Friday, July 29, 2005

The Phony Fatwa?

Cool Blue sez:
Yes, it is clear. Something is missing from the fatwa. The actual, clear, and unequivocal condemnation of particular terrorists and terrorist organizations. The actual, clear, and unequivocal condemnation of jihadism as an ideology.

You see without this, without saying that OBL and al Qaeda members are going to hell, there are enough loopholes in the statement for someone to say "Well, that applies to that suicide bombing or civilian attack, but not this one."

So for all it's hoopla and slick PR. CAIR and the Fiqh Council's fatwa is just a way of diverting attention away from them.
I'm not sure I agree, but Dr. Walid Phares is a pretty knowledgeable fellow.

The Counterterrorism Blog has more.

Mythical Muslim Moderates?

No, they're not mythical.

Muslims exist who wouldn't, themselves, detonate a suicide bomb. These are probably a majority of the group.

Muslims also exist who'd actually notify the authorities if they knew of, or suspected, an impending terrorist attack. Are these a majority, or are we now talking about a minority of the group?

Unfortunately, the jury's still out on this question. Only the Muslim community can answer that question for us, and they've not yet provided us with an answer we can fully understand.

Ms Nirenstein notes the following:
So, we cannot count on "moderate" Arabs, not even on the group of youngsters that I meet later, the girls dressed just like ours: They repeat to me, still with a smart little face, "It cannot be a Muslim, it's certainly the Israelis and the Americans." The dream palace of the Arab, after the terrorist attack in Sharm, just like the thousands of attacks in Iraq and in Israel, is still there; the summer camps of Hamas still teach that it's good to kill the Jews; several madrassas work full time as centers of recruitment; the television broadcasts an "analysis" that charges the Mossad and the CIA with mass murders. The dictators of the Arab countries, in this case Mr. Mubarak, don't let Khaled know who the guys that cut their legs are. So, Khaled can be as "moderate" as we want, but so long as that fascist culture of hate is there, we can count only on ourselves.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

2005 Chinese Steel Output: 343,000,000 tons

Chinese steel output this year is expected to exceed 343 million tons.

I realize that's a big damn number to get your hands around, so let me put it in individual terms:

If you were standing on a perfectly flat surface, and a weight dropped on your head and flattened you enough that your surface area (both sides together) equated to approximately 462 hectares, the weight that dropped on your head would be approximately 343,000,000 tons. (assuming that the human body can be accurately modeled as a perfect sphere of meat at standard temperature and pressure, discounting quantum effects, damping and rolling friction.)

Another way to look at it:

If you were standing on a perfectly flat, perfectly rigid beach in Taiwan, and a perfectly rigid 50-ton Chinese-made Type 98G Main Battle Tank rolled over your head, you would be dead in approximately 0.1 seconds. (Employing the same assumptions as above.) Subsequently, China could manufacture up to 6.86 million new Type 98Gs in the following year without running out of steel.

The output from all NAFTA countries combined is not expected to top 130 million tons in 2005. For purposes of comparison, that weight would flatten you to only 181 hectares. On the other hand, a 70-ton M-1 Abrams MBT would crush your skull in less time than the Type 98G, so we still do have some bragging rights.

Is CAFTA Good for America?

Citizens for a Sound Economy seem(s) to like it:
The growing U.S. trade deficit is an often cited concern, but 80 percent of Central American exports covered under CAFTA including 99% of agricultural products already enjoy duty-free access under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act passed in 2000. CAFTA makes the trade partnership reciprocal, opening Central American markets to U.S. products. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates CAFTA will reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $756 million because of new export opportunities opened to U.S. businesses.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Deferred Success is Not an Option...

I really did think the news item at the above was a joke when I first read it, but it looks like the real deal.

I suppose the only good news here is that we're not the only country in the world with idiot teachers. We can all collectively go down together into the fog of ignorance and deferred success.


Oriana on "The Enemy We Treat as a Friend"

They still won't listen, and may never, but at least Oriana Fallaci has done her level best to wake them up:
Naturally, I understand that the philosophy of the Catholic Church is based on ecumenism and on the commandment “Love-your-enemy-as-yourself.“ That one of its fundamental principles (at least theoretically) is forgiveness, sacrifice, turning the other cheek. (A sacrifice I refuse not only for pride; that is, for my way of maintaining my dignity, but also because I believe there is a motive of Evil on the part of those who do evil.) But there also exists the principle of self-defense or, instead, legitimate defense and, if I’m not mistaken, the Catholic Church has made use of this principle more than once. Charles Martel turned back the Muslim invaders lifting up the crucifix. Isabel of Spain tossed them out of Spain while doing the same. And at Lepanto there were even Papal troops. In order to defend Vienna, the last bulwark of Christianity, in order to break the siege of Kara Mustafa, there was also, and above all, the Pole Jan Sobienski with the image of the Virgin of Chestochowa. And if those Catholics had not applied the principle of self-defense--of legitimate defense--we, too, would be wearing the burka or the calabash. We, too, would be calling the few survivors infidel dogs. We, too, We, too, would be cutting off their heads with the halal knife. And Saint Peter’s Basilica would be a mosque, like the Church of Saint Sofia in Istanbul. Worse: the Vatican would be Bin Laden and Zarqawi.

The Funeral Crasher

Good round-up from Michelle via the link. Have you heard about this Democrat politician in Pennsylvania who's been making it a practice to attend the funerals of Pennsylvania's fallen troops uninvited and to denounce the effort they've been engaged in, and gave their lives for, right there at the funerals?

Yeah, well, you can't tag a state's entire party for the actions of a moonbat dog-catcher.

Problem is, this crazy bitch is the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, Catherine Baker Knoll.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has it right on.

This is freakin' nuts. How does a freak like this become the Lieutenant Governor of a major state?

Monday, July 25, 2005

These guys are jihadists, too...


These fellows are definitely jihadists


Sunnis end boycott

The Sunnis have been pulled back INTO THE QUAGMIRE! AGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

WP: Tough Questions for Muslims

A good column by a Muslim on the need to take responsibility:
But most of all, the London bombings rid me of all patience with the excuse that "George Bush [or Tony Blair or take your pick of Western leaders] made me do it." We don't know who was behind Thursday's explosions, but an Arab analyst told a satellite channel that if Blair hadn't learned the mistake of the Iraq war, these new attacks were a firm reminder.

I never bought the explanation that U.S. foreign policy had "brought on" the Sept. 11 attacks, and I certainly don't buy the idea that the Iraq war is behind the attacks in London. Many people across the world have opposed U.S. and British foreign policy, but that doesn't mean they are rushing to fly planes into buildings or to blow up buses and Underground trains in London.

I was against the invasion of Iraq and would not have voted for George Bush if I were a U.S. citizen, but I'm done with the "George Bush made me do it" excuse. We must accept responsibility for this mess if we are ever to find a way out.

And for those non-Muslims who accept the George Bush excuse, I have a question: Do you think Muslims are incapable of accepting responsibility? It is at least in some way bigoted to think that Muslims can only react violently.

We all must ask a host of difficult questions. How about beginning by acknowledging once and for all that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a Muslim issue? It is a dispute over land that too many clerics and religious leaders, radical or otherwise, use to flesh out the victimized-Muslim scenario.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

L.A. Times: Roberts Opponents taking 'Populist Tack'

In their first reactions to Roberts, many of the Democrats and liberal groups resisting his selection by President Bush are trying to portray him as a threat to the economic interests of average families. The strategy — even the language — is similar to Gore's effort to frame the 2000 presidential campaign as a choice between "the people" and "the powerful."

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) thundered in his first floor statement on the nomination this week: "Americans deserve to know if nominees will be on the side of justice and individual liberties, or if they will side with powerful special interests."

This use of populist economic arguments appears partly driven by necessity: Roberts' record as an attorney and federal judge is much more extensive on economic than social issues, and thus potentially offers more ammunition for critics.

Egypt bombing: death toll is up to 75.

According to Bloomberg, this is the fourth attack this year and the largest attack so far. Al Qaeda is apparently trying to wipe out Egypt's tourism business.

Michelle has a good round-up, as does the Counterterrorism Blog.

Captain's Quarters has more:

Where has Egypt stationed its soldiers in any of these areas? Nowhere. Why does AQ want to attack Muslims in Egypt if the country doesn't have any soldiers deployed to Iraq? Because Iraq has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda's overall war. This attack should make that obvious, finally.

Egypt has no patience with radical Islam; Hosni Mubarak sees it as a threat, and rightly so. Radicals killed his predecessor for signing a peace treaty with Israel and Mubarak has maintained that diplomatic contact. He has managed thus far to checkmate the radicals in Egypt, mostly through political oppression that has the deadly side effect of oppressing everybody, creating more radicalism. For example, Osama's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, hails from Egypt and used to head the leading radical terrorist group there before it folded itself into AQ.


Friday, July 22, 2005

PowerLine: Iraqis Stand Against Terrorism

John Hinderaker has a great post on Iraqi determination:
Iraqis stood for three minutes of silence yesterday in commemoration of the lives lost in the two attacks in Baghdad Aljadedah and Almusaiyab, which claimed 105 martyrs, 32 of whom were children, and 128 wounded of whom 31 were children.

Traffic of thousand of cars stopped in the Allawi & Tahrier area (central Baghdad) as children (from “Baghdad Aljadedah” area) entered “Tahrier” square (with some of the wounded children) carrying Iraqi flags and displaying victory signs in defiance of the terrorists. These children also stood silent for three minutes to commemorate their relatives and friends who died in the homicide bombing attack last week.

Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Ibrahiem Aljaafary said in a speech regarding this incident: “We will not sway from our path and we will not kneel to those who commit these crimes.” He added, ”We are confident that all nations of this world stand beside us, because to day terrorism does not only affect us Iraqis but the whole world. We Iraqis have the honor of being in the front line in the fight against terrorism."
Of course, I'm sure we all recall the thorough media coverage of this inspiring rally, don't we?

A few of my fav-o-rite blogs...

Michelle is all over today's London shooting, Jonathan Chait's affliction with Bush Derangement Syndrome and New York City's new "random bag search".

The Jawas are concerned that Rusty's toddlers might be mistaken for terrorists, and that American troops may be confused with Martians and note that the Carnival of Liberty is rolling along.

Captain's Quarters notes the poor turnout for Pakistan's Islamofascist rallies, mentions some chick named Anita who doesn't like the fact that John Roberts is white and discusses Zarqawi's unique public relations methods.

This fellow is a jihadist:


This person is a jihadist:


Call for Islamic Crackdown Draws Protest

Pervez Musharraf has called for a jihad against hate in his country.

This has, of course, sparked violent protests from Pakistan's influential hate lobby.

On the brighter side, the protests weren't really all that large.

A sign of hope?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

On Overwinning

It occurs to me that we in America have a habit of sometimes overwinning our wars. What I mean by this is that we tend to take actions in the course of our wars which cause us problems in the longer run. If such actions are truly necessary to avoid losing the immediate war, it may be rational to take the hit and clean up later. If such actions aren't necessary, an option which protracts the war yet avoids the long-term problem may be the better option.

In the aftermath of The Great War, we took the occasion of our victory to impose punitive measures on Germany which almost guaranteed the rise of Adolf Hitler's fascism.

We then found ourselves dealing with Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

In the course of World War II, we aligned ourselves with the brutal and bloodthirsty Josef Stalin in order to take out Hitler's Wehrmacht.

We then found ourselves dealing with Stalin's Soviet Union for the next 44 years.

In the course of the Cold War, we aligned ourselves with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda (and Saddam's Baath Iraq, Iran's mullahs, Syria's Baathists etc.) in order to clean up the Soviet problem.

We now find ourselves having to deal with bin Laden's Al Qaeda (and Iran's mullahs, Syria's Baathists, etc.).

This is like some kind of bizarre video game, where your partner always tries to frag you as soon as the level boss is killed.

So, what I'm thinking is: in the course of this war, the one we're in the middle of right now, can we try to avoid teaming up with the most evil, nasty SOBs we can find? If we know our allies are gonna try and frag us when we wipe out Osama, can we pick some allies (the French?) whose asses we can kick pretty easily? Can we give them guns that stop working unless we update the codes every week or so (McAfee Missiles)? Can we keep their children as collateral? Make them wear a neck collar that'll decapitate them if they get out of line?

Just a thought...

Jawas Ready to Nuke Mecca?

Well, not quite, but there's an awful lot of talk about it over there.

The idea came from Rep. Tancredo, who is advocating bombing Mecca, or at least threatening to bomb Mecca, as a retaliatory measure if Osama doesn't knock it off pretty soon.

As I asked before on the Jawa Report discussion: do the same folks advocate threatening the Islamic holy city of Jerusalem also? Why not? Is it because bombing Jerusalem would just make us more enemies? Is it because we know Osama would like nothing better than to watch us nuke Jerusalem and stir up those enemies? I submit that it's a little of both.

I can see the Islamist propaganda now: you think the war isn't really a war against Islam? If so, then why are the Americans calling to incinerate the Holy City of Mecca when they are supposedly friends with the Saudis? Don't fall for their lies! Stand up and defend Mecca!


Should a 12-year-old be Sent to Jail for Eating a French Fry?

So I've been reading all about this "radical" Judge John Roberts and how he threw a little 12-year-old girl in jail. Curious, I pulled the opinion and actually read it.

Judge John Roberts' opinion begins thus (emphasis is mine):
No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation. A twelve-year-old girl was arrested, searched, and handcuffed. Her shoelaces were removed, and she was transported in the windowless rear compartment of a police vehicle to a juvenile processing center, where she was booked, fingerprinted, and detained until released to her mother some three hours later -- all for eating a single french fry in a Metrorail station. The child was frightened, embarrassed, and crying throughout the ordeal. The district court described the policies that led to her arrest as "foolish," and indeed the policies were changed after those responsible endured the sort of publicity reserved for adults who make young girls cry. The question before us, however, is not whether these policies were a bad idea, but whether they violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. Like the district court, we conclude that they did not, and accordingly we affirm.
It is reassuring to hear that sort of sentiment from a judge. After her arrest for eating a french fry in a subway station, Ansche Hedgepeth filed suit alleging that her civil rights had been violated. Judge Roberts summarized the District Court's holding as follows:

On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court ruled in favor of the defendants. Addressing the equal protection claim, the court applied "the highly deferential rational basis test," because it found that age is not a suspect class, and that there is no fundamental right to be free from physical restraint when there is probable cause for arrest. The court then ruled that both the District's no-citation policy for minors and WMATA's zero-tolerance policy survived rational basis review. The district court next rejected Ansche's Fourth Amendment claim, relying on Atwater v. City of Lago Vista for the proposition that " '[i]f an officer has probable cause to believe that an individual has committed even a very minor criminal offense in his presence, he may, without violating the Fourth Amendment, arrest the offender.' " Given that it was undisputed that Ansche had committed the offense in the presence of the arresting officer, the district court concluded it was "without discretion or authority to reject the standards enunciated" in Atwater, despite the minor nature of the offense and the harshness of the response. Hedgepeth now appeals.
After dismissing the defendants' claims that there was no jurisdiction, Judge Roberts addressed the girl's constitutional claims:

Ansche first contends that her arrest violated the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment. Adults eating in the Metrorail station during the undercover operation could be, and almost uniformly were, given citations; similarly situated minors could only be and were subjected to the far more intrusive invasion of arrest. During zero-tolerance week, twenty-four adults violating § 35-251(b) at WMATA facilities were issued citations, whereas fourteen juveniles were arrested. . . .

Ansche acknowledges that the Supreme Court "has said repeatedly that age is not a suspect classification," and instead has analyzed equal protection challenges to age-based classifications under rational basis review. She argues that those cases are distinguishable, however, because they concerned classifications discriminating against the elderly, as opposed to the young. Youth, according to Ansche, bears many of the hallmarks of a suspect classification: a history of discrimination, immutable characteristics, and political disenfranchisement. Thus, she concludes, there should be heightened scrutiny of distinctions burdening the young, even if there generally is not of distinctions based on age. . . .

This court has noted in passing that youth is not a suspect classification. Other circuits have reviewed classifications based on youth under a rational basis standard. We agree with the conclusions of these circuits.

After addressing the arguments raised by the plaintiff in support of rejection of the well-established rule that classifications based on age are reviewed under a "rational basis" standard, Judge Roberts concluded:
For all these reasons, we conclude that classifications based on youth -- like those based on age in general -- do not trigger heightened scrutiny for equal protection purposes.

As far as I know, no commentator has challenged any of the four judges for this particular holding of the opinion.

Judge Roberts then moved on to Ansche's second claim for relief: a claim that her rights to equal protection under the laws were violated by her arrest because the regulation requiring arrest burdened a fundamental right:

Ansche alternatively argues that her equal protection claim is subject to heightened scrutiny because the challenged classification burdens a fundamental right. It has been pointed out often enough that, in considering such a claim, much turns on the level of generality at which the asserted fundamental right is defined.

Ansche defines the right at issue as the right to freedom from restraint, a right burdened by the defendants' policies compelling the arrest of minors for trivial offenses. The defendants, not surprisingly, define the right at issue far more narrowly: for the defendants, the asserted right is the right of a minor to be free from arrest when there is probable cause, if the arrest is pursuant to a policy that precludes less intrusive enforcement options. . . .

Like the district court, we think the right at issue in this case is the right of freedom of movement when there is probable cause for arrest. . . .

The law of this land does not recognize a fundamental right to freedom of movement when there is probable cause for arrest. That is true even with respect to minor offenses. Ansche argues that these cases under the Fourth Amendment do not resolve the equal protection claim, and that is surely correct: simply because a practice passes muster under the Fourth Amendment (arrest based on probable cause) does not mean that unequal treatment with respect to that practice is consistent with equal protection. But the assertion here is that heightened scrutiny under equal protection is required because the right affected is fundamental, and Ansche has made no effort to establish that there is a fundamental right, "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition," to free movement when there is probable cause for arrest. The fact that the Fourth Amendment specifically addresses when freedom of movement may be restrained, and permits such restraint upon probable cause, makes any such effort exceedingly difficult.

In other words, the four judges were faced with the question of whether a person has a fundamental right to freedom movement where a police officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by that person. All of the judges came to the conclusion, based on the applicable Supreme Court precedent, that there is no right to freedom of movement where a police officer has reason to believe a crime has been committed. As with the first claim, I haven't heard any commentator criticize the judges for this particular holding.

Having held that the regulation was subject to the "rational basis" test, rather than the "strict scrutiny" test, Judge Roberts then had little discretion as to whether or not the regulation violated the constitution:

The district court had and we too may have thoughts on the wisdom of this policy choice -- it is far from clear that the gains in certainty of notification are worth the youthful trauma and tears -- but it is not our place to second-guess such legislative judgments.

Judge Roberts then moved to the third and final claim made by the girl:

Ansche finally challenges her arrest on the ground that it was an unreasonable seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment. This claim quickly runs into the Supreme Court's recent holding in Atwater. There, a woman challenged the constitutionality of her arrest for violating a state statute requiring all motorists and front-seat passengers to wear seat-belts. As in this case, there was no dispute that the plaintiff had violated the statute in the presence of the arresting officer and that state law authorized her arrest, even though the offense was punishable by a fine no greater than $50. Unlike the present case, by statute the officer in Atwater had the option of issuing a citation instead of effecting an arrest. . . .

While we can inquire into the reasonableness of the manner in which an arrest is conducted, the most natural reading of Atwater is that we cannot inquire further into the reasonableness of a decision to arrest when it is supported by probable cause. That is true whether the decision to arrest upon probable cause is made by the officer on the beat or at a more removed policy level.

Even if Atwater were not controlling, Ansche has not made the case that her arrest was unconstitutional. Her claim that a policy of mandatory arrest for certain minor offenses is unconstitutional boils down to an assertion that officer discretion is a necessary element of a valid seizure under the Fourth Amendment, at least for some minor offenses. She has not made an effort to defend that assertion under the usual first step of any analysis of whether particular government action violates the Fourth Amendment -- asking "whether the action was regarded as an unlawful search or seizure under the common law when the Amendment was framed."

Now, I have heard Roberts and his fellow judges criticized for this portion of the holding. Although it's pretty much black letter law that age is not a "suspect classification" and that there is no fundamental right to freedom of movement where an officer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred, it seems that the broad, no exceptions, "always arrest" policy in question could reasonably have been considered to amount to a policy requiring "unreasonable seizures." Then again, Judge John Roberts was joined in the holding by two other appellate justices and a district court judge, so it wasn't some wacko, right-wing decision. Further, the district judge made the decision to refrain from overruling the government regulation and the appeals court made the decision to refrain from overruling the district court, which are examples of judicial restraint, which is a lesser threat than judicial activism.

Jawa Report: It's Not Only About Iraq...

Outstanding piece by Hyscience. The money shot:

And compared to Hitler, he was just a mere warm-up compared to what we have before us. As Austin Bay put it in Part 2 ofhis piece entitled, "The Millennium War," "A RELIGIOUS END STATE guides al Qaeda: an Islamist end, or eschatology, that marks the final completion of earthly history. These religious imperialists envision an empire of the faithful, the Caliphate restored, then expanded to planetary dimensions. Call it Islamofascist globalization: al Qaeda's definition of victory."

So it's time to take the Islamists straight on, and drive them into a sea of obscurity. And the only way we're going to be able to do it is by speaking and acting with one voice and one goal - to end the Islamists' dream of a caliphate and stop Islamic extremism. The one fly in the ointment though, is to know which Muslims are Islamists, and which Muslims are true moderates with no vision of Islamic rule. That's the hardest piece of the puzzle to place a finger on.

Coludn't agree more.

Is the Honeymoon over ALREADY?

Apparently, Islamofascists are threatening to bomb gay clubs (big surprise there). If Muslim men don't get to play "hide the rocketship" together, now nobody gets to.

Apparently, someboy forgot to show up for his sensitivity training.

Hmmm... what are the left-wing Islamic apologists to do now? They had such a nice little coalition going there for a bit.

Maybe they should hold a "love in" and invite both sides. Everyone could just kiss and make up.

Perhaps they could talk the gay folk into wearing burkas for a bit, til things, ya know, "blow over".

Perhaps the gay folk could make the Muslims a quilt or something, or buy them all lifetime subscriptions to Playgirl.

I'm just throwing out ideas, here. Surely something can be worked out. I'm sure this is all a big misunderstanding.

Dershowitz: Children Learning to Hate America


“Give me a child for the first seven years and you may do what you like with him afterwards.”

This cynical defense of the brainwashing of children has been attributed variously to Stalin, Lenin and several religions and cults. Robert Shetterly, the author of a new book for young adolescents, apparently believes that propaganda is just as effective with impressionable boys and girls in their early teens. His seductive picture book entitled Americans who Tell the Truth, published by Dutton Children’s Books, would have brought a smile to the face of Uncle Joe Stalin.

In the guise of a “heartfelt book” that “grew out of soul-searching after 9/11,” Shetterly, has written a deceptive homage to radicals of the hard left. He glorifies such “great Americans” as Noam Chomsky, Emma Goldman, Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman and Ralph Nader. The irony, of course, is that some of these hard-left radicals have provided justifications for precisely the kind of violence that occurred on 9/11.

Go et 'em, Alan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

[INSERT NAME HERE] is the wrong nominee at the wrong time...

Iowahawk is a friggin' GENIUS:
Critical Urgent Community Action Bulletin
from the Progressive Action Network For American Progress
For Immediate Release

The Progressive Action Network For American Progress is extremely concerned by today's news that President Bush has selected ___JOHN ROBERTS___ as his nominee for the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court. Unlike outgoing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the widely respected and admired moderate consensus-building sensible mainstream compromisist, ___JOHN ROBERTS___ has a shocking record of extremely extreme fringe legal positions that fill us with grave concerns about ___HIS___ fitness for this critically crucial office.
Almost too true to be funny.

This person used to be a jihadist:


This person is a jihadist:


Faces from the Front: I Was Wrong About The Roots of Terrorism...


“We want to inform the Ummah [all Muslim believers] that your brothers in the Al Qaida organization will not stop Jihad until the Sharia of Allah is the only source of laws on earth.”

When I first read those words from an Al Qaida In The Land of Two Rivers press release in April, shortly after the insurgent's failed attack on Abu Ghraib, I was obviously wrong about about their goals and how to deal with terrorism.I am so grateful the New York Time's Bob Herbert and The Guardian's Gary Younge set me straight.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How to Identify a Jihadist...

This person ^^^^ may be a jihadist.

Maddox Goes to Town on Bloggers

Blog: The word "blog" is literally shorthand for "boring;" a vulgar, overused word that strikes your ear with the dull thud of a cudgel to the soft spot of a child. It's an abbreviation used by journalism drop outs to give legitimacy to their shallow opinions and amateur photography that seems to be permanently stuck in first draft hell. Looking in the archives of the blogs, one would expect someone who has been at it for years to slowly hone their craft and improve their writing and photographs, since it's usually safe to assume that if someone does something long enough, he or she will eventually not suck at it. Even with lowered expectations, you'll get a shotgun blast of disappointment in your face.

Bush Ready to Name His Nominee?

A lot of people have spent a lot of time and a lot of money to help George Bush win the Presidency. A lot of those people spent that time and money for one fundamental issue: an expected vacancy on the Supreme Court. Even for those for whom the Supreme Court was not the front and center issue in 2000 or 2004, the recent Kelo decision on property rights has brought that issue to the forefront.

If Bush disappoints his base with another David Souter, the GOP will almost certainly lose the next presidential election. It will lose because the Republican base will decide that it really doesn't make that much difference who's in the White House. Volunteers didn't put in their time and effort for Bush just to get another Specter-approved "moderate" on the court.

I place the word "moderate" in quotes because that term has been twisted by the left to mean someone who endorses the radical judicial activism which has marked the courts over the last few decades. The word "moderate" means someone who is willing to read words into the Constitution that aren't in there, and to read out words that definitely are. A judge who applies the words of the Constitution as they are actually written (e.g., Rehnquist, Thomas, Scalia) is considered by the mainstream media to be some kind of dinosaur, or at least a neanderthal, and definitely a scary person to be kept off the bench at all costs. This is how completely out-of-whack things have gotten.

Gay marriage and abortion on demand may or may not be good ideas, but the Constitution has nothing to say about either.

On the other hand, we can argue whether government power to restrict the freedom of the political press and political speech is or is not a good idea, but it is expressly prohibited by the Constitution.

By the Constitution's own terms, those powers of the U.S. Congress not expressly enumerated in the document are limited to those involved in regulating "interstate commerce." The Supreme Court has elected to read the term "interstate commerce" in such a manner that a person growing crops on his own land and consuming those crops himself is considered to be engaging in "interstate commerce", despite the fact that eating your own crops grown on your own land is neither interstate nor commerce! No direct effect on another state (i.e., interstate) required and no buying or selling (i.e. commerce) required. In other words, everything is "interstate commerce" according to the Supreme Court. If everything is interstate commerce, then a restriction of Congress' power to "interstate commerce" is no restriction at all. Can that be what the drafters intended? An express limitation with no practical effect? Of course it wasn't, but that is where we are today.

We live in a time when the judges have interpreted the Constitution to provide for rights which clearly aren't in there (gay marriage, abortion on demand) and to eliminate the rights which clearly are. The left-wing in this country has turned the Bill of Rights on its head, and its allies in the mainstream media ridicule and deride anyone who would set it back upright.

Give us a conservative justice, President Bush. If you don't, an awful lot of people will be staying home or working for the next Ross Perot clone on election day 2008. And that will mean you and all the rest of us will have to put up with President Hillary for four years.

Michelle Malkin gives a good run-down on all the latest buzz ...

Captain Ed has more.

Miller's Time weighs in here.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Captain Ed Valiantly Stands for Reason

There is little I could say on the topic of "bombing Mecca" that Captain Ed hasn't aleady said more eloquently than I would have. I can only say that I'm disappointed that he seems to be under attack for being a rational voice. Kudos to Captain Ed.

In response to the ever-brilliant Michelle Malkin on the same topic, I will say that, rightly or wrongly, I personally hold Republicans to a higher standard than I do Dhimmicrats.

The Chinese Falcon

It was another Summer scorcher that night in the city. It was the kind of night that made you feel just like a big human pot roast, just sitting there stewing away in your own personal oven with a view. It was the miserable kinda heat that made you imagine that Hell must not be so far below the floorboards. Judging from the quiet on the street, it was too hot for even for the thugs to be up to much. The red light coming in the window only piled on the effect, even more of the thought of what Hell might be like, assuming there's a 'quasi-Hell' set aside for good-hearted but morally-challenged lunks like me. I think the Catholics call it 'purgatory'. Me, I call it 'quasi-Hell'. Other times, I call it 'pseudo-Hell', but I'm not sure that fits.

At any rate, I knew the phone was gonna ring even before it knew. I knew who was calling before I even picked it up.

"Yeah. Sam here."

"I love you, Sam."

Gotta admit--that, I didn't expect. Not that she wouldn't lie. Not that she hadn't already lied to me a thousand times before, but those words, I didn't expect.

"Listen, babe, I..."

"I love you very, very much, Sam. That's why it hurt so much when I hear things."

"Hear things? Like what?"

"Don't play stupid with me, Sam. I'm not one of your gullible young floozies. I know all about you and that Hindu girl down the way. And I know about you and my sister. And now you and those Central Americans? You hurt me. I cry myself to sleep every night."

Somehow, I doubted that, but whatever she wanted to believe. Now, she had some nerve pointing fingers at me, given what she'd been up to lately with that Chavez fellow. I'd had enough of her double-standard moralizing.

"Right. And what about these things I'm hearing, babe? I'm hearing about you and some fellow named Hugo from down South. And then there's all this talk about you and some Shiekh. I'm hearing you three are planning to head off together for some perverse extended vacation and leave me in the lurch. On top of that, your brother just threatened to go nuclear on me if I didn't watch my step. You call that love?"

"Hugo? We were just talking, that's all. And Zhu? He just has a temper. Don't mind him. Sam, that girl, that India, what could she possibly give you that I don't? I heard you even threw her a dinner party last week! You never threw me a dinner party! I hear you're sharing secrets with her you've never shared with me. Don't you enjoy all the things I give you? Tell me, Sam, have you already forgotten that I've been bailing you out on those debts of yours?"

As if I didn't see that subtle threat coming. About as subtle as an air raid siren chained to a monkey on crack. Sure, China had a blouseful of goodies and a trunk full of treats. She strutted around town showing off her bountiful resources, wrapped tightly in low-cut red labor rates and a scandalously short, black leather turnaround, every bit as proud as the Devil in a blue state on Sunday. The woman filled out a bill of lading like nobody's business, and her curves were nicer than Tucker Carlson's bow-tie. She was generous with those goodies and those treats, every bit as generous as Ted Kennedy with other people's money. And she had bailed me out of those debt problems more than once.

Even with all her blessings, China's love came with a price. She was as easy and open to comers as the Arizona border. And then there were all those dead bodies in her back yard, those slaves in the basement. How much longer before I was one of those slaves--or one of those bodies? Now her boys are stocking up on guns. Big guns, bought with the money I'd been helping her get. I had to get out, but she had me by the short hairs. Everywhere I turned, I saw her name, and I knew my new love couldn't really give me the life I'd foolishly allowed myself to get way too accustomed to. I had to get out, but was it too late?

German High Court: Release Terror Financier

Germany's highest court has ruled that German authorities cannot extradite terror financier Mamoun Darkazanli to Spain and that he must instead be set free.

This is a man who is known to be a part of al Qaeda, is strongly connected to the 9/11 attacks and is suspected of being involved in the Madrid bombings.


Immigrant Killed by LAPD Police

Is this fellow another Rodney King? Hard to tell yet. His family is apparently claiming he was unarmed when he was shot dead. The Immigration Blog has a different version of the story.

Who to believe? Well, I'm sure the mainstream media will make sure to give us all the facts so that each of us can form an informed opinion. As if.

US, India Seek Closer Relations

Our interests would seem to be so aligned with those of India in so many ways, it seems incredible to me that there would be any significant barriers to the U.S. and India being among the closest of nations. Both the U.S. and India have ongoing problems with terrorism, and specifically in connection with Pakistan, which problems are all the more visible in the wake of the London bombings. India also has a billion people, a huge mass of smart, educated, industrious people, millions of which speak English more fluently than most Americans. In other words, India is a perfect trading partner for the U.S. Unfortunately, the U.S. has now allowed itself to become heavily dependent on China for its manufacturing capacity. Think about that: America, the supposed "Champion of Democracy"(TM) now relies on a COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP for a huge bulk of its manufacturing capacity. It used to be lamps and trinkets. Now it's lamps and trinkets and steel and plywood and engines and power tools, etc., etc. Think about this: when was the last time you picked up a product and the label said "Made in the USA" and you weren't just a little bit surprised to see it? When was the last time you picked up a product and it DIDN'T say "Made in China" and you were a little surprised? Think about that. As near as I can tell, everything comes from China.

Now, don't get me wrong, folks. I'm a huge free-trader, and open markets are a womderful thing, but when you think about the fact that the country we now rely on for a huge bulk of our manufacturing has just recently threatened to attack us with NUCLEAR WEAPONS, that should give you some reason to pause and think. And what you should think about is how much better it might be to have the WORLD'S LARGEST DEMOCRACY(TM) as our manufacturer of choice instead of the world's largest COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

July 18: Fear and Loathing in Chappaquiddick

Today was a rough day for Castilian King Alfonso VIII, who was trounced by Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur at the Battle of Alarcos in 1195.

It's flying off the bookshelves in the Muslim world faster than Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Hard to believe, but Adolf Hitler's anti-semitic manifesto Mein Kampf was published on this very day 80 years ago.

Ted Kennedy began his political career with a big splash on the evening of July 18, 1969, submarining his car into a pond and leaving his unconscious passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, in the submerged car to suffocate and die while he swam back home to call his lawyer. Kennedy never reported the accident to the police. The car and dead body were discovered by fishermen the next morning. Luckily, he survived the ensuing political fallout, or else the left wouldn't have him there to serve as its voice of conscience.

In other news, infamous Norwegian traitor Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was born on this day in 1887. During the German invasion of Norway, the fascist Quisling organized a coup d'etat against the social democrat government and became a leader of the fascist puppet government subsequently installed by the Nazis.

Non-fascist non-traitors Vin Diesel, Hunter S. Thompson and Nelson Mandela were also born on July 18. (Actually, I'm not 100% sure about Dr. Gonzo--on either count.)

Ducati engineer Fabio Taglioni died on this day in 2001.

Captian Ed: Please Learn Godwin's Law

Captain Ed has it right on the money when he admonishes elected officials to eliminate the word "Nazi" from their vocabulary. Apparently, Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) is the latest elected official to step in a swastika-shaped bear trap. I don't even know what this fellow was trying to say with his comments, but in print it makes no sense at all. Captain Ed:
We're not even asking for brilliance here, people. Just plain common sense. If you are an elected official, and the word "Nazi" starts to escape your lips, please please PLEASE squeeze them shut.

France Prepared to Expel Radical Imams

C'est delà le temps, amis! Now, if we could get around to expelling some of the radicals we have over HERE.

Props to USS Neverdock and Jawa Report.

Aeisha Muhammad: Stop Serving the Zionists!

Daniel Pipes posts a message from a Muslim woman excoriating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for expressing its regret that the perpetrators of the London bombings were Muslims:
Muslims have the obligation to go to Jihad and to retaliate upon their enemies and there is no guilt in doing what ALLAH has ordered. No Muslim should be misguided and made to believe that retaliation for the atrocities committed by the non-Muslims upon Muslims is to be tolerated. No Muslim should go against his brother/sister jihadi in order to appease the non-Muslim governments of the world. No Muslim owes any apologies to any non-Muslim nation and no Muslim needs to be feeling bad for the crimes that are carried out by the Bush and Blair bastards under the guise of the Mujahideen. …

ALLAH's curse is upon you for your treason against the Muslim religion and people. REPENT before it is too late !

This woman is telling the truth according to the Koran. What CAIR is pushing is not consistent with the Koran. If following the Koran is necessary for salvation, we are all in trouble, including the lukewarm Muslims of CAIR.

Jihadists in Parliament? Lovely.

From Charles Johnson at LGF, we now learn that one of the London suicide bombers recently got his own private tour of Parliament .

Well, that was then, and this is now, and we can't go around bickerin' and arguin' about who killed who!! This is supposed to be a happy blog!

At any rate, however misguided it might have been to allow Islamic fundamentalists to traipse around through the back corridors of the British government in the peacful, happy, carefree days before 7/7, we can all be confident that the House of Blair has come to realize just what sort of enemy they're up against.

Accordingly, while they've now decided to allow known radical jihadist Yusuf al-Qaradawi into Britain, I'm sure they'll be keeping an eye on him if he does anything suspicious or goes into a subway wearing a backpack. Further, they might nearly stand up to the vicious Guardian, which has decided to employ Dilpazier Aslam, another known radical jihadist, on its editorial staff.

Then again, the Muslim Association of Britain has decided to take a strong stand against terrorism, though they apparently have a different view of 'terrorism' than some of the rest of us do:


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Captain's Quarters: Spanish Terror Fighters

From Captain Ed:
After the Madrid bombings last year, the Spanish electorate voted out the Jose Aznar government and elected Jose Zapatero, who ran on a platform of withdrawal from Iraq. Zapatero took a lot of criticism, even from the troops he recalled from their posts, for flinching in the face of terror and holding up the nation to ridicule. Fortunately for Zapatero, some Spaniards have demonstrated that they have the convictions to fight terrorists where they find them:

Mark in Mexco: Pakistani Public Knew Bombers Were Pakistani

Mark in Mexico has a good post on the "Pakistani street". It's just amazing and frustrating to find out so much more every day from people who tell us that they knew this was probably going to happen. It's like that old Saturday Night Live skit about "Buckwheat Has Been Shot". Once they identified the killer, they talked to his friends and family. Each of the interviews went something like this:

Reporter: Did you know him?

Neighbor: Yes, he was a very nice boy, quiet, never caused any trouble. Always willing to help out.

Reporter: Are you surprised he shot Buckwheat today?

Neighbor: Oh, yes, very surprised.

Reporter: Why is that?

Neighbor: Well, it's Boxing Day today. You don't expect something like this to happen on a holiday.

Reporter: I see. Well, are you surprised that your neighbor shot Buckwheat?

Neighbor: Oh, no, not at all. We all knew he'd try to kill Buckwheat someday. That's all he used to talk about. Even when he was little, he used to say 'Someday when I grow up I'm gonna kill Buckwheat'. He used to make all the other little kids play a game he made up called 'Kill Buckwheat'. He even wrote a song called 'Die, Buckwheat, Die' that he would play at parties. He would draw and paint pictures and give them to us as gifts. He was very generous that way. I have a piece he titled 'Dead Buckwheat #1627' hanging in my living room behind the couch.

Malkin: Begala Unhinged?

Michelle has the story. Apparently, Dhimmicratic Mastermind(TM) Paul Begala is running around telling young college students that the Republicans want to kill him and his family:
They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted -- that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit
What the...


Some pissed-off chick named Lauren Patrizi, a self-described "progressive" (euphemism for "leftist") whose principal claim to fame (outside of being featured here) is apparently her gambling prowess, posted the following comment to this post:
Leave it to a right winger to take something completely out of context. This is libelous at best this CNSNEWS.com story. If you are going to use Begala's quote use it in its full context. What he said was, the terrorists want to kill us and after that republicans will feel comfort telling his children that they wotn [sic] have to pay taxes on what they inherit. Shesh. what a bunch of LIARS.. go to campusprogress.org to watch the conference and Begala's TRUE statement and Begala's response to the right wing media finding linguistic convenience to take his statements out of context. Idiots. oh and by the way, I think [sic] is true because i [sic] was one of those "commie elitist college students" at the conference.. Oh crap you mean intelligent? lol. Sorry!
First of all, every excerpt is, by its very nature, "taken out of context." That's what makes it an excerpt. There's nothing right-wing, or even untoward about it. It's only deceptive if the statement has a different meaning in its original context than it does set off by itself. Second, I don't consider myself a "right-winger". I may be, and actually am, anti-leftist, but that's different than being right-winger. Just because someone doesn't agree with the simplistic crap you believe in doesn't mean they necessarily subscribe to some other group's simplistic crap. You have your faith. You believe in something which apparently helps you feel good about yourself. Leftism is all about faith. No reasoned, intelligent person could possibly review the available evidence and decide that socialism is the answer. Myself, I'm not all that interested in feeling good about myself. I'd prefer to look at the facts and make the best reasoned decision. In a better world, the best alternative would sometimes be the one offered by the Democrat party (assuming Lieberman and his posse could somehow temporarily overpower the army of wacko left wing nutjobs normally manning the controls over there). Unfortunately, Democrat partisans haven't been offering any alternatives in the last five years or so, so that's not really an option, is it?

Now, back to your point: What you're describing may be what Begala meant to say, but it's certainly not what he said. What he actually said is, I now realize, open to multiple interpretations. The sentences immediately preceding the above-quoted excerpt read as follows. Emphasis added. My comments in [brackets]:
And so, their [the Republicans'? Al Qaeda's?] theory is, we [Republicans? America? the U.S. government?] can't really do everything to protect our country because we [the Republicans? America?] have to cut taxes for the rich, and so they [Republicans? Al Qaeda?] want to kill us [Americans? Democrats?], particularly in this city and in New York and some other places. I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit. I had friends on that plane. This is deadly serious to me.
As you'll have to admit, it's a little tricky to make out just what it is that Begala is saying, context or no. He's appears to be using "they" pretty consistently to refer to the Republicans in his speech. Then again, there's a case to be made that he's using "they" to refer to Republicans generally, but intended "they" to refer to terrorists in the first part of the quoted sentence, even though he clearly meant "they" to refer to Republicans in the second part of the same sentence (unless Al Qaeda has suddenly taken an interest in estate tax reform). Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at the confusion--I recall Belgala's boss had some trouble figuring out what the word "is"and the term "sexual relations" mean.

That said, I'm willing to take my lumps, here. I assumed I understood what Begala meant to say, and I realize now that that assumption probably wasn't warranted. I'm probably guilty of confusing Paul Begala with a Howard Dean or a Dick Durbin--neither of whom he is. On the other hand, I didn't lie, and I certainly wasn't alone in my interpretation of Begala's language. I submit to you that it's a good idea to have a real lie or some real idiocy before you go around calling someone a LIAR or an IDIOT, or throwing around a word like "libelous". Otherwise, you risk looking stupid, crazy and/or unhinged.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Captain's Quarters: Federal Appeals Court Rules Against al Qaeda Detainees

From Captain Ed:
A federal appeals court has overturned an earlier ruling that attempted to give Gitmo detainees access to American courts for determination of status. In a sweeping victory for the Bush administration, the appeals court also ruled that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to Salim Ahmed Hamdan or any al-Qaeda or terrorist detainees, making the military tribunals legal and appropriate...
Sounds good to me.

LGF: Reuters and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades

This story, if true, should put the lie to anyone who still claims that Reuters' personnel in Israel aren't in bed with the palestinian terrorists:
TEL AVIV - Top terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi made a “guest appearance” in a video prepared by the staff of Reuters news agency in Israel and the Palestinian Authority as a “going away” gift for a colleague, Ynetnews has learned.
Wake the hell up, folks! If you still haven't figured it out, the reason the media won't call them "terrorists" has nothing to do with "journalistic objectivity." It's because they don't want to piss off their friends.

Jawa Report: London Bomb Planner Arrested in Egypt

As usual, Jawa Report has the inside story:
It's too early to call him the mastermind, there is a Pakistani national still at large who has been described that way, but he certainly was a central actor in the scheme. It was in his apartment that the bomb-making equipment was found placing him squarely in the middle of the conspiracy.

Only 1 in 3 Frogs Support Chirac

From Bloomberg:
Chirac, in his 11th year in office, has an approval rating near a record low. After suffering two setbacks in five weeks, he's vulnerable to a challenge from Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who has said he may run for president in 2007.

The president declined to today to say whether he'll seek a third term. ``This subject is completely premature,'' he said.

Chirac's approval rating stands at 36 percent this month, a BVA poll of 1036 people aged 18 or more held July 4-6 showed. That's one point higher than its record low last month.
I don't know how to interpret those numbers, but Chirac's such a buffoon, it'd probably be good to see him go.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Captain's Quarters: London Bombers were the B-Team

Captain Ed has the scoop:

According to ABC News, British intelligence thought they had stopped the coordinated attack on the London subway and bus system when they first discovered the plot -- when Pakistani officials arrested al-Qaeda computer expert Naeem Noor Khan a year ago this week. His laptop contained a remarkably similar plan for the attack, and the British arrested a "senior" AQ operative at the time...

The terrorists don't like to abandon plans once they've been developed, it seems. In this case, investigators suspect that AQ leadership activated a new cell to carry out the plan. In order to get the plans and the coordination transferred, it used one of its operatives that escaped the dragnet touched off by Khan's capture to train and guide the suicide bombers. Mohammed Sadique Khan had ties to the former group, they have found, which puts his involvement in this operation past the threshold of coincidence.

Something to think about next time we feel like patting one another on the back for cracking open a terrorist cell. Is there a backup cell? Is there a backup backup cell?

The more we learn about just how preventable these attacks were, the more frustrated and angry we feel, and should feel, about this situation. Pressure and frustration keeps building up on this. A frustrated populace can be a very scary thing. Another Islamic attack on the U.S. has the potential to bring a drastic political backlash, vigilantism or both. None of these would be good.

Muslims, you need to clean your house, and soon.

Doing the Lynndie??

Cranky Neocon and Jawa Report are abuzz about "the Lynndie".

I, for one, am OUTRAGED. Outraged, I tell ya! *sigh* This never would've happened back in The Golden Age...

Today's Lesson: How to Identify a Jihadist...

THIS PERSON ^^^^ is probably not a jihadist.

Volokh: The Golden Age

Volokh takes on Andrew Sullivan, who invokes a "golden age" of American culture, during which rough treatment of suicide bombers would never have been countenanced by the American public. In response, he reasonably wonders:
Is there really reason to think that once upon a time, Americans were less willing to support harsh treatment -- I haven't read the report, so I don't know how harsh, but let's interpolate from Sullivan's correspondent's message -- of suspected terrorists than they are now? When was this time, and how long did it last?
I submit that the question compels the answer. The American public, though fair-minded, is generally less concerned about the niceties of the Geneva Convention than it is about security and victory. It is to America's credit that there are those voices which question our treatment of even the worst and most vicious criminals in our custody. At the same time, women's panties on the head of a Taliban gunman will not evoke, and never would have evoked, mass moral outrage on the part of regular Americans. As a good friend of mine used to say: "Always keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out."

Poll: Fewer Muslims Supporting bin Laden

Okay, so we've gotten ourselves involved in military action in the Middle East, which has now set the previously-quiet "Arab street" on fire in anger against America, right?

If that's true, then explain this to me:
Since March 2004, the sentiment for suicide bombing against Americans and their allies in Iraq dropped from 70 percent to 49 percent in Jordan, which neighbors Iraq, and dropped by smaller margins in Pakistan, Turkey, and Morocco.

Public confidence in bin Laden has dipped sharply since May 2003 in Indonesia, Morocco, Lebanon and Turkey - all countries that have experienced recent terrorist bombings. In Pakistan and Jordan, a majority of people continue to say they have at least some confidence in bin Laden, the Saudi leader of al Qaeda.
I have no idea if this poll is reliable, but if it is, the left wingers have some 'splainin to do...

Captain's Quarters has some good discussion:
This demonstrates that Bush's policies of attacking terrorists where they have hidden themselves and demanding the liberalization of the Arabic world has had a huge, positive impact. Despite the carping of how Iraq has created terrorists in Muslim nations, the unmasking of Islamofascism as a bloodthirsty movement perfectly happy with killing fellow Muslims by the hundreds to make its point has destroyed its credibility. In contrast, the success of the Iraqi elections, followed by the popular democratic uprising against Syria in Lebanon and the demand for free election in Egypt, has shown Arabs and Muslims that democracy and pluralism works.

Malkin: San Diego Dems Losing It

Michelle links to Smash, who explains:
THE SAN DIEGO DEMOCRATS have gone out of their effing minds.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the San Diego Democratic Central Committee asks Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld...
They have a "Central Committee"? Is it just me, or doesn't that sound, I dunno... kinda bolshevist? Do they have a "Dear Leader" running the place? I mean, I can see that going over like gangbusters up in the People's Republic of San Francisco, but San Diego?

Jihad Watch: Where DO British Suicide Bombers Come From???

Robert sez:
Where was the vast majority of decent, law-abiding British Muslims that we are hearing about these days from Prince Charles and Tony Blair while this recruitment was going on? Why didn't they stop it? Why didn't they act against the jihadists at this youth center long before the bombings? From The Globe and Mail, with thanks to Beila Rabinowitz:
LEEDS -- The transformation of four young British men into terrorists appears to have taken place at a government-funded storefront youth centre in Leeds that, according to youth workers, was a hub of radical Islamist activity.

The centre was sealed off and searched by police yesterday after three of its workers said in an interview on the street outside that at least two of the suicide bombers had been "very regular" visitors at all hours to the Hamara Youth Access Point, and a third had been seen there occasionally.

"It had become so radical and so hateful that I asked if I could stop working there," said one of the workers, who along with two others described the storefront drop-in centre as a hub of radical Muslim politics and a hotbed of Islamic organizing, routinely hosting mysterious figures to speak about extremist politics.
What the hell is going on with our governments? How can they allow this crap to go on unimpeded? How can they spend our tax dollars to support this type of thing? I'm sure there will be some high-profile raids and such, just to convince the public that "something is being done", but I'm confident there will be no systemic reform, either in Britain or here in the U.S. Did Churchill spend tax dollars to build a London Nazi Youth Center? I don't think I recall that happening. If a German cultural center in London was taken over by Nazis, do you think Churchill would have let them operate without interference? I doubt it. And no, I'm not comparing all Muslims to Nazis. I am comparing Islamists to Nazis, and I'll be more than happy to defend the comparison.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Jawa Report: The Sources of Homicidal Angst

As usual, Demosophist raises some very interesting points:

OK, so who didn't fall in love with the Parminder Nagra character in Bend it Like Beckham? (If you didn't you're feakin' gay, man.) She's now a regular on ER, by the way. I know she's precisely the sort of tomboy that used to get my heart thumping when I was a ne'r-do-well kid in HS and College. (I mean, girly girls are "OK," but give me a girl who can kick a football or run a 100 meter dash any time.)

So having become susceptible to English Pakistani culture through such a sympathetic portrayal it's not all that comforting to see cute Jess's extended family as the perpetrators of the recent London bombings. And I imagine it's no easier for my UK brethren, who must have been similarly enthralled. I do not think that Islam is, by definition, a pathological religion. But I think some elements of Islamic culture might be pathological, and there is a "dirtly little secret" that is rarely discussed, except by an old friend of mine on a new blog called Jefferson State. . . .

Young Muslim men ought to find women like Jess Bhamra, the heroine of Bend it Like Beckham irresistible, but instead they find such women threatening. This is a tragedy, with consequences that, though unintended, are not inconsequencial. We saw the results in the London transit system over the past week. If mainstream media leaves you with the impression that such a consequence is inexplicable it's because they're not comfortable talking about reality.

Unfortunately, as we are becoming increasingly aware, the mainstream media is not at all comfortable talking about the more unseemly aspects of modern reality, particularly as they relate to Islamism.

Dr. Shackleford's Modest Proposal

Should we be granting asylum to Islamic radicals who are too extreme for the Middle East? Dr. Rusty Shackleford says we shouldn't. He may have a point:
Granting assylum to Islamists today reveals a suicidal tendency in Western Liberalism. Far worse than selling the rope, we are giving the rope away to those who openly tell us they wish to use it to hang us. It is a Greek tragedy being played out on a civilizational scale.

It is no longer good enough to know that the individual assylum seeker might be persecuted in his home-country, but we must also ask why he would be persecuted?

Are they seeking exile because they are critical of their home governments: alliances with the West? diplomatic relations with Israel? secularism? democracy? tolerance of religious diversity? lax attitudes on immoral behavior?

If the ansewer to any of these questions is "yes" then such a person should seek assylum elsewhere. I hear that Libya is very generous to such people. And Iran.

JihadWatch: from "sports mad" lad to jihadist in a few, easy steps...

Robert cites to an article in The Australian on suspected British jihadist Shehzad Tanweer:
Britain's intelligence agencies were last night coming to terms with something they had long feared, but hoped they would never face - homegrown jihad.
Well, this sort of thing can be expected so long as we fail to deal with the poverty and desperation Muslims face, right?
If ever there was a family of model immigrants, it was the Tanweers. Originally from Pakistan, they had made a good life in Britain, running their Leeds fish and chip shop and living in a large detached house in the city's Beeston area, with two Mercedes cars parked outside.
Wake up, folks. Wake the hell up!

The Sun is STILL shining on the Union Jack...


OpinionBug: Dutch Teen with Bomb Arrested

OpinionBug notes:
When Dutch police arrested a 17 year old Dutch Muslim, they found a home-made bomb in his possession
Jawa Report notes:
Leftards always cry racism whenever we point out the fact that while not all Muslims are terrorists, almost every terrorist is a Muslim. As if Muslim was a race. Here’s news of a lilly-white terrorist teenage. Better click the link…

Very Interesting Discussion on Jawa Report

From Rusty at the Jawa Report:
Most of what Muslims call backlash is of the sticks and stones variety or things necessary to protect us from terrorism. This is not. This is very, very, very bad. Disgusting, if true.
I fully agree with Rusty S. that the vigilante violence referred to only hurts the cause of reason. There's plenty of room for vigilance, but we really don't need any vigilantism right now.

I also agree with the commenters who denounce any blaming of the victim. We can all discuss positive steps the Muslim world could take at another time. I don't know who this Pakistani man was, but he probably didn't deserve to get beaten to death, and he certainly didn't deserve to get beaten to death simply because he was Pakistani.

This man's killing was wrong. Period.

The people responsible should be severely punished. Period.

FrontPage : Hollywood to Idolize "Teenage Terrorist"

Hollywood is working on putting together a movie idolizing Abduraman Khadr, a teenage member of Al-Qaeda:
In 1996, Abdurahman Khadr, then 13-year-old terrorist-in-training, stood face to face with his idol: Osama bin Laden. Before long, Khadr would join the ranks of al-Qaeda’s jihad in Afghanistan, fulfilling the calling of his hard-line Islamist family by waging war against the hated Americans. Now, after a stint at Guantanamo Bay prison, Abdurahman will become an American hero—at least if Hollywood has its way. . . .

Khadr certainly has his work cut out for him. The tale of a young rebel who never reconciled himself to his family’s extremist ways may set the hearts of Hollywood producers aflutter. But it would be difficult to tell a story more incompatible with the facts of Khadr’s life.
Difficult, indeed, as the column makes very clear.

Kudos to Molly Ivins

A few days ago, we all criticized Molly Ivins for her fallacious statement that George Bush killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein. She's now retracted that statement and apologized for the error. I felt it was only fair to note that.

(Thanks to Michelle M. for pointing that out.)

Michelle Malkin: Shut up and Teach

From the lovely and brilliant Michelle Malkin:
The National Education Association recently had its annual convention, where it called for President Bush to withdraw our troops from Iraq, vowed to defeat the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and resolved to educate about the need for debt cancellation in underdeveloped countries.

And you wonder why Johnny can't read.
Actually, I stopped wondering a long time ago, but I certainly get her point.

Counterterrorism Blog: Where do Homegrown British Suicide Bombers Come From?

A great post on the Religion of Peace:
Perhaps what disturbed me the most about Faisal's desperate words was searching around the room and seeing dozens of eyes diligently trained on him--the eyes of young, impressionable Muslim kids. It is common in this modern era for Western youths (of all backgrounds) to worship popular rock stars or Hollywood actors and aspire to become them. Yet, for many years, the radical religious fringe has preached a consistent countermessage to young Muslims: "by virtue of your heritage alone, you are different from your peers and 'we love death as they love life.'" A minority of these youths have been raised to idolize Usama Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta in the same way that many Americans follow Johnny Depp and Bruce Springsteen. With disastrous "Muslim wars" ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of those brainwashed into following Al-Qaida now see a unique opportunity for themselves to step forward from obscurity and become famous, heroic "martyrs" of the Islamic nation, much like the 9/11 hijackers. Let noone be mistaken: the deluded suicide bombers responsible for the carnage on 7/7 are far from alone. The age of the "human cruise missile" is now fully upon us and it is likely only a matter of time before this problem crosses the Atlantic and reaches the shores of the American homeland.

Clarity and Resolve: We're Next, Buddies

The "Clarity and Resolve" Blog has a good post on the 7/7 attacks:

They're not priests and it's not a misinterpretation of Islam. Read the books, folks. Mr. Blair, like Mr. Bush, is still playing realpolitik. It's an understandable, but increasingly untenable, position.

The fact is that violent, offensive jihad was declared on the kuffar fourteen centuries ago, and a robust jihad revival got underway when the last remnants of the Uthmani (Ottoman) Khilafah (Caliphate/Islamic state) were dismantled by the West in 1924—a year that Muslims worldwide remember vividly, but one that most of us don't think about very much.

Hear, hear!

Also, Speak Easy links to Mark Steyn, who notes that "Islam has become the world's pre-eminent incubator of terrorism at its most depraved".

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Islamic leader Hani Siba'i: Islam does not recognize "civilians"

If true, that explains some things. LGF has the video.

Al-Siba'i: The term "civilians" does not exist in Islamic religious law. Dr. Karmi is sitting here, and I am sitting here, and I'm familiar with religious law. There is no such term as "civilians" in the modern Western sense. People are either of Dar Al- Harb [literally, "the war zone," referring to those lands not under Islamic control] or not.


Julianne Malveaux Joins the Deaniacs

Dr. Julianne Malveaux joins the voices condemning America and blaming it for the world's terrorism. Dr. Malveaux is the author of the book The Paradox of Loyalty: An African American Response to the War on Terrorism. The book's point-of-view is summed up pretty well by its on-line summary, which boasts "Foreword by Dr. Cornel West." What more do ya need to know, really?

At any rate, Dr. Malveaux's radicalism was out in full technicolor on Sean Hannity's show recently, where she denounced President Bush as "evil" and a "terrorist", and denounced the U.S. as "a terrorist nation".


Tavleen Singh on Suicide Bomber Breeding Grounds

Ms. Singh is right on the money:

The young men and women who are blowing themselves up are trained not by terrorist groups but by mullahs and Islamic seminaries and until we acknowledge this we cannot win the war against terrorism. That the madrasas in Pakistan have the support of the Pakistani government is understandable since Pakistan is an Islamic republic. Much less understandable is our own government’s inability to admit that religious schools have no business to exist in secular Bharat that is India. And, please, let us not have any trash about how these madrasas are the only chance for indigent Muslim boys to get an education. ...

If the mullahs used the religious seminaries to teach love and peace and respect for other people and religions, Muslims would find it easier to live with the rest of the world. But, they teach jehad and bigotry and it is from these teachings that Islamic terrorism is born.

When will people start to listen? How many bombs will it take?

Van Gogh Murderer: "I would do it again"

Van Gogh's murderer has elected to break his silence:

“I did what I did purely out my beliefs,” the 27-year-old Muslim told judges after entering court clutching a Quran. “I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan and felt insulted.”

The bearded suspect, dressed in a black robe and black and white headscarf, praised Allah and the Prophet Mohammed before admitting to the killing on the second day of his trial in Amsterdam’s high-security court. ...

Bouyeri told judges he had acted according to his convictions. Unrepentant, he told the victim’s mother — who was in court — that he did not sympathize with her loss and would be prepared to do the same again.

“If I ever get free, I would do it again," he said.

Van Gogh's fate can reasonably be expected by anyone who "offends Islam" in the eyes of its most radical practitioners. Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi-Ali and Steve Emerson are only the most notable examples of famous people who have had to go into permanent hiding because the leaders of the Muslim religion have issued fatwas against them. These leaders are quick to issue fatwas against kuffars who say things they don't like, but do any of the Muslim leaders issue fatwas against those who murder in the name of Islam? No. As Thomas Friedman recently opined:
The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks. When Salman Rushdie wrote a controversial novel involving the prophet Muhammad, he was sentenced to death by the leader of Iran. To this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden.
It's time to clean house, folks. Most Muslims are not actively aiding bin Laden, but it is long since time that they move off the fence. If they don't move off the fence, then the public will become increasingly convinced that the "moderate" Muslims tacitly side with the likes of bin Laden and Zarqawi. If public opinion gets to that point, unfortunate and disruptive things will happen. Are mass deportations possible? In the wake of another major bombing in the U.S. or Britain, who knows what could happen? Is this what Muslims want? I think it's fair to say that it's not what most Muslims want, but there are people named bin Laden and Zarqawi who would like nothing more than to drive a wedge between the West and Islam. I think it's also fair to say that they are currently managing to succeed in that goal. They will continue to make progress unless and until Muslim leaders draw a sharp line of distinction between themselves and bin Laden. Until that time, the trust and friendship between the non-Muslim West and the Muslim residents in the West will continue to erode.

Update: There apparently has been one fatwa issued against bin Laden by some Muslim clerics in Spain, which was issued earlier this year. The family of Daniel Pearl asks, and rightly so, why only one? Why, indeed.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Derrick Jackson: Allies kill innocents, too

Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe proposes that there is a "tragic hollowness" in the Western concern for the dead in London, attacking the "posturing of America as the great innocent, when everyone knows we kill innocents ourselves". In reading the article, I think I may have missed the writer's point. Mr. Jackson may have intended to argue that we shouldn't downplay the number of civilian casualties in Iraq. That's a fair point to be made, but the column doesn't really make it. Jackson comes across as trying to establish some sort of moral equivalency between Zarqawi and Bush, owing to the fact that both have caused the death of innocent civilians. Jackson seems to be missing an important point: Zarqawi and his friends work hard to kill as many innocent civilians as possible, while the I have every reason to believe that the U.S. and its allies work hard to kill as few as possible. This distinction appears to be lost on Mr. Jackson.

There's no doubt that we should remember all the lives tragically cut short by this action, but there's also nothing whatsoever hollow about our sadness for the loss of our brothers and sisters in London.

Alfred E. Neuman?

Seems a little over-the-top three years out, but maybe that's just me:
"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," Clinton said referring to the freckle-faced Mad magazine character. She drew a laugh from crowd when she described Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Neuman's catchphrase: "What, me worry?"

Van Gogh's Murderer Won't Testify

This is a little surprising to me. I'd think that this Mohammed guy would want to take the stand to denounce the "decadent Western kuffars" or something. He doesn't deny his guilt, so what's he got to lose?

A portion of the Van Gogh/Ali film Submission, over which Van Gogh lost his life, can be seen here.

The Sun Always Shines on the Union Jack...


Beef is Back!!!


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Polling data from Britain

Looks like the Brits are prepared to hang tough. No one should be at all surprised.

Islamic terrorists should really read their history books before picking fights with Brits. To win a fight with the British, the jihadis would really have to kill them all, every last one of them, and all their relatives. You don't have enough bombs, fellas. The Brits, like any civilized people, generally prefer to avoid a fight, if possible, but woe to their enemies once the fight starts. The jihadis may think they want to fight with the polite and civilized Brits, but I suspect they're going to learn otherwise. In order to prepare for fighting the Brits, the jihadis first should've started by attacking some hornets' nests with firecrackers. Hornets probably appear to be docile, non-threatening little bugs to someone who's never been on the receiving end of their attention. Playing with the hornets may have given the jihadis some idea of what they were in for. OK, now imagine a hornet's nest with 60,000,000 hornets in it. Now imagine the hornets are two meters long. You guys are so toast...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Amir Taheri: Why they did it

An excellent wake-up call to Britain and the world:
[S]orry, 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.
Wake up, folks. It's time to get serious. We simply cannot carry on a meaningful dialogue until we all understand the enemy we collectively face. All Chamberlain had to do to understand Hitler was to read his book and listen to his speeches. Similarly, all we need to do to understand the jihadis is to read their writings and listen to their speeches. Friends, resistance is necessary, or we will be eliminated.

It is perhaps understandable that the more westernized and integrated Muslims would prefer not to take a side in this fight. Unfortunately for them, the rest of us really don't have any reliable way of distinguishing between a Muslim who is truly opposed to terrorism and a Muslim who only claims to be. To the extent that Muslims of good faith have insights to share on that point, we have a right to expect them to do so. We have a right to demand of all citizens, whether they be Christian, Jewish or Muslim, that they pick a side. We know who many of the jihadis are. We know where many of the radical mosques are. The jihadis need to be rounded up. The radical mosques need to be shut down. Peaceful Muslims of good faith should welcome, rather than oppose, these moves. If a white skinheads group was bombing buses in the name of bald white guys, I'd want nothing more than to see that group and its friends rounded up ASAP.

We Are Not Afraid

Images and messages of support from around the world. Brings a tear to your eye. These were two of my favorites.

Mayor Livingstone on the True Threats to the West:

"I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction." -Ken Livingstone, November, 2003

London Mayor Ken Livingstone defends the Islamic Extremists

More on what passes for an "Islamic moderate" in London. The link is to a report published by London Mayor Ken Livingstone relating to the issue of "Islamic conspiracies" in the UK. First, Livingstone denies the existence of any "Islamic conspiracies" against the west:
The ‘Islamic Conspiracy’ theory
The dossier sent to London Assembly members entitled Mayor Livingstone and Sheikh Qaradawi argues against such a dialogue. Its authors suggest that we face something like a Muslim conspiracy, led by people like Dr al-Qaradawi, directed against the whole of western civilisation and culture. Peter Tatchell is a prominent exponent of this view when he warns of the ‘global threat of “Islamofascism”’, which, he says, is more dangerous today than the rise of genuinely extreme right wing groups like the British National Party.
Mayor Livingstone is confident, however, that Islamic political movements are peaceful and would never seek to take away anyone's rights:
There has undoubtedly been increased political mobilisation of Muslim communities in Britain over the last couple of years. This however has been driven, not by an Islamist conspiracy to reconquer Rome or impose Sharia law in Britain, but by opposition to the invasion of Iraq, the perceived double standards applied to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and issues of equal rights in this country.
The Muslim communities have started to organise themselves to make their views on the Middle East count and to defend their own cultural and religious rights – not to take away the rights of anyone else.
Although Livingstone admits that his guest, Dr. al-Qaradawi, supports suicide bombing, he apparently considers the support to be justified:
It is true that Dr al-Qaradawi justifies suicide bombings of Palestinian forces fighting against the Israeli state. As he explained at the press conference on 7 July, he views such methods as a ‘weapon to which the weak resort in order to upset the balance because the powerful have all the weapons that the weak are denied...
He then proceeds to turn the argument against the Sharon government, based on what he considers to be their war crimes:
In all consistency, therefore, the authors of the dossier should also be calling for supporters of the Sharon government to be excluded from City Hall.
Talk about the chickens coming home to roost. Way to go, Mayor Livingstone...

Brits are "bloody angry"

From a comment on Little Green Footballs:

For those of you who are anxious to know how the UK will react, we've been bombed for years by the IRA, and no-one spoke of quitting. Half of London and much of Coventry was flattened by the Luftwaffe a generation or two back, and no-one ran. Before that, in my grandparents' time, we were bombed by Zeppelins and didn't give in. We gave up appeasing after Czechoslovakia. There's no panic today, and there won't be, but we, all of us, are bloody angry. Al quaeda may think we're going to run up the white flag, but I promise you nobody else does.
For what it's worth, I sure as hell don't.

Donald Rumsfeld on Britain:

If these terrorists thought they could intimidate the people of a great nation, they picked the wrong people and the wrong nation. For generations, tyrants, fascists, and terrorists have sought to carry out their violent designs upon the British people only to founder upon its unrelenting shores," he said in a statement.

"Before long, I suspect that those responsible for these acts will encounter British steel. Their kind of steel has an uncommon strength. It does not bend or break."

Finally watched Sideways

The movie Sideways received a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, 98 out of 100 critics liked the movie.

With an endorsement like that, I was really expecting something, so maybe it was inevitable that I'd be disappointed. I've tried to run through the movie in my head, to recall something entertaining about it. There was one scene where they try to drive a car into a tree and they miss. That was kinda funny.

The movie is the story of a divorced public school teacher (played by Paul Giamatti) who aspires to be a writer. He's a pitiful, but not particularly sympathetic, character. He and his friend, an actor (played by Thomas Hayden Church), head off to Napa Valley for a vacation in the week before the actor's wedding.

The teacher spends most of the week whining, while the actor spends most of the week trying to get laid. The actor succeeds, but manages to get himself into a number of sticky situations along the way, managing to cause a lot of trouble and emotional pain within the emotionally sensitive people around him. As such, he's a bull in an emotional china shop. He doesn't really seem to have any feelings outside of the groinal region. The actor is even less sympathetic than the teacher, and by the time he gets his nose broken, you realize he thoroughly deserves it.

The teacher has this dream of publishing a book, and he's constantly on the phone with his agent. Judging by the size of the manuscript, the book would run several thousand pages. Waiting for word on publication is a huge source of tension for the teacher, as is the memory of his ex-wife. He's desperate to get his book published, and to get back with the ex-wife. As you watch, you realize that his whole life has probably been like this. He is, and always has been, all about waiting, and never about being. He somehow seems to live off depressive energy. Near the end of the movie, he's sitting in front of his public school classroom hating his life, not appreciating the golden opportunity he has to help a roomful of children appreciate literature. Every time you think the teacher might make a decent go of it with a new potential love interest, you know he'll eventually screw it up.

This movie could've taken a sympathetic or a lampooning look at these pitiful people. It doesn't do either. It just lays out a bunch of reasons to not have any sympathy for either of these two idiots. By the end of the movie, you want the actor to get beaten up a lot more, and you kinda want the writer to be put out of his misery.

A Fantastic Bore?

Rotten Tomatoes rates Fantastic Four a 21%. So, hey, it's better than Battlefield Earth (4%) and Showgirls (14%)! It fails, nonetheless, to top Howard the Duck (26%). Roger Ebert had this to say:
"The really good superhero movies, like Superman, SpiderMan 2 and Batman Begins, leave Fantastic Four so far behind that the movie should almost be ashamed to show itself in the same theaters."
Wow. That's pretty harsh.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"Not Invented Here" Mentality Alive and Well in the FBI?

What the...
Webber: “What the Bureau began to allege was, there were problems. There were conflicts. But when pushed for specifics, they couldn't articulate what those were.”

He says friends inside the FBI finally told him the real reason for the delays. It was because the case was not generated by the FBI itself, but came from Customs agents.

Corderi: “You mean a turf battle?”

Webber: “That's correct. That's correct.”

Corderi: “That the FBI would put a turf battle above national security?”

Webber: “That's absolutely my impression. You would think, in a post-9/11 environment, that an event like that wouldn't occur. But it did.”

Sunday Times: Britain a recruitment source for Mujaheddin in Iraq

What the f*** is going on across the pond, folks???

ABOUT 70 young Muslim men have left Britain to join the insurgents who are fighting coalition troops in Iraq, senior security sources have revealed. At least three have been killed in combat, including one whose role in an Iraq suicide bombing in February was disclosed by police only last week.

The growing problem of militants from Britain travelling to Iraq has been highlighted by Eliza Manningham-Buller, director-general of MI5, in recent briefings to Tony Blair. ...

Larger numbers of terrorist recruits left Britain during the late 1990s to fight the “holy war” in Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. The number of Britons estimated to have travelled to terror training camps in Afghanistan before 2002 has been put as high as 3,000 by MI5.
What the...

Is it a surprise to see an attack in London?

Sadly, it really isn't, given London's longtime reputation as a haven for Islamic radicals who've been thrown out of places like Pakistan and Syria.

The linked article is maddening:
For many years before September 11, 2001, Britain's capital was known derisively throughout the world as Londinistan because of the preponderance of extremist groups that had set down roots, publishing tracts and newsletters and providing financial and propaganda support to overseas activists such as Hamas.
Perhaps something good could ultimately come from today's tragedy. Perhaps the people of Britain will see this as a wake up call. It's time to get serious.