Sunday, July 31, 2005

Uzbekistan evicts United States Air Base

According to Yahoo! News, Uzbekistan is kicking the US military out of the country in the next 180 days.

This news has provided inspiration--it's been six years since I published my last book--and a title for something I'm working on now, based on my Fulbright experience teaching in Uzbekistan.


IMHO, There's plenty of blame to go around . . .

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Daily Ablution

Scott Burgess's The Daily Ablution exposed a member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Dilpazier Aslam, who reported on the London bombings for The Guardian. Since that fact was published by Burgess, the reporter was fired. In the aftermath, Alsam threatened to take the Guardian to court. (Hat tip to Tom Gross)

Real Life Space Drama

I can't stop thinking about those astronauts in the Space Shuttle. If it were me, I wouldn't get back in that thing, I'd demand they send up a nice, safe Russian Soyuz capsule to take me home. It's what they were using for the International Space Station while the shuttle problems were being fixed the first time. Old, clunky, but so far, reliable...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

War Between Democracies

Matthew White has posted this great list of War Between Democracies, beginning in the 5th century BC and running up to the present day, as a rebuttal to the claim that no two democracies have gone to war against each other. They have, they do, and they will...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

August Recess

It's the time of year when Congress goes on holiday, and so do we. Blogging may be sporadic for a little while...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

British Soldiers Face War Crimes Charges in Iraq

Reuters reports three British soldiers will be tried as war criminals for the abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Canadian Islamists Apologize to Daniel Pipes

For personal attacks that compared Pipes to Hitler:
On June 10, the CIC published an apology and retraction: 'The Canadian Islamic Congress and Ms. Valiante apologize without reservation and retract remarks in the column that suggest that Dr. Daniel Pipes is a follower of Hitler or that he uses the tactics of Hitler or that he wants to ethnically cleanse America of its Muslim presence.' The CIC also sent funds to cover my legal expenses and made a donation in my honor to a Canadian charity.

The CIC's action is, to the best of my knowledge, without precedent.

Of course, Canadian libel laws are stricter than American ones . . .

How the US Nurtured Islamist Terror

Rachel Bronson's article in The National Interest explains that America is being bitten by our own dog, that Islamist terrorists--as well as political Islam--are the beneficiaries of decades of American patronage:
The confluence of U.S.-Saudi anti-communist interests manifested itself most obviously in Afghanistan, where the United States and Saudi Arabia spent no less then $3 billion each, channeling assistance to armed anti-American Islamic fundamentalists. But the shared anti-communism embedded in the U.S.-Saudi partnership, and the proselytizing it spawned, was not limited to Afghanistan; it stretched from Somalia, Sudan and Chad to Pakistan and beyond. Countries where the U.S.-Saudi partnership was strongest are areas where today the Islamist threat is particularly vexing. After September 11, both Somalia and Sudan were considered likely targets in any American operation to eliminate terrorism.

Other American allies, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Israel, supported indigenous Islamic movements in order to counter local nationalist opponents, many of whom were Soviet backed. In turn, the same leaders who underwrote local Islamist groups in the 1970s and 1980s later used their very presence to justify a resistance toward democratization.

In contrast to the support Islamist groups received in America-friendly countries in the Middle East, religious organizations suffered a crueler fate in Soviet-supported countries. The Syrian regime exterminated 20,000 citizens in 1982 for being associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Saddam Hussein's Iraq massacred religious leaders, especially among the Shi'a population. Egypt provides the best example of how Cold War ideological struggles shaped today's politico-religious landscape. While receiving Soviet aid, Gamal Abdel Nasser persecuted the Muslim Brotherhood. American-supported Anwar Sadat, on the other hand, heavily backed the Brotherhood in order to counter local Nasserite opposition.

The politicization of Islam is thus a direct outgrowth of the Middle East's Cold War experience. Given this history, it should come as no surprise that in today's post-Cold War Middle East, the major constituency-based organizations in the Arab world that are best placed to organize politically are Islamist ones.

Brave New World

On the way up to Glimmerglass, we listened to Peter Firth's books-on-tape version of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. I had read it in High School, or maybe college, as a science fiction book about the Utopian--or rather, Dystopian--Future. But hearing it read aloud, for some eight hours, as a middle-aged person, it seemed to have another meaning as a social satire of England's chattering classes. It wasn't about the future. It was about now. And laughing out loud funny in parts, smiling most of the rest of the time--until the sudden end of his savage. I had thought of Huxley mostly as a 60s hippie, Timothy Leary, Indian mysticism type (we went on a family pilgrimmage to his home in Ojai when I was young), so this was a fresh perspective. Plus, it seems almost everything in the book has come to pass in this age of Prozac and cloning--even the "hatcheries"...

Celebrating Bastille Day at Glimmerglass

Can't say enough good things about the Glimmerglass Opera. We just got back from a Bastille Day weekend getaway, thoroughly enjoyed three French operas: Lucie de Lammermoor, Donizetti's classic sung in French; Le Portrait de Manon, by Massenet; and Poulenc's La Voix Humaine. All three were superb. All the singers were excellent. And the music and staging were good, too. The setting is lovely late Otsego, Glimmerglass State Park, a stone's throw from James Fenimore Cooper's final resting place in Cooperstown, NY. This time we stayed in Sharon Springs, a Jewish Ghost Town, filled with crumbling wooden hotels and lodging houses, set in a hollow smelling of sulfur from the spa waters that bubble up. On the hill is the hulk of Adler's Hotel, where former NYC Mayor Ed Koch once worked as a busboy. The few guests still remaining appear to be elderly Russian immigrants, walking and talking, sitting outside their rented cottages, little dachas that reminded us, too, of our time spent in Russia...

Friday, July 15, 2005

A Touching Tribute to London Attack's American Victim

Tamara Jones has a very nice obituary for Minh Matsushita, the first identified American victim of July 7th's London bomb attacks. He was a Vietnamese refugee, raised in the Bronx, who had worked as an adventure tour guide before settling down to a desk job in the City with an internet company.
LONDON -- Minh Matsushita was a man forever in motion, an adventure always in progress. His passport was a pocket-size accordion of pages bearing faded stamps and mysterious visas.

Even as his boyhood friends from the Bronx settled down, got married, pursued careers and started families, the 37-year-old Matsushita just kept reinventing himself. He might be a beach bum in San Diego one year and a tech geek in Manhattan the next. You could find him snorkeling in Australia, or hiking across minefields in Cambodia.

Dude, what are you doing?, friends would remember asking time and again, when he would alight between trips on someone's back porch to drink through the night and tell his tales. Minh always smiled, shrugged and gave the cavalier answer his buddies came to think of as his personal motto:

"No worries, man."

For the past 18 months, Matsushita had been living out the dream of the perpetual wanderer, exploring remote corners of the world as a tour guide for an Australia-based agency called Intrepid Travel. Leading tourists on treks through the jungles and paddies of Southeast Asia, he also found for the first time in his life something more than adventure.

He fell in love.
As Instapundit says, read the whole thing.

Happy Bastille Day!

Another good day to celebrate Freedom.

...And the link between the French and American Revolutions, personified by the Marquis de Lafayette.

After persuading the French to give George Washington the gift of freedom for the United States, where he was present at Yorktown with General Rochambeau for the British surrender (In this picture, Rochambeau is pointing, giving orders to the troops, while Washington looks on, Lafayette over his shoulder),

Lafayette returned to France. There, on July 14, 1789 he led his troops--many of whom had served with him in the American Revolution, and were known to the French as "the Americans"--in storming the infamous French prison. (This might be seen as America's first attempt at "regime change.") He also worked with Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of the Rights of Man. After trying to save Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette from the guillotine, he fled the Revolution, only to be thrown into an Austrian dungeon, where he was kept prisoner.

After the Revolution, Lafayette presented two keys from the Bastille as gifts to the first American President, with these words: "Give me leave, my dear General to present you with a picture of the Bastille, just as it looked a few days after I had ordered its demolition,- with the main key of the fortress of despotism. It is a tribute, which I owe, as a son to my adoptive father, as an Aide - de - Camp to my General, as a Missionary of liberty to its Patriarch." To cement the Franco-American relationship, Lafayette and Washington established the Sons of the Cincinnati, an organization that still has branches in France and the United States.

One key to the Bastille hangs in the hallway at Mount Vernon.

The other is in the collection of the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.
You can read the story of the two Bastille keys in this article.

About Last Night: Another Great Newshour Interview...

Last night Ray Suarez took on General John Vines, who actually admitted that he plans to lose the Iraq war.

Here is his surrender declaration:
So the idea that we are going to win an insurgency, we are going to defeat the insurgency, the coalition, and then give freedom to the Iraqi people does not track. Freedom can't be given to someone; it must be taken, and so they have to take that.

"This man is a complete idiot," the person sitting next to me turned and said. I agree. And kudos to Jim Lehrer and Ray Suarez for smoking him out of his cave, so the American people can see what is going on with our military leadership.

For those who don't know American history, we can start at the beginning: The French military, under General Rochambeau, presented freedom as a gift to George Washington in the American Revolution--General Cornwallis originally wanted to present his sword to the French, whose fleet and armies defeated him at Yorktown. We Americans couldn't "take" freedom without the French.

Abraham Lincoln presented freedom to the slaves in the Civil War. Slaves couldn't "take it" without the Union Army.

In more recent times, America (with a great deal of help from the USSR and Great Britain) presented freedom as a gift to Germany, Japan, Italy and the nations of Western Europe. They didn't "take it," either.

So why expect from the Iraqis what we didn't expect from ourselves or others?

Unless and until the enemy is decisively defeated, the Iraqi people will not enjoy freedom. As FDR noted, one of the most important freedoms is "Freedom from Fear."

For without civil order--while chaos, anarchy, and violence reign--democracy is impossible.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Why Do They Hate Us? (Continued)

James Taranto, in OpinionJournal's Best of the Web Today explains the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh: "This had nothing to do with Israeli 'occupation' of 'Palestinian lands,' America's 'unilateral invasion' of Iraq, 'torture' of prisoners at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, the widening 'income gap,' or any of the other litany of complaints that the terror apologists trot out. Islamist terrorism arises from religious fanaticism and hatred, plain and simple."

Life Sentence for Ali Al-Timimi in Virginia Jihad Trial

Jerry Markon's Washington Post story today is headlined, Muslim Lecturer Sentenced To Life:
A man convicted for what he said -- words that prosecutors said incited his followers to train for violent jihad against the United States -- had a few more things to say yesterday in a federal courtroom in Alexandria before he was sentenced to life in prison.

Ali Al-Timimi, a prominent Muslim spiritual leader, delivered an impassioned statement in which he asserted his innocence, read the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and said his religious beliefs do not recognize "secular law." He then compared himself to the Greek philosopher Socrates, who was sentenced to death for corrupting the young and dishonoring the gods of Athens.

"I will not admit guilt nor seek the court's mercy," Timimi told a courtroom crowded with his supporters and prosecutors. "Socrates was mercifully given a cup of hemlock. I was handed a life sentence."

As U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema pronounced the life sentence, Timimi nodded slightly. The judge then revoked his bond, and Timimi walked slowly away in the custody of U.S. marshals, smiling and waving at supporters in the emotionally charged courtroom.

The article notes in passing that the unrepentant Al-Timimi was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. He is an American citizen, which makes me believe that Jim Hoagland's op-ed today may be merely wishful thinking, particularly this statement:
Why has the United States not been attacked since Sept. 11? It's not simply because we are fighting terrorists in Iraq. The terrorists cannot have found the water -- the Muslim American community -- easy to swim in or to use for their malignant long-term purposes.

The Al-Timimi case shows that there is indeed American water for terrorists to swim in.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ambassador Seymour Maxwell Finger, 90

His passing was noted by a respectful obituary in today's New York Times. I knew of him because of this study :
The author or editor of many books, Mr. Finger wrote "American Jewry During the Holocaust" (1984), published by the American Jewish Commission on the Holocaust. The report of the commission, of which Mr. Finger was research director, concluded that the major Jewish organizations in the United States had not done all they could to save victims of the Holocaust, still a controversial position at the time of publication. The chairman of the commission was former Justice Arthur J. Goldberg of the Supreme Court.

Blair's Four Point Anti-Terrorism Program

According to CNN, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has outlined the following anti-terrorist priorities for the British government:
*Begin the process of consultation on planned counter-terrorism legislation within the next couple of weeks, with a priority being measures to combat the incitement and instigation of terrorism.

*Look urgently at how to strengthen the process for excluding from the UK those who incite hatred, and make it easier to deport such people.

*Start discussions immediately with Muslim leaders on combating 'the perverted and poisonous misinterpretation of Islam' which lay behind the attacks.

*Talk to other nations on how to mobilize the 'moderate and true voice of Islam.'

Tony Blankley: "Know Thy Enemy"

Writing in the Washington Times, Newt Gingrich's former PR guru analyzes responses to the London bombings:
There were other examples of political correctness gone mad. I saw a senior British law enforcement official on Thursday making the explicit point that the words Islam and terrorist do not belong in the same sentence. Yesterday, the head of the Scotland Yard press briefers finished his factual account of various details with the statement that extremists and criminals did these acts, and no one should 'stigmatize any community with these acts.'

But, of course, no one was, nor should be, stigmatizing 'any community'. On the other hand, while some very large percentage of the two million Muslims living in Britain are law abiding, it is also the case that a hundred percent of the 'extremists and criminals' so far identified by Scotland Yard who attacked London were Islamic -- or more to the point 'Islamist.'

The danger manifestly comes from those Muslims -- either born or converted -- who believe in the armed jihadist policy of terror attacks.

Political correctness started out as an externally applied pressure placed by academic elites on regular people not to say certain things which were judged improper. But it has become a more dangerous phenomenon now. Government, law enforcement, military officials and many regular citizens are beginning to internalize the politically correct mentality. If government officials, the media and increasing elements of the public actually begin to believe that there is no relationship between Islam as currently practiced by some percentage of the Moslem population and the mortal threat of terrorism -- then it will be hard if not impossible to mount an effective defense.

The first lesson of war is to know thy enemy. While we should never put people in that category who don't fit, it is suicidal to refuse to acknowledge the accurate nature of the enemy.

Al Qaeda's Pakistani Connection

B Raman writes:

If one had been doing this systematically, one would have noticed that Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) has been co-ordinating the activities of the IIF since 2003 due to the disruption in the command and control of the Al Qaeda.

Three persons arrested by the Pakistani authorities in March,2003, in connection with the attack on USS Cole in October,2000, had told them during the interrogation that since the Western intelligence agencies were keeping a close watch on the suspected Arab members of the Al Qaeda, bin Laden had asked the LET to recruit Pakistani volunteers for suicide missions to be undertaken by the Al Qaeda and that the LET had already placed 12 Pakistani volunteers for suicide missions at the disposal of the Al Qaeda.

Barcelona in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal and Luton and Leeds in the UK have become important centres for the recruitment of volunteers for jihadi terrorism and for the collection of funds.

Apart from the LET and the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) of Pakistan has also set up a presence in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities of West Europe.

After the Madrid blasts of March,2004, the largest number of terrorist suspects detained for questioning by the Western intelligence agencies were of Moroccan and Pakistani origin. The security experts of the European Union (EU) had drawn attention to this disturbing development in a report submitted to the EU Paliament in October,2004.

Pakistani volunteers from the UK have been going to Iraq to join the Al Qaeda there headed by Abu Musab-al-Zarqawi.

In terrorism analysis, you don't get a continuous, unbroken chain of evidence. You get just bits and pieces. You painstakingly collect them, put them together and see what they imply. Many in the UK knew that it was likely to be the next target of jihadi terrorism.

They have no reasons to be surprised that the attack, when it materialised, came from people of Pakistani origin and not from Arabs. They are now puzzled as to how the terrorists managed to procure the reportedly high-grade explosives, which they had used on July 7.

They must have either procured them locally or got them from outside. If they got them from outside, how did they smuggle them in? Did they use a diplomatic bag?

If so, of which country?

Crescat Sententia

I found this interesting blog, called Crescat Sententia, via a posting on by Amanda Butler. It's worth a look, especially if you are legally inclined (it seems to be written by lawyers, or law students)...

Another Reason for Ken Tomlinson to Quit

CPB will pay for an openly antiwar propaganda film to balance a Richard Perle show about Iraq produced by Brian Lapping, according to Current

Jim Lehrer's Best Interview, Ever

That's what it seemed like, watching ex-Marine Jim Lehrer go mano a mano with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers on the NewsHour. No question about it, Lehrer made him look like a fool, with questions like this:

JIM LEHRER: But would you understand, General, why people would be a little skeptical? We've heard this before, Zarqawi's right hand man, Zarqawi's number three, this number of people, and the thing we keep hearing, all the insurgency has been broken, it's just a bunch of dead-enders, they're in the throes of whatever, and then 60 people die.

It seemed like Myers couldn't convincingly answer any of Lehrer's questions, and that the problem was putting politics (we didn't want to appear to be occupiers) over performance (decisively defeating the enemy). Who is resposible for that? The political leadership, said Myers. In other words, don't blame me Jim, blame Bush and Rumsfeld...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Daniel Pipes on the London Bombing Aftermath

Weak Brits, Tough French:
Thanks to the war in Iraq, much of the world sees the British government as resolute and tough and the French one as appeasing and weak. But in another war, the one against terrorism and radical Islam, the reverse is true: France is the most stalwart nation in the West, even more so than America, while Britain is the most hapless...

London Bombers Came From Leeds

That's the police theory reported in this Guardian Unlimited Special Report .

More on the bombers at this BBC website. Some initial reports:

*All four suspects are British nationals.

*Three of the four are from West Yorkshire

* All four were captured on CCTV at King's Cross station, wearing rucksacks, shortly before 0830 BST on the morning of the attacks. The footage was found on Monday night

* One suspect was reported missing by his family. Some of his belongings were found on the No 30 bus in Tavistock Square

* Property linked to a second man was found at the scene of the Aldgate/Liverpool Street bomb

* Items belonging to a third suspect were found at the site of the Aldgate/Liverpool Street and Edgware Road bombs

* It is very likely the three men whose belongings were found at the bomb scenes are dead, police sources say

* Questions remain over the identity of the fourth bomber. Police do not know if he was killed at King's Cross or has fled

* One man has been arrested in West Yorkshire and is being questioned in London. He is believed to be related to one of the suspected bombers.

Israeli Suicide Bombing Follows London Attack

Haaretz has the latest...

Ken Tomlinson Should Resign

Not for the reasons these people say...

But because he's pretty much discredited himself in his handling of the PBS and NPR bias issue, in his role as Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I saw him on the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer last night,testifying at the ridiculous Senate hearing described in this New York Times story. It was comical to hear him and the Republican CPB president Patricia Harrison -- who helped turn the whole world against the USA while she was in charge of public diplomacy at the State Department -- sing the praises of federally funded broadcast networks that are trying to bring Tomlinson, his party and his President down.

Plus, he's obviously small-minded. If Tomlinson had given Fred Mann $14 million to study public broadcasting bias, it might have been impressive. But $14,000? And they say he's a Texan?


Why This Karl Rove Story Has Legs

Even Fox News on the chase. The reason is simple, the old Washington adage holds true: "It's not the crime, it's the coverup." If Rove lied to federal investigators, that's a felony. If he commited perjury at the behest of President Bush, that's an impeachable offense. The Plame outing part of it becomes irrelevant...

Hurricane Dennis Photos

Now online Less damage than Ivan, but still a big storm--and now they are worried about Tropical Storm Emily . . .

Van Gogh Killer Confesses

The BBC reports on the trial of Mohammed Bouyeri, who told the court he would do it again. "'I take complete responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion,' he told the court in Amsterdam."

Hell's Kitchen

Last night we caught Hell's Kitchen, the American version of Chef Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare, which we saw on TV in Wales during our walk along Offa's Dike. It is really a great show, The Apprentice meets Survivor meets Big Brother meets The French Chef. The torrent of profanities, bleeped out here in America, were fully audible in the UK. Ramsay is an entertaining character--I seem to remember hearing that his actual restaurant went out of business in Britain, so maybe he's a better as an actor than restaurant proprietor. He sort of plays a very loud version of a British public-school character, instructing his charges in making a Mango Flambe instead of conjugating Latin verbs. Despite the hype, reassuringly old school. And the irony of a British show about cooking, with celebrity chefs. Who would have imagined?

Monday, July 11, 2005

This Book Looks Interesting...

Fred Siegel's account of how Rudy Giuliani saved New York City sounds like a tale that needs telling. Siegel was sort of an insider guru, so I bet the book is pretty good. Adding it to my summer reading list...

Why They Call It "Londonistan"

Rita Katz & Michael Kern explain Britain's bases for terrorists...

Daniel Pipes on the MI5 Report

He calls his article The Next London Bombing.
The point that most of all interested me, however, in reading Young Muslims and Extremism is where it draws on MI5 information to make this astonishing statement:

Intelligence indicates that the number of British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity, whether at home or abroad or supporting such activity, is extremely small and estimated at less than 1% (pdf 2, p. 9).

If one accepts the report's estimate (pdf 2, p. 5) that the Muslim population of Great Britain numbers 1.6 million, then up to 16,000 "British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity."

"Extremely small"? Excuse me, but that number strikes me as an extremely large.

That the British authorities do not recognize that they should worry about thousands of terrorists in their midst is reason to worry what planet they inhabit. Their waffling, myopia, and general incompetence make one despair for their country.

Some Thoughts on the London Bombings

Yesterday evening, a British friend dropped by. She told us that she was surprised, living in Washington, that she has had so few expressions of sympathy from her acquaintances in Georgetown. At a block party, no one even mentioned the London tube attacks. Why didn't Washingtonians seem to care?

Thinking about her complaint, I realized that neither Republicans or Democrats have much incentive to dwell on the horror.

Republicans were shown up, because the London bombings are pretty dramatic evidence that President Bush's war on terror isn't working. Bush's claims that Osama bin Laden is on the run, being smoked out, unable to act, etc. are proven to be empty boasting, Texas-grade. And if Bush is losing, he may be a loser, so better not to think about it. Let's talk about something else--Hurricane Dennis, anyone?

Democrats, on the other hand, have been shown up, too. For many of them have echoed Michael Moore's line that there is no terrorist threat, that the whole 9/11 episode was just something milked by Bush & Co. to get re-elected and give defense contracts to Halliburton, instead of more funding to Head Start. When downtown London is hit in a devastating blow, it looks like maybe the Democrats are wrong to pooh-pooh the terrorism problem. So, let's talk about something else--how about that Supreme Court fight?

Of course, each side has a rationale. Democrats might say, if only Britain weren't in Iraq they wouldn't be a target (but America was a target before Iraq or Afghanistan, as was France, as was Moscow, as was Jerusalem). And Republicans might say, if only we prevail in Iraq we will prevail over terror (but we prevailed in Afghanistan, we thought, and terror did not cease).

So, the meaning of London may not be crystal clear, but the blasts that tore through the Underground at King's Cross, Edgeware Road, and Liverpool Street station also tore through the pieties and stereotypes of the American political class--which is why they may have difficulty expressing condolences even to a Britisher living among them.

Our sympathies...

First London Bombing Victim Named

Susan Levy, of Hertfordshire, a mother of two, killed on the Picadilly Line, according to The Telegraph.

Why Do They Hate Us? (Continued)

Amir Taheri explains the thinking behind the London bombings:
But sorry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.

The ideological soil in which alQaeda, and the many groups using its brand name, grow was described by one of its original masterminds, the Pakistani Abul-Ala al-Maudoodi more than 40 years ago. It goes something like this: when God created mankind He made all their bodily needs and movements subject to inescapable biological rules but decided to leave their spiritual, social and political needs and movements largely subject to their will. Soon, however, it became clear that Man cannot run his affairs the way God wants. So God started sending prophets to warn man and try to goad him on to the right path. A total of 128,000 prophets were sent, including Moses and Jesus. They all failed. Finally, God sent Muhammad as the last of His prophets and the bearer of His ultimate message, Islam. With the advent of Islam all previous religions were “abrogated” (mansukh), and their followers regarded as “infidel” (kuffar). The aim of all good Muslims, therefore, is to convert humanity to Islam, which regulates Man’s spiritual, economic, political and social moves to the last detail.

But what if non-Muslims refuse to take the right path? Here answers diverge. Some believe that the answer is dialogue and argument until followers of the “abrogated faiths” recognise their error and agree to be saved by converting to Islam. This is the view of most of the imams preaching in the mosques in the West. But others, including Osama bin Laden, a disciple of al-Maudoodi, believe that the Western-dominated world is too mired in corruption to hear any argument, and must be shocked into conversion through spectacular ghazavat (raids) of the kind we saw in New York and Washington in 2001, in Madrid last year, and now in London.

That yesterday’s attack was intended as a ghazava was confirmed in a statement by the Secret Organisation Group of al-Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe, an Islamist group that claimed responsibility for yesterday’s atrocity. It said “We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid (ghazava) in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.” Those who carry out these missions are the ghazis, the highest of all Islamic distinctions just below that of the shahid or martyr. A ghazi who also becomes a shahid will be doubly meritorious.

There are many Muslims who believe that the idea that all other faiths have been “abrogated” and that the whole of mankind should be united under the banner of Islam must be dropped as a dangerous anachronism. But to the Islamist those Muslims who think like that are themselves regarded as lapsed, and deserving of death.
(Link via Little Green Footballs)

Arab News Charges Tony Blair Behind London Bombings

This article is based on just the type of repellent crackpot logic used in "black propaganda" that George Bush was behind 9/11.

I've seen the same line on Chechen bombings in Russia for example. When we lived in Moscow, we would often pass by the memorial to those who died in the bombing at Pushkinskaya Metro station. Same M.O. as London...

Frightening to think millions around the world may believe an item in Arab News that is obviously nonsense to any reasonable person. And perhaps more disturbing to realize there are editors at papers like Arab News who willingly choose to publish this sort of thing. What Motive for the Heinous Crime of London Bombings?:
Dictatorial governments have always used some fabricated or isolated incidents to justify their tyrannical actions. In recent years, Western governments have shown that they are always willing to borrow a leaf of dictators' book. Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and David Blunkett's measures that were ruled unconstitutional by the British House of Lords are examples of such readiness. Do we see in the London bombings an act that will play into the hands of Tony Blair's government? This is not to suggest that the government has any hand in the planning or execution of this crime. It is only likely that in the aftermath of the bombings, the Blair government may find it much easier to introduce some draconian measures of the type that was ruled unconstitutional, without encountering much opposition.

The real sufferers will be the Muslim community in Britain and in other European countries.

An important factor that supports this view is the outcome of the recent general elections in Britain, when the Blair government lost much of its parliamentary majority, and the Muslim community was for the first time more selective in how it votes. The first steps toward shaping a “Muslim vote” factor that influences election results were seen to have taken place. In order to prevent such a factor taking firm roots, something needs to be done now to send the Muslim community back into its long political slumber. What can bring this about better than alienating it from British society?

This Arab News article seems a good illustration of Voltaire's observation, that those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Newsweek Outs Karl Rove

As Matt Cooper's source for the Valerie Plame-CIA connection according toWar and Piece.

Islamism on Trial

Daniel Pipes discusses Vanessa Blum's Legal Times thumb-sucker about the conviction of Islamist Ali al-Timimi as part of the "Virginia jihad network." It seems like an important case that is not getting too much media attention.

Sunday Times: Al-Qaeda Recruiting British University Students

Leaked No 10 dossier reveals Al-Qaeda’s British recruits : "AL-QAEDA is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal. A network of 'extremist recruiters' is circulating on campuses targeting people with 'technical and professional qualifications', particularly engineering and IT degrees." (link via Little Green Footballs)

A Star Is Born

We just came back from seeing the Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg's Kirov Ballet's performance of Le Corsaire at the Kennedy Center. Young Leonid Sarafanov stole the show (a pretty good show at that) as Ali, bringing the audience to life, receiving roaring applause and cheers (unusual enthusiasm for a Washington, DC crowd).

It must have been something like this when a young Baryshnikov or Nureyev first toured the USA. Keep an eye out for the 20-year old male dancer in future productions.

Coffee: The Drink That Changed the World

Jonathan Yardley reviews Dark History by Antony Wild, the history of coffee. The theory: coffee helped people sober up from generations of beer drinking--and launched the modern intellectual revolution based in coffeehouses that led to Lloyd's of London, the Stock Exchange, and myriad other institutions we take for granted to day--not to mention the British Club...

Friday, July 08, 2005

London Was World Terrorism Capital

According to
London has long been home to many radical Islamic groups and preachers, so much so that it is often called 'Londonistan.' Sir John Stevens, former head of Scotland Yard, has estimated that up to 200 militants trained in Afghanistan's jihadist camps may live in England.

Rita Katz, director of the terrorism-monitoring SITE Institute, says London has 'a lot of jihadis, more than any other city in the Western world.'

'In London,' she says, 'what you have are the four factors of terrorism: recruitment, planning, financing and execution.'

If this is true, then democracy appears to be conducive to terrorism. Britain is also a wealthy, free-market economy.

As one counter-example disproves an erroneous universal claim, the London bombing explodes both George Bush's "Democracy" strategy for countering terrorism, along with his liberal critics' "Economic Development" strategy, which blames poverty.

Left standing is Daniel Pipes' political and ideological explanation--a theoretical approach shared by the Russians, Israelis, Indians and Chinese, among others...

Abu Hamza Link in London Blasts?

The New York Sun's Eli Lake reports on the Finsbury Mosque leader's connection to terrorism:
WASHINGTON - Just two days before yesterday's horrific attacks on London's mass-transit system, a British court began proceedings to deport a man widely believed to be Osama bin Laden's envoy to the United Kingdom.
Abu Hamza al-Masri, a former Afghan Mujahedeen warrior turned Islamic scholar, stood in the dock on July 5 in London to hear the government he so often pledged to destroy make the case that he has urged fellow believers to kill Britons.

Terrorism experts yesterday were careful not to draw a link between the attacks and Mr. Masri's case, saying the bombings were most likely linked to Al Qaeda's campaign against the West, but in many ways the two matters are deeply connected. The Finsbury Park mosque, where Mr. Masri, 48, often gave fiery sermons imploring his faithful to defend Muslims against an assault from the West is widely considered to be the training and indoctrination ground for the jihadist movement in England.

'The leadership of the European Islamists relocated from Germany to England in the late 1990s. The Finsbury Park mosque was the central point, the embassy, the nexus for many of these groups. It served as both a recruitment and indoctrination school,' a Hudson Institute terrorism analyst, Christopher Brown, told The New York Sun yesterday.

A former CIA analyst and current chief executive officer for the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Michael Swetnam, yesterday said the Finsbury mosque likely played an important role in the London attacks.

Putin: No "Double Standards" for Terrorists

The Moscow Times report:
President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences over Thursday's bomb attacks in London and said the attacks showed that the civilized world was not united enough in fighting terrorism.

Speaking at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, Putin also said there should be no 'double standards' in assessing terrorist attacks, in an apparent reference to bomb attacks in Russia that have claimed the lives of thousands of people.

'What happened today demonstrates yet again that we are doing too little to unite our efforts in the most effective way in the battle against terrorism,' Putin said.

There must not be any 'double standards whatsoever in assessing bloody crimes similar to those carried out in London today,' he said.

Victor Davis Hanson on the London Bombings

From VDH's Private Papers:
The jihadists expect that Westerners will slink out of the Middle East, allowing fascist fundamentalists to gain control of half the world's oil and thus buy enough weapons to blackmail their way back to the caliphate.

Destroying Israel, killing Christians in Africa, running Westerners out of the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia, or Bali, all that is mere relish. In Europe, the goal for the unhinged is the creation of another al Andalus; for the more calculating it is enough intimidation and terror to carve out zones of Muslim sanctuary, where millions can live parasite-like, within the largess of Western society, but without its bothersome liberal agenda of freedom and equality, in hopes of implanting the universal law of sharia.

So here we are. Even though the killers profess revenge equally for Afghanistan (the so-called 'right' war), they expect Westerners to scream 'Iraq.'
Even though such bombings are predicated on infiltration, careful stealthy reconnaissance, and long sojourns within London, expect cries of anguish and worrying about the stereotyping of Middle Eastern males.

Look for the same scripted crocodile tears and 'concern' from the Middle East's illegitimate leaders, even as much of the Islamic Street takes a secret delight in the daring of the jihadists, and the governments sense relief that the target was Westerners and not themselves.

Anticipate Western leaders condemning the terrorists in the same breadth as they call for 'eliminating poverty' and 'bringing them to justice' --as if the jihadists and their patrons are mere wayward and impoverished felons.

In the short term, Bush and Blair will appear as islands in the storm amid an angry and anguished public. But as 7/7 fades, as did 9/11, expect them to become even more unpopular, as the voices of appeasement assure us that if they just go away, maybe so will the terrorists.

It is our task, each of us according to our station, to speak the truth to all these falsehoods, and remember that we did not inherit a wonderful civilization just to lose it to the Dark Ages.

Mark Steyn on the London Bombings

From The Telegraph :
Today, the faraway country of which the British know little is Britain itself. Traditional terrorists - the IRA, ETA - operate close to home. Islamism projects itself long-range to any point of the planet with an ease most G8 militaries can't manage. Small cells operate in the nooks and crannies of a free society while the political class seems all but unaware of their existence.

Did we learn enough, for example, from the case of Omar Sheikh? He's the fellow convicted of the kidnapping and beheading in Karachi of the American journalist Daniel Pearl. He's usually described as 'Pakistani' but he is, in fact, a citizen of the United Kingdom - born in Whipps Cross Hospital, educated at Nightingale Primary School in Wanstead, the Forest School in Snaresbrook and the London School of Economics. He travels on a British passport. Unlike yours truly, a humble Canadian subject of the Crown, Mr Sheikh gets to go through the express lane at Heathrow.

Or take Abdel Karim al-Tuhami al-Majati, a senior al-Qa'eda member from Morocco killed by Saudi security forces in al Ras last April. One of Mr Majati's wives is a Belgian citizen resident in Britain. In Pakistan, the jihadists speak openly of London as the terrorist bridgehead to Europe. Given the British jihadists who've been discovered in the thick of it in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Palestine, Chechnya and Bosnia, only a fool would believe they had no plans for anything closer to home - or, rather, 'home'.

Most of us can only speculate at the degree of Islamist penetration in the United Kingdom because we simply don't know, and multicultural pieties require that we keep ourselves in the dark.

Scottish Eyewitness Saw London Tube Bomber News reports:
Richard Jones, a passenger from Scotland, said he had just alighted from the bus when the bomb went off: 'I got ten yards away and the bus exploded,' he said.
'Basically, there was a young gentleman, an olive-skinned gentleman, in front of me and he kept diving into a bag at his feet. He became more and more agitated and so, on reflection, that may have been the bomber I was standing next to.'
Terence Mutasa, 27, a staff nurse at University College Hospital, said: 'I treated two girls in their twenties who were involved in the bus bomb. They were saying some guy came and sat down on the bottom deck and that he exploded.
They said the guy sat down and the explosion happened. They thought it was a suicide bomber.'

DEBKAfile: London Bombers Home-Grown

The Bombers were Suicide Killers from the UK, argues the not always reliable

BBC on London Attacks

They have a dedicated webpage: BBC NEWS | In Depth | london explosions.

Giuliani in London During Bombings

In an irony of fate, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was in London during the bombings, and spoke to the BBC.

The Counterterrorism Blog

Just found The Counterterrorism Blog in googling the London bombings. It looks like an interesting source of information.

Tony Blair: "We Will Hold True to the British Way of Life"

Statement from the PM following COBR meeting:

When they try to intimidate us, we will not be intimidated. When they seek to change our country or our way of life by these methods, we will not be changed. When they try to divide our people or weaken our resolve, we will not be divided and our resolve will hold firm. We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs. The purpose of terrorism is just that, it is to terrorise people, and we will not be terrorised.

I would like once again to express my sympathy and my sorrow to those families who will be grieving, so unexpectedly and tragically, tonight.? This is a very sad day for the British people, but we will hold true to the British way of life.

More From Daniel Pipes on the End of Britain's "Covenant of Security"

British Islamists Threatened Violence

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Statement from G8 Leaders Marks Tipping Point in Terror War

The key sentence is in point 4: a reference to "fanaticism and extremism." The Russians and Chinese have stated a number of times that the war on terror is a war on "terrorism, fanaticism, and extremism." Until today, I never heard a British or American leader mention the last two. But now they've all signed onto the same page at the G8 summit, it seems. If true, this would mark a turning point in the right direction for the Global War on Terror.

Statement from world leaders: Terrorist Attacks on London: "Statement by the G8, the Leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa and the Heads of the International Organisations represented here.

1. We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We send our profound condolences to the victims and their families. All of our countries have suffered from the impact of terrorism. Those responsible have no respect for human life. We are united in our resolve to confront and defeat this terrorism that is not an attack on one nation, but on all nations and on civilised people everywhere.
2. We will not allow violence to change our societies or our values. Nor will we allow it to stop the work of this Summit. We will continue our deliberations in the interests of a better world. Here at this Summit, the world's leaders are striving to combat world poverty and save and improve human life. The perpetrators of today's attacks are intent on destroying human life.
3. The terrorists will not succeed.
4. Today's bombings will not weaken in any way our resolve to uphold the most deeply held principles of our societies and to defeat those who would impose their fanaticism and extremism on all of us. We shall prevail. They shall not.

7 July 2005

Now that the G8 leaders appear have agreed the problem is ideological at base, perhaps Mssrs. Blair and Bush might stop supporting Palestinian, Chechen, Uighur, Uzbek and other Muslim Brotherhood inspired terrorists, fanatics, and extremists...

Did a "Covenant of Security" Protect the United Kingdom?

Listening to the BBC World Service coverage, I thought I heard an announcer say that the British felt safe from terror prior to the recent bombings because Europe provided a base for terrorists. Hard to believe, so I checked it out on the web and came up with this article; in whichDaniel Pipes argues the British had a deal with terrorists, prior to July 7th, called the "covenant of security":

To the extent the allowing of Islamists and terrorists safe haven on British soil is a conscious decision to keep the UK safe at the expense of others, this is an immoral and despicable policy that must be changed immediately. (August 9, 2004)

If true, this theory might explain why indeed Britain did give asylum to Abu Hamza, Chechen warlords and Hizb-ut-Tahrir leaders, among other various and sundry terrorists, fanatics, and extremists--prior to the London bombings.

Live TV Coverage of London Bombings

From Camera Works: Audio and Video (

London bombings - Wikipedia

Link to 7 July 2005 London bombings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

UKBlogs Aggregator on London Bombings

Link to the UKBlogs Aggregator (via Instapundit) for latest reports.

Guardian Unlimited: Newsblog

The Guardian Unlimited: Newsblog is covering the London bombing live.

Statement of Prime Minister Tony Blair on London Bombings

From the 10 Downing Street Press Office:

I am just going to make a short statement to you on the terrible events that have happened in London earlier today, and I hope you understand that at the present time we are still trying to establish exactly what has happened, and there is a limit to what information I can give you, and I will simply try and tell you the information as best I can at the moment.

It is reasonably clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London. There are obviously casualties, both people that have died and people seriously injured, and our thoughts and prayers of course are with the victims and their families.

It is my intention to leave the G8 within the next couple of hours and go down to London and get a report, face-to-face, with the police, and the emergency services and the Ministers that have been dealing with this, and then to return later this evening.

It is the will of all the leaders at the G8 however that the meeting should continue in my absence, that we should continue to discuss the issues that we were going to discuss, and reach the conclusions which we were going to reach. Each of the countries round that table have some experience of the effects of terrorism and all the leaders, as they will indicate a little bit later, share our complete resolution to defeat this terrorism.

It is particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa, and the long term problems of climate change and the environment. Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack, or a series of terrorist attacks, it is also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8. There will be time to talk later about this.

It is important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.

Multiple blasts hit London transport system

Multiple blasts hit London transport system .

Sad news of another presumed terrorist attack.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Judith Miller Goes to Jail

The New York Times reports on its reporter's jailing in DC.

Some ironies:

Miller was relentlessly criticized by the left as a pro-Bush agitator for the Iraq war.

The New York Times demanded a special prosecutor to find out who leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's idenity to Robert Novak.

Miller's jail time might give her the chance to write another best-seller...

BTW Powerline has a good discussion of the case here.

Why Bush is Losing, Continued...

Mohammed Zahid's article gives one reason: Islamist extremists think they are winning...

London Gets the 2012 Olympics

According to the IHT (via Instapundit). Curiously, when I was there, every Londoner I met said they didn't want them. Talk about British understatement . . .

Still, I hope Moscow tries again.

Spielberg Reportedly Making Anti-Israel Film in Malta

The not always reliable DEBKAfile , basing their report on the not always reliable New York Times, says Spielberg will be in Malta shooting the story of Mossad agents who hunted down and killed Palestinian assassins in the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics. The film will be critical of the Israelis, and feature their "troubling doubts." Debka advises Spielberg to be careful while filming in Malta, since his Hollywood production might become a target for Islamist terrorists, itself.

John Bolton for the Supreme Court

From OpinionJournal:

A lot of worthy names have been floated for the impending Supreme Court vacancy, and we'd like to add one more to the list: a distinguished public servant who graduated from the prestigious Yale Law School and is an expert in international law, an area that is particularly important in wartime.

We refer, of course, to John Bolton.

OK, it's a long shot, but wouldn't it be worth it just to see Voinovich cry again?"
That'll teach 'em . . .

Edinburgh G8 Rioters Appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

The Scotsman has the story on the hearing for those arrested in the violent anti-capitalist demonstrations in the Scottish capital; interestingly, in the land of Adam Smith, the inventor of Capitalism.

The sad fact is that these latter-day Brownshirts only survive because of the sympathetic treatment they get from the press. If they were treated as they deserve by the media--as retrograde reactionary wreckers and thugs, whose nihilist vision would create a dystopic world no better than the one fought for by the Ku Klux Klan--their movement would shrivel up and die in an instant.

But they've been given a pass, because they act out the hateful adolescent fantasies of a lot of repressed writers and academics who get vicarious cheap thrills of the sort the Weathermen, Huey Newton and Abbie Hoffman once provided. It's too bad that they were able to smash up Seattle and Edinburgh, among other nice towns, in orgies of public idiocy.

UPDATE: Via Powerline, this link to Josh Trevino's Edinburgh G8 Blog.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New York Times Reputation Sinking Fast

This Reuters story says the legendary newspaper of record is now in 6th place, down from first place in 2003--behind the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Le Monde, and Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

It's worse than the Washington Post, too, IMHO.

I love my new phone!

It's a Nokia 3220 Phone, from T-Mobile.

I hate to sound like Glenn Reynolds talking about his cameras, or Ann Althouse talking about her car, but my phone is driving me crazy with joy. It is like having a mini-disco, tv and photography studio, tape recorder, and it even synchronizes with my Outlook according to the program I just downloaded from the Nokia website. I took some great pictures of the fireworks last night on the National Mall, and already used it for the Central Asian blog I contribute to, to take some pictures at a Senate hearing. What else can it do? I wonder...

Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

Peter Carlson's magazine column in the Washington Post today led us to this article from Fast Company magazine:

One of the most provocative ideas about business in this decade so far surfaced in a most unlikely place. The forum wasn't the Harvard Business School or one of those $4,000-a-head conferences where Silicon Valley's venture capitalists search for the next big thing. It was a convention of Canadian cops in the far-flung province of Newfoundland. The speaker, a 71-year-old professor emeritus from the University of British Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the business realm. But he's renowned in his own field: criminal psychology. Robert Hare is the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist. The 20-item personality evaluation has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history. It's the standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths -- the 1% of the general population that isn't burdened by conscience. Psychopaths have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life 'games' they can win -- and take pleasure from their power.

Having run into this type of character in a number of situations, ranging from politics, to business, to personal life, I found Alan Deutschman's story fascinating reading . . .

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sandra Day O'Connor and Me

It's not the best story in the world, but it is still a story that tells you something about the strong personality of America's first female Supreme Court Justice...

Now that she's retiring, I can finally tell about my close encounter with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

A few years ago, I was invited to attend a preview screening at a movie theatre in the basement of Union Station. I forget the film, but I remember there was a crowd. And a long line to get in. As I made my way to the entrance, a petite older lady determinedly strode through the crowd, making her way to the front. In my opinion, she cut in front of me. I was incensed. "Who does she think she is?" I asked myself. I tried to get a look at her face--and saw she was Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

We both got in.

Ed Klein v Hillary Clinton

John LeBoutillier analyzes the meaning of the new biography of the former First Lady:
The stunning news that Ed Klein's book, THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY, has reached the coveted number 2 spot on the prestigious New York Times bestseller list for July 10 is a huge victory for some - and a shattering defeat for others.

Let us examine:


1) Ed Klein, the author, who has been relentlessly trashed by the Clinton Spin Machine, has now been vindicated by the smashing success of his book. A completely honorable man and a credible journalist, the pro-Hillary camp had tried to discredit him and his book. And even some prominent conservatives - with their own selfish agendas - aided this trashing. But getting to number 2 on the Times's list has vindicated Ed Klein.

I'm no friend of Klein's. When my documentary "Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?" came out a quarter of a century ago, he ran an article by historian Lucy Dawidowicz in the New York Times Magazine designed to discredit my work, so nasty and sneaky in my opinion that it didn't even mention the name of the film, yet sought to undermine my key points . So I've never liked the guy, and really do sympathize with Bill and Hillary on a personal level.

Nevertheless, Klein's not the world's greatest writer, and as John LeBoutillier says in this column, it might have been a better policy for them to just ignore the book. After all, if the Kennedys can take it from Klein, so can the Clintons...

The New Sisyphus

I found the New Sisyphus via a link on Diplomad's old weblog. It's sort of interesting, though not as good as Diplomad, in discussing American foreign policy and the Bush "Democracy" doctrine. It has this quote from President Bush that bears thinking about:
So we made a decision to protect ourselves and remove Saddam Hussein. The jihadists made a decision to come into Iraq to fight us. For a reason. They know that if we're successful in Iraq, like we were in Afghanistan, that it'll be a serious blow to their ideology. General (John) Abizaid (Commander of US forces in the Middle East) told me something very early in this campaign I thought was very interesting. Very capable man. He's a Arab-American who I find to be a man of great depth and understanding. When we win in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's a beginning of the end. Talking about the war on terror. If we don't win here, it's the beginning of the beginning. And that's how I view it.

Friends Don't Let Friends Conduct CPB Bias Studies...

News reports say CPB chairman Ken Tomlinson gave $14,000 to his buddy Fred Mann to jot down the political angle of PBS and NPR shows. For those who want to read what all the media hype is about, NPR links to an Adobe Acrobat version of Mann's study. Now Tomlinson's reaping the whirlwind, under a barrage of criticism from the press and politicians, charging political interference and demanding his resignation.

Would it have made a difference if Tomlinson's content analysis had come from a more respectable source?


In 1992 Dr. Robert Lichter of The Center for Media and Public Affairs released a scientific study providing documentary evidence of a liberal bias in PBS documentaries. PBS and NPR supporters denounced that report, also.

Nevertheless, Congress reduced the appropriation for public broadcasting in the aftermath.

Friday, July 01, 2005

US Plans Space Fireworks Juty 4th

Radio Free Europe reports on the upcoming planned crash of the "Deep Impact" space probe into the Tempel 1 comet.

The Strange Case of Judith Miller

Time agrees to name confidential sources / Magazine editor cites 'duties under the law' as reason reads today's headline in the San Francisco Chronicle. Which means that Judith Miller alone faces jail in the CIA leak probe. The question is, if the judge already has the name in question, why Judith Miller?

I was interviewed by Judy Miller while she covered the NEA controversy for the NY Times. I found her reporting to be accurate, something pretty unusual. So I read her book "God Has 99 Names," an analysis of radical Islamism as a political force. It was excellent. When "Germs" came out, about the dangers of Germ warfare, her publisher permitted my website, The Idler, to run a sample chapter. The anthrax attacks after 9/11 gave that book great credibility.

So, what is the back story here? Why is Miller at the center of a controversy over Bob Novak's column?

I don't know, and she's not talking. But there may be more to this than meets the eye--the demands of the case has taken perhaps the best reporter on the CIA/Terrorism beat out of circulation--a reporter attacked by Edward Said in almost pure anti-Semitic terms.

One hopes Judy Miller will write a book about her ordeal to explain it to us, perhaps she will have some time in prison...

Fourth of July Celebrations Database

Here's the history of the Fourth of July, from American University.

Dominion Day v. Canada Day

Mark Steyn celebrates Canada Day by calling for a return to Dominion Day . . .