Gingrich Correctly Call It War

July 16, 2006

From The Seattle Times:

Gingrich says it’s World War III

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so. In an interview in Bellevue this morning Gingrich said Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president.

“We need to have the militancy that says ‘We’re not going to lose a city,’ ” Gingrich said. He talks about the need to recognize World War III as important for military strategy and political strategy.

Gingrich said he is “very worried” about Republican’s facing fall elections and says the party must have the “nerve” to nationalize the elections and make the 2006 campaigns about a liberal Democratic agenda rather than about President Bush’s record.

Gingrich says that as of now Republicans “are sailing into the wind” in congressional campaigns. He said that’s in part because of the Iraq war, adding, “Iraq is hard and painful and we do not explain it very well.”

But some of it is due to Republicans’ congressional agenda. He said House and Senate Republicans “forgot the core principle” of the party and embraced Congressional pork. “Some of the guys,” he said, have come down with a case of “incumbentitis.”

Gingrich said in the coming days he plans to speak out publicly, and to the Administration, about the need to recognize that America is in World War III.

He lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, this week’s bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III. He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and “connect all the dots” for Americans.

He said the reluctance to put those pieces together and see one global conflict is hurting America’s interests. He said people, including some in the Bush Administration, who urge a restrained response from Israel are wrong “because they haven’t crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war.”

“This is World War III,” Gingrich said. And once that’s accepted, he said calls for restraint would fall away:

“Israel wouldn’t leave southern Lebanon as long as there was a single missile there. I would go in and clean them all out and I would announce that any Iranian airplane trying to bring missiles to re-supply them would be shot down. This idea that we have this one-sided war where the other team gets to plan how to kill us and we get to talk, is nuts.”

There is a public relations value, too. Gingrich said that public opinion can change “the minute you use the language” of World War III. The message then, he said, is “‘OK, if we’re in the third world war, which side do you think should win?”

An historian, Gingrich said he has been studying recently how Abraham Lincoln talked to Americans about the Civil War, and what turned out to be a much longer and deadlier war than Lincoln expected.

Gingrich is here for fund raisers for Congressman Dave Reichert, 2nd District GOP challenger Doug Roulstone, and the state party. I talked to him in a hotel suite with a few of his and Reichert’s staff.

Any time his name comes up here it’s said that he once called Washington state “ground zero for the Republican revolution.” Republicans saw huge gains in Washington in the 1994 mid-term elections, though they have largely decayed away.

“I think there is a reform oriented populism that is a key a component of Washington State’s, if you will, culture or personality,” he said. Voters here also got caught up in the national, anti-incumbent, anti-Democratic wave. The other thing that was different here, he said, was “that there was no place in America where talk radio was more enthusiastically favorable to the idea that it was time to try something new.”

(Speaking of talk radio, waiting to go in to see Gingrich as I was leaving were KVI’s John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur and William Maurer, an attorney with the Institute for Justice who has been backing the talk show hosts in the legal challenge against their on-air championing of an anti-tax initiative.)

With Republicans in control of Washington, D.C., it’s Democrats who this year are hoping for a reform wave to sweep them into office. Democrats want to nationalize the election and make each congressional race about Bush, the Iraq war and the Republican agenda. Republicans have been trying to localize each race, as in Reichert’s challenge from political newcomer Darcy Burner, and make the race about the qualifications and personalities of the candidates, not about a national agenda.

Gingrich says that’s a mistake. Republicans, he says, should nationalize the contest, too. He said that yesterday he saw polling that gave him some optimism for the first time about this year’s elections. He didn’t say what state it was from, but it showed that Democratic incumbents’ poll numbers crashed when tagged with the record of House Democrats.

He said that as Democrats make the elections about George Bush, Republicans should make it about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. He said voters need to be told “how weirdly San Francisco these guys are voting” and Democrats will “collapse in defeat.”

“The line I think every Republican should use is, ‘X knows their record, they just hope you don’t,’ which is actually the line I used in my winning race in ’78. I’m a historian. I don’t do anything new. I just imitate. I guarantee you there are 60 or 70 Democrats, if their districts thoroughly understood their record, they’d lose this year even though people aren’t happy with Bush. Because people aren’t suicidal. …””While people understand that while they may be irritated with Republicans, we at least broadly share their values and visions and the left is just out of touch with reality. I think then you have a totally different debate by October, if we have the nerve to do it. … There’s going to be a national conversation in October. The only question is whether it’s the Republicans defining it or whether we have some nutty idea that we can run local races, and so the entire definition is on the left.”

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The Vatican Confronts Islam

July 6, 2006

From Daniel Pipes:

Quest For Reciprocity

“Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It’s our duty to protect ourselves.” Thus spoke Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican’s supreme court, referring to Muslims. Explaining his apparent rejection of Jesus’ admonition to his followers to “turn the other cheek,” De Paolis noted that “The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century … and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights.”

De Paolis is hardly alone in his thinking; indeed, the Catholic Church is undergoing a dramatic shift from a decades-old policy to protect Catholics living under Muslim rule. The old methods of quiet diplomacy and muted appeasement have clearly failed. The estimated 40 million Christians in Dar al-Islam, notes the Barnabas Fund’s Patrick Sookhdeo, increasingly find themselves an embattled minority facing economic decline, dwindling rights, and physical jeopardy. Most of them, he goes on, are despised and distrusted second-class citizens, facing discrimination in education, jobs, and the courts.

These harsh circumstances are causing Christians to flee their ancestral lands for the West’s more hospitable environment. Consequently, Christian populations of the Muslim world are in a free-fall. Two small but evocative instances of this pattern: for the first time in nearly two millennia, Nazareth and Bethlehem no longer have Christian majorities.

This reality of oppression and decline stands in dramatic contrast to the surging Muslim minority of the West. Although numbering fewer than 20 million and made up mostly of immigrants and their offspring, it is an increasingly established and vocal minority, granted extensive rights and protections even as it wins new legal, cultural, and political prerogatives.

This widening disparity has caught the attention of the Church, which for the first time is pointing to radical Islam, rather than the actions of Israel, as the central problem facing Christians living with Muslims.

Rumblings of this could be heard already in John Paul II’s time. For example, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican equivalent of foreign minister, noted in late 2003 that “There are too many majority Muslim countries where non-Muslims are second-class citizens.” Tauran pushed for reciprocity: “Just as Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should be able to do so as well.”

Catholic demands for reciprocity have grown, especially since the accession of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, for whom Islam is a central concern. In February, the pope emphasized the need to respect “the convictions and religious practices of others so that, in a reciprocal manner, the exercise of freely-chosen religion is truly assured to all.” In May, he again stressed the need for reciprocity: Christians must love immigrants and Muslims must treat well the Christians among them.

Lower-ranking clerics, as usual, are more outspoken. “Islam’s radicalization is the principal cause of the Christian exodus,” asserts Monsignor Philippe Brizard, director general of Oeuvre d’Orient, a French organization focused on Middle Eastern Christians. Bishop Rino Fisichella, rector of the Lateran University in Rome, advises the Church to drop its “diplomatic silence” and instead “put pressure on international organizations to make the societies and states in majority Muslim countries face up to their responsibilities.”

The Danish cartoons crisis offered a typical example of Catholic disillusionment. Church leaders initially criticized the publication of the Muhammad cartoons. But when Muslims responded by murdering Catholic priests in Turkey and Nigeria, not to speak of scores of Christians killed during five days of riots in Nigeria, the Church responded with warnings to Muslims. “If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us, ” said Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. “We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts,” added Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, its foreign minister.

Obtaining the same rights for Christians in Islamdom that Muslims enjoy in Christendom has become the key to the Vatican’s diplomacy toward Muslims. This balanced, serious approach marks a profound improvement in understanding that could have implications well beyond the Church, given how many lay politicians heed its leadership in inter-faith matters. Should Western states also promote the principle of reciprocity, the results should indeed be interesting.


Muslims Whine (Again), Ghana Caves In, FIFA Hides…

June 21, 2006

I'm wondering how the Muslim community might have reacted if the player in question had been playing for an Islamic country, and pulled out a flag for that, or another, Islamic country?  The double standard set by these people is almost incomprehensible.  Since when did the Muslim community set the world standard for political corectness?  Why should anyone have to apologize for displaying an Israeli flag?  But because Israel is involved, the whole Muslim world starts to whine and spread conspiracy theories. 

From Aljazeera:

Ghana's World Cup team have apologised to fans who say they were offended when defender John Pantsil waved an Israeli flag on the pitch to celebrate his team's 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.

Pantsil, who plays for Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv, celebrated both goals in Ghana's match on Saturday by pulling an Israeli flag out of his sock and waving it at the cameras.

The flag waving raised some eyebrows, not least in the Arab and Muslim world, and sparked several emails from fans to Aljazeera.net – some critical, and others merely puzzled as to the connection between the Ghanaian player and Israel.

Explaining the incident on Monday, a Ghana team spokesman, Randy Abbey, said that Pantsil's action was "a thank you to his fans in the Israeli league".

"It was naive, he was not aware of the consequences of his actions," Abbey said. "We apologise to everyone who felt offended by this.

"It was not an official message from the Ghanaian team. We do not represent Israeli politics or the politics of any other country. We are just here to play football."

In Egypt, which played host to the African Nations Cup this year, newspaper commentators let rip with a barrage of insults and fury against Panstil.

"The ignorant and stupid Pantsil, who spent 20 days in Egypt  during the last African Nations Cup, plays for Hapoel," wrote sports commentator Alaa Sadek in the daily Al-Akhbar newspaper.

Some papers described 25-year-old Pantsil as a "Mossad agent", others said "an Israeli had paid him to do it", but the most elaborate theory was offered by the state-owned daily Al-Ahram.

'Abused'

Writing in the paper, sports analyst Hassan el-Mestekawi said that many Ghanaian players attend football training camps set up by an Israeli coach who "discovered the treasure of African talent, and abused the poverty of the continent's children" with the ultimate goal of selling them off to European clubs.

During the match itself the live commentator on the Arab satellite channel ART broadcasting all World Cup matches in the region abruptly cut short his trademark "goooaaaaaaal!" when Pantsil brought out the flag.

"What are you doing, man?" the bewildered commentator said.

Football's governing body FIFA said it had taken note of the flag-waving and that, although there was nothing in the rules to prevent it, it hoped not to see a repetition.


The Toronto Star Is Full Of Crap!

June 6, 2006

Full story can be found here.

In an effort to be politically correct the Toronto Star reports the following on the alledged bombing conspiracy broken up by the Canadian authorities:

"In investigators' offices, an intricate graph plotting the links between the 17 men and teens charged with being members of a homegrown terrorist cell covers at least one wall. And still, says a source, it is difficult to find a common denominator. "

 Let me see if I can help clear this up…

They are all Muslim.  They all believe God's law comes before man's law, and that the freedom loving countries around the world should embrace Allah (PBUH), and impose Sharia on their populations.  They all believe in the subjugation or death of non-believers.

 How hard was that to figure out?


Religion of Peace Nearly Strikes Canada

June 4, 2006

From The Washington Post:

Canadian intelligence agents and police have arrested 17 people who had amassed a huge cache of explosives and were ready to bomb public targets, authorities said Saturday.

The 12 men and five juveniles were seized in raids Friday night in the suburbs of Toronto. Police said the suspects, most of whom were believed to be Canadian citizens, had assembled three tons of ammonium nitrate and fashioned a cellphone into a detonator.

The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 killed 168 people with two tons of the same chemical fertilizer packed in a truck.

Authorities declined to identify the group's planned targets, but a report in the Toronto Star said the sites included the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and the Toronto offices of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, near the famed CN Tower downtown.

The suspects appeared in a Toronto court Saturday to face charges under Canada's terrorism laws, passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. Authorities divulged few details about the men, who all had Arabic names and ranged in age from 19 to 43. Authorities said they would not discuss the juveniles.

Since the bombings of the London public transit system last summer, Canadian authorities have said they had no illusions that Canada was immune from attack. They warned of the hot anger in the radical fringes of the country's growing Muslim enclaves and said they believed the presence of Canadian troops in Afghanistan had fanned those passions. They have said they also knew of clandestine contacts between Canadian Muslims and extremists, including two American Muslims arrested this year in Georgia on terrorism charges.

"An attack on Canadian soil is now probable," Canada's spy agency warned Parliament last month. A top official of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service last week repeated the warning to senators, emphasizing the threat posed by terrorists born and bred in Canada.

Police said the suspects had trained together outside Toronto. Although an intelligence official, Luc Portelance, said the group members were "adherents of a virulent ideology inspired by al-Qaeda," police acknowledged they had no evidence of a direct link to the terrorist group.

Instead, most of the suspects were young students or workers who fed on the political debates swirling around Canada's mosques and immigrant Muslim neighborhoods, according to what could be learned about the men and their communities. They sharpened their radicalism over the Internet without traveling to the Middle East.

"They are Canadians. They came to Canada at an early age or were born here," Toronto's mayor, David Miller, said Saturday. He questioned "how people would get sucked into this act."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that "these individuals were allegedly intent on committing acts of terrorism against their own country, and their own people. Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism."

Intelligence and security agents have been aware of some the suspects for nearly two years, according to reports and statements by officials here. The suspects allegedly met at a "training camp," according to police near Toronto, and made videotapes of their training.

The seriousness of the threat became clearer to authorities when the two men from Georgia traveled to Toronto in March 2005 and met with other Muslims to discuss bombing targets, according to the FBI.

The two men, Syed Ahmed, 21, and Ehsanul Sadequee, 19, were arrested in March and April and face charges of giving material support to terrorism.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in a federal court in Atlanta at the time of the arrests, Ahmed and Sadequee discussed "strategic locations in the United States suitable for a terrorist strike. They also plotted how to disable the global positioning system in an effort to disrupt military and commercial communications and traffic."

Three of the Canadian men they met were already under official suspicion here, according to the affidavit. An FBI official in Washington, Special Agent Richard Kolko, confirmed Saturday that "some of the Canadian subjects may have had limited contact with the two people recently arrested from Georgia."

In announcing the raids, however, Mike McDonell, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said the group was "planning to commit a series of terrorist attacks against solely Canadian targets in southern Ontario," the province that includes Toronto.

McDonell indicated that the raids were undertaken as the group prepared to carry out an attack, but he said more specific information would have to emerge from court proceedings. He denied rumors that the targets included Toronto's subway system.

"This group posed a real and serious threat," he said. "They had the capacity and the intent to carry out these attacks."

Officials said they had dismantled the group but that further arrests were possible. They also warned that this was not the only group threatening Canada's security.

"Everybody is concerned about what we don't know," McDonell said. "We were able to stop this. It's what we don't know that's got us worried."

Portelance, of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said the agency would be "negligent if we said there were no other threats in Canada."

"For some time CSIS has been communicating to the public there is a real threat," he said at a news conference Saturday. "I don't want to be alarmist and have people think there are numerous other threats out there, but clearly law enforcement are investigating others here in Canada."

Prime Minister Harper, speaking to military recruits Saturday, said: "Their target, their alleged target, was Canada — Canada's institutions, Canada's economy, Canada's people.

"We are targeted because of who we are and the way we live," he said. "Because of our society, our diversity and our values."


Captured Al Qaeda Document Outlines Situation In Baghdad

May 16, 2006

From The Counterterrorism Blog:

The latest internal al-Qaeda in Iraq document, which was captured in conjunction with the video outtakes from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's latest tape, highlights the state of affairs of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The document is titled "A glance at the reality of Baghdad in light of the latest events." It provides a blunt assessment of al-Qaeda's strategy and tactics in the battle for Baghdad. Combine this document with the "Al Qa'ida in Iraq Situation Report" released in April, which discussed the state of affairs in Anbar province, and it becomes clear al-Qaeda in Iraq is very concerned about their strategic situation and the desertion of influential Sunni tribes and political groups. Some highlights from the document:

– The state of affairs in Baghdad and Anbar is far worse than they were years ago as the Coalition and Iraqi government have absorbed the terror blows. In the unnamed commander's words: "every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin’s control and influence over Baghdad." The increased participation of Iraqis in security forces and political process is exactly what Zarqawi feared when he wrote his letter to Osama bin Laden in 2004 outlining the strategy to incite a Sunni-Shiite civil war.

– al-Qaeda in Iraq fears the influence of Iraqi Islamic Party, the Islamic Scholars Committee, the Sunni tribes, and their cooperation with the government, as they possess a media wing and have dominance at the mosques: "The role that the Islamic party and the Islamic Scholars Committee play in numbing the Sunni people through the media is a dangerous role. It has been proven from the course of the events that the American investment in the Party and the Committee were not in vain. In spite of the gravity of the events, they were able to calm down the Sunni people, justify the enemy deeds, and give the enemy the opportunity to do more work without any recourse and supervision."

– AQIZ is mired in a tactical game of car and suicide bombings to influence the American media, however the campaign has so far failed to destroy the will of the Iraqi government and Coalition. The foreign media is only group influenced by the bombings -" the significance of the strategy of their work is to show in the media that the American and the government do not control the situation and there is resistance against them… What is fixed in the minds of the Shiite and Sunni population is that the Shiites are stronger in Baghdad and closer to controlling it while the mujahidin (who represent the backbone of the Sunni people) are not considered more than a daily annoyance to the Shiite government."

– There is a lack of a cohesive strategy to control territory in Baghdad. No effort has been made to stockpile weapons caches in and around Baghdad for the battle. Communications at the tactical and strategic level are poor. The majority of the terror cells are organized as "assassins without any organized military capabilities." AQIZ has problems with obtaining manpower in Baghdad. The three districts only contain 110 al-Qaeda operatives, and there are questions about where more can be obtained.

While al-Qaeda assesses their position in Baghdad and Anbar province, influential Iraqi parties continue to push for a unity government and reconciliation. Iraqi-American Haider Ajina provides a translation of an article in the Iraqi newspaper Almada, which reports “Over 200 Iraqi tribal leaders will meet in Baghdad on Wednesday may 10th to sign an honor compact to denounce and reject terrorism and sectarian violence." The Washington Post puts the number at 50, and stated it included "Baghdad's most senior Shiite cleric… tribal leaders and Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurdish clerics." The Iraqi police and various independent security services are being reorganized under a single command under the Ministry of Interior with the intentions of increasing accountability.

Osama bin Laden, in his latest videotape, referred to Baghdad as "the epicenter of jihad." An al-Qaeda in Iraq commander has just given a grim view of the AQIZ's ability to influence events in the epicenter of jihad.


Sweedish Muslims Demand Separate Laws

April 28, 2006

From The Local:

Sweden's largest Muslim organisation has demanded that Sweden introduce separate laws for Muslims, according to Swedish television. Sweden's equality minister Jens Orback called the proposals "completely unacceptable".

The Swedish Muslim Association, which represents around 70,000 Muslims in Sweden, has sent a letter to all Sweden's main political parties suggesting a number of reforms, SVT's Rapport programme reported.

The proposals include allowing imams into state (public) schools to give Muslim children separate lessons in Islam and their parents' native languages. The letter also said that boys and girls should have separate swimming lessons and that divorces between Muslims should be approved by an imam.

The letter provoked an instant, and damning, response from integration and equality minister Jens Orback.

"We will not have separate laws in Sweden. In Sweden, we are all equal before the law. In Sweden, we have fought for a long time to achieve gender-neutral laws, and to propose that certain groups should not be treated like others is completely unacceptable."

Orback said he had spoken to representatives of the Swedish Muslim Council, and they did not support the association's position.

"We have freedom of speech, we have the right to opinions and we have the right to make proposals – but if a law is going to be changed, it must be the same for everyone."

Asked whether the proposal plays into the hands of racists, Orback said that it did.

"I think it is very problematic and unfortunate that people who have been in Sweden for so long make proposals such as this that are so opposed to our intentions, when we are fighting for women's rights and the right to divorce," Orback replied.

Liberal Party leader Lars Leijonborg also slammed the idea of separate laws.

"Sweden has equality between men and women. To introduce exceptions for Muslims so that women can be oppressed with the support of the law is completely unacceptable to me," Liberal leader Lars Leijonborg wrote in a statement.