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daily archive: 07/19/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The benefits, fruits and blessings of physical jihad
In case you're still wondering why second- and third generation British Muslims are not integrated into British society, meet Zubair Dudha: Dewsbury-born mufti hates British way of life
In Dewsbury, students at Mr Dudha’s Islamic Tarbiyah Academy are taught that “the enemies of Allah" have schemed “to poison the thinking and minds of [Muslim] youth and to plant the spirit of unsteadiness and moral depravity in their lives".

Parents are told that they betray their children if they allow them to associate with non-Muslims.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Let Ruby Sing!

Here's a previous thread on Ruby, and you can read her latest adventure after the jump.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Coming to terms with the truth
Romania has a long road to go in fighting antisemitism and the efforts of the Foreign Minister should be acknowledged: Romanian FM: High time we face up to our Holocaust past. You can read the article after the jump, and here are past threads on Romania.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
'If we don't do it, who will?'
Mithal al-Alusi is the head of the Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation. This last February, his two sons were murdered outside his house in Baghdad in an attack meant to kill their father. Mr al-Alusi wants a secular Iraq, he wants closer ties with Israel and he was the first Iraqi official to visit there. What a price he paid for being a decent human being: An Iraqi’s Hope For Peace
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Pashtun Hospitality: A Rose In The Wilderness
Time has some details on the Pashtun mensch who saved a SEAL's life.
A crackle in the brush. That's the sound the Afghan herder recalls hearing as he walked alone through a pine forest last month. When he looked up, he saw an American commando, his legs and shoulder bloodied. The commando pointed his gun at the Afghan. "Maybe he thought I was a Taliban," says the shepherd, Gulab. "I remembered hearing that if an American sticks up his thumb, it is a friendly gesture. So that's what I did." To make sure the message was clear, Gulab lifted his tunic to show the American he wasn't hiding a weapon. He then propped up the wounded commando, and together the pair hobbled down the steep mountain trail to Sabari-Minah, a cluster of adobe-and-wood homes--crossing, for the time being, to safety.

What Gulab did not know is that the commando he encountered was part of a team of Navy SEALs that had been missing for four days after being ambushed by Taliban insurgents during a reconnaissance mission in northeastern Afghanistan. An initial search mission to find the missing SEALs ended in disaster on June 28, when a Chinook helicopter carrying 16 service members was shot down over Kunar province, killing everyone aboard, in one of the deadliest attacks so far on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Since then, the bodies of two of the missing SEALs have been recovered; another is still classified as missing, though the Taliban claims he was captured and beheaded.

One member of the team did survive. Though the military has not released the name of the SEAL (the U.S. military seldom gives out the names of its special-operations personnel), TIME pieced together his story on the basis of briefings with U.S. military officials in Afghanistan plus an exclusive account of how Gulab, an Afghan herdsman, rescued the wounded commando. What emerges is the tale of a courageous U.S. fighter facing impossible odds in unfamiliar terrain, stalked by the enemy and stripped of everything but his gun and his will to survive. But it is also a story of mercy and fraternity, showing that even in the war-scorched landscape of the Afghan mountains, little shoots of humanity sometimes have a chance to grow.


According to accounts provided to U.S. commanders by the surviving Navy SEAL, the commando team had come under fierce attack from a large group of Taliban fighters, who pounded their location with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and a steady hail of small-arms fire. The clatter of the approaching Chinook may or may not have been audible to the SEALs, but the Taliban surely heard it. A second band of fighters turned and took a bead on the chopper, probably with a rocket- propelled grenade, and in what a U.S. official calls "a pretty lucky shot," knocked it out of the sky.

Now the four SEALs were truly alone. With night falling and the fog settling, they managed to slip through the Taliban fighters. Crawling and scrambling, they headed toward the high ridges, and the Taliban--who had them outnumbered, probably 5 to 1--gave chase.

U.S. officials say the commandos kept up a running fire fight with their pursuers for more than two miles. The known survivor recalls seeing two of his friends shot. At one point he blacked out, possibly from a mortar round landing close by. When he regained consciousness, two of his teammates--Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny Dietz, 25, and Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29--were dead, and a third had vanished in the darkness and fog. The surviving SEAL dragged himself at least another mile up into the mountains. It was there he was found four days later by Gulab the shepherd.

After taking the SEAL to Sabari-Minah, Gulab called a village council and explained that the American needed protection from Taliban hunters. It was the SEAL's good fortune that the villagers were Pashtun, who are honor-bound never to refuse sanctuary to a stranger. By then, said Gulab, "the American understood that we were trying to save him, and he relaxed a bit."

The Taliban was not so agreeable. That night the fighters sent a message to the villagers: "We want this infidel." A firm reply from the village chief, Shinah, shot back. "The American is our guest, and we won't give him up as long as there's a man or a woman left alive in our village." As a precaution, the villagers moved the injured commando out of Gulab's house and hid him in a stable overnight, until it was safe for Gulab to make the six-hour trek down to the U.S. base at Asadabad and report that the SEAL--by then the subject of an intense search--was alive. Sometime later, Gulab went back to his village and then returned to Asadabad with the commando, this time reuniting the wounded and weary SEAL with his jubilant comrades.

The relief at recovering the missing commando has been tempered by the heavy loss of American life--and the knowledge that more fighting lies ahead. The Taliban's offensive shows no sign of waning and is apparently aimed at sabotaging September's parliamentary elections. U.S. Colonel Don McGraw, director of operations of the Combined Forces Command in Kabul, says that in the chaos of Afghanistan today, it is hard to distinguish among what is the work of the Taliban, drug traffickers and criminal gangs.

It is a testament to the persistent insecurity in Afghanistan that Gulab now fears that his act of compassion may mean his death warrant. After returning the SEAL, he went back to grab his family and flee before the Taliban would come round seeking revenge. In the mountains of Kunar, fear is rising again.
Gulab's name means "Rose", hence the headline.

Customs like the taboo against giving up a guest come from the harsh, hardscrabble lives these tribesmen lead. (Arabs are also famous for hospitality in this sense; I suspect it's a common feature of nomadic cultures in harsh climates). It's in your self-interest not to betray the next stranger to his enemies, because you might be the next stranger fleeing enemies.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Is Italy Next?
While Italy is deciding whether to keep her troops in Iraq, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades have issued terror threats and a 30-day ultimatum to the Italian government:
The message appeared on a website linked to the al-Masri brigade - named after an Egyptian al-Qaeda commander married to one of Osama bin Laden's daughters, who was believed killed in Afghanistan in 2001. "Withdraw the troops. We give you one month. Then we will act, starting a bloody war at the heart of Europe" read the text of the message.
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guest author: Mauro in Discarded Lies:
Circus Act
Few know of the latest bright idea from the Italian far left. A mixed universe of circus dwarfs, clowns, ballerinas, court jesters, buffoons, village idiots and “artists�? from Rifondazione Comunista and various groups have organised a Peace Convoy HERE in support of Palestine.
It’s an erring mobile anti-Israeli-pro-Palestinian demonstration touring from Italy all the way to Israel (with the blessing of the Euro-Parliament). Only one thing…why end it in Jerusalem if you support Ramallah?
Is it solidarity with Palestine or badly concealed hate for Israel and the US?
This convoy stopped in Trieste a few days ago where they had, acclaimed like a hero and as guest of exception, a pseudo-militant Palestinian fighter/terrorist who “fought�? in Jenin.
The demonstrators have a program including...
- A donation collection in favour of Hamas and its community programmes
- A 2/3 minutes video message of a mother who's son blew himself up in Netanya a few years ago ("because that's all we have" rant included)
- Collection of signatures to ask the state of Israel to change its name into "Jewish state occupying Palestina" (yes, I have translated it correctly believe it or not)
- Raise the profile of the accusation that Israel poisons water
- Demand that Israel allows back all the refugees (descendents included, about 10m people)
- Take the initiative to study a A.N.P. admission to the U.E. to allow more incisive pressure on Israel
This sort of idiocy HERE, I believe, not the bombs, is the greatest threat to our society. It indicates the complete lack of knowledge of the facts and home truths about that conflict and what really is behind it. The enemy within is much more dangerous than the one without. What has always surprised me of the left is how they do not understand they'd be the first ones to be disposed of. How can they "fight" in favour of an ideology that is supposed to be diametrically opposite to what they claim to believe?
I will leave you with a pearl from a 1974 interview of Mr Arafat to Oriana Fallaci:
"We have started a long, long war that will last for generations.
We will not stop until Israel is destroyed.
We do not want peace, but victory.
For us peace is the destruction of Israel and nothing else."
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guest author: papijoe in Discarded Lies:
Stem Cell Research
How many of you, like myself, considered embryonic stem cell research to be mainly a moral issue? Would it surprise you to find out that despite all of the media hype that

-Embryonic stem cells have serious liabilities such as tumor formation, tissue rejection, and genetic instability?-Scientists have tried and failed to address these issues in animal embryonic stem cells for 20 years?

-Adult stem cell research has none of these liabilities and are already being used to treat over 60 conditions?

If you are intrigued there is much more to learn on this in a fascinating article by Jean Swenson. Jean also happens to be a quadriplegic and she has a strong interest in a viable therapy. She has simply come to the conclusion that ES research isn't it.

Still puzzled as to why all the buzz about ES then? Holy hep cat
JivinJehoshaphat tells us of one aspect of a media blitz that reminds me of the George Soros/Bill Moyers/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation PR campaign to legitimize the right-to-die movement.

But wait, there's more! Remember the recent fuss about embryos that could have allowed Christopher Reeves to walk that Bush and his Fundie FanatiCorps were going to just flush down the john?

Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman explodes that myth too:

Start with the claim that 400,000 frozen embryos otherwise would go to waste. The truth is that most of them are anything but "surplus." According to a 2003 survey by researchers at the RAND Corp., a California think tank, 88 percent of them are being stored for their original function: to make babies for their parents. Just 2.2 percent of the embryos have been designated for disposal and less than 3 percent for research. The latter group amounts to about 11,000 embryos

In fact it turns out that these embryos only represent a fraction of what would be needed to effect a cure. There will never be enough donated embryos, literally millions would be need for therapeutic purposes. Chapman believe that the real objective of getting a hold of those embryos is this:

[Pro ES advocates] want Americans to get used to the idea of destroying human embryos in research. Then it will be a small step to get the public to accept what they really want--creating human life in order to destroy it.

If you think "therapeutic cloning" is too far-fetched, there is already a gruesome precedent for using fetal material in research despite laws prohibiting it. Follow the links to fetal harvesting in Hyscience's post if you have a strong stomach. It makes destroying a few embryos seem insignificant.

In issues involving the value and sanctity of human life, the slippery slope is all too real. One tiny compromise is inevitably the camel's nose under the tent. We need only look at how physician-assisted suicide in Holland has morphed into the euthanasia of handicapped children.

The case for embryonic stem cell research is already riddled with fraud. So in terms of both morals and the basic facts of the matter we are looking into a bottomless abyss.

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