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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
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Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 6, 2011.
Thursday, 6 October 2011
"We Feel Appalled By The Indifference Shown To Us By Our Government"
Oct, 6, 2011

Family of al Qaida blogger Samir Khan 'appalled' by U.S. actions

Tim Funk / The Charlotte Observer


The Charlotte family of Samir Khan, the al-Qaida propagandist killed in a U.S. airstrike Friday, ended its silence Wednesday night.

In a statement, the family cast the 25-year-old Khan as a "law-abiding" U.S. citizen who was assassinated by an American government that has not "contacted us with any news about the recovery of our son's remains (or) offered us any condolences."

"As a result," the family added, "we feel appalled by the indifference shown to us by our government."

Khan's family moved to Charlotte from New York in 2004. A year later, while a student at Central Piedmont Community College, the young Khan started a radical blog, which he wrote in the basement of his family's home in northeast Charlotte.

A few years ago, after media reports exposed his controversial blog, Khan moved to Yemen to produce "Inspire," an English-language magazine for al-Qaida. The magazine, which appeared online, ran articles such as "How to Build a Bomb in Your Mom's Kitchen." In one early edition, Khan wrote that "I am proud to be a traitor to America."

On Friday, he was killed along with radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Friday's drone attack is thought to be the first instance in which a U.S. citizen was tracked and killed based on secret intelligence and the president's say-so. Al-Awlaki was placed on the CIA "kill or capture" list by the Obama administration in April 2010 - the first American to be so targeted.

Al-Awlaki's death was the biggest success in the Obama administration's intensified campaign to take out al-Qaida's leadership since the May killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The pursuit of al-Awlaki and Friday's strike were directed by the same U.S. special unit that directed the Navy SEALs raid on bin Laden's hideout.

Al-Awlaki and his comrades were moving through a desert region east of Yemen's capital near the village of Khasaf when the drone struck, U.S. and Yemeni officials said.

In Wednesday's statement, Khan's family asserted that Samir Khan "never broke any law and was never implicated in any crime." Echoing some civil libertarians, who have questioned the decision to kill Khan and al-Awlaki - both U.S. citizens - the Khan family also raised these issues: "Was this style of execution the only solution? Why couldn't there have been a capture and trial? Where is the justice? As we mourn our son, we must ask these questions."

The family's statement was released through Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte. It was Hough who arranged two attempted "interventions" in his Charlotte home, where he and Khan's father, Zafar Khan, gathered with local Muslim leaders in an attempt to persuade the young Khan - prior to this exodus to Yemen - to abandon his radical rhetoric.

Here is the full Khan family statement:

"We, the family of Samir Khan, in our time of grief and mourning, request that the media let us have our peace and privacy during this difficult time. It has been stated in the media that Samir was not the target of the attack; however no U.S. official has contacted us with any news about the recovery of our son's remains, nor offered us any condolences. As a result, we feel appalled by the indifference shown to us by our government.

"Being a law abiding citizen of the United States our late son Samir Khan never broke any law and was never implicated of any crime. The Fifth Amendment states that no citizen shall be 'deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law' yet our government assassinated two of its citizens. Was this style of execution the only solution? Why couldn't there have been a capture and trial? Where is the justice? As we mourn our son, we must ask these questions."

Posted on 10/06/2011 7:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Of Expanding Universes and Quasicrystals; What Some Non-Muslims Like to Do With Their Time

Today I honour two of the Nobel prizewinners for 2011 - Brian Schmidt, an astronomer of dual American and Australian citizenship who is a joint winnter of the 2011 Nobel physics prize for research into supernovae, and the Israeli scientist, Daniel Schechtman, whose discovery of quasicrystals has earned him the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

I place them together because their work beautifully illustrates this quote by Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka", but "That's funny...".

First, as published in Australia's ABC online, the story of Brian Schmidt, the young American who married an Australian, joined the ANU, and ended up jointer winner of a Nobel Prize.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-04/australian-astrophysicist-wins-nobel-prize/3209216

'Australian National University astronomer Brian Schmidt has been named a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Physics prize for his research into supernovae.

'The prize was awarded "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae", the Nobel Committee for Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

'When hearing the news, 44 year old Professor Schmidt said winning "sort of feels like when my children were born."

'He told Swedish public broadcaster SVT that he was "weak in the knees, really excited...

"I did not expect it...I guess it's one of these things you expect is probably not going to happen", he said.

'Half of the 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.5 million) prize money went to US citizen Saul Perlmutter and the other half to Professor Schmidt and US scientist Adam Riess.

"They have studied several dozen exploding stars, called supernovae, and discovered that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate", the Nobel committee said.

"The discovery came as a complete surprise, even to the laureates themselves.

'Professor Schmidt said at first the discovery seemed too crazy to be true.

"we ended up telling the world we have this crazy result, the universe is speeding up", Professor Schmidt said.

"It seemed too crazy to be right and I think we were a little scared."

'Thank you Australia'.

'Professor Schmidt, a joint US-Australian citizen, said he may not have become a Nobel winner if he had not met his Australian wife at Harvard and come to live in the country 17 years ago.

"For me, I think being in Australia was probably, you know, absolutely essential for being part of this", he said.

"I came here at the age of 27 and was able, and was backed with the resources and just the status, to run an international team.  

"And you know that's a uniquely Australian thing.

I wouldn't say it was uniquely Australian. But I'm glad somebody saw the potential of what Professor Schmidt could do, back when he was a young fellow, and took the gamble of turning him and his mates loose to do pure science to their hearts' content. - CM

"So I guess I am very grateful to ANU and Australia in general for all the support I got here as a very young person.

'Professor Schmidt said one of the reasons he was so readily willing to come to Australia was the opportunity to work at Mt Stromlo, which he described as "one of the great astronomical institutions in the world".

How many people who watch movies like 'Crocodile Dundee' would associate Australia with world-class astronomy and astrophysics? And yet: the European phase of this continent's human history began with astronomy.  The 'cover' story for Captain Cook's voyage to look for Terra Incognita in the South Seas was...a brief to observe the Transit of Venus. - CM

'A father of two teenage sons, Professor Schmidt said when he was officially informed that he had won the prize, "The Nobel Prize guy said 'It was nice to have someone young'.'

'Asked whether he was young enough to win it again, Professor Schmidt said, "I think once in a lifetime is enough."

'Infinite Mysteries'

'ANU vice-chancellor, Professor Ian Young, says the Nobel Prize winning work has helped to unveil a universe that, to a large extent, was unknown to science.

"He has shown that what we see in the skies is but a tiny fraction of what is really out there. Brian reminds us of the infinite mysteries yet to be understood", he said.

'The breakthrough came in 1998, when one research team headed by Professor Perlmutter and another led by Professor Schmidt and accompanied by Professor Riess reached the same astounding conclusion that the expansion of the universe was rapidly accelerating.

"If the expansion continues to speed up, the universe will end in ice", the Nobel jury said.

'The jury added that their discovery had changed mankind's understanding of the universe.

'Scientists have known since the 1920s that the universe is expanding, as a result of the Big Bang some 14 billion years ago.

'But the discovery that this process is accelerating - and not slowing as many thought - rocked the research community.

'The acceleration is thought to be driven by dark energy, although cosmologists have little idea what that is.

'They estimate that dark energy - a kind of inverse gravity, repelling matter that comes close to it - accounts for around 3/4 of the universe.

'By looking at a certain kind of supernova, the astronomers discovered a benchmark for the movement of light.

'Their work confirms a theory first proposed by Albert Einstein, which he dubbed the cosmological constant.

'The trio will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.'

It's kind of nice to reflect that the relationship between Australia and America is not only about a military/ political alliance - young men trying to watch each other's backs in the hellhole that is Islamic Afghanistan - but also functions at the level of culture and intellectual endeavour: an Australian university giving opportunity and resources to a young American astronomer who would go on to become a Nobel prize winner.

And now for the story of Daniel Schechtman, the man who has gained Israel her tenth Nobel prize (the fourth awarded for discoveries in Chemistry).

The ABC reported the news as follows  (click on the link; there's a very nice colour picture of a quasicrystal structure) - 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-05/atomic-mosaic-wins-chemistry-nobel/3310930

'Atomic mosaic' wins chemistry Nobel'

'An Israeli scientist says he endured years of ridicule for the discovery which has now won him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

'Thirty years ago Daniel Schechtman discovered quasicrystals - a new form of crystal that had a structure many scientists said at the time was impossible.

'For years his peers rejected and ridiculed his findings, with the head of his laboratory handing him a textbook in crystallography and suggesting he read it.

'At one point Professor Schechtman was even branded a disgrace and asked to leave his research group at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

'But since then the Professor's quasicrystals have helped change the way chemists conceive of solid matter.

'His singular discovery has now won him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

"His battle eventually forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter", the Nobel jury said.

'Quasicrystals, described by the Nobel jury as "a remarkable mosaic of atoms", are patterns that are highly ordered and symmetrical but which do not repeat themselves.

'To the untrained eye, they look like abstract Islamic art.

Can we not read even one news story these days without the obligatory complimentary reference to Islam?  Cue the da'wa artists on a thousand Islamic websites (each madder than the one before it) claiming that Professor Schechtman's work was  anticipated by Muslim tile-layers...- CM

'Quasicrystals have been found in the lab and some have been discovered to occur naturally in minerals.

'Their closely-packed structure helps them strengthen materials, with potential outlets in consumer products such as frying pans and machines such as diesel engines, which experience high heat and mechanical stress.

Can anyone say, military applications?....Isn't it fun when disinterested and humble contemplation of the structure of matter happens to lead to the making of a better frying pan - or, perhaps, a better engine for a tank?  I might add that this habit we non-Muslims have, of asking questions 'outside the box' and thinking about things, instead of banging our heads on the floor five times a day and rote-memorizing swathes of bloodcurdling exhortations to violence, does incidentally allow us to invent  scary military technology to keep us followers of the 'religion of peace' (be it Judaism or Christianity) just one jump ahead of the scimitar-waving adherents of the Religion of Blood and War. - CM

'Professor Schechtman's research "has fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter", the jury said.''

'His discovery was "extremely controversial", the Nobel committee said, noting that the atoms were "arranged in a manner that was contrary (sic: perhaps this should read 'was previously thought to be contrary' - CM) to the laws of nature".

'The pattern was "considered just as impossible as creating a football using only six-cornered polygons, when a sphere needs both five and six-cornered polygons".

'Professor Schechtman, born in 1941, is currently a professor at [the] Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, where he holds the Philip Tobias Chair.

'He will receive the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) award at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10...

'Professor Schechtman is the 10th Israeli to win a Nobel Prize and the fourth to win the Chemistry prize."

'Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Professor has made every Israeli happy and every Jew in the world proud."

Here

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=240733

is a list of the other Israelis who have won Nobel prizes. 

And here are some excerpts from the Jerusalem Post article about Schechtman, Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reporting:

http://www.jpost.com/Health/Article.aspx?id=240734

'Technion's Schechtman becomes nation's 10th Nobel laureate'.

'Materials scientist overcame ridicule to show world the seriousness of his new type of crystal.

'Netanyahu: Prize reflects intellect of our people.

'Israel's 10th Nobel Prize - and fourth in chemistry - was awarded on Wednesday by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to Prof Dan Schechtman, a materials science scientist at Haifa's Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

'His discovery in 1982 that atoms in rigid crystals can be packed together in unusual ways led tot he development of extremely strong materials from metal surgical tools and razor blades to diesel engines and as protective coatings and metal alloys.

'What became known as quasiperiodic or quasicrystals do not rust or become oxidized and have almost no surface friction.

'The Tel Aviv-born scientist, who is also an associate of the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and a professor at Iowa State University

So here again, as in the story of Australia's Professor Schmidt, we see the fruit born of an alliance between the USA and one of her small free-world allies, an alliance - indeed a friendship - that is active as much in the world of intellect, in the academy and the laboratory, as in the field of politics and war. - CM

found that atoms in crystals could be structured in an unrepeatable pattern that looked like the Arab-style floor mosaics.  The structure was described by the Nobel committee as "the fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms".

Nevertheless it was an Israeli Jew who discovered quasicrystals, not a Muslim. - CM'

'As scientists all believed until then that crystal patterns had to be repetitious to be crystals, Schechtman was ridiculed and treated with hostility for his ideas for years, even by his friends and colleagues.  Weizman Institute of Science Prof Ada Yonath, who won for Israel a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009, was similarly the butt of jokes for her pioneering work on the structure in ribosomes in the cell.

'Even Prof Linus Pauling, the Americal double-Nobel laureate who made important discoveries in quantum chemistry and molecular biology and created controversy for his advocacy in high-dose Vitamin C, claimed Schechtman was "talking nonsense".

Which just goes to show that even Nobel prize winners in science can get things wrong. - CM

'Pauling, until his death in 1994, was the only one who stubbornly refused to recognize the Technion scientist's discovery.

'Upon hearing the announcement, Schechtman was forthcoming in sharing the honor.

"I think this is a great day for me, of course, but also a great day for the country", he said at a press conference.

'The prize does not belong to him alone, he continued.

"There are thousands of scientists that research the subject I developed, and I'm sure they all see the prize as an achievement for themselves as well, and indeed they deserve it...

"The 70 year old Schechtman, married and the father of four, earned his three degrees at the Technion.  He was on sabbatical almost three decades ago at the US National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC, when he discovered the icosahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals.

'After receiving his doctorate, Schechtman was an NRC fellow at the Aerospace Research Laboratories at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where for three years he studied the microstructure and physical metallurgy of titanium aluminides.

'He joined the Technion's department of materials engineering in 1975.  During his sabbatical in the early 1980s at Johns Hopkins University, he discovered the icosahedral phase.  he was amazed to discover in an electron microscope that the new crystal he had discovered was symmetrical and could be turned around five times without looking different; this was considered "impossible" according to existing theory.

'Schechtman was turned down by the Journal of Applied Physics which claimed that his discovery "would not interest physicists"; he sent it to Metallurgical Transactions, which accepted his paper, but its editors said it would take a year to publish.

'He refused to wait, but instead wrote a more abbreviated article for Physical Review Letters, along with three colleagues, that was published within a few weeks and aroused much interest and controversy among physicists and then chemists and mathematicians.

'Today hundreds of synthetic materials with the unusual structure have been produced. Conferences on the subject are held annually, and more than 40 scientific volumes have been published in the field...

"President Shimon Peres called Schechtman to congratulate him.  "Your win is promising and gives hope. There are not many nations who have won so many Nobel prizes.  You have given the state of Israel a wonderful gift...

"You provide hope and serve as an example to the younger generation.  You demonstrate that a thinking person who is hardworking and brave can make ground-breaking scientific discoveries".

'The President stressed that three of the 10 Israeli Nobel Prize winners are graduates of the Technion, and that this is a badge of honor for the Technion and for higher education in Israel...".

One sees the full, abysmal, and indeed suicidal stupidity of the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign against Israel, when one contemplates the career  and achievements of someone like Professor Schechtman  - CM

 

 

Posted on 10/06/2011 12:49 AM by Christina McIntosh
Thursday, 6 October 2011
UK or USA, its all about their rights, never their responsibilities

From the Los Angeles Times

A Muslim woman from San Diego is suing Southwest Airlines after being taken off a flight in March when crew members deemed her behavior suspicious.

Irum Abbasi, who was wearing a hijab, the Islamic head scarf, was seated on a flight preparing to depart from San Diego's Lindbergh Field for San Jose when a flight attendant became concerned about something she thought Abbasi had said on her cellphone. Abbasi later said that she told someone on her cellphone, "I have to go," but that the attendant thought she had said, "It's a go."

Abbasi was escorted off the plane by an employee of the Transportation Security Administration.

The lawsuit, filed on her behalf by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-California and noted San Diego civil liberties attorney James McElroy, charges the airline with discrimination.

Three days after the March 13 incident, the airline apologized and noted that Abbasi was seated on the next flight to San Jose and given a travel voucher. "We sincerely apologize for the customer's inconvenience," the airline said in its public apology.

And from The Telegraph

An Oxford University student claims he was mistaken for a suicide bomber by police as he jogged around the city's streets.

The suspect was ordered to stop running, put his hands in the air and drop everything in his hands as sub-machine guns were trained on his body.

The officers carefully took off the heavily padded vest and searched it, looking for explosives and a detonator. However, they found the Oxford University PhD student was wearing a training vest loaded with weights for added resistance when running.

Iranian student Goudarz Karimi said he was shocked by the police response even after they realised he was not a suicide bomber. . . He said that when they realised it was an exercise vest they advised him to remove it to prevent any another call from a terrified member of the public.

"They told me I'd have to take my vest off - I didn't want to provoke anything else and that's why I put my jacket over it.

He said he feared his ethnic origin had sparked the concerns. "I am 100 per cent sure that if I was blond with Caucasian skin type, nobody would have noticed and said anything about it. But I'm of dark skin complexion and from Iran and I'm sure that's related to it," he said.

"I felt a bit like my rights were violated. The police told me to take my vest off and to go home and I don't see why I should. The point is the first time they stopped me, they asked me not to walk there anymore. They said 'maybe it's better somewhere else, like in a park'.

"Then later, when I wanted to do another round of the block and I was walking near the police car, the police officer said 'You've got to stop.' I said 'I've not finished my work-out' and he explicitly said: 'Take off your vest'."

Superintendent Amanda Pearson, of Thames Valley Police, said ". . .the officers were responding to a call from a member of the public who had a genuine concern and police are duty bound to investigate any calls of this nature to ensure public safety. In order to stop any further calls from members of the public, the gentleman was asked to put his coat on, which he agreed to do. . . The officers have to weigh up a number of factors to determine if a stop and search is proportionate, and justified, and the decision to stop and search would not be made on ethnicity alone and wasn't in this case."

Posted on 10/06/2011 4:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 6 October 2011
The "Shocking And Horrifying" New York Times Editorial Against State Attempts To Help Enforce The Immigration Laws

Here is the editorial mush from The Times:

 

Alabama’s Shame

Only about 3.5 percent of Alabama’s population is foreign-born, according to the Census Bureau. Undocumented immigrants made up roughly 4.2 percent of its work force in 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. But the drafters of Alabama’s harsh immigration law wanted to turn their state into the country’s most hostile territory for illegal immigrants. They are succeeding, as many of Alabama’s most vulnerable residents can attest.

The law went into effect over the weekend, after being largely upheld by a federal district judge. Volunteers on an immigrant-rights group’s hot line said that since then they have received more than 1,000 calls from pregnant women afraid to go to the hospital, crime victims afraid to go the police, parents afraid to send their children to school.

School superintendents and principals across the state confirm that attendance of Hispanic children has dropped noticeably since the word went out that school officials are now required to check the immigration status of newly enrolled students and their parents.

That rule is part of the law’s sweeping attempt to curtail the rights and complicate the lives of people without papers, making them unable to enter contracts, find jobs, rent homes or access government services. In other words, to be isolated, unemployable, poor, defenseless and uneducated. ["people without papers," or in the more common weasel-phrase, "undocumented aliens," are people "without papers" because they are ILLEGAL immigrants, they have no legal right to be in this country, much less receive all of its benefits. No one made them violate the law. They made the decision to come and to settle. If the law is to have any meaning, it must be enforced. The Federal government is not enforcing it adequately. Very well, then, says the State of Alabama -- we will help make sure that the Federal law is enforced, at least in our state, and we hope other states will approve and follow suit, and the Federal government will get the message. End of story.]].

The education crackdown is particularly senseless and unconstitutional. In 1982, the Supreme Court found that all children living in the United States have the right to a public education, whatever their immigration status. The justices’ reasoning was shaped not by compassion but practicality: it does the country no good to perpetuate an uneducated underclass.

Officials in Alabama — some well meaning, others less so — insisted that nothing in the new law is intended to deny children an education. School districts, they noted, are supposed to collect only numbers of children without papers, not names.

“I don’t know where the misinformation’s coming from,” Alabama’s interim state school superintendent, Larry Craven, told NPR. “If you have difficulty understanding the language anyway, then who knows what they’re being told?” With comments like that, it’s not surprising that any of “them” would be frightened.

The Obama administration was right to sue to try to stop the Alabama law. It needs to press ahead with its appeal of the ruling and challenge similar laws in Utah, Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina.

President Obama needs to show stronger leadership in defending core American values in the face of the hostility that has overtaken Alabama and so many other states. He can start by scrapping the Secure Communities program, which encourages local immigration dragnets and reinforces the false notion that most undocumented immigrants pose a threat to this country’s security.

As for Alabama, one has to wonder at such counterproductive cruelty. Do Alabamans want children too frightened to go to school? Or pregnant women too frightened to seek care? Whom could that possibly benefit?

Posted on 10/06/2011 7:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
A Musical Interlude: Have You Ever Been Lonely? (Pappy O'Daniel And The Hillbilly Boys)

Listen here.

And for a full fifteen radio minutes of Pappy O'Daniel and the Light Crust Dough Boys, listen here.

Posted on 10/06/2011 7:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Every Candidate To Every Adviser

Watch, and listen, briefly, here.

Posted on 10/06/2011 8:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
How The Death Of Steve Jobs Is Being Reported

Apparently, all Nature mourns.

Posted on 10/06/2011 11:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
In Memoriam: Steve Jobs

So farewell, then, Steve
Jobs. Job
Done

© E. J. Throbb, aged 17¾

Posted on 10/06/2011 12:11 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Out-Of-Control Erdogan Warns Of Israel's Nuclear Threat

Israel has been a nuclear power -- has possessed nuclear weapons -- for the last half-century. Not once has it either used, or threatened to use, such weapons -- not even after the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur, 1973, that sent Israel's forces initally reeling.

But Erdogan finds Israel to be a "nuclear threat." What he means is this; he wants the tiny Jewish state, the one that -- so everyone is now saying -- is to terribly "isolated"-- to be stripped of its final defense, to be used only as a last resort against enemies who surround it, and who outnumber it, even if we don't count all the world's Muslims, by about 100 to 1.

Here's the Erdogan rant from Hurriyet today::

Israel is a nuclear threat to region, says Turkish Prime Minister


PRETORIA - Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Israel is a "threat" to its region because it owns nuclear weapons, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan said Wednesday.

"I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb," ErdoÄŸan said in a foreign policy speech during an official visit to South Africa.

 He also accused Israel of committing "state terrorism." ErdoÄŸan in the past has accused the West of "double standards" in the way that it has tried to ban Iran from building nuclear weapons without taking similar measures against Israel.

 Israel has never officially admitting to possessing nuclear weapons.

 Turkey downgraded relations with one-time ally Israel after the latter refused to apologise for its raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists died on May 31, 2010.

 Last month, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and froze military ties and defence trade deals. Ankara has also threatened to send warships to escort any Turkish vessels trying to reach Hamas-ruled Gaza.

 Erdogan's remarks came in response to comments from an Israeli embassy diplomat in South Africa, who blamed radical Islamic organisation Hamas for launching rocket attacks into Israeli territory.

 "I have asked many Israeli officials, how many Israelis, have been killed by rockets launched from Gaza and Palestine. I could not get an answer," ErdoÄŸan said.

 "Yet tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed from bombs that have rained down on them from Israel." "You sleep at night peacefully and secure," he told the diplomat, to applause by South African foreign affairs officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

 "Yet Palestinians can't find a single trace of peace in Palestine." ErdoÄŸan also said Israel had attacked the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as well as the UN buildings in Gaza with phosphorus bombs. [again and again this play on "Palestinians" and "Palestine" works its magic, has its deadening and deadly effect, and yet the Israelis persist in not attacking, head-on, or at least holding up for inspection, that invention of the "Palestinian people." What's wrong with Israelis? Who, in his right mind, really believes -- in the advanced West -- if properly informed, that the "Palestinian people" exhibit any distinguishing and distinctive features, in language, religion, culture, anything at all, to make them a separate people?]

In recent months, the United States has been alarmed at the estrangement between Turkey and its closest Middle East ally Israel. [this "estrangement" has all been the result of Erdogan, and his retinue, and has nothing to do with Israel -- the Turkish government is apparently hell-bent on becoming, somehow, the leader of the Middle Eastern Muslims, unaware that the Arabs will never willingly yield to the hated Turks, and the Iranians keep thinking, that despite being Shi'a, they can by being more genocidally anti-Israel than any Sunni state, can win Sunni favor]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to urge Turkey to defuse tension and repair strategic ties with Israel when she visits Istanbul to attend a conference on Afghanistan next month. [it won't happen, not as long as Erdogan and his party rule Turkey - but they have made so many errors, threatened so many besides Israel, that one hopes that rule will not last as long as some  fear, and others hope]

Clinton will visit Turkey on November 2, Marc Grossman, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was quoted as saying in the Turkish media.

Posted on 10/06/2011 12:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Read my Lips

At the sometimes well-intentioned but on matters Islamic still largely clueless Harry's Place, Lucy Lips writes:

As is often, and rightly said, criticism of Israel and its policies does not constitute antisemitism. However ...

However, schmowever, yes it does. At least 99% of the time. And even the 1% is up for grabs.

Hate to be cheeky, but there is a rebuttable presumption that critics of Israel act from posterior motives.

Posted on 10/06/2011 2:19 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Mac In Tosh

Q: What do you get when you cross Steve Jobs with Vladimir Nabokov?

A: Gnarled Mac F8

© S.T.E. Thr. Jobb, aged 56¾

Posted on 10/06/2011 3:02 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Dawud Walid Of CAIR Outraged At Killing Of Samir Khan Without All Procedural Rigmaroles He Thinks Everyone, Including Self-Proclaimed Traitors, Deserve

Guest commentary: Executed without due process

Oct. 6, 2011  |  
26 Comments
Anwar al-Awlaki, left, and Samir Khan were killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen.
 
Anwar al-Awlaki, left, and Samir Khan were killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen.
 
 
Dawud Walid
 

The recent extrajudicial executions of two American citizens in Yemen have set a troubling precedent and seemingly mimic the actions of regimes we have long criticized.

Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan both advocated wanton violence against civilians, including their own countrymen, which is counter to the teachings of all faiths and values of every civil society. Indeed, I have given sermons and lectures in mosques throughout metro Detroit specifically denouncing the repugnant rhetoric of al-Awlaki while warning youths that he was not a legitimate scholar.

And there is no doubt that al-Awlaki gave inspiration to Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to bring down an airplane over Detroit. As troubling as al-Awlaki's speech was, however, his targeted killing without due process is problematic.

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states that no person shall answer for a capital crime without having been indicted by a grand jury to then face the charges levied. Given that al-Awlaki was never indicted or charged with one crime [of course he had been charged, by the government, with a crime -- and the charge made public]  nor was he on a battlefield actively engaged in combat [he certainly was], it appears that his constitutional rights were violated.

The Obama administration could have at the least indicted him and Khan, and then demanded that they turn themselves in to the nearest U.S. embassy before ordering a hit against them.

The sad irony of these executions without due process is that these American citizens were never charged before being sentenced to death via executive order in which no evidence (because it's supposedly "secret evidence") was presented, much less a transparent process, yet a Nigerian citizen who attempted to kill innocent Americans is detained and attending court proceedings in Detroit. If due process is granted to foreign nationals, then it surely should have been granted to citizens.

Our president ran on a platform of re-establishing the rule of law by closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center and ending torture, yet these extrajudicial killings went much further than his predecessor did in flouting the Constitution. Such actions are not only a threat to the spirit of the Constitution, but also jeopardize our national security.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, recently said, regarding al-Awlaki's and Khan's executions: "The president wants to spread American values around the world but continues to do great damage to them here at home, appointing himself judge, jury and executioner by presidential decree."

Al-Qaida's recruitment is not based on the false notion that terrorists hate us because of our freedoms. Al-Qaida intermingles perverse interpretations of religion with claims that our nation oppresses and kills people in the developing world while practicing political hypocrisy. In essence, al-Qaida recruits people to commit illegal, illegitimate acts of terror by exploiting potentially legitimate grievances about our nation's actions. Pointing out this reality is in no way making al-Qaida's actions legitimate, nor does it suggest moral equivalency of our nation's shortcomings with their acts of terrorism. Simply put, such assassinations fit perfectly into the propaganda narrative of those who seek to harm us.

The so-called one good exception to the rule has the potential to open the door to other exceptions, which could send our nation down a dangerous path. I fear the precedent recently set may have started us down this path already.

As a nation, we must demand that all American citizens receive due process under the law, be they bad guys or not. God only knows whose name could be added next if we do not demand this now.

Dawud Walid is executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations -- Michigan.

Posted on 10/06/2011 3:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
The Inimitable Pat Condell Is, Thank God, Going To Be Imitated

Watch his latest conclusions about the "Palestinians" here.

You can compare this with what he used to think, and consider how far he has come, the more he learned about Islam, and came to grasp the nature of the war -- the Jihad -- against Israel.

He is not the only one who has made this mental journey. There are many others, all over the Western world. And there will be many more.

And that is the cavalry that is coming.

Posted on 10/06/2011 7:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
A Musical Interlude: My Troubles Are Over (Chester Gaylord)

Listen here.

Posted on 10/06/2011 7:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Thursday Night Special: A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Pettin' In The Park (Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler)

Watch, and listen, here.

After all, tomorrow's Friday. And you know what that means.

Posted on 10/06/2011 7:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
General McChrystal Now Recognizes The Ignorance And "Frighteningly Simplistic View" But Still Misses The Main Point

And what is that main point? That we are Infidels and Afghans are Muslims, and they will never truly be trustworthy friends or allies. They can't. They won't. And they have been raised within an environment of violence and aggression. And Infidels cannot change the country as long as the people in that country remain suffused with Islam. And the disenchantment with Islam that might lead to a systematic constraining of it must come from Muslims -- including Afghans - themselves, without the outside Infidels attempting the impossible, which is to improve lives without doing anything about the very thing, Islam, that keeps those lives so miserable in every way.

That's what General McChrystal remains ignorant about, even as he admits to, and bewails, another kind of ignorance, about "the last 50 years" of Afghan history. For if he were not ignorant of Islam, if he grasped what its texts and tenets inculcate, then he would understand that the best way to weaken the Camp of Islam, and the Jihad, and not only those who are engaged in Jihad through terrorism, is to allow the Camp of Islam alone, not to help Muslims, not to rescue them, not to lavish money on them, not to give them access to Western education and Western medicine, and certainly not to supply them with any economic or, still worse, military aid, and by leaving Muslims alone, force them to begin to recognize the source of all their miseries and wretchedness, even when they have the oil-and-gas trillions: Islam itself, and only Islam.  And let the peoples of the Western world grasp that first, and talk about it openly, so that Muslims will overhear them, through the Internet, and some of them begin to think.

From cbsnew.com:

McChrystal: U.S. started Afghan war lacking info

WASHINGTON - The U.S. began the war in Afghanistan with a "frighteningly simplistic" view of the country and even 10 years later lacks knowledge that could help bring the conflict to a successful end, a former top commander said Thursday.

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. and its NATO allies are only "a little better than" 50 percent of the way to reaching their war goals.

Of the remaining tasks to be accomplished, he said the most difficult may be to create a legitimate government that ordinary Afghans can believe in and that can serve as a counterweight to the Taliban.

McChrystal, who commanded coalition forces in 2009-10 and was forced to resign in a flap over a magazine article, said the U.S. entered Afghanistan in October 2001 with too little knowledge of Afghan culture.

"We didn't know enough and we still don't know enough," he said. "Most of us — me included — had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years."

U.S. forces did not know the country's languages and did not make "an effective effort" to learn them, he said.

McChrystal also said that the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq less than two years after entering Afghanistan made the Afghan effort more difficult.

"I think they were made more difficult, clearly," he said because the Iraq invasion "changed the Muslim world's view of America's effort. When we went after the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, there was a certain understanding that we had the ability and the right to defend ourselves and the fact that al Qaeda had been harbored by the Taliban was legitimate. I think when we made the decision to go into Iraq that was less legitimate" in the eyes of much of the Muslim world.

Iraq also diverted some military resources that could have been put to good use in Afghanistan, he said.

 

 
Posted on 10/06/2011 8:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Credo Quia Absurdum : The Motto For All Those Still Enamored Of That "Arab Spring"

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Promise of a Pro-American Libya

On the ground in Tripoli, we saw an opportunity to advance U.S. interests in a pivotal region.

 

Last Thursday we arrived in Tripoli to the promise of a free Libya. We saw a city that is surprisingly secure and orderly. We visited al-Jdeida prison and spoke freely with detainees—a testament to the commitment of the Transitional National Council (TNC) to democracy, transparency and the rule of law. At the end of the day, we walked through Martyrs' Square, where Libyans cheered and thanked America and our NATO allies.

We also observed many of the serious challenges that remain. We spoke with some of the 28 militias that are still deployed across Tripoli. We saw the enormous task of rebuilding a country after 42 years of tyranny and seven months of war. And we visited a hospital where we met a few of the 60,000 Libyans who have been wounded in this conflict and will require significant future care—a population that is still growing amid the ongoing fighting in Sirte and Bani Walid.

In short, the Libyans we met want to build a secure, prosperous and democratic nation that rejects violent extremism, allies itself with America and our allies, and promotes the peaceful ideals of the Arab Spring. It is in our national interest for Libya to consolidate the gains of its revolution, and in the critical months ahead we must deepen our support for the Libyan people.

 

The most meaningful support the U.S. could provide at this time is to help Libya care for its many wounded citizens. From our visit to the hospital, it is clear that Libya does not have the capacity to care for such a large number of wounded, many requiring advanced treatment and prosthetics. Indeed, this is such a priority that the TNC told us they would be willing to draw on the more than $150 billion in Libya's frozen assets to reimburse the U.S. for the costs of this humanitarian assistance. To this end, we should consider deploying a hospital ship, such as the USNS Comfort, to Libya or Malta. Another option could be to transport Libyans in need of advanced care to U.S. medical facilities in Europe.

We can also help Libya lay the foundation for sustainable security. This requires safeguarding the immense stockpiles of weapons and dangerous materials that exist across the country. It also requires bringing Libya's many militias under the TNC's civilian authority, and working toward their demobilization, disarmament and reintegration into Libyan society. We and our allies should encourage this peaceful process as much as we can, and oppose external efforts to pick winners who would advance factional or ideological interests through force.

Many Libyans recognize that they need a new civilian-led national army and police force. The TNC has asked the U.S., perhaps together with our Arab partners, to help train this new security force. American involvement in a small training mission could help Libya build a professional security force that contributes to national unity and forms the basis of our future security cooperation. Here, too, the TNC offered to reimburse the costs of our efforts.

American support is also important for Libya's democratic transition. The TNC wants to cooperate with the U.S., especially with our nongovernmental organizations, in the monitoring of national elections (which could be held soon), the drafting of a constitution, and the development of civil society.

Another area where we can play a vital role is in helping Libya reform its justice system. That the TNC invited us into al-Jdeida prison is evidence of its commitment to treating detainees humanely, with maximum transparency. Yet we continue to hear credible reports that Libyan militias are mistreating and taking revenge against detainees, especially African migrants. American assistance could help Libyans achieve their goal of creating a transparent and accountable system to deliver equal justice.

Finally, now is the time to expand our economic ties with Libya and help the Libyan people take part in a more open regional economic order. This could include reactivating and building upon our existing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, working toward the goal of a bilateral free trade agreement, helping Libya meet the requirements for accession to the World Trade Organization, and gradually turning the "no-fly zone" over Libya into a "pro-fly zone" that fosters civilian air travel.

Americans have had their disagreements over the U.S. intervention in Libya, but the sources of those disagreements are now fading into history. What remains is an enormous opportunity for the U.S. to build a partnership with a democratic and pro-American Libya that contributes to the expansion of security, prosperity and freedom across a pivotal region at a time of revolutionary change. This is a worthy goal that should unite Democrats and Republicans, Congress and the president, America and our allies. Libyans will build their own nation. But they desire and deserve our support. And it is in our interest to help them succeed.

_____________________________________

 

 

Tertullian was born, fittingly,  in present-day Tunisia, but close to Tripoli. .

Posted on 10/06/2011 9:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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