discarded lies: wednesday, march 29, 2017 2:09 pm zst
rootless cosmopolitans
daily archive: 10/03/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Dirty Bomb
British authorities have repeatedly said that a terrorist attack in Britain is "inevitable." I think they have good reason to worry. UK Terror Suspects Were Building Dirty Bomb - Time
British terror suspects arrested in August were trying to construct a dirty bomb and planned to attack targets in London, including the Heathrow Express airport rail line, Time magazine reported.

Senior U.S. law-enforcement officials told Time that according to reports now circulating, the arrests turned up a cache of household smoke detectors that the British suspect the group wanted to cannibalize for their minute quantities of americium-241, a man-made radioactive chemical.

While some officials said it was extremely unlikely enough americium could be harvested from smoke detectors to create a device strong enough to kill people or create radiation sickness, others argued that releasing even a small amount of radioactive material into a crowded stadium or subway station could trigger sensitive radiation sensors, incite panic and cause long-lasting contamination.

Information from computer files seized with the group revealed plans for specific attacks in London including "blowing up high-rise buildings housing multinational companies" by driving bomb-laden cars into underground garages, Time said in a release on Sunday of material from its latest edition.

Other targets included the Heathrow Express, a rail line between the airport and London, and an unspecified synagogue. There were also plans for "hijacking a gasoline tanker and smashing it into a building."

Time described the group as suspected Islamic terrorists and said cell leader Dhiren Barot -- otherwise known as Issa al-Hindi -- traveled to New York City in early 2001, according to the Sept. 11 Commission report, "to case potential economic and 'Jewish' targets."

Among the evidence found with the suspects were reconnaissance reports on major U.S. financial sites including the New York Stock Exchange and the World Bank in Washington.

U.S. officials hope to learn from the continuing investigation whether a sleeper cell remained in the United States to carry out these missions, Time reported.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
AP Captions
I want to say I'm thankful for organisations like CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)
Associated Press photographers around the globe produce 1,000 photographs of breaking news daily. It is, therefore, puzzling that AP would choose, as it recently did, to distribute old file photos that have no apparent connection to the day’s events. On June 19, 2004, AP re-released five file photos taken in the Gaza Strip, some from nearly a year ago.

The only commonality among them was that the photos, all attributed to Kevin Frayer, sported new captions which included the following highly opinion-laden comment condemning Israel and defending the Hamas terrorist organization:

In Gaza, a fenced-in, poverty stricken territory where only a tiny portion of the 1.3 million residents has a job and where brutal Israeli military incursions are a daily fact of life, the militant group Hamas has won wide support for its welfare work, and is asking to have a greater role in running the Gaza Strip once Israel withdraws.

...

AP appears increasingly to be adopting Arab perspectives and terminology in characterizing Middle East issues as apparent in the reference to "Israel's brutal occupation" and the laudatory observation about the popularity of Hamas and "its welfare work." The terminology regarding Hamas obviously offers no indication that the group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States and international entities, such as the EU.

In response to CAMERA's communication with AP staff about the objectionable photo captions, the phrasing was revised in the Associated Press Photo Archives. The captions now read:

In Gaza, a fenced-in, poverty stricken territory where only a tiny portion of the 1.3 million residents has a job and where Israeli military incursions are a daily fact of life, the militant group Hamas has won wide support. Hamas is asking to have a greater role in running the Gaza strip, should Israel withdraw.


(Hat tip: zulubaby)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Endorsing Beheadings
From Middle East Times, Al Jazeera endorses beheadings
Feysal Al Qassem, the infamous anchorman of Al Jazeera's television show "Counter Direction," (or Alti jah Al Muaakess), took a debate on savagery to the limit last week.

Qassem hosted an Egyptian guest who for more than an hour was allowed to advocate, with sickening insistence, the beheading of hostages in Iraq as a legitimate act of resistance to what he called "these American dogs," regardless of whether the captives – who are of many different nationalities – are military personnel, civilians, aid workers, or spies. They are all mercenaries, the Egyptian man screamed, as Qassem cheered him on.

...

Qassem – whose program is already known as vile, loud, and messy – descended further into ignominious behavior.

As the host of this unbelievable conversation, Qassem indulged a so-called political commentator arguing that severing heads is okay in the name of resistance to American occupation and – more important – to teach the Americans “a lesson.?

How about what this teaches Arab children? What will they retain when they hear gratuitous invitations to kill, slash, hate, demean, and ostracize ‘the other,’ including innocent journalists, aid workers, and United Nations officials, men and women who came to help the Arabs of Iraq?

On Qassem's television show, the guest representing the opposing view, an Iraqi who argued hopelessly that such savagery is inhuman, was at a loss for words. Who would not be?

There is a point at which freedom of expression stops and advocating irresponsible bloody savagery begins. Clearly, Al Jazeera and Qassem have no idea where that point is. Sponsors, mainly the government of Qatar, should pull the plug on him and then apologize to Arabs, Muslims, and the whole civilized world for this smear.

Like it or not, Al Jazeera has a huge following of Arabic-speaking people. This is a public trust. If a satellite channel claims to speak in the name of Arabs, its bosses and sponsors must make sure it does not spit where it eats.

Al Jazeera has also given prime time to the rabid Egyptian so-called religious leader Youssef Al Qaradawi, who issued an edict allowing the killing of Americans in Iraq and wife-beating. The other day ‘Al Itihad,’ the Emirates Arabic daily newspaper, to its credit, denounced him as an "ignorant man" misleading Muslims. Abdel Rahman Al Rashed, the manager of the competing Arabic network Al Arabiya, also to his credit, describes Qaradawi as polluting minds and shaming Muslims.

...

What's worse is that in electronic voting on the issue, a huge majority of Al Jazeera's viewers encouraged decapitation, with less than 10 percent voting against. The true calamity is that most of those who voted in favor were Arabs and Muslims living in the West with free access to the internet, enjoying the full freedom of Western democracies.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Democratic Change
Stephen Schwartz on Elections and the Muslim World
Critics of America's experiment in exporting democracy to the Islamic world have repeatedly offered two objections to its continuation. The first embodies the charge that our alleged intrusion into the Muslim global community has stirred greater resentment of our power, and worsened the terrorist threat. The second holds that elections in Muslim countries are fated to produce more Islamist regimes.

The obvious link between these claims is, broadly, the belief that the Muslim world is impervious to democratic change and that any action by us to implement it will only raise greater obstacles to progress. One must first understand that this stereotypical conception of global Islam is grossly ignorant and prejudiced. It much resembles the common Western apprehension that all Muslim countries live under exclusive sharia law, that none is pluralistic, and that Islam is universally jihadist. None of these views is accurate.

Let us begin with the issue of American invasion and the purported reaction to it. It has become a cliché of Bush-haters to assert that Islamist terrorism has grown since the intervention in Iraq, but even a superficial examination of Islam worldwide reveals a much better situation than many Westerners imagine. In Iraq itself, the Saddam regime exercised murderous terrorism against the Shia majority and the Iraqi Kurds, but with Saddam gone, that can hardly be said to have increased. The rebellion of Moqtada ul-Sadr has been neutralized and Iraqi Kurdistan is essentially pacified. The Saudi-inspired terrorists in Falluja have already begun to alienate their base by their attempt to transform the city into a fundamentalist redoubt.

In Afghanistan, remnants of the Taliban have more influence with Western media than on the ground. As for Islamist terrorism elsewhere, the worst of it is hardly new. The atrocious, bloody Wahhabi interference with the Chechen, Ingush and Daghestani Muslims, and especially with the Chechen movement for autonomy in the Russian Federation, began in 1999. The main series of attacks most symbolized by September 11, 2001, actually began in East Africa in 1998. Bombings in Saudi Arabia began in 1995. Similar incidents in Indonesia, Morocco, Turkey and Spain have been sporadic. Attempts to launch a Wahhabi jihad in Uzbekistan have failed. In Israel, the Saudi-financed terror campaign by Hamas has actually diminished in scope.


Schwartz is reacting to Wahhabi Islam and rightfully points out that the Muslim world is diverse. But Saudi Arabia has long worked on the goal of promoting Wahhabi Islam as the true Islam, hence the veiling of women in societies that were more or less secular and a rise in Islamism. So I think he's a little too optimistic here. And as for the Hamas terror campaign, I don't think it would have lessened in intensity if it wasn't for the security barrier.

(Hat tip: Jim Russell)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Away Games
Gloom and Doom
After last Thursday's presidential debate, a U.S. Navy SEAL, serving in Baghdad, spoke about the negative CIA National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq that has attracted so much political attention: "That document was sent to the White House, State, DoD and Congress in July. It was based on information collected while you were covering the April battles in Fallujah and Ramadi. It was a pretty depressing time. It's not any more.

"Despite what's being written, we -- by 'we' I mean the Iraqis and the Coalition -- are getting ahead of the terrorist's game. The Iraqi people want to have an election -- and we're going to help make that happen. Terrorists like Zarqawi and Muqtada al Sadr are doing everything in their power to stop it. They can't.

"After you were out here in July and August, we helped the Iraqis clean up Najaf. It was an al Sadr stronghold. His goons dragged Iraqi citizens off the streets, put them in front of his 'Courts' -- then beheaded and shot men, women -- even children -- for infractions of 'Islamic law.' That isn't happening any more. The people of Najaf helped us fight back. They are now free to walk their streets, shops and businesses have reopened, and al Sadr's thugs are either dead or looking for a new line of work.

"Remember Samarra? You've been there. A few weeks ago, Samarra was off limits to U.S. troops. It's not any more. The locals got fed up with living in fear of terrorists and foreign radicals, let them know they weren't welcome, and today Samarra is again a thriving city -- all without us firing a shot. You'd never know that from the press."

In Najaf and Samarra, ordinary citizens sided with the interim government against the "Jihadists." The result: 25 Iraqis are now dying for every American casualty -- partly in retribution -- and to derail elections in January. Yet, despite the danger, young Iraqis continue to volunteer for their National Guard and police forces. And they are the ones who now talk openly of subduing "hot spots" like Sadr City, Ramadi and Fallujah.

Meanwhile, Kerry and much of our press continue to talk about the "disaster" of having to fight terrorists in Iraq. Before carrying that line of argument too far, they might consider the words of a Marine major here in Iraq who reminded me, "In war it's always better to play 'away games' than 'home games.'"


(Hat tip: Jim Russell)
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