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.

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.

pakistan in chaos

Andy McCarthy on the Benazir Bhutto assassination:

Jihadists are not going to be wished away, rule-of-lawed into submission, or democratized out of existence. If you really want democracy and the rule of law in places like Pakistan, you need to kill the jihadists first. Or they’ll kill you, just like, today, they killed Benazir Bhutto.

Read it all here.

Speaking of those presidential candidates, most of them took the time to release statements about the Bhutto assassination.

The war on terror (or “the terrorists’ war on us” as Rudy says) is not over. We may be winning a few battles here and there, but there is more work to be done by the next President to keep us on the right track. It would be nice if democracy and free elections was some kind of cure-all to what ails those countries sympathetic to Islamic rule. It’s not, so we do need to keep killing jihadists. There isn’t an easier way to stabilize Pakistan.

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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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lefties love ahmadinejad

There is a stunning level of moral equivalence demonstrated by one sign seen at Columbia University yesterday: “Ahmadinejad is bad, but Bush is worse”. It is hard to explain how this makes any sense when we consider what we know about both men. Liberals still consider the 2000 election stolen. That’s the primary reason behind all the Dubya hate. They believe President Bush cheated to win, and they can’t accept any other explanation. It’s not just about the war in Iraq. They just find the war in Iraq to be a more popular excuse that the average person in this country might be able to accept.

President Bush, with a majority of Republican and Democrat support, ordered the invasion of Iraq. Is it this well-intentioned decision that qualifies our President as the moral equivalent of a man who believes in the full implementation of Sharia law, and someone who does not believe in extending the same rights he enjoyed here in this country to his own people? If we had any other president, and especially a Democrat, would we hear this kind of tripe from the left?

Speaking of Sharia law…

Here’s the kind of guy the left prefers to Bush. Ahmadinejad is someone who supports Hizballah terrorists, refuses to admit that he is aiding the terrorists and insurgents in Iraq (despite evidence of it), and someone who believes that not only is Israel not a state, but also that it should not exist at all. He opposes freedom of speech, assembly, and most of the rights Americans take for granted, and he actively prevents Iranians from speaking their mind and opposing their government. Try all those clever protests the lefties put on at Columbia in Iran, and see how well that works for ya. Liberals generally support gay marriage and tolerance of many alternative lifestyles. In Iran, Ahmadinejad claimed, “there are no homosexuals”. That’s probably because his government has them executed. Sharia law makes no allowances for alternative lifestyles. It also allows the oppression of women.

Women’s rights, despite what their President might tell you, are virtually non-existent in Iran. If you read Robert Spencer, or the Atlas Shrugs blog, or Little Green Footballs, you will find out the extremes to which women’s rights are surrendered under Islamic law. Things like acceptable wife-beating, polygamy, divorce laws which favor the men over the women, female circumcision, rape laws which don’t allow the women’s testimony to be admissible in court, instead requiring 4 male witnesses to the event to prove it occurred – all of this is part of the Islamic law supported by Ahmadinejad and his religious buddies the mullahs.

The Iranian President is ignoring the plank in his own country’s eye, which decrying the speck in America’s. He has no freedom of speech rights. That’s for American citizens. He also should have been restricted to the area surrounding the UN. His Secret Service protection should have been limited to that area. If you read or listen to his statements regarding Ground Zero, it’s clear that his motive was not to honor the victims of 9/11, but to honor the murderers who caused this attack. For that reason, we were right to keep him from Ground Zero. His propaganda tour should have ended at the UN, but Columbia University allowed him a forum to spread his anti-US message.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger would be given much more credit today for his harsh statements in his introduction of Ahmadinejad if he actually had taken a meaningful stand and not invited the guy in the first place.

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just a sticker on that burning suv

At what point are we all going to admit that terrorism is a real problem? Terrorism did not stop after 9/11. There were attacks all over the world, including the 7/7 terror atttack in London. Some countries stayed strong, like the UK, and some caved in and made concessions to try to appease the bloodthirsty murderers killing innocents mostly in the name of Islam. But it’s not our friends, or family, or co-workers this time around. It’s only been someone else’s friends, family, co-workers, and fellow countrymen. It should still matter to us. What makes us so invincible? We are doing almost everything that is in our power to do to try to prevent another 9/11. (That is, everything except making a serious attempt to secure our borders – and we need to keep pressuring Congress and the White House to do what they have no desire to do.) Even with our aggressive attempts to stop a potential terrorist attack here in the United States, we have no guarantees that we won’t have another terrorist attack.

That’s why we should care what is happening in the UK — London with the foiled bomb plot, and the more recent events at Glasgow Airport when a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas cylinders crashed into the main entrance at that airport and burst into flames. It’s a reminder to us to stay vigilant. It’s a reminder to us that there are people out there who are willing to sacrifice their own lives for revenge on the infidels (or for those 72 virgins). Either way, negotiation with someone who thinks like that isn’t possible. You would think that Islam would win more converts if those fringe elements in their religion would stop beheading people or blowing things up. But I guess that kind of religion just can’t be understood.

Islamic extremists must be stopped. Anyone who wants to trivialize what we are now seeing in the UK, simply because it might not have been a top-of-the-line car bomb, or because this could be something concocted by the Bush-Cheney-Blair conspiracy, is not someone we should want to lead this country for the next 4-8 years. No serious presidential candidate should have this view, and we should disqualify anyone who isn’t willing to do whatever is necessary to protect America from all her enemies, both foreign and domestic.

(This is not a rip on John Edwards for two reasons. First of all, his position on terrorism is much more nuanced than his memorable soundbite about terrorism being a bumper-sticker slogan. It’s still a wrong-headed approach, but I think to some limited degree he knows that terrorism is a threat to this country. Secondly, I don’t see him as as a viable threat to Hillary and Obama, so I’m only worried about what those two or our Republican nominee might do about this threat once elected.)

It’s all well and good to talk about how the government could fix Darfur, health care, education, and every domestic problem by throwing all of our tax money at those areas, but when events like these keep the terrorist threat on our minds, will those domestic issues still take priority over national security? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have solutions about health care and education. After all, the Democrats claim to want to fix those things EVERY SINGLE election cycle. But if we ignore the bigger problems right in front of our eyes, then someday we might have more to worry about than the price of our prescription drugs.

hamas and fatah: no good choices

The infighting among the various Palestinian factions, chief among them being Hamas (the known terrorists) and Fatah (the terrorist affliated group), has caused the Bush administration to take sides. For better or for worse, the Bush administration has chosen to cast their lot with Abbas and his PLO pals in Fatah against Hamas. In previous posts, I have suggested that the United States might not want to make a habit of financially supporting groups who are not committed to peace or democracy. I’m no foreign policy genius, but it does seem inconsistent with Bush’s post 9-11 statements that we would go after the terrorists AND the sponsors of terrorism. Unfortunately, that includes so many groups in the Middle East, including those who could potentially be allies in the war on terrorism. Andy McCarthy brings up an excellent point sometimes overlooked when we question the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to peace with Israel.

He asks:

Why is the administration supporting Fatah without demanding that it shred its Constitution and unambiguously recognize Israel’s right to exist, as Israel, in perpetuity? Why isn’t President Bush demanding that Abbas not only order the disarming of Hamas in the West Bank (which Abbas did only because Hamas is fighting Fatah, not because Hamas is a terrorist organization), but that he also disarm the al-Aqsa Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Because Abbas would be finished the minute he tried any such things. They are not what Palestinians want.

The Palestinians are a backward people, indoctrinated toward brutality. They don’t rate a sovereign state or anyone’s help until they civilize themselves. Sovereignty is a privilege that implies acceptance of civilized norms — that is why we speak of states like Iran and North Korea as “rogues.” Regardless of whether there really are scattered Palestinian moderates, it is a dangerous fantasy to assume the Palestinian people, as a whole, are ready to be anyone’s peace partner.

We are enabling their hatred when we provide support without insisting that the Palestinian people — not just Abbas and Fatah, but the people — convincingly foreswear revolution, terrorism, violence, ethnic-cleansing, and the goal of eliminating Israel. We are a generation or more, at least, from any hope of such developments. In the meantime, as long as we subsidize the hatred, we shall be buying more of it, while giving the Palestinians no incentive to reform.

There are more than a few links between Fatah and terrorism, as McCarthy points out here in this NRO article. His suggestion seems to be that we should put conditions on aid to Abbas and Fatah. I agree with him, however, I’m not sure how successful President Bush would be if he did this. All I know is that it doesn’t make much sense to fund their inter-faction squabble or provide them weapons to kill each other.

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fun with quotes

Who said this:

Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal. Iraq has continued to seek nuclear weapons and develop its arsenal in defiance of the collective will of the international community, as expressed through the United Nations Security Council.

It is violating the terms of the 1991 cease-fire that ended the Gulf war and as many as 16 Security Council resolutions, including 11 resolutions concerning Iraq’s efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. By ignoring these resolutions, Saddam Hussein is undermining the credibility of the United Nations, openly violating international law, and making a mockery of the very idea of collective action that is so important to the United States and its allies. We cannot allow Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons in violation of his own commitments, our commitments, and the world’s commitments.

This resolution will send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction… Almost no one disagrees with these basic facts: that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a menace; that he has weapons of mass destruction and that he is doing everything in his power to get nuclear weapons; that he has supported terrorists; that he is a grave threat to the region, to vital allies like Israel, and to the United States; and that he is thwarting the will of the international community and undermining the United Nations’ credibility.

That stirring defense of the war, helpfully provided by deputy assistant to the President Peter Wehner here, was made by none other than former Senator John Edwards. So not only did he vote to authorize the war in Iraq, he actually tried to convince others to do the same with the exact same arguments used by the Bush administration. I’m not sure a simple “I was wrong” should be sufficient for the anti-war left to embrace Edwards, but apparently it is.

Edwards calls the global war on terror a bumper-sticker slogan. You can deride the terminology, dismiss it as a useless Bush formulation, and disapprove of Bush’s handling of foreign policy. But no matter what you call it, the threat of Islamic extremism leading to terrorist activity is real, and we need to be proactive in dealing with that threat. John Edwards is doing what he has to do to keep his base on his side, even if that means saying things that the rest of the country does not agree with. This may win him a few netroots fans, but it’s no way to win a Democratic primary or general election.

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