more on the ground zero imam

Once again, we are dealing with the present, not the past.   It’s becoming more clear every day that this imam is not a bridge-building type, nor is he someone who practices tolerance toward those who are not followers of Islam.

Claudia Rosett says the following about Feisal Abdul Rauf:

If Rauf ever had the smallest intention of promoting harmony, it is past time for him to quit. Instead, having spurned the U.S. debate while spending a secretive summer in Malaysia and the Middle East, Rauf returned to New York on the eve of Sept. 11, to pronounce that unless his mosque gets built near Ground Zero, Americans might expect from the “Muslim world” a new wave of destructive fury.

We used to call this kind of stunt a protection racket. The message here is one of implied violence. Not that Rauf himself would do anything violent, mind you. He’d just like his audience to know that if Americans don’t knuckle under and get with his program for Ground Zero, he can’t be responsible for whatever devastation the “Muslim world” might inflict on his behalf. ”My life has been devoted to peace-making,” he told CNN’s O’Brien.

If a mosque must be built, he can’t be the guy to build it. If he was serious about harmony and making peace, than he should decide on his own to move the mosque, and to practice the tolerance he’s claiming to preach.  Making implied threats against this country is not the best way to sell yourself as someone who desires only to promote tolerance among all the religions.   I cannot say with any certainty that Karen Hughes and President Bush were correct in choosing this guy to be a part of  their outreach to the Muslim world after 9/11.   All I know is what I’m currently seeing.  In this case, I think both of them might have misread this imam’s motives and intentions.  We have a chance here to re-evaluate who this guy is, and make a better choice this time.

not good

From AEI (h/t The Corner):

News has surfaced that the Yemeni government intends to build a terrorist rehabilitation center with an $11 million grant from the United States within the next three months.  Reuters reported on January 27, 2010 that the terrorist rehabilitation center will house Yemeni detainees returning from Guantanamo Bay.[1] Currently, Guantanamo Bay is home to 91 Yemeni detainees.  Yemen is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – the al Qaeda franchise that deployed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to conduct the Christmas Day attack in the skies over Michigan.  Recent experience with the better-funded Saudi rehabilitation program and the Yemeni security forces raises serious questions about the reliability of any such Yemeni effort.

I’ll try to remain calm.   $11 million grant out of US taxpayer pockets — headed to Yemen.  To “rehabilitate” terrorists.  As that sage John McEnroe often said… YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!  Previous posts have questioned the success of the Saudi program.  There isn’t a track record of former terrorists to point to in Saudi Arabia that would suggest that our tax dollars would be well spent in other countries duplicating this program, and especially in Yemen, which has become another terrorist haven.  This madness must stop.

terrorist rehab – massive fail

ABC News (h/t Cliff May, NRO):

The leader of the al Qaeda group that claimed responsibility for trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day was released from the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorists on the condition that he be sent to a terrorist rehab center in Saudi Arabia.  The rehabilitation of terrorist Said Ali al-Shihri was an obvious failure and it now raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s plan to send another 100 Yemeni prisoners from Gitmo to Saudi rehab camps in an effort to empty the Gitmo prison and close it down.

You don’t say.  I’m shocked, shocked, that terrorist rehab based in Saudi Arabia gets these results.  I wonder what their 12 steps are.

that’s a scary proposition

CBS newsman Bob Schieffer says that “Real security is built on trust in the government.”  He actually wrote that!  Read it here.

Trust in the government.  That’s a scary proposition if you really think about it.  The more bureaucracy you add to deal with a potential crisis, the more likely it is that the potential crisis becomes an actual crisis.  I get the point Schieffer was making about spin and how the feds should be honest with us when addressing terror-related events, but you can’t just depend on the government to protect you in these kinds of situations.  The flight crew and a brave passenger saved the day on Christmas Day.  Not the TSA or DHS.

Everything the federal government can and should do to improve our domestic security will not completely protect us from a future terrorist attack.  If we are completely committed to telling the truth to the American people, we should start by admitting this.

rules and other stupid things

Some new failed jihadist won’t be seeing his 72 virgins

Not yet anyway.  How fortunate those people on that Northwest flight are that the guy didn’t quite have the procedure down for detonating the explosive and that their fellow passengers and airline crew members took the initiative to deal with the threat.   This won’t always be the case.   Someday the United States may have to deal with a terrorist who knows exactly what he or she is doing, and has a foolproof plan to finish off the attack and to cause massive destruction in this country.   When we are confronted with a legitimate threat to the safety of our nation,  what will the federal government do about it?  There’s this theory going around that we can prevent future terrorist attacks by setting all sorts of limits on the innocent passengers just trying to get from point A to point B on an airplane.   Brilliant idea.  After all,  wannabe terrorists  / jihadists will follow all these rules too, won’t they? What lunacy is this?  We won’t prevent future terrorist attacks this way, and in the process of  “doing something” about the obvious problem, the feds might end up making us less safe by restricting our ability to protect ourselves in the event that someone slips by those watchful TSA agents.

One thing we can do that we are not doing is to be more selective about who gets visas into this country.  DHS should also consider keeping an eye on those folks once they get here, and kick them out once their visas expire.  I don’t think the federal government has a clue how to handle domestic terrorist threats, and this was true before President Obama arrived in Washington.   DHS is a flawed idea to begin with, and I often wonder if we would be safer leaving the security of the homeland in the hands of the FBI, rather than a large collection of bureaucrats.  We are where we are, so let’s take the situation as it is.   Enforcing current laws would go a long way toward keeping our country safe.  This also goes for illegal aliens of the non-Muslim variety that we have been ignoring for years under many different Presidential administrations.

Make it harder for potential terrorists by improving our intelligence gathering and enforcing current laws and visa restrictions.   Don’t keep imposing silly restrictions on airline passengers that do nothing to improve our chances of surviving a plane ride.  It’s common sense, something a lot of the fellows and ladies in DC seem to lack these days.

I agree with Hitch.  Read what he said in Slate.

good luck with that — part II

John Kerry says that Syria should help in the disarmament of Hezbollah, and he’s an foreign policy expert because he served in Vietnam. Thank God America had the good sense to vote against him in 2004.

From Yahoo News:

BEIRUT (AFP) – Senator John Kerry said on Wednesday that the new US administration will press Syria to help disarm Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as it forges ahead with a fresh diplomatic approach in the region.

“We want Syria to respect the political independence of Lebanon, we want Syria to help in the process of resolving issues with Hezbollah and with the Palestinians,” said Kerry, after meeting President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

“We want Syria to help… with the disarmament of Hezbollah,” added the former US Democratic presidential candidate, who is also due to visit Damascus on his regional tour.

Sure.   I’m surprised no one tried this before.  It’s such a simple plan after all.

not in my country

So President Obama has taken care of one of the items on the left’s wish list – closing Gitmo.  Congratulations to them.  I suppose it never occurred to anyone to question whether what we were told about the general care and treatment of the detainees there was accurate.  Instead we are content to assume that a few obvious cases of mistreatment there are representative of the whole operation at Gitmo.  I don’t intend to minimize any abuses that may have occurred, but I tend to find our military more trustworthy than alleged terrorists.  No way any of these detainees would have exaggerated or lied about their treatment .  After all, these are simply misunderstood young Muslim men who were just minding their own business when they were snatched away from their families for no good reason whatsoever.  Right.  The majority of Gitmo inmates are there for a good reason.  Also, I don’t know many other prisons that have made so many accommodations for their prisoners’ religious faith.  Many of them have special dietary-approved food, prayer rugs, and their own Korans. They even have scheduled prayer times.  How many countries would show American captives such consideration?  Answer: None.

There is some question about how many former Gitmo prisoners have returned to the jihad after their release.  The number is immaterial. I’m not saying this to defend those who may be exaggerating the numbers here. How many terrorists (or alleged terrorists, if you prefer that term) does it take to carry out terrorist attacks?  Not very many. So whether it’s 5%, 10%, or some other percentage, these are folks that I wouldn’t trust to stay on the straight and narrow after their release — and I certainly wouldn’t want former Gitmo inmates in my neighborhood (unless it was clear that they were never part of the jihad).

I question President Obama on this, because I don’t think he has thought this whole decision through.  What are the chances Europe will agree to take these former Gitmo detainees?  Even with President’s Obama’s awesomeness and great charisma, they will still say no to him on this.  I just can’t understand why they wouldn’t want all these pure and innocent Muslim folks in their countries.  Maybe they see something that the left in this country refuses to see.  Where will these detainees go?  This is an important question, and one Obama should have considered before pulling the trigger on this executive order.  He will need more than a year to figure out what to do with them.

One thing I know — the president’s sky-high approval numbers will come to earth in a hurry if he re-settles the former Gitmo detainees in this country.  It’s great that the president has so much faith in the virtue of these gentlemen, but I don’t trust them, and I bet that my fellow Americans would agree with me.  It’s a chance we shouldn’t have to take.  One 9/11 was one too many.

terrorists strike in india

Those expecting the terrorists to give the upcoming Obama administration a break better wake up.  For these goons, it doesn’t matter who the President of the United States is.  They will continue to do what they do, and we must be ready to protect our country and to defend our allies when they need us.

The Times of India is reporting:

Mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy machine guns, including AK-47s, and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets — the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard — killing at least 80 and sending more than 900 to hospital, according to latest reports.

The Deccan Mujahideen is claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Make no mistake about it — Vice President-elect Biden was absolutely right.  Barack Obama will be tested early and often at the beginning of his Presidency.  We must all pray that President-elect Obama and his security team get the right information and have the right strategy to keep us safe and to keep attacks like this from happening here in America.

deal or no deal?

Can we completely trust Kim Jong Il?  The deal that the State Department struck with North Korea and Kim Jong Il to get North Korea to disclose part of its nuclear program –in exchange for no longer being on the list of terror sponsors and the lifting of some economic sanctions on that country — is far from a perfect deal.  That’s because the majority of the compromises were made by the United States.  Sure, we can be pleased that North Korea has one less nuke plant, but if it’s true that the plant had reached the end of its serviceable life, then this is merely a symbolic gesture with no lasting value.  We must be careful before declaring this a successful negotiation, because there is no way to prove that the disclosure information we are given by North Korea is accurate.  How do we know that Kim Jong Il is disclosing everything he’s doing, and why would he surrender this information when it wasn’t part of the deal?

Read this if you still want to believe that North Korea intends to play by the rules after getting all these concessions from the United States.  The UN certainly won’t hold them accountable.  I’m not suggesting military action.  Far from it.  But I remain skeptical of North Korea’s intentions.  As Reagan said, trust but verify.  This should be the strategy going forward in dealing with a dictator with Kim Jong Il’s history of deception.

nice try, iran

iriflag.jpgThe Iranian parliament has now voted to designate the CIA and the US Army as “terrorist organizations”. This is their lame response to our Senate resolution saying the same against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (also known as Quds Force). But I’m not worried — not until the United States receives one of those strongly worded letters from the UN warning us to change our behavior OR ELSE. Our resolution and their vote will only send a symbolic message, and ultimately both will mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. The United States doesn’t determine its position on Iran and the terrorist elements within its country based on their concern about what the Iranian parliament might do, and that is the right way to approach this.

Supporting the Senate resolution was the right thing to do, even though it ruffled a few netroots feathers. It doesn’t mean we plan to invade Iran. That’s not a good excuse, and the Senators who voted against it should try a different one.

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