Tag Archives: Terrorism

Why do we war in the Mideast?

unknownsoldierI have heard it said about Lahore and Brussels and Paris and New York that the reason the “terrorists” attack “us” is that they hate “our way of life.”

I don’t think that’s it at all. Yet, this explanation is repeated after every one of these tragic attacks.

I don’t think a man, no matter his religion or ideology, blows himself up because he envies us, acting out a terminal case of Freudian status-envy.

An obvious explanation, the terrorists offer, is that they bomb our innocent civilians because we’re bombing their women and children in the mid-East.

After the tragic 9-11 attack, we recovered computer records from an al-Qaeda office in Kabul. Al Qaeda calculated that, after the 9-11 attack, we’d either withdraw from the Muslim world, or launch a massive invasion that would drain our treasury, and force America to leave the Muslim world anyway. We charged into Iraq, took out Saddam Hussein, kind of left, and thus made ISIS possible.

It is my hope, therefore, that our councils at the so-called “defense” department, the CIA, NSA, HSA, and when all those acronym-laden experts gather at the White House, that they’re discussing something a lot more nuanced than how terrorists envy our way of life.

We can’t make decent foreign policy decisions based on BS “intel” that “terrorists” envy our burgers, reality tv and sprawling malls.

You have to suspect, that this line is meant only for our consumption, so we don’t ask why we’re really in the mid-East.

The powers that be assume most Americans have no idea where Belgium is, and a vague sense it has something to do with waffles.

The Economist said last November that Belgium has “a scabrous reputation as an incubator of jihadi ideology and a paragon of law-enforcement incompetence.” I’m not vouching for the foreign coverage. But is anyone reading this stuff? The Economist knew something was likely coming. And it did. But still Brussels was caught Flemish flat-footed.

The public has to be informed at home that what’s going on, prompting terrorism, is so much more complicated than nation-state envy?

Let’s level with the American people. Why exactly are we fighting in the Middle East? Is this an extension of dollar diplomacy, of securing mineral rights, of taking oil, of hegemony in the region, of exploiting a political vacuum we caused when we charged into Iraq, of securing Israel, of honoring commitments to Turkey (against Syria). Why are we there?

It’s hard to swallow the oft-cited claim that, “We’re just there to help the innocent women and children,” when we are dropping bombs on them with quite a bit less precision than you’ve grown to expect watching the current blockbuster action flicks.

Nor can we ignore that we have our latter day Crusaders who believe this is a holy war against Muslims. Save us!

No matter what is our true rationale, we should understand that when we drop bombs on population centers and strike civilians in the mid-East, we can expect that violence to come back on us, in Europe, Pakistan, and the United States.

The “terrorists” are curing the world of the sanitized TV version of the mid-East war, as a distant encounter that need not concern us, by concerning us, by bringing the fight to those nation-states, mixing into the centuries of religious wars they’ve endured. The cliché applies – “What goes around, comes around.”

So, it would be really good to define why we’re at war, for Aristotle said, nothing improves your aim like having a target, and if we can’t say why, we should get out of it.

“A brave stand”

While all agree that some traditions should be honored, others must be put to rest as our national values and notions of tolerance and diversity evolve. At any rate, no amount of history and tradition can cure a constitutional infraction.

Does this sound familiar? It’s from the January 11 ruling on Ahlquist v. City of Cranston, in which an explicitly sectarian prayer banner was ordered removed from the wall of a public high school. The Rhode Island school district argued that “the prayer, which dates back to the early 1960s, is an historical memento of the school’s founding days, with a predominantly secular purpose.” The plaintiff who took her school district to court is a 16 year old student, Jessica Ahlquist. Here is the full paragraph from the ruling (PDF): Continue reading

A simple idea

Yesterday in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a brilliant, deeply compassionate speech in recognition of International Human Rights Day.

She begins by describing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted following the atrocities of World War II.

“It proclaims a simple, powerful idea: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And with the declaration, it was made clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people.”

All people. Those are such straightforward, easily understood words that it seems silly to discuss the fact that some people don’t understand them. “Because we are human, we therefore have rights.” There are still some among us who actually advance the argument that some people are not really people, and that insisting that they are amounts to conferring upon them “special rights.” There are some who would – seriously – claim that this declaration of our universal humanity is merely a matter of “opinion.”

Continue reading

Unfit for office, unfit for endorsement

I could never, had I been asked to imagine the most ridiculous and easily verifiable lie that Eugene Delgaudio might invent, have imagined something as ridiculous and easily verifiable as this:

When contacted by the Loudoun Times-Mirror for comment about the exposure of his “Blood Door” email, Mr. Delgaudio told the reporter that the Photoshopped image he had sent to his mailing list was the original and that his image had actually been Photoshopped, by the very people who caught him in this behavior, to make it “look like blood.”

Side by side image comparison by the Loudoun Times-Mirror

When the reporter told me this, I said I thought that was interesting, and suggested that she search on Google images for “blood door.” She did.

Continue reading

Is this acceptable to you, LTM?

A second update (the first one appears at the bottom of the post): This is the original image that was photoshopped by Loudoun Republican Eugene Delgaudio to turn the blood “rainbow,” which he then lied about to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. This was found by a commenter via google using the search terms “blood door.”

Image included in the header of an October 25 fundraising letter sent by Eugene Delgaudio

Editor: Please direct the following to all individuals with input into political endorsements at the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

Is this what the Loudoun Times-Mirror editorial staff had in mind when you said of Eugene Delgaudio “his view on social issues is unsettlingly conservative and his antics distracting”? The attached image of the GLBT rainbow symbol in the shape of a pool of blood, complete with a gruesome bloody handprint, was sent to the presumed supporters of an elected official to whom you just gave your endorsement for reelection. While it could be described as unsettling, especially if one has been witness to such a crime scene, I don’t think that “conservative,” “distracting” or “antics” would apply.

Continue reading

Sticks and stones

From the Department of Republican Embarrassment come the following two not-unrelated events:

First, contrary to that annoying buzzing sound coming from the anti-Muslim opportunist crowd, it seems that American Muslims are far and away the most likely among us to unequivocally condemn violence directed at civilians. A Gallup poll released on Tuesday lays out the truth rather starkly.

Continue reading

Thank you President Obama – Osama is no more

(Great guest post by our friend, and veteran, Tony, I have edited it a bit for clarity – P13)

I was working in the Pentagon as a Department of the Army Civilian on 9/11 and lost two friends and know a retired army officer who is now a legislator in Texas who was severely burned that day.  I also know:

1.  that Osama bin laden (from Saudi Arabia) was behind these attacks.  In fact as I was evacuating the Pentagon I heard two Army officers say that “Osama did this”.

2. that President G.W. Bush said that we wanted Osama “Dead or Alive” as they used to say in the Wild West. (but never could catch him)

3. that somehow  Osama got away from us in the Tora-Bora region of Afghanistan.

5. that Osama had no connection with Sadaam of Iraq but for whatever reason we attacked Iraq and lost thousands of troops dead or wounded/mentally and physically.

6. that we have  spent trillions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

7. that I am proud to have been a member of the military and that the SEALS were outstanding!

8. that President Obama  made the right call NOT to release pictures of a dead Osama.  It serves no useful purpose and could incite those misguided folks who support Osama to riot in the streets or attack us or our allies.  It is enough to know that Justice has been done and fulfilled President Bush’s promise to bring Justice to the Terrorists (As President Bush said after 9/11 “We will bring the Terrorists to Justice or Justice to the Terrorists”).

9. that our current  president, Barack Obama, has what it takes to be a leader and our Commander-in-Chief.

10. that we need to THANK our Department of Defense  and our commander-In-Chief for keeping our promises.

Now if we could only get Congress to sing God Bless America on the steps of the Capitol as they did after 9/11!

The inevitable result of “it”

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

What you will see below is the result of people being told they should see other people as “it.”

A woman is violently assaulted in a Baltimore McDonalds, dragged across the floor, repeatedly kicked in the head until she has a seizure, and is left to convulse in a corner while employees watch and record the assault on their phones. They can be heard laughing and encouraging the assailants in the background. One posted his video on the internet later, to entertain his friends. You can hear one of them near the end, warning the assailants “police on their way. Y’all better get out of here.” The only person who attempts to help the woman is an elderly female customer.

Warning: The video is extremely violent and disturbing. I’m reposting it because it’s important that people understand the consequences of their careless, self-centered actions.

Continue reading

And now for something completely different

In contrast to the insulting misrepresentations of Rep. Peter King and Rep. Frank Wolf during Thursday’s hearing, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough recognized the tremendous contributions of the American Muslim community to combatting domestic terrorism. From his remarks at the ADAMS Center on March 6:

Imam Magid is among the many Muslim leaders who have been recognized by the Director of the FBI for their efforts to strengthen cooperation between Muslim communities and law enforcement.

To counter the propaganda videos from the likes of al-Awlaki, Imam Magid even joined with other clerics and scholars to make their own videos, which have gone viral, explaining that Islam preaches peace, not violence. Most Americans never hear about these efforts, and, regrettably, they’re rarely covered by the media. But they’re going on every day—and they’re helping to keep our country safe.

Continue reading