Sunday, February 20, 2005

Amazing Patience

I must say that the Shia in Iraq are showing amazing patience and a willingness to hold back on reprisals toward the Sunni facions. The Sunni Ba'athists have caused havoc in the country as has the "foreign" terrorists but for possibly different reasons. The "foreign" jihadists have been doing everything they can to cause a sectarian civil war and until recently the Sunni Ba'athists have been willing participants, but this seems to be changing. This AP report gives a glimpse into the thinking process of some Sunni.

"We made a big mistake when we didn't vote," said Sheik Hathal Younis Yahiya, 49, a representative from northern Nineveh. "Our votes were very important."
He said threats from insurgents — not sectarian differences — kept most Sunnis from voting...
Gathering in a central Baghdad hotel, about 70 tribal leaders from the provinces of Baghdad, Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Diyala, Anbar and Nineveh, tried to devise a strategy for participation in a future government. There was an air of desperation in some quarters of the smoke-filled conference room.

"When we said that we are not going to take part, that didn't mean that we are not going to take part in the political process. We have to take part in the political process and draft the new constitution," said Adnan al-Duleimi, the head of Sunni Endowments...

Meanwhile, a powerful Sunni organization believed to have ties with the insurgents sought Sunday to condemn the weekend attacks that left nearly 100 Iraqis dead.
"We won't remain silent over those crimes which target the Iraqi people Sunnis or Shiites, Islamic or non-Islamic," Sheik Harith al-Dhari, of the Association Muslim Scholars, told a news conference.

Reuters also has this story including links to a Time Magazine article.

U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers are conducting secret talks with Iraq (news - web sites)'s Sunni insurgents on ways to end fighting there, Time magazine reported on Sunday, citing Pentagon (news - web sites) and other sources.

The magazine cited a secret meeting between two members of the U.S. military and an Iraqi negotiator, a middle-aged former member of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime and the senior representative of what he called the nationalist insurgency.

A U.S. officer tried to get names of other insurgent leaders while the Iraqi complained the new Shi'ite-dominated government was being controlled by Iran, according to an account of the meeting provided by the Iraqi negotiator.

"We are ready to work with you," the Iraqi negotiator said, according to Time.

Iraqi insurgent leaders not aligned with al Qaeda ally Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi told the magazine several nationalist groups composed of what the Pentagon calls "former regime elements" have become open to negotiating.

The insurgents said their aim was to establish a political identity that can represent disenfranchised Sunnis.

As some guy once said...Developing.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Just two

Victor Davis Hanson has his usual excellent thoughts on the effects of American Policy throughout the Middle East.

In the war against the Islamic fascists and their supporters there have been a number of unheralded victories that have played some role in changing the landscape of the Middle East and eroding the power of the Islamists.

In reading this short essay one paragraph jumped out and I will post it here.

As a rule of thumb in matters of the Middle East, be very skeptical of anything that Europe (fearful of terrorists, eager for profits, tired of Jews, scared of their own growing Islamic minorities) and the Arab League (a synonym for the autocratic rule of Sunni Muslim grandees and secular despots) cook up together. If a EU president, a Saudi royal, and a Middle East specialist in the State Department or a professor in an endowed Middle Eastern Studies chair agree that the United States is "woefully naïve," "unnecessarily provocative" or "acting unilaterally," then assume that we are pretty much on the right side of history and promoting democratic reform. "Sobriety" and "working with Arab moderates" is diplo-speak for supporting or abetting an illiberal hierarchy.

A good article, read it all.

Another blog that is on my daily reading list is Steve Vincent's In The Red Zone. His quotes of the day feature is always instructive as is all of his posts.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Dhimmitude and Europe

From Spain to the Neatherlands, muslin extremism is running rampant and none of the countries know how to deal with it or refuse to deal with it. Some just ignore the problem, hoping it will just go away, some try to appease the movement in hopes of "getting along" and others are openly embracing it in the name of "diversity and understanding". This from the enlightened Europe that thinks the United States is wrong about everything from culture to domestic politics to foreign policy.Spains election was determined by the islamists and with the number in France rising, seemingly unabated, the make up a large voting block, not to mention the havoc they could cause such as they have in the Neatherlands. The Dutch have had several wakeup calls including, but not limited to, the Theo van Gogh killing and are dealing with it by continuing down the road to dhimmitude.Some are fighting back but...there is always a but...Steven Vincent In The Red Zone brings us this.

On February 1, the Washington Post's Keith R. Richburg described how Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker and outspoken critic of Islam, is under constant threat by Muslim extremists.

Wilders now travels everywhere with six bodyguards. He cannot sleep in his own home, but is moved around between various undisclosed safe houses. He sees his wife twice a week, at a safe house. Richburg quotes Wilders,

We are in an undeclared war. These people are motivated by one thing: to kill everything that we stand for.

If Europeans are indeed involved in an "undeclared war" against Islamic extremism, they are not winning. All the vigilance and security measures in the world cannot protect them if the citizenry itself no longer accepts, obeys and defends the values inherited from their forefathers. Meanwhile, the bien pensants and Olympian progressives of the continent scoff--and profess to fear--boorish, pugnacious, irrational American patriotism and sense of destiny. But it is precisely our irrational will to believe in and accept--beyond all argument and "nuanced" deliberation--the greatness and universality of our values that will inoculate us from dhimmitude and creeping jihad, and prevent the Muslim Redoubt from erecting its barricades upon our shores.
Check out Steves article and read it all.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Butt Out Boss

The Dallas Morning News weighs in on the Weyco story about Big Brother.

Butt Out, Boss: Employer's anti-smoking ultimatum unfair

06:32 PM CST on Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Big Boss Man is watching you. If you are a smoker who works for Weyco, that is.

The Michigan company has instituted a policy making smoking, even off company property and even in an employee's own home, a firing offense. Company CEO Howard Weyers says he's sick and tired of rising health care costs cutting into his company's bottom line, and he refuses from now on to pay the medical bills for smokers. Hey, Marlboro Man, if you don't like it, get another job.

Well. Far be it from this editorial page, which enthusiastically supports most smoking bans, to extinguish the fire in Mr. Weyers' belly for improving the health of his employees. Rising medical costs really are enormously burdensome on businesses that subsidize health coverage for their employees. We sympathize with his frustration over having to pay for his workers' bad habits.

But this policy really goes too far. Smoking is a filthy habit, and a destructive one – but it is legal. It's disturbing to think that one's employer has the right to regulate one's behavior off the job site. Drug testing? That's fine, because no one has a right to use illegal substances. But nicotine is not against the law.

Mr. Weyers promises not to extend his policy to cover obesity, but why shouldn't he? The U.S. government predicts that obesity will soon overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Once you've granted the principle that an employer can fire an employee for legal off-the-job activities that do not affect job performance, where do you draw the line? It should be noted that because blue-collar workers smoke and suffer from obesity in higher proportions than others, this issue has class overtones.

Whatever color your collar, Weyco's policy is a threat to the privacy rights of all Americans. True, nobody has a right to work at the company, but if its draconian anti-smoking policy catches on, it won't be long before other companies are adopting it, too. And if it spreads to obesity, one day soon, American workers may be faced with an absurd but all-too-real choice: Your Big Mac or your job.

Elections, Carter and Zawahiri

A new Zawahiri tape is released and Jihadwatch has some details as well as a link to an AFP story

Zawahiri, like all jihadists and jihad theorists such as Sayyid Qutb and Syed Abul Ala Maududi, equates freedom with Sharia. While it's jarring to Western sensibilities to equate a legal system that mandates discrimination against women and non-Muslims with freedom, it's perfectly understandable from Zawahiri's perspective: Sharia, he believes, is the law of Allah, and thus takes precedence over all other legal structures.

Here's a newsflash of earth shaking proportion...Jimmy Carter, after 10 days decides that the Iraqi election was a good thing. This is a hoot. Outside the Beltway has more. Ed Morrissey makes a good point and dissects Carter and his actions further and compares this reaction to his reaction to the Palestinians election. Meanwhile JustinB a guest blogger over at Bill Roggios Fourth Rail has some thought on the Saudi election.

Lynne Stewart, Jordon, Gannon and Whiney Dems

For one of the most detailed looks at the Lynne Stewart conviction and history, New Sisyphus has done a yeomans job as usual.

Today, Fox News used that term to describe "veteran civil rights lawyer" Lynne Stewart. A prominent left-wing lawyer, one of the early members of the hard-left National Lawyer's Guild, an early supporter and backer of one of America's worst domestic terrorist groups in its history, the Weather Underground, somehow she always was able to pass herself off as simply a person committed to civil rights. During the Cold War, conservatives had to work overtime to unmask supporters of Communism and other totalitarian ideologies since their supporters so often took cover in the Constitution they also sought to destroy. Today, that work continues.

Of course, Stewart was no more committed to civil rights than hard-left NGOs are committed to human rights. It's just a grand sounding cover for the work they do, since "violent anti-American" just doesn't sound so hot on a nice fund-raising letter. Plus, it gets you a lot of gullible supporters, usually of college age. (There is a reason Noam Chomsky's core audience is perpetually 24 years old.)

Betsy Newmark at Betsys Page point us to an article by John Podhoretz in the NYP
Read the whole thing and be sure to check out Powerline and their take on this icon of Marxist thought.

The Eason Jordon train keeps on rolling within the blogosphere and now the MSM is to the point it cannot continue to ignore it. When two Dem Senators like Frank and Dodd are upset, it is icing on the cake. Jordan Central is at Easongate here and here.
The whole site is dedicated to the Jordon affair.

Captain Ed points to the devolution into whiney three year old acting Democrats in his "He's touching me Mommy" post. He has a point and makes it well.

The apparent non story of Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert is covered very well at both Powerline and by Bill at INDC Journal.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Crossing Jordan

Having been away from the keyboard for some time due to such various things as sloth and a gut wrenching stomach flu (too much information, huh?) I have been derelect in posting. I have been keeping up on the Eason Jordan story and what appears to be the next impending demise of a news media figure and a few more shovelfulls of dirt from the hole that the MSM seems to keep digging for themselves. The long knives are out in force in the blogosphere and the same old story is playing itself out. Coverup, back pedaling, obfuscation and denial is still not working and indeed seems to be making the matter worse for CNN and its news director. Sound familiar?

For those that want the inside scoop on this latest scandal, and Jordans past transgressions, check out the big guns in the blog world, Captainsquarters, Powerline, and the Fourth Rail among others. In fact Bill Roggio along with other bloggers has created a group blog to cover this subject and he has e-mailed me to say that there is a lot of information coming in. Michelle Malkin has been in touch with Barney Frank and he has given his first hand report on what was and was not said at Davos. All sites have multiple entries about this so I linked to the sites instead of individual posts. Scroll away.

So much other stuff, so little time.