9 from Comoros, 10 from Suriname–and 72 from Yemen. Nationals of the four states listed by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism–Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria–also received “diversity visas” from the State Department to immigrate to the United States in 2010. These include 98 from Syria, 298 from Cuba, 1,084 from Sudan, and 2,773 from Iran.

That the U.S. would encourage immigration from Yemen during the past decade is of interest because of the terrorist problem in that country.

Of interest? Or is it, maybe, scandalous?

Yemen has long been a focus of U.S. security concerns because of terrorist activities there, including not only the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole but also a 2008 bombing attack on the U.S. embassy. Recently, the concerns about terrorism eminating from Yemen has intensified because Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian terrorist who attempted to detonate explosive underwear on a Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, reportedly joined an al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen and was groomed there for his would-be suicide attack.

In his Saturday radio address, President Obama himself specifically pointed to Yemen as the country of origin from Abdulmuttalab’s terrorist plot, and on Sunday the State Department closed the U.S. embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa for fear of a terrorist attack.

Winning applicants are selected at random by computer and sent a notification letter. They are given an interview date at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their country, and, if they pass the interview, are allowed to enter the United States as legal permanent residents. Examples of jobs that applicants can use in lieu of a high school diploma to qualify for the diversity visa lottery range from physicist and surgeon to librarian, park ranger, and choreographer.

What Americans aren’t prepared to risk to gain a few more choreographers isn’t worth mentioning.

Bliss 0

A British Muslim journalist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, wrote this yesterday in the Evening Standard, in an incoherent article on how middle-class English women are converting in droves to Islam and marrying Muslim husbands, but should avoid ‘romanticizing’ Islam, although Muslim wives – she assures us – are free and happy:

Islam gives women … the right to sexual pleasure within marriage … Most Muslim women I know are blissfully happy and able to be what they want.

She provides us with a reason to post again our view of the fate of most Muslim women:

Genitally-mutilated, secluded, wrapped in a black tent, forced into marriage, illiterate, frequently beaten, liable to lose her children at any time, not permitted to go out to work, and not allowed to have medical treatment because doctors are male and may not even see her, let alone examine her. If ever a life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short – and full of pain and sorrow – it is the life of this woman.

She can be divorced by her husband at his whim, and if she has no family to return to, can be abandoned to starvation.

Because of her clitorectomy and enfibulation, it is agony to menstruate and copulate, and childbirth for her is even more excruciating than it is for most women.

Her children can be taken from her at any time. Her boys, even when they are little, can be sold into slavery, made to fight and kill, or to walk over minefields. Her daughters too can be taken as slaves, for a life of perpetual labour and sexual exploitation; or forced into marriage well before puberty, to endure the same sort of existence that she endures.

If she is raped she will be killed by her own male relatives in an ‘honor killing’; or, if condemned to be executed by the state, she will be buried in earth up to her shoulders and stoned to death.

If Muslim women in Britain have better lives than their sisters in Africa and Asia it’s because of British law and culture. This should persuade them to do all they can to keep sharia law out of Britain. But were they heard to protest when it was admitted as a parallel system of family law? We didn’t hear them. Now sharia can be enforced on them, yet they’re still blissfully happy?

Ah tut 1

It turns out that two of the terrorist leaders, now in Yemen, who plotted Abdulmutallab’s intended Christmas Day atrocity over Detroit, were released from Guantanamo in November 2007.

Their names: Said Ali al-Shihri and Muhammad Attik al-Harbi (since changed to Muhammad al-Awfi).

They were flown off to Saudi Arabia, there to be healed of the tragic affliction of their souls which, compassion junkies believe, compelled them to be torturers and killers.

The magic cure was ART THERAPY.

Yes. Designing tiles or whatever non-representational art Islam permits.

Michelle Malkin tells us more about them:

In January 2009, the two “rehabilitated” recidivists released a video vowing to wage jihad to “aid the religion,” “establish the rightly guided caliphate” and ” fight against our enemies.” One of the duo, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September 2008.

So art therapy doesn’t work for terrorists?

Can we think of anything else that might be worth a try?

The uses of walls 1

The Berlin Wall was not defensive. It was built by the Communists to keep their serf populations from escaping. As Europe celebrates its fall, a Muslim, Shiraz Maher, writes in Standpoint about barrier walls built by Islamic states, never noticed by those who vituperatively condemn the defensive barrier Israel has erected against suicide bombers and other terrorist attackers:

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. During that time scores of other barriers and walls have gone up around the world …

Of course, the one we’ve all heard about is the Israeli security fence which attracted fierce criticism after its construction in 2003. Built in response to the Palestinian intifada which claimed more than 900 lives since September 2000, the fence has dramatically halted the number of terrorist attacks inside the country.

Excuse the pun  but from the wall-to-wall coverage it received  you could be mistaken for thinking that Israel’s decision to defend itself in this way was unprecedented. Yet, not only is this wrong but, ironically, a lot of the physical barriers currently in place are located in the ‘Muslim world’.

The Saudi-Yemeni border is just one place where a physical barrier is used by a Muslim regime to defend itself against ‘smuggling’ and ‘terrorism’. … Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen has always been problematic, providing a trafficking route for weapons smuggling. Indeed, the explosives used in the 2003 Riyadh bombings which targeted compounds housing western expatriates were blamed on Yemeni smugglers. It was not the first time Saudi Arabia blamed the Yemenis for not doing enough to stop terrorism. Yemeni smugglers are also believed to have helped facilitate the bombing campaign against US military bases in the mid-1990s.

Once the Saudi government lost confidence in Yemen’s ability to curb domestic terrorism, they decided to build a physical barrier. Much of it runs through contested territory. According to the 2000 Jeddah border treaty between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, a demilitarised ‘buffer zone’ should exist between both countries, protecting the rights of nomadic Bedouin tribes which live in the cross-border area. Yet, parts of the Saudi barrier stand inside the demilitarised zone, violating the 2000 agreement and infuriating Yemen. …

More recently, Saudi Arabia has also built a physical barrier along its border with Iraq to stop jihadists from the Kingdom going over to join the mujahideen. …

Beyond the Middle East, Iran’s 900 km border with Pakistan is currently being replaced by a concrete wall (10 feet high, 3 feet thick), fortified with steel rods. Ostensibly built to thwart drug traffickers and terrorists, the local Baloch people oppose its construction as it cuts across their land and separates communities living on either side of the divide. The opposition leader of Balochistan’s Provincial Assembley, Kachkol Ali, has bitterly opposed the wall saying his people were never consulted about it and that it cuts off families from one another. … A number of Baloch communities, particularly in the Kech district of south-western Balochistan, straddle the Iranian-Pakistani border area. After Iran began construction of its wall, many of those residing on its side were forced back across the border into Pakistan where they are separated from their families and land. …

There are plenty more examples of this within the Muslim world too. In the Western Sahara desert Morocco has built a massive wall, spanning more than 2700 km. Its primary aim is to guard against Sahrawi separatists who organised themselves into the Polisario Front – a political and terrorist movement – which seeks independence for the Sahrawi people. Much of the wall is lined with barbed wire and landmines, which is something it shares in common with parts of the Pakistan-Indian border (particularly in Kashmir).

Twenty years on from the collapse of the Berlin Wall physical barriers continue to be employed around the world. They may not be pretty, but they are effective. Indeed, even Israel’s biggest critics would have to concede that suicide bombings have fallen away sharply ever since the construction of the security fence in parts of Gaza and the West Bank. Yet, Islamists and parts of the political left obsess only about Israel but do not extend similar condemnation to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, or Pakistan. …

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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