“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” - koran 9:5

More from Hugh Fitzgerald on current events:
Fitzgerald: How to win the war

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald explains the lack of focus in Washington that could ultimately have disastrous consequences:
Wars are won in all sorts of ways. Hot wars are won on battlefields, by destroying the enemy. But the Cold War was not "won" on a battlefield, but by a long and expensive process of checking Soviet power everywhere, and even outspending the Soviets so that, in the end, a sufficient number of intelligent people, Party members and Party officials, came to realize that the Soviet system was a failure. That failure led them, from the inside, to dismantle that system, in ways that were sometimes precipitous. And they were not aided by such shallow Western "experts" as the loudmouth and self-promoter Jeffrey Sachs, who does a good imitation of the comic Irwin Corey and his "World's Greatest Authority" act.

The war is one of self-defense. We do not wish the supremacist creed of jihad and dhimmitude to spread. We do not wish those who hold this creed to overbreed, or outbreed, Infidels in the very lands of dar al-Harb. Just look at what is happening all over the Western world, and even in this country where only 1% of the population is Muslim (about 3 million, at most, and most of them not-quite-orthodox Black Muslims). We wish to check it, and to create the conditions in which the failures of Sharia states and semi-Sharia states will be understood by a number of intelligent people born into Islam to be connected to the belief-system of Islam itself -- that its traditional laws make it such an enemy of music, painting and the plastic arts, and inculcate habits of mind, ways of thought, that simply do not permit of free and skeptical inquiry.

The major weapon of the current Jihad is money -- not money that Muslims have earned, but for the most part money that comes from an accident of geology. And whatever enormous sums the Arab and Muslim oil states have acquired, they have used not to build modern economies, but to buy hundreds of billions of dollars in arms. And their thieving ruling classes -- not to be opposed as long as they are Muslims -- have their own special expenditures, what with endless villas in Marbella and apartments on Avenue Foch and on the French Riviera, and in London and the Home Counties, and in Aspen, and McLean, Virginia, and so on.
And then there are the armies of apologists, the steady corruption of Western government officials, intelligence agents, diplomats, academics, and all the others on the Arab or Muslim payroll, direct or indirect. Even a well-financed lecture series, with a gigantic honorarium (up to hundreds of thousands of dollars) can be a way to reward an American political figure. Kuwait paid the senior Bush something like a million dollars on his visit to that country once it had been rescued. There is a lecture series at the Fletcher School at Tufts, paid for by an Arab, that has managed to send large sums Clinton's way, and has given money to others as well. If you want to distribute Arab and Muslim largesse, there is no paucity of ways to do it. And it has its effect. Just look at the absence, over the past 30 years, of any attempt to recapture oligopolistic rents from OPEC, that might have kept 1-2 trillion dollars from flowing to the oil-producing nations.

Everything is finite. We have an army of a certain size. We have a citizen-army that is rapidly degrading in size and quality, given that few people are being recruited. We have Humvees, Bradley fighting vehicles, helicopters, planes -- all of them overworked, and degraded prematurely in the desert of the Land of the Two Rivers, Iraq. We have a certain amount of money to spend. The money spent in Iraq might instead be spent on an energy program to deprive the Saudis and Ahmadinejad and others of the wherewithal that is critical to the Jihad -- are you quite sure that the $300 billion spent in Iraq would not have been better spent on solar and wind projects, and on nuclear reactors, if we knew three years ago what we know now about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs? Quite sure?

"Retreat and withdrawal"? This is not "retreat and withdrawal." Remaining in Iraq is a sign of obstinacy and ignorance, of a weakness of mind, of a failure to understand the real enemy. That enemy is not "poverty" and it is not the absence of democracy. We have "democracy" in Iran and look who won; we have "democracy" in the Palestinian Authority and look who just won. Neither party understands this. Kennedy and Dean and Kerry are appeasers who do not see what Islam is all about. But so many of those who understand this cannot allow themselves to break free from blind loyalty to a policy that has been constructed by people they think must be supported, whatever the cost. Nonsense. That is a silly kind of loyalty.

Loyalty should not be to a policy, or even to an Administration. This is too menacing a threat for anything other than the truth to be the basis for policy. And the truth is that the Jihad is worldwide. We should be moving heaven and earth to split, demoralize, constrain, and tie up the forces of that Jihad.

That should be our focus. It is not. That is the first step to winning the war: identifying the enemy we are actually fighting. We have not done so. That this has not yet been done speaks ill of this Administration, as well as of its opponents. And increases our vulnerability as we divert ourselves with tarbabies and blind alleys.
Posted by Robert at January 29, 2006 08:46 AM

Checking my calander verifies the fact that it is Jan. 29th 2006. OVER FOUR YEARS after Sept. 11th 2001. The ''leadership'' we chose with our ballots has had OVER FOUR YEARS to figure out WHO are enemies are, WHAT they desire and HOW they seek to implement those objectives.
And THAT is why I call ''W'' and his cheerleaders IDIOTS!!!
The Bible says ''Learn thy enemy''. I think that is EXCELLENT advice to us all. After Sept. 11th 2001, I realized I knew NOTHING about those who attacked us. NOTHING, ZIP, ZERO!!!
So I set out to EDUCATE myself about our enemies. I bought a koran and read it, then I read it again. I personally consider islam TO BE ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING AND EVIL.
''Pre Sept. 11th thinking'' led me to belive islam ''is just another religion'' not unlike the fragmentation of Christanity itself. I am not a Catholic, but I respect Catholics. I am not Jewish, but I respect Jews. I am not a Methodist (even though I was born and raised as one).
I converted to Baptist many years ago. There are NO Methodists seeking TO KILL ME ''for leaving the faith''.
That cannot be said about muslims. If I became A 'REVERT' to islam (muslims DO NOT call it 'convertion', islamic teaching is that a person IS BORN a muslim and is unaware until that person ''reverts to the one true faith'') and then change my mind and convert to another religion other muslims WOULD BE REQUIRED by the koran to seek out 'the apostate' AND KILL him (or her).
There is nothing in The Bible that states: Oh Christian, here is a Jew come and kill him. YES, the koran says ''Oh muslim, here is a Jew come and kill him''.
What would you call ''a prophet from God'' who 'MARRIED' a SIX (6) year old little girl and had his first sexual intercourse WITH THAT CHILD when she was NINE (9) years old???
The words ''pervert'' and ''pedophile'' come to mind. The koran describes it as ''the love of muhammed to his wife Aisha''.
Like ''Robert Spencer'' (NOT his real name) and Hugh Fitzgerald I have studied islam. And I now understand it. And why I now oppose it.
I am an American. I have the Freedom to express my opinions (and state FACTS) as I see fit.
And that is why I named my blog http://americanfreedoms.blogspot.com/ ...
Paul wrote:
One can easily find me simply by looking my name up in a local phone book. What's your point? Should I be ashamed of where I live? Only 30-35 minutes, 50 to 60 during rush hour if there is an accident, from downtown Rochester, btw. The roads here are pretty good considering. There are not long commutes, nor are there problems with traffic jams unless a major accident occurs (very rare).
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2006 7:50 AM
Subject: Re: [AmericanFreedoms] Pataki not king maker

So THAT'S where in NY you are!
Up by Rochester NY (about an hour drive west of it to be exact). Did I need a super-special supercomputer to find that out? Nope, you gave me all I needed, a zip code. Punch 14770 into Google and it will provide the map. I can probably look at the roof of your house if I bothered to spend the time to look for it. If you are curious just punch 34769 into Google. That is where I live. Yes, if you click on 'satellite' and know where to look you can actually see my home.
Don't ask, I won't tell you how to find it. Does it bother me that I can find my home on a (three year old) satellite pic? Yes, it IS kinda creepy this ability to locate someones home by knowing a street address, a city name and a US state. Or a zip code. Do the iranians know this? Of course they do. Am I afraid? Not really, the primary targets for them are either 30 miles NORTH or 30 miles WEST of me. And if their targeting systems ARE THAT BAD there won't be anything left of me to care.
But on a lighter note, punch the zip code 32830 into Google, click on 'satellite' and look at Disney World from space. HINT: ''spaceship earth'' a.k.a. ''the EPCOT golfball'' is the EASIEST landmark to find. Locate it, center it, zoom in on it, then follow the Monorail lines to other Disney World attractions...

P.S. TIP FOR TODAY: DON'T 'make public' your street address and/or phone number on the internet unless that is your BUSINESS address and phone number.
CAUTION IS IN ORDER. EVEN if you have a BUSINESS I recommend posting nothing more than a URL to your website (if you have one) a BUSINESS email addy or a BUSINESS phone number. All it took me was your zip code to answer my curiosity about where in NY you live.
BTW, This is where I was born: 14787. If you want to tell others ''Here I am!!!'' just use your zip code.

Paul wrote:
Pataki claims he is not a king maker (Thur. Jan. 26, 2006, D&C "Cox Senate hopes fading fast"). I think the more likely fact is that the people who Pataki wants to run for office are not kings (Conservative and Constitutional leadership material), nor can they be in the more Conservative dominated (even still) Republican Party.
That Pataki became king, uh, I mean governor, himself is due to his ability to schmooze, his capacity to lie about his own passions, etc. I refer specifically to the support of gun owners in his first two elections, after which he passed his 5 point law which outlawed Assault Weapons (really semi-automatic long guns, and pistols; firearms with certain cosmetic attributes), and created a database for pistol purchases by law abiding gun owners (the least likely to offend, i.e., rape, rob, murder), raised the age to get a pistol permit to 21, outlawed slingshots, and various knives, as well as making it illegal for persons under 18 to go outside carrying a BB gun without a parent or guardian present.
Pataki abandoned his base, and he is now paying for that by prompting more Constitutionally conservative people to become involved in politics, especially the Republican Party. Further, most of the people Pataki has embellished with praise are, in essence, merely socialist infiltrators, like himself, of the Republican Party machine in New York State. They cannot make headway because their philosophy doesn't match the Conservative principles of the majority of the party. Nor ever did Pataki, but his name attached to any future contender may prove anathema to their election prospects.
My point is simple: Do you use antivirus software on your computer?
I VERY STONGLY RECOMMEND YOU DO SO. Chris (the OWNER of the yahoogroup known as AmericanFreedoms) residence is listed online as (and I quote) ''Somewhere in Alaska''.
The Internet is a brave new world, personal information should be A CAREFULLY guarded secret here. I demonstrated that with your zip code I could find out where you live.
Should you be ashamed of where you live? Of course not, what I'm telling you is DO NOT post it to the Internet. The REASON it's called ''the World Wide Web'' (that's what the ''www.'' means) is because IT'S WORLD-WIDE. A soldier in iraq can see this information. So can the sicko who desires ''To wipe Israel off the map''.
This site was designed for little kids. But the info is important for adults as well.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO Commandment #2!!!
READ IT, And then read it again. And when you are done reading it again, read it again.
YES, I took the trouble to edit out your home address and phone number from this reply. (and blog post)
BTW, This is also an important website to see:
UNLESS you LOVE telemarketers calling you.
I can see it now: While sitting down to dinner the phone rings, ''Hello sir, would you like to save money on your cable bill?''
Paul says: ''*&^%$##@! telemarketers!!! HOW THE HELL did they get my phone number?''
Personal Web sites let teens express themselves, but experts warn that uninhibited disclosures open a door to danger.

Date published: 1/26/2006


The girl in the prom dress says she's 16, a high-school student in Stafford County. She's in love, and she's been to bed with her 18-year-old boyfriend. His full name is in her profile on the popular teen blog site MySpace.

The boy with the shaggy brown hair says he's 40, a fib that makes him visible to people browsing for Fredericksburg-area friends on MySpace. Once they click on his user name, they find out he's really an eighth-grader who wants to meet girls.

Answering a popular survey posted on MySpace, the boy says he once shoplifted and that he drank alcohol within the last month.

For teenagers online, it's good to be a little bad.

Many MySpacers casually acknowledge smoking, drinking and getting high. They say they get along with their moms and dads, then describe how they deceive them.

Almost no one comes right out and gives a full name, an e-mail address or a phone number. But with a few mouse clicks, any stranger can find out at least a first name and often multiple photos of the blogger. Names and pictures of their friends also pop up.

Hundreds of area teenagers divulge copious personal information and daily life updates on MySpace, Facebook and other booming Web sites that serve as an instant social network. Blog--short for Web log--sites have been around for a while, but only in past 12 months have they become a raging teenage fad.

MySpace ((link), whose representatives did not answer an e-mailed request for an interview, is by far the most popular of the free blog sites. It had 32,209 unique visitors last month; in December 2004, the site had 5,837, according to market researcher ComScore Media Matrix. That's a 452 percent increase.

Facebook ((link), a blog site that started for college students and expanded to include high-schoolers, went from 2,208 visitors in December 2004 to 12,414 last month.

MySpace has been in the news in connection with two recent teen deaths in Virginia. Locally, Courtland High School athlete Baron Braswell II was fatally stabbed Friday at a Spotsylvania County CD release party publicized on MySpace. Afterward, his friends used MySpace to post memorial tributes.

And after 17-year-old Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Taylor Behl was abducted and killed last September, investigators found that she had posted photos and other personal information on MySpace. Her profile mentioned that she was moving to Richmond and hoped to meet "someone who is kind." Police have charged a 38-year-old Richmond man in her death.

As teenage blogging booms, many parents are left in the dust and in the dark. Some parents of young bloggers don't even use the Internet, said Staca Urie, outreach manager for NetSmartz, the online safety unit of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

And she said many parents who are online don't have a clue what their teenagers are posting. They might not know how to access the public blog sites, or they might just assume their children's blogs are a harmless social outlet.

That's not always the case, said the NCMEC's John Shehan, who heads the organization's predator-fighting CyberTipline. His group gets about 50 reports a week of suspected Internet-enabled crimes against children. In 2005, he said, the group referred 41 such cases to Virginia law-enforcement agencies.

Computer-savvy predators pick out potential victims by what they post, Shehan said, often seeking vulnerable youngsters who write about being unpopular or unattractive. The predators use the young bloggers' own information to form a bond--liking the same music, for example, or sharing an interest in religion.

Some try to entice their targets to meet them in person. "It really can turn into a worst-case scenario," Shehan said.

Sexual predators are the Internet's bogeymen. But teen blogs carry lesser risks, too, Urie said.

For one thing, teens invade their own privacy. They reveal too much, and they have no future control over the information and photos they choose to make public.

And, Urie said, the blogs and photos' "comment" functions can be a swift, effective means for students to bully each other. It's a real-time way to spread rumors and exact revenge for a perceived insult, or just pick on an unpopular peer.

While much of teen bloggery is tame, even inane, a few hours' perusal of the MySpace site turned up dozens of Fredericksburg-area profiles in which children and teenagers reveal intimate personal information.

MySpace states that users must be at least 14, but the Internet is well known for blurring the lines between real and imaginary.

So the "40-year-old" eighth-grader--who claims in yet another spot to be 18--has plenty of company as he crafts a semifictional online identity. In fact, several teen blogs slam the prevalence of phonies and liars encountered online.

But while teens clearly know that they can't believe everything they read on the Internet, they seem to trust without question when it comes to posting their own material.

A 16-year-old Stafford girl posts a picture of her bare midriff with a suggestive message written on it. Another 16-year-old poses in a tight T-shirt, arms raised, pulling back her hair. Among the "comments" for that picture is a response from a hairy-chested older man in Woodbridge whose own photo shows him wearing only a Speedo.

A 17-year-old's main photo shows him dragging on a cigarette. Another 17-year-old shows a picture of himself drinking from a bottle of liquor.

Even MySpace users in their later teens downplay or dismiss the possible consequences of their posts.

Alex Kelm, a high school senior from Stafford, said he's gotten wiser about what he should and shouldn't post online and has changed his MySpace postings to reflect that.

But he believes adults who don't understand MySpace overreact to perceived dangers. "The people who are afraid of it are afraid of change," he said.

Kelm, who turns 18 on Saturday, said he joined MySpace several months ago to make friends beyond school lines. He's chatted online with dozens of other teenagers and met some of them in person. A few of those acquaintances have become good friends, he said.

Never once has an online contact claimed to be a teenager but turned out to be a grown man or woman, Kelm said.

"Maybe one in a hundred people might have a bad experience" online, he said. "That experience shouldn't ruin it for the rest of us."

Though Kelm said he's careful about what he posts online, he believes anything he chooses to reveal about himself is protected by the First Amendment.

That's only partly right, Urie said. Teens are "protected in the right to put that out there, but it's in the public domain now," she said. "It's free, and it's searchable. It's public information."

Online admissions of lawbreaking have already proven to have serious ramifications.

In a widely publicized case last month, a Florida 18-year-old involved in a fatal car crash pleaded guilty to manslaughter after he wrote "I did it" on his online journal. The teen had previously told investigators he couldn't remember the crash.

And Urie and others emphasize that material posted online can show up years after it's been deleted. It can be archived on a service that "caches" Web pages, or it can simply be saved by an individual user.

Urie especially urges teens not to post revealing pictures of themselves.

"You can never take it back," she said. "Once your picture's on there, it can be printed and put in a wallet anywhere in the world."

The lack of control over online material is something 19-year-old Katie Shively of Stafford said she realized early in her MySpace adventures.

She started two profiles, one to promote her hip-hop performing career under the name Artharitis, and another more personal site she intended to be seen by her friends.

The music profile has been great, she said, logging 22,000 views. But she said she's taken almost everything off her personal MySpace profile.

"I'd get really odd messages from people who were like three times my age," Shively said. "It's creepy."

But scary possibilities don't justify yanking minors' blogging privileges altogether, said Steven D. Krause, an English professor and blog expert at Eastern Michigan University.

Like anyone else, teenagers need to learn what they should and shouldn't put online, he said. And as they learn, they'll probably make mistakes.

"I don't think there's any question that young people use poor judgment in what they post," Krause said. "But you know what? They make poor judgments in face-to-face situations, too. Part of the job of teenagers is to do stupid things."

While teenagers and 20-somethings may use MySpace and similar sites as personals ads, Krause said, blogs are also a powerful, accessible communication tool. He encourages his college students to blog as a way to publish their writings to an audience beyond the classroom.

Like more serious topic-related or news blogs, teen blogs are here to stay, Krause said.

"I think kids must be onto something if it's getting people this scared," he said.
I get mail:
ANON wrote:
If Israel is unwilling to do what needs to be done, WE NEED TO TO!!!

Actually what 'we need to' do is simple.
Unless the muslims are not CLEARLY a threat to us (such as iran is) we need to stop meddling in thier affairs.
That means ENDING ''the roadmap to peace'' fairy tale and ALLOWING the Israelis to deal with islam however it sees fit. With NO input from us whatsoever. AND NOT ONE PENNY MORE to the so-called 'palistinians' from OUR tax dollars. BTW, it deflates the ''but saddam supported those terrorists'' argument now that it is clear that OUR TAX DOLLARS were being sent to the p.l.o. who used them to fund fatah (the arabic word for 'CONQUEST') against Israel.
In the arab-occupied terrorist territories (Judea-Samaria and Gaza regions of Israel) we thought we could bribe and smooth-talk (and encourage 'democrazy') islam into being what it is not.
After HAMAS got itself elected as a government Hugh Fitzgerald (of Jihad Watch)wrote:
Winds of freedom. Unquenchable desire for freedom all over the world in every human heart. Democracy is on the March. In Egypt. In Lebanon. In the "Palestinian" lands getting ready to be part of the solution, as one of the states, in that two-state solution. Building Iraq the Model. Building Iraq the Light Unto the Muslim Nations. Can't cut and run. Must finish the job. Must finish the mission. Can't leave until Victory. Not until Total Victory. And it is coming, that Total Victory. You can be sure of it. Can't leave until the "Iraqi" government tells us it's time to leave. Can't leave until the generals tell us the "Iraqi" people are ready to assume their duties, and Iraq the Model is up and running. Can't leave. Can't. Just can't.
Needless to say he (and I) are saying this with dripping sarcasam. As far as iraq is concerned;
Now WE LEAVE iraq and prepare for the NEXT stage in 'the war on terrorism':
That's right, we WILL NOT bring them 'democrazy', we are coming in AS OCCUPIERS. We MUST get THIS LIBERAL CRAP of ''winning the hearts and minds of the people'' out of our heads.
We MUST deal with iran the same way we dealt with Japan. We IMPOSE UPON THEM a benevolent dictatorship.
NOT this 'cut and run' quicky 'democrazy' that we attempted in iraq.
''We came, We saw, We conqured''.
We MUST learn from our iraq mistakes. We are dealing with a people who are not yet ready TO EVEN UNDERSTAND freedom. Just like in the arab-occupied terrorist territories OUR ENEMIES see 'democrazy' as 'freedom FOR islam'.
With iraq 'we tried to teach a pig to sing'. With iran WE MUST POUND 'the square peg into the round hole'...

UPDATE: Why did I tie that into ''MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! THAT SIMPLE!!!'' (i.e. end our mission in iraq)? Because:
1. WE HAVE accomplished all we can accomplish in iraq. Continuing to stay there is pointless and counterproductive.
2. WE CAN'T use iraq 'as a staging area' for action against iran. The makeup of iraq itself makes that completely irresponsible. The iraqi shi'ites don't 'love us'. AT MOST they tolerate us due to the fact that we put them in power there. Many iraqi shi'ites would see any action we take against iran as ''attacking their shi'ite brethren''. The new president of iraq lived for many years in iran. And IS quite friendly to them. Same with ayatollah al-sistani the top shi'ite cleric of iraq. For those who don't remember, it was al-sistani who shut dowm al-sadr and the shi'ite aspect of the insurrection.
If we take action in iran without leaving iraq first, they would likely 'turn against us'. Our (diminished by nessessity) forces in iraq would be targets for the shi'ites there.
3. IF we leave iraq first ''the iraqi people'' will begin to sort out their own issues independent of us. And YES, I do know what that means. The shi'ites 'will settle old scores' with the sunnis.
Yes, that means NEW mass graves will be dug and filled with sunnis. IMHO, that is the ONLY reason we are still there at all. As an attempt to prevent THAT from happening.
In our current situation we don't have THE LUXURY of that sentiment. If that means we allow the iraqi shi'ites to busy themselves ''ending the insurgency'' without our interfernce, that means fewer of ''the iraqi people'' to fight against our forces while they do what they must do to SECURE iran.
Once SECURED we will have to RULE iran AS A DICTATOR. I use post WWII Japan as an example, that is EXACTLY how we ran Japan for A DECADE after WWII. We allowed (and even helped) Japan to develop economically but in every other aspect what the Military Govenor of ''occupied Japan'' decided was 'the law of the land'. As in deal exactly with islam in iran the same way we dealt with Shintoism in Japan. Namely, FORCE it out of its dominant position and FORCE it to focus on spirituality, and personal morality. AND FORCE IT to at least tolerate other faiths.
We must treat islam as harshly as America treated its own kkk. They are more like each other than you think...
UPDATE: I get mail;
Our leaving Iraq would mean UNCivil War there. That would be counterproductive to democracy. Should we still need to be there after Iran develops nukes, do you think a few million Iraqi civilians will stop them from dropping on on U.S. troops surrounding Baghdad?

As noted, yes there will be an ''UNCivil War there''. My point is it WILL happen, it is not a matter of IF it is merely a matter of WHEN. The iraqi sunnis belive it is their birthright to rule iraq as basically they have done for generations. We came in and changed that to 'democrazy' giving the iraqui shi'ites the right to rule iraq via 'purple finger fever'.
Remember ''Yugoslavia''? The ruthless dictator (tito) was deposed and it quickly devolved into its components and the ''UNCivil War there'' began. I belive the destiny of iraq is to also devolve into kurdish, sunni and shi'ite nation-states. The kurds will take care of their own affairs, eventually becoming 'kurdistan'. The sunnis and shi'ites will fight a bloody war to draw the boundries of 'sunni iraq' and 'shi'ite iraq'.
The reason is a fundamental divide in islam itself. After the grandson of muhammed died there was a disagreement over how the new leader of islam was to be decided. One group of muslims decided it must be a direct decendent of muhammed himself. They became known as 'the shi'ites' the other group of muslims decided that imams select the best among them to be the leader of islam (not unlike how a new Catholic Pope is chosen) and they became known as 'the sunnis'. Pretty much that has been the divide between them for about 1300 years now.
The shi'ites see themselves ''as true muslims'' and the sunnis ''as false muslims'' and vice-versa. The two sides of islam have always fought each other to a stalemate. And it WILL happen again.
Personally I think we should take advantage of this as we deal with iran. We should remove our presence from iraq and allow things to develop naturally there. The stratagy being they will be too busy fighting EACH OTHER to fight against US.
As stated, our troops are only there NOW in a vain attempt to prevent the sunni/shi'ite blood feud from resuming. There is NO ''timetable'' for this to occur. It will happen tomorrow or it will happen Jan 20th 2009 or it will happen WHEN our forces leave iraq on some future date to be determined.
Our ONLY other option is to keep 100,000+ Americans troops fighting in iraq FOREVER ''in order to stay the course''. And THAT IS impossible.
Why do I say it is impossible? Quite simple actually, if the American people think we need a different direction in our government we have the ability to effect change at the ballot box.
I and many others are starting to say ''WE WON!!! IT'S OVER!!!'' in iraq. Now we need to REDEPLOY OUR FORCES to deal with A REAL (NOT a make-belive) THREAT to America...
I have been reading the blog ''View from the Right'' extensively lately. It's author Lawrence Auster, has been making the point that islam can neither 'be made moderate' nor is 'democracy' a way to 'westernize' islamic lands. Mr. Auster argues that the only effective stratagy is 'containment' of islam, i.e. encouraging muslims (in dar-al-harib, 'the house of war' such as America) to return to their homelands (to dar-al-islam, 'the house of islam' such as the middle east). I can hear the critics now: ''BUT, BUT, 'containment' WON'T WORK!!!''.
OH? are you trying to argue that it DIDN'T work against what we now call 'the former soviet union'? If so, that whirring sound you hear is the late President Reagan spinning in his grave. That's EXACTLY the stratagy he used to win 'the cold war'! He made the price of attacking us too severe to be considered a viable option while encouraging those under the thumb of the soviets to reject that ideology. Otherwise we stood back and allowed 'the former soviet union' to rot from within. Are you arguing that it did not work?
The other argument I reject is ''BUT, BUT, by bringing 'democracy' (actually a representitve republic, like ours and throughout europe) to dar-al-islam we encourage the muslims to choose freedom!''. To put it bluntly, 'democracy' in dar-al-islam has a terrible track record.
Examples abound:
1. Algeria 1991; Free, open elections voted in a hard-line islamic government. The Algerian Military, concerned about the repercussions of a jihadist governemt staged a bloodless coup and took over as a military dictatorship. And it remains so today.
2. Pakistan 2002; Did exactly the same thing as Algeria did in 1991.
3. Saudi Arabia 2004; Held open municipal elections for the first time in its history. Hard-line wahhabist canidates won overwhelmingly.
4. Egypt 2005; held open elections for Parliment. Even though the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood was forbidden from running canidates those with ties to it gained a substantial number of seats in Parliment.
5. Iraq 2005; held open elections for entire governement. Secular parties get 20%, sunni islamic parties get 20%, and shi'ite islamic parties get 60% of the vote.
6. Gaza strip 2005-today; The current status of elections there is being reported thusly:
A SURGE in support for the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas in the run-up to Wednesday’s parliamentary elections is fuelling calls for Mahmoud Abbas, the 70-year-old Palestinian president, to step down after the vote.
It appears HAMAS (a.k.a. CAIR) is poised to either win outright or have enough of an influence to drive the p.l.o. govenment. Condeleeza Rice seems to be ignorantly pushing for just such a result.
It has been said that ''Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result''.
That would mean our efforts to 'democratize' and 'westernize' dar-al-islam ARE INSANE.
What do I propose? YES, LEAVE IRAQ and allow it to either clean itself up or go to hell in its own way with no futher assistance from us. Those muslims who are here on a visa (or ''green card'') will have that visa/''green card'' REVOKED and be sent back to where they came from. Those who are here and have an EXPIRED visa (like the 911 attackers were) will be THE TOP PRIORITY to find, arrest and deport. The muslims who are US citizens as of 1/1/2006 can stay. the rest have to go back where they came from...
Let me get this straight,
the shi'ite iraqis (who have now been granted the privledge of governing iraq in free elections) are incapable of defending themselves from the attacks from the sunni iraquis. Is THAT what you are saying?
60% of iraqis VOTED IN a shi'ite iraqi government. And yet they are SO WIMPY that they NEED our help to stabilize iraq?
If 60% of iraq CANNOT defend itself from 20% of iraq it should no longer be our problem.
We taught them how to fish, now we have to step back and allow the iraqi people to fish on their own.
I liken it to a mother dog THAT KICKS the puppy away from her nipples. The mother dog is telling the puppy ''enough, you are done nursing''
I dislike being compared to cindy sheethead (the future mrs. david duke).
She's making a good living doing media circuses.
I do this when I can find the spare time to express my opinions...
I got this:
In a message dated 1/15/2006 8:28:27 P.M. Central Standard Time, newsveiws@yahoo.com writes:
It is now time for the Iraqi people to take charge of their own affairs. Unless you think they need ''more handholding'' by us.
"It is time for the Iraqi people to take charge of their own affairs" Says who? You and Cindy Sheehan? What is so complex about understanding that they need to be able to be in a position to defend themselves from terrorists?
To be honest, NO, I don't belive freedom is an innate desire in most humans. It isn't even a innate desire of most Americans. Most would rather have a regular government check. Most would rather have ''Medicare part D'' than freedom (thanks a pantload, mr. president). Most Alasksans would rather have a jobs program nicknamed ''the bridge to nowhere'' than freedom! Don't belive me? Ask Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) or Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska).
You display the pic of 'purple finger fever', but guess what WON BIG in that election? Shi'ite islamic theocracy. No, NOT freedom!
Am I saying this? Yes I am.
And so is Diana West: http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/dianawest/2005/12/26/180372.html
As is Cal Thomas:
And guess what's coming HERE? IRAQI REFUGEES!!! Ok, YOU explain WHY IRAQI REFUGEES are coming here!!!
And as far as ''and that you want to fight terrorism on our shores'' goes, YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I DO!!! We've got PLENTY of 'terrorism' to fight right here in the good 'ol USofA!!!
Every time I see the acronym CAIR (a.k.a HAMAS), I think ''of course we have 'terrorists' here!!!''
WHY are we NOT fighting them here? WHY are we NOT sending the saudis (you know, the people who fly planes into buildings?) that are in America BACK TO saudi arabia??? AS IN RIGHT FREAKIN' NOW!!! I don't hear pawn vanity telling off the saudi ownership of faux news when the saudis tell faux news to change ''muslim riots'' to ''paris riots'' OR ELSE!!!
Yet we continue to try to teach the pig to sing...
UPDATE:I got a very terse email from ''Thomas Sylvester'' (no, I WON'T post his email addy here, nor will I give it to you. So don't bother asking).

I was QUITE INSULTED BY THIS. I explained WHY I thought the Mission has been completed and I get A SIX WORD dismissal. No explanation, (I provided one) just:

Mission is not done. That simple.
-------Original Message-------

I am sick and tired of the phrase ''Cut and run''. How 'bout ''MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! We're coming home''? We accomplished what we went there to accomplish. Our job is done.
It is now time for the Iraqi people to take charge of their own affairs. Unless you think they need ''more handholding'' by us. We bestowed upon them a Constitution (such as it is) we gave them free elections (and they voted overwhelmingly for an islamic government) and now you argue that ''we are not done''. That forces the question ''OK, so when are we done''?
It is now time to take off the 'training wheels' and let Iraq BE Iraq. We taught them how to fish, now it is time to step back and allow them to fish on their own.
That WAS our purpose in iraq, was it not??? WE WON!!! Mr. President, ''bring 'em home'' and allow us to begin THE VICTORY parades that our loyal troops HAVE EARNED.
Mr. President, it is time to take the yellow ribbons off the trees and allow us to welcome our fellow Americans home with open arms and joy!!!
Suzito1@aol.com wrote:
In a message dated 1/14/2006 11:58:25 P.M. Central Standard Time, newsveiws writes:
That forces the question: If we can't ''teach the pig to sing'' why are we continuing to try?
So I take it that you do not believe that freedom is an innate desire in most humans and that you want to fight terrorism on our shores instead of theirs?

[AmericanFreedoms member] Paul Rusin wrote:
This is what left media driven hysteria has done to our nation. The teen, like many teens, made a mistake, and paid for it with his life. The mistake was taking a gun to school, someplace where 30 years ago guns were shot, where training with firearms was accepted, even encouraged, where knowledge of safety, and responsibility, could be imparted. Today, we have a no tolerance of guns policy in almost all schools. The gun crazy media has advanced this hysteria driven policy. The school administrators have bought it hook, line, and sinkler, having most of them gone through the extensive reeducation camps of the U.S. which are today's college campuses.
Paul Rusin
The report here is that the student was surrounded by cops, that the parents weren't called until just before he was shot. His brother asked police to allow him in the room to talk to the student who had a bb pistol. He was reported to have pointed at at various classmates.

Let me explain. (From the famous ''Local6.com''. Myself, I call it ''channel 6's website'') Here is why the boy died. He pointed what appeard to be a firearm at a cop.
Christopher Penley, of Winter Springs, was accused of pulling a pellet gun in a classroom Friday and pointing it at other students. When he later raised the weapon at a deputy, a SWAT team member shot him, authorities said. Officers who had responded to the 1,100-student school in suburban Orlando believed the gun was a Beretta 9mm, and didn't learn until after the shooting that it was a pellet gun
I don't blame the officer, he did exactly what he should have done. Under the same circumstances I would have done the same thing. If YOU point what appears to be a firearm at me I will YELL ''drop it!'' as I draw.
IF YOU FAIL TO ''drop it!'' before I squeeze the trigger, I WILL DROP YOU!!!
That IS REALITY here in FL. I understand reality...
UPDATE: I got THIS in my email:
Suzito1@aol.com wrote:
Baretta 9MM
Pellet gun
I think the intention of the poster was plain. Here is a pic of the ACTUAL 'pellet gun' in question:

So, does THAT resemble to top pic or the bottom pic? AND you have to make a split-second decision about it being genuine.

UPDATE II: Yeah, daddy's ticked off. (OH, BOO HOO) As I hear it being reported today the boy's family is now being represented by a rattourney. How do I know it's a rattourney? Before his name was mentioned (Mark Nation) I recognized the voice. He (Mark Nation of The Nation Law Firm) heavily advertises on the radio here.
When I use the term ''rattourney'' NOW you know exactly what I mean by that.
Some quotes from the article that I got the pic from:
Penley was clinically brain dead Saturday, Nation said. "His organs are in the process of being harvested." Friends and investigators say Penley was bullied and emotionally distraught, and went to school that day expecting to die. Patrick Lafferty, a 15-year-old neighbor who has known Penley about six years, said he wasn't surprised by what happened. He said Penley was a loner who "told me he wanted to kill himself dozens of times."

Kelly Swofford, a family spokeswoman and neighbor of the boy's parents, said the boy had run away from home several times. Her 11-year-old son, Jeffery Swofford, said Penley had said he had something planned.
"He said `I hope I die today because I don't really like my life,"' Jeffery Swofford said.
Hmm, we have ''a family spokeswoman'' AND a rattourney!!! Looks like junior got the suicide he wanted AND daddy thinks he got a winning lottery ticket!!!
This stuff's getting GOOD...
theway2k wrote:

Well it looks like Canada is becoming so politically correct that the whole nation will first accommodate Mohammedans, and then see the migration of neo-Mormon groups. This is the same question America will have to answer if it continues along its own homosexual agenda legalizing gay marriages. If Adam and Steve can get married the logic follows That Adam and Eve and Nellie and Suzie and Barbie and Bambi and so on will marry. Or even contrarily: Ada and Steve and Nelson and so on. Well you get the picture.

A culture is only as honest and virtuous and moral as its religious foundation. As liberal secular humanism takes over morality becomes relative. Unwittingly, secular humanism aids its unknown enemy - Mohammedanism - while shooting down its known enemy - Christianity. American will dissolve into obscurity as Athens if it does not protect its Christian Foundation as a nation.

Source: End polygamy ban, report urges Ottawa

You are mistaken. They are NOT ''neo-mormon''. Polygamy has been a component of The Mormons since day one. The ONLY reason the LDS church forbid the practice of polygamy was to ensure statehood for Utah! You think I'm kidding, don't you? Just ask a Mormon how many wives (yes, plural) that Brigham Young had. I take an unusual position on polygamy, if a man wants to have multiple wives (plural) he should be allowed to do so.
BUT he is REQUIRED to support all of his wives (plural) and all of the children he fathers!
If Bill ''mr. microsoft'' Gates wants to have ''a harem'' of DOZENS of wives (plural) and father hunderds of children, I won't have a problem with that UNTIL ANY of those wives (plural) or children seek ''public assistance''. Until microsoft files for Chapter 7 (business liquidation) Bankruptcy, he, his ''wives'' and their children are inelgible for ANY form of ''public assistance''. BTW, that INCLUDES Government Schools. If you WANT to have multiple wives you can either homeschool OR PAY FOR the education of your children. EVEN in a Government School.
Here is ''where I'm coming from'' on this. There is a man who lived in southwest Utah who claimed he was part of a ''splinter group'' from the LDS church. He OPENLY rejected the (post statehood Utah) Mormon teachings against polygamy. And in fact REPEATLY appeared with his SEVEN ''wives'' on TV (by law, he is only married to ''wife #7'', he divorced ''wife #1 through wife #6'').
But unlike most who divorce, the ''former'' wives STAYED and welcomed the ''newcomers'' into the ''family''. When Salt Lake City sought the 2002 Winter Olympics Utah had a problem. Here was this guy who was violating the Utah prohibition against polygamy. And being quite open about it!!! He appeared on TV many times during the 1990's!!!
WHILE he was ''touring the TV shows'' he was ALSO getting a monthly SSI check! As were ALL SEVEN of ''his wives''! AND ''WIC'' AND AFDC AND MEDICAID!!!
When Utah got around to FINALLY arrest and prosecute him for violating the Utah anti-polygamy law what they FAILED to do was take this ''family'' OFF THE WELFARE!!!
All they did was put the ''husband/father'' in a prison cell. Whoopy ding dong.
If we wanted to show others that if you WANT to practice polygamy, the MAN who ''chooses this lifestyle'' is also REQUIRED to support it. NO ''free healthcare'', NO ''food stamps'', NO ''WIC'', NO ''SSI'', NO NOTHING!!!
That's right, WE ARE STILL PAYING to support this bizzare ''famdamnly''.
We are giving WELFARE to this ''family'' and we CONTINUE to keep troops in iraq AFTER we have liberated it. THAT IS JUST WRONG...
Gusting winds over 40 mph. When the winds get over 40, the whole house LITERALLY rattles. How do I know this? Because I know that 40+ mph wind will not blow out windows or cause a power failure. The wind has to get up to 80+ mph for that to happen. But it DOES cause the whole house to rattle.
There are three reasons why I know this: 'charlie', 'jeanne' and 'frances'...
I see your points. First, the moron in chief made A MAJOR blunder in removing our forces from KSA (BTW, his father got those bases there).
YES, I DO think iran ''is stupid enough'' to state to the world that they ''have the bomb'' and shortly afterwards attempt to strike Israel with at least one nuke. The koran itself REQUIRES them to do so, ''O muslim, behind me is a Jew come and kill him''.
Abandon iraq? Only a retard (Supreme Court Justice nominee Harriet Mires) would keep our forces in iraq if iran succsessfully tests a thermonuclear device.
These days a retarded president (''to put food on their family'') IS just as awful for America as a liberal one...

When a teenager puts ''uh'' and ''you know'' in their speech that is a typical teenager.
When the President of the United States does it that is disturbing.
I didn't ''edit it'' the whole statement is here. I'm NOT a 'dittohead'. And I don't NEED Oxycontin...
Chris wrote;

Been sick all week, so I will make this short.

I agree we needed to put the Saudis "house of Saud" in their place, and have stated this for quite awhile.
We have quietly moved, almost ALL of our military from Saudi Arabia.
And if you might of noticed, AFTER this happened.
Guess what?
Saudi's started having terrorism problems within.

But I DON'T think Iran is STUPID enough, to test a nuclear bomb.
This would be a death warrant, for them!
Israel, has said this openly.

As for abandoning Iraq, it wont happen with President Bush in office.
Maybe the next administration, will be a LIBERAL Administration, and cowardly do this.
Not this one! I don't agree with everything President Bush has done.
But he has done a better job.
Than ANYONE else, who "tried" to stepping up to the Presidential plate.
I would NOT, want his job.
Dammed if you do, and Dammed if you don't!

As for Japan. It seems to me that we STILL have OVER 40,000 American Troops stationed there.
And 70,000 troops STILL, stationed in Germany.
BTW, some folks conveniently seem to FORGET.
How many YEARS, it took to rebuild Germany after W.W.II.

"We LOST ''the war on terrorism'' on March 20th, 2003..."
Starting to sound like Pelosi, sKerry or Kennedy!!
They are Ultra Liberals!

Take care, be safe.
Good night.
Chris - Alaska

I understand what you are saying.
But here is the problem, saddam was CLEARLY NOT ''one of the worst''. The SAUDIS are the ones seeking to restablish the (sunni/wahabbi muslim) caliphate.
And they have OUR president sucking up to them.
The iranians are also seeking a shi'ite muslim caliphate, with the caliph there. I strongly suspect that before 2007 the iranians WILL successfully test a thermonuclear device.
Do we abandon iraq and allow the iraqi civil war to begin?
BTW, THAT WILL happen. WHEN we reduce our forces to the point that ''the iraqis are on thier own'' the iraqi civil war will begin.
We SHOULD have scared the piss out of the muslims (it worked quite well against the Japanese, they are rather friendly now). We have the ability to do that. WE FAILED to do so when we had the opportunity.
But now we have a RETARDED ULTRA-LIBERAL in The White House who is setting up America for A STALINIST to take what bush has given her and turn it agianst HER ''enemies''.
We LOST ''the war on terrorism'' on March 20th, 2003.
if you want to give me hell, click on the 'comments' link and give me hell...

Possibly we sent soldiers to Iraq to more than build a nation. Maybe you have not noticed, Islamofascists (of which Saddam Hussein was one of the worst) sole goal in life is to kill Jews and Americans and spread a Mohammedan revolution establishing a Caliphate to dominate the world.

It does a bit far fetched right now, however these people are crazy. They would just as soon take out innocent populations with nukes and hang the ecological consequences. Islamofascist have a death culture and America needs to take every opportunity to dissolve terrorists and those that harbor them wherever that might be.

Do you want to know why we are at war go here: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/.


By RALPH PETERS l January 1, 2006

IRAQ made impressive progress in 2005. You wouldn't have known it from the daily news coverage or the surrender-now demands of left-wing extremists, but the long-suffering nation marched forward.

Here and abroad, the enemies of freedom insisted that failure was inevitable. Terrorists, insurgents, journalists with agendas, global America-haters and the Democratic Party's national leadership all tried to force our troops out of Iraq, no matter the consequences for the 26 million human beings who'd be left behind.

But the Iraqis refused to fail. Our troops refused to fail. And the Bush administration refused to fail.

Thank God.

Over the last 12 months, the pessimists called every major development wrong. But that won't stop them from doing everything they can again this year to devalue freedom, discredit democracy, drive Iraq toward civil war, encourage the terrorists and, above all, embarrass the Bush administration.

Our critics, foreign and domestic, will continue to ignore the human rights of millions while shrieking over the "mistreatment" of imprisoned terrorists and demanding a "fair" trial for Saddam (in Europe, with no death penalty). But the left's self-righteous bluster sounds more like sour-grape nagging every day.

CONSIDER just a dozen of the many reasons for optimism about Iraq:

1) Despite left-wing arguments that the peoples of the Middle East aren't ready to rule themselves through the ballot box, Iraq just held its third nationwide vote ? with higher levels of participation than an American presidential election.

2) Iraq's Sunni Arabs, who were supposed to doom democracy, came out in masses to vote this time. They were disappointed that their minority numbers didn't magically give them a majority (sound familiar?), but their largest parties are maneuvering for places in the new government.

3) The terrorists lost a lot of ground last year, figuratively and literally. Their savagery backfired with the population, and more Iraqi security forces stood up for their country. Meanwhile, our troops killed terrorists in satisfying and lopsided numbers. The result? The terrorists still can create nasty local problems ? but they can't destroy Iraq's future.

4) The Sunni Arab insurgents lost steam. Attacks still make headlines, but Iraq's major cities are far more secure than they were a year ago. Major combat operations moved from big cities to smaller cities ? and then down to dusty border towns.

5) Every terrorist and insurgent tactic failed. Bombs may kill individuals, but they haven't been able to kill the new Iraq ? or dishearten our troops. Extremist atrocities alienated Iraqis, and attacks on the country's infrastructure haven't won the bad guys any new friends. At present, they've shifted their efforts to concentrate on Iraq's oil industry. They'll fail this time, too.

6) Our military leaders are so confident about the situation that they believe we can reduce our troop levels significantly in 2006. So much for being defeated.

7) The international community became much more supportive of the new Iraq, forgiving Saddam-era debts while increasing aid and loans to the government. Foreign investment soared in peaceful Kurdistan (even the Turks invested).

8) The Middle East is changing, thanks to our removal of Saddam and our military presence. The process may seem glacially slow to our impatient tempers, but until our tanks reached Baghdad there was no hope of change at all. Now, Syrian troops are out of Lebanon, the Damascus regime is shaking, the whacky-for-Allah president of Iran is panicstricken, and even the Saudis have decided that supporting evil in Iraq is bound to come back at them. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is next.

9) Far from being discouraged, our Army and Marine veterans of Iraq have been re-enlisting in startlingly high numbers ? knowing they'll be sent back to Iraq. The let's-just-surrender trio of Dean, Reid and Pelosi may believe we're bound to fail, but our troops are voluntarily betting their lives on a win.

10) President Bush found his voice again. After allowing the give-it-all-to-the-terrorists crowd to shape our domestic debate for far too long, Bush came out swinging ? and raised his popularity ratings significantly. Deeds weren't enough. The president had to sound like a wartime leader. These days, he does.

11) The American people displayed their inborn common sense again. As antiwar activists betrayed our troops with lies that we were losing, their fellow citizens shifted back behind the administration late last year. Abandoned by nervous Democrats, Cindy Sheehan had to go to Spain to attract an audience (even in Madrid, she didn't get much of one).

12) After failing to convince America's citizens or our troops that Iraq was doomed, our get-Bush-at-all-costs media shifted to exaggerating the domestic threat from intelligence surveillance. To hear the pundits howl, you'd think the National Security Agency had microphones in our showers and the CIA kept agents under our beds. But the dictatorship-of-the-intellectuals bunch failed again ? instead of being outraged, a large majority of Americans support using any intelligence means necessary to get the terrorists before they get us. Made-in-Missouri common sense wins again.

WE should be encouraged by the progress in Iraq and heartened by the American people's distrust of elitist propaganda. From Hollywood's latest anti-American rant to the decaying New York Times, the stars of the America's Most Arrogant Show have had to learn yet again that we don't take orders from trust-fund snots, campus cowards or actors (when Alfred Hitchcock said, "Actors are cattle," he was being far too kind).

We, the people, support our troops. And we don't like it when cynical activists and political hacks try to exploit those in uniform. Americans will always trust G.I. Joe (and Jane) over the latte lizards at moveon.org.

As we enter this new year, much could still go wrong in Iraq. The remarkable Arab genius for failure still might thwart the progress made to date. Minority and women's rights are threatened. The old grudges haven't vanished. Corruption, the developing world's favorite contact sport, could undo Iraq's new government. Many Iraqis may have to learn for themselves that theology and government don't mix.

Even as they falter, insurgents and terrorists will continue to generate headlines ? their last, best hope. More of our troops will bleed in the cause of universal freedom. And as our own midterm elections approach, we'll hear no end of defeatist rhetoric from the Democratic Party and its partisans in the media.

But most Iraqis chose to vote, rather than shoot. Iraqis bear more and more of their own security burden. The world has begun to realize how high the stakes are in Baghdad. And global terror lost ground in 2005.

Every American reading these words should be proud of our troops, our country and our cause.

I hope he can continue his work on the internet (if he wishes to do so).
Today, newspapers are ''the horse and buggy'' of a century ago. James Lileks understands how the passage of time works:
Resuscitating the Daily Newspaper

By James Lileks
According to recent surveys of newspaper readership, you are not reading your daily newspaper. You get your news from somewhere else — the Internet, talk radio, an alien satellite that pipes everything through your fillings, the guy at the coffee shop who can't shut up about Dick Cheney.

No one is reading newspapers. Not even the people who make the newspaper. Even its traditional markets — cat-box liner, packing for glassware when you move — have been taken over by new alternatives. (You can pack your glassware in cat-box litter, for example.) Newspapers are dead.

Really? People have been predicting the death of papers since TV started slaughtering the afternoon dailies. The rise of the home computer, for example, convinced investors to sink bazillions in proprietary systems that delivered the news on eye-killing, tumor-inducing low-res monitors. Newspapers survived. AOL did not kill the paper, because the daily paper never had AOL's technological problems. (I can't open the paper! It's busy!) Cable talk shows did not kill the paper, unless you believe people have decided that Bill O'Reilly somehow replaces the comics and horoscopes.

Bias didn't kill the papers; even if you believe that the modern paper is staffed entirely with Bolsheviks intent on forcing everyone into hemp jumpsuits and hybrid autos, the market for lefty-slanted news is still substantial. If you can't make a pretty penny peddling Bush-Is-Evil in this market, you're not trying.

What threatens newspapers is the medium itself. Its virtues are undeniable — it has dispatches from foreign lands, lost-pet ads, AND it mops up spills. It has ease of use, serendipity, tradition, a reputation assembled over the decades, a mix of high and low. That's the problem: It's all things to all people.

This is the era of narrowcasting, of picking and choosing from a hundred different sources, most of which cover the topic better than most newspapers. No one interested in computers bothers with what newspapers have to say about the subject; no one eager to discuss the last episode of "Lost" flips to the TV page on Thursday morn. It's all on the Web — the greatest public square in human history, complete with pickpockets and sphincterless pigeons.

Technology is rewriting the paradigms with such speed that newspapers can barely report on them in a timely fashion, let alone adapt.

A layout artist using a fancy program to arrange wire copy on a page is still doing a Gutenberg, so to speak. Meanwhile, the technologically savvy are plucking their own information out of the ether and sorting it to fit their twitchy modern lives. NBC provides podcasts of its popular news programs, and you can automate the download. Grab the iPod on the way out the door, connect the FM transmitter in the car, and voila: customized radio en route to work. How can newspapers compete without giving every subscriber a personal servant who reads the paper aloud from the back seat?

But it's not a fatal spiral. Not if newspapers go local. Unfortunately, most papers still see themselves as the Trusted Guardians of the Global Yesterday, serving up a cold meal of worldwide news to people who've already read the updates on the Web. This is a mistake. Leave the big picture to The New York Times and the Washington Post and the networks. Get small. Only newspapers have the resources to cover their hometowns. Yes, newspaper readers want to know about the world. But they also want crime and restaurant reviews and cute spelling bee winners and dog photos and anti-pothole crusades.

Also, stop chasing the younger market. They do not care what your reviewer thinks of "Doom the Movie." They played the game AND blew through the expansion pack AND downloaded a bootleg of the film on BitTorrent. Trying to court this demographic makes newspapers look like Grandpa doing the Funky Chicken, and it hurts.

In any case, newspapers are dead, the experts assure us. Pity, but these things happen. Media rise and fall. People move on. Why, once upon a time, millions of Americans got their news and opinions by listening to the AM band of the radio. AM radio! Really.

Who could imagine such a thing today?

I Can...
Dan W (http://americanfreedoms.blogspot.com)

Chris wrote:

Michael Ramirez is (in my opinion), one of the best Conservative Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists.
He was let go (can you say FIRED) by the left cost L.A.Times on 12-31-05.
Now I have no reason, to ever read their web site again!

Take care, be safe.
Good night.
Chris - Alaska

Clink on the link to see some of his last cartoons, before they are removed.

This is the first time the Yahoogroup known as AmericanFreedoms has also became part of ''the blogosphere''. It won't be the the last...
I understand what you are saying.
But here is the problem, saddam was CLEARLY NOT ''one of the worst''. The SAUDIS are the ones seeking to restablish the (sunni/wahabbi muslim) caliphate.
And they have OUR president sucking up to them.
The iranians are also seeking a shi'ite muslim caliphate, with the caliph there. I strongly suspect that before 2007 the iranians WILL successfully test a thermonuclear device.
Do we abandon iraq and allow the iraqi civil war to begin?
BTW, THAT WILL happen. WHEN we reduce our forces to the point that ''the iraqis are on thier own'' the iraqi civil war will begin.
We SHOULD have scared the piss out of the muslims (it worked quite well against the Japanese, they are rather friendly now). We have the ability to do that. WE FAILED to do so when we had the opportunity.
But now we have an ULTRA-LIBERAL in The White House who is setting up America for A STALINIST to take what bush has given her and turn it agianst HER ''enemies''.
We LOST ''the war on terrorism'' on March 20th, 2003...

P.S. This will also be posted to my blog (http://americanfreedoms.blogspot.com)
if you want to give me hell, click on the 'comments' link and give me hell...

theway2k wrote:

Possibly we sent soldiers to Iraq to more than build a nation. Maybe you have not noticed, Islamofascists (of which Saddam Hussein was one of the worst) sole goal in life is to kill Jews and Americans and spread a Mohammedan revolution establishing a Caliphate to dominate the world.

It does a bit far fetched right now, however these people are crazy. They would just as soon take out innocent populations with nukes and hang the ecological consequences. Islamofascist have a death culture and America needs to take every opportunity to dissolve terrorists and those that harbor them wherever that might be.

Do you want to know why we are at war go here: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/.

Interesting take from Kathleen Parker in her latest column:''From one human to another''.
It's generally nice, but it seems to be carefully crafted return fire at bloggers. Who as I (and many others) have gotten rather ticked off at last Wensday's column.
Note: The previous post began as a comment on the rather strange relationship between Michelle Malkin and the newest 'dot-com', pajamas media. Some of the regulars to Dennis the Peasant, who has been anti-PJM (and rightly so) from nearly it's begnning, that she did next to nothing to acknowledge her membership of it until people started emailing her about it. A habit that I noted she is continuing in her for-print column.
I decided to give Ms. Parker's latest column the same treatment that Right Wing News did to the one that started this dust-up.
Namely, a good old-fashioned 'Fisking':

As I opened my year-end e-mail, I was greeted with a letter that caught my attention - and my breath. So rare, it was. So simple, and so stunningly disarming.
It was an apology from a reader, who wrote:
"In going through my 'out' file the other day I came across an e-mail I sent you concerning something or other that I was obviously exercised over. I said to you, 'I used to think you were worth reading, etc., etc.' That was uncalled for and rude. I apologize."
I quickly wrote back: "What a nice way to begin the new near. Apology accepted. Thank you."
Few are the apologies I receive or extend, and the launch of a new year seems a good time to correct that oversight. But first a few observations about the nature of offense and the value of making amends.

I'm not sure how we became so rough or why, Because there are times when people deserve it as a nation, we decided that manners don't matter. That was caused by years of politeness being used in a dismissive and condecending way.
I'm not lecturing here. As with most of my columns, I'm really talking to myself. The fact that others read and react to my thoughts will always be a source of wonder to me.
When you sit alone in a room with a keyboard and think aloud, as it were, it is never with the idea of an audience. As a blogger, I'm calling BS here, if I didn't think anyone would bother to read this I wouldn't bother doing it. Unlike you I'm not getting paid (yet, but hope to change that in the future). At least not for me. The thought of actual readers probably would render me wordless, a result many doubtless would applaud. Wait, I have their e-mail addresses right here! Veiled threat?
Despite my newspaper affiliation, I've worked essentially alone the past 20 years, mostly from home (a pajamahadeen in the pre-blog era), See? She was blogging before blogging was cool. Myself, I call it 'spin' tweaking the culture based on decades of reporting, experience and observation. For reasons that continue to baffle as well as humble, I've been granted a forum over time by readers who still take newspapers with their morning coffee. Bless their hearts. Please keep buying and reading papers, pretty please.
Of all my mistakes through my years, the ones I regret most were errors of judgment and civility more than matters of fact, which are more easily corrected. As H.L. Mencken put it (and as Paul Greenberg recently reminded us in his lovely New Year's column): "Anyone can be accurate and even profound, but it is damned hard work to make criticism charming."
The temptation of clever cruelty is seductive. Quite true Oh, that turn of phrase that makes you slap your own thigh in delight. La Perp, at times, c'est moi.
But the arena calls for it, no? Actually, yes. If you smack down blogs and bloggers, you are going to catch hell for it from them. Have you failed to notice that? The masses want sangre! Or do they?
In searching for an answer, it is helpful to be on the receiving end of invective. Nothing like a taste of one's own blood to resurrect interest in the Golden Rule. It is equally bracing to be treated with respect, if only to recognize how rare it is and how little most of us contribute to the cause of civility. Charming criticism is, indeed, art.
If one were to plot the decline of civility in discourse, I suspect the parallel line would represent technology, especially the Internet, e-mail and the blogosphere - all too fast, too easy and too anonymous. Methinks we have a slow learner here. E-mail, most of all, is fraught with the potential for imminent regret. "Do not drink and send" should be the sticky note attached to many home computers. If you think what she wrote was stupid and way off base you are merely intoxicated, thank you for your insight, Ms. Parker (BTW, I assure you I am quite sober as I write this) As a rule, I delete hate mail as soon as I recognize it in order to thwart my own reflexive tendency to lash back. Sometimes nature wins:
"Oh yeah? Well, you and your cocker spaniel, too!" It's cool to have a dead-tree column in order to strike back at the nastygrams.
When I'm occasionally smarter, and return fire with butter instead of the always-tempting bunker buster, voila, the most amazing thing happens. Humanity returns to the ecosystem. Invariably, the person who wrote to assert my canine ancestry or to impugn my husband's masculinity is suddenly Aunt Bee extending a warm apple pie. No longer hostile, she offers gratitude for the response and apologizes for the nasty missive.
Not because she doesn't still disagree with whatever I wrote that initially set her off Perhaps another dead-tree writer (and also blogger) called her on that bonehead smear job on bloggers?- or because I'm so dadgum adorable I'm judging you purely on the text of these columns, not by your photo - but because we're no longer anonymous. We're just people - fellow and fallible human beings tangled in the same sticky web we call Life - while Technos is revealed as the cold-blooded provocateur he is. Hmm, your male critics who blog are cyborgs? How nice.
In which spirit, and in gratitude to the e-mailer who went first, I'd like to begin the new year with an apology to those whom I've offended or hurt with careless words or poor judgment. I'm s-, sss-, soh .(I must be a guy, this is so hard) ((That's a joke.)) Sorry. I'm sorry. No, really. I am. Due to all the obfucation above, who and what you are sorry about is rather unclear.
Onward, then, here's to health, prosperity - and greater civility - in the new year. And all you bloggers out there? I love you, man.
The final three senteces here made me just wince. Faking 'hipness' IS SO TRANSPARENT.

Here is how it should have read:
In last week's column what I wrote appeared to be a wholesale attack on blogs and blogging. Several bloggers have taken me to task for this approach, as well they should have. I was also mistaken for telling people ''we can and should ignore them'' as well as suggesting those who are not professionals are worthy of being ignored.
(the column that started this can be found here).
The rebuttal column came off as a non-apology apology. It also tries to combine blogs with her typical hate mail. Then to top it off plays the ''don't get mad at cute l'll 'ol me'' card for all it's worth. It appears to be the previous column topped off with a dollop of cutesy then goes on to continue the bashing.


Get it right next time...

This bugged me. Personally, I have NO interest in ''date a wife''. Personally, married='off limits' no matter how hot she is. But what pissed me off was this:

Online Name: Cindy_rella
Location: Michigan
Age: 32
Marital Status: Married
Body Type: Athletic
Height: 5' 6"
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Living Situation: Husband in military
Have Kids: No
Interests: Arts, Dancing, Dining, Family, Movies, Listening to Music, Travel

FOLKS, HOW IS THAT FOR A ''DEAR JHON'' LETTER? So we helped DESTROY this marriage in order to create ''democrazy'' in iraq that elected a pro-iranian government.
TO REPEAT rush pillpopper; ''The purpose of The Military is NOT to be an international 'meals on wheels' it is to kill people and break things''...
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | January 1, 2006

EVER SINCE 9/11, we learned last month, federal officials have been monitoring radiation levels around a number of American mosques. It is an understandable precaution, given Al Qaeda's interest in acquiring nuclear weapons, and its history of mass murder.
Understandable -- but also troubling. In a nation as tolerant as this one, nobody can be happy about the need to focus self-defensive attention on mosques. Unfortunately, we are at war with violent Islamist radicals, and they are not above using mosques to incubate terrorism. If there is evidence of heightened radioactivity around a Muslim facility, the government should be aware of it, and should find out -- lawfully, of course -- whether it represents a threat.

The federal monitors have been checking for physical radiation, but there are other ways in which mosques can be radioactive.

Last year, for example, Freedom House issued a report on the extent to which Saudi publications in US mosques promote Wahhabism, the harsh, supremacist version of Islam that is the established creed in Saudi Arabia. Many of these publications, it turned out, were riddled with religious bigotry. They advocated contempt for ''infidels," portrayed America as alien territory, and urged Muslims to prepare for jihad. Considering the use of such teachings in recruiting terrorists, one might well view the presence of this literature in the library of an American mosque as ''radioactive," and a legitimate cause for concern.

Which brings us to the roiling controversy over the mosque being built by the Islamic Society of Boston -- a controversy made all the worse by an abusive lawsuit the Islamic Society has filed against its critics.

When completed, the $24 million mosque will be the largest Muslim house of prayer in the Northeastern United States. The Islamic Society has pledged that it will also be a center for moderation, peace, and dialogue among different religious communities. It was in part on the strength of that pledge that the Islamic Society was allowed to buy the land for the mosque from the city for a fraction of its fair market value.

But for more than two years, questions have been raised about just how committed the Islamic Society really is to moderation and interfaith understanding. Beginning with reports in the Boston Herald, news outlets, citizen groups, political officials, and private citizens have been pointing out disturbing signs of extremist ''radioactivity" around the Islamic Society and its leadership. To mention only a few:

The society's original founder, Abdurahman Alamoudi, is now serving a 23-year prison term for his role in an assassination plot. The Treasury Department identified him as a fund-raiser for Al Qaeda, and he has publicly proclaimed his support for two notorious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Yusef al Qaradawi, who for several years was listed as a trustee in Islamic Society of Boston tax filings and on the Islamic Society website -- the Islamic Society now claims that was due to an ''administrative oversight" -- is a radical Islamist cleric who has endorsed suicide bombings and the killing of Americans in Iraq. In 2002, he was invited to address an Islamic Society fund-raiser, but had to do so by video from Qatar -- he has been barred since 1999 from entering the United States.

Another Islamic Society trustee, Walid Fitaihi, is the author of writings that denounce Jews as ''murderers of the prophets" who ''brought the worst corruption to the earth" and should be punished for their ''oppression, murder, and rape of the worshipers of Allah." After Fitaihi's words were reported in the Boston press, the Islamic Society was urged to unequivocally repudiate them. It took seven months before it finally did so.

When Ahmed Mansour, an Egyptian-born Muslim scholar, examined the Islamic Society's library in 2003, he found books and videotapes promoting hostility toward the United States and insulting other religions. Among the publications on hand were several of those listed in the Freedom House report.

Individually, none of these points proves that there is anything amiss with the Islamic Society. Taken together, they give rise to obvious questions and concerns. Surely the Islamic Society, which emphasizes its commitment to moderation, tolerance, and dialogue, should be at pains to answer those questions and allay those concerns. Instead it accuses its critics of defamation, and has sued many of them for -- of all things -- conspiring to deprive Boston-area Muslims of their religious freedom.

But the last thing Muslims in Boston or anywhere else need is a leadership that treats legitimate public misgivings as an anti-Muslim ''conspiracy," or that launches specious lawsuits in order to intimidate those looking into its record. The Islamic Society's overreaction does rank-and-file Muslims no favors -- and gives all of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, another reason to wonder about its motives...

UPDATE: The Freedom House report on saudi infiltration can be found here...

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