Archive for September 11th, 2012

Deja Vu

September 11, 2012

Here is another item I read at USA Today. It seems to me that I have seen something like this before but I can’t quite remember where.

Egyptian demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad.

Update at 2:07 p.m. ET: CNN reports that U.S. security guards fired a volley of warning shots as the crowd gathered outside the embassy walls.

CNN adds that the embassy had been expecting a demonstration and cleared all diplomatic personnel earlier from the facility.

Original post: The Associated Press reports that embassy officials say there was no staff inside at the time.

Reuters reports that protesters tried to raise a black flag carrying the slogan: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

The news agency says about 2,000 protesters have gathered outside the embassy and about 20 have scaled the walls.

The AP says the protesters were largely ultra-conservative Islamists.

Iran’s FARS news agency says the film is the work of a group of “extremist” members of the Egyptian Coptic Church in the United States.

Al Ahram online says the film is reportedly being produced by U.S.-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians, including Esmat Zaklama and Morees Sadek, with the support of the Terry Jones Church in the United States.

Jones is the evangelical pastor who stirred controversy last year by threatening to burn a Quran in public.

CNN says the film in question is a Dutch production.

The AP says clips of the film available on YouTube show the prophet having sex and question his role as the messenger of Godâ??s words.

After the protest, the U.S. Embassy issued this statement on its website:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims â?? as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of other

The Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa strongly condemned the movie, AllAfrica.com reports.

“Freedom of speech does not warrant desecrating sanctities,” Gomaa said in a statement Sunday.

Oh, yes. Iran. An embassy seizure would be all we need to complete the “Carterization” of Barack Obama.

By the way, I am a little disgusted by the U. S. Embassy’s statement, not to mention Ali Gomaa’s. Yes, freedom of speech does indeed mean that you have to tolerate what you might believe to be desecration. Otherwise, it is not really freedom of speech at all.It is not an abuse of the universal right of free speech to question or even to insult someone’s religious beliefs. Even, if it were, no hurt feelings justify the sort of violent rage these people have demonstrated.

The fact that this Grand Mufti of Egypt is excusing these people’s’ actions, and perhaps even encouraging them is a good indication what direction Egypt is heading. The fact that the U. S. Embassy, which ought to be standing up for freedom of religion and expression has issued such a mealy mouthed, spineless statement is a good indication that we are not going to do anything to stop Egypt from going down the road to Hell.

 

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Punish Leakers

September 11, 2012

I read in USA Today that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta wants to punish the ex-Navy SEAL who wrote about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is suggesting some kind of punishmentfor the retired Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the Osama bin Laden military operation.

“I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we’re not going to accept this kind of behavior,” Panetta said today on CBS This Morning.

Panetta said that “people who are part of that operation — who commit themselves to the promise that they will not reveal the sensitive operations and not publish anything without bringing it through the Pentagon, so that we can ensure that it doesn’t reveal sensitive information — when they fail to do that, we have got to make sure that they stand by the promise they made to this country.”

Written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, the book No Easy Day details the nighttime raid into Pakistan that killed bin Laden in May 2011.

I agree completely. You can’t have somebody with inside knowledge of secret military operations leaking details for the whole world to read about. I will be expecting some sort of punishment for one Mr. Obama who leaked secrets for political gain.

Pat Buchannan is Still an Idiot

September 11, 2012

At least I think so, judging from his latest Townhall column. I might as well quote the whole thing.

What is Bibi Netanyahu up to?

With all his warnings of Iran’s “nuclear capability,” of red lines being crossed, of “breakout,” of the international community failing in its duty, of an “existential threat” to Israel, what is the prime minister’s game?

The answer is apparent. Bibi wants Iran’s nuclear program shut down, all enrichment ended, all enriched uranium removed and guarantees that Iran will never again start up a nuclear program.

And if Tehran refuses to surrender its right even to a peaceful nuclear program, he wants its nuclear facilities, especially the enrichment facility at Fordow, deep inside a mountain, obliterated.

And he wants us to do it.

How has Bibi gone about getting America to fight Israel’s war?

He is warning, indeed threatening, that if we do not set a date certain for Iran to end enrichment of uranium, and assure Israel that we will attack Iran if it rejects our ultimatum, Israel will bomb Iran and start the war itself.

Fail to give us assurances that you will attack Iran if Iran refuses to surrender its nuclear “capability,” Bibi is warning, and we will attack Iran, with all the consequences that will have for you, for us and for the Middle East.

This is diplomatic extortion.

Thus far, Obama has called Bibi’s bluff, assuming it is a bluff.

The United States has refused to set a date certain by which Iran must end all enrichment. Hillary Clinton said this weekend that we are “not setting deadlines.” And the election, which could give Obama a free hand to pursue his own timetable and terms for a deal with Tehran, is only eight weeks off.

If Obama, no fan of Bibi, wins, he can tell Bibi: We oppose any Israeli pre-emptive strike. If you attack Iran, we will not support you. Nor will we follow up an Israeli attack with an American attack.

Bibi’s dilemma: Despite his threats of Israeli strikes on Iran, Tehran is taunting him. His Cabinet is divided. The Shas Party in his coalition opposes a war, as do respected retired generals, former Mossad leaders and President Shimon Peres.

And the Americans have sent emissaries, including Secretary Leon Panetta, to tell Bibi we oppose an Israeli attack. The Pentagon does not want war. Three former U.S. Central Command heads oppose a war. And last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey said he does not wish to be “complicit” in any Israeli attack.

Implied in the word “complicit” is that Dempsey believes an Israeli first strike on Iran could be an act of aggression.

The Israelis were furious, but suddenly the war talk subsided.

From the clashes, public and private, between these two close allies, it is apparent the United States shares neither Israel’s assessment of the threat nor Israel’s sense of urgency.

Why not? Why, when Netanyahu says Israel is facing an “existential threat,” do the Americans dismiss it?

The first reason is the elephant in the room no one mentions: Israel’s own nuclear arsenal. If Fordow is a difficult target for Israel to destroy with conventional air strikes, it could be annihilated with a single atom bomb.

And Israel has hundreds.

Indeed, if Israel has ruled out use of an atomic weapon, even when it says its very existence is threatened, and neoconservatives claim that Iran’s mullahs are such death-wishing fanatics they cannot be deterred even by nuclear weapons, what is Israel’s awesome atomic arsenal for?

What this suggests is that the Israelis do not believe what they are saying. Their nuclear deterrent is highly credible to all their neighbors. Their existence is not in imminent peril. And the mullahs are not madmen.

When Ronald Reagan was about to take the oath, suddenly those mullahs, assessing that the new American president might be a man of action, not just words, had all the U.S. hostages winging their way home.

When the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988, the Ayatollah Khomeini, founding father of the Islamic Republic, ended his war with Iraq on unfavorable terms, fearing America was about to intervene on the side of Saddam Hussein.

Like all rulers, good and evil, Iran’s leaders want to preserve what they have — families, homes, lives, privileges, possessions, power. When suicide missions are ordered, you do not read of ayatollahs or of Iranian politicians driving the truck or wearing the vest.

Moreover, the latest report of the international inspectors reveals that while Iran increased its supply of uranium enriched to 20 percent since last spring, an even larger share of that 20-percent uranium has been diverted to make fuel plates for Iran’s U.S.-provided research reactor to make medical isotopes.

If there is no reason to go to war with Iran, there is every reason not to go to war. Notwithstanding the alarmist rhetoric of Bibi and Ehud Barak, President Obama should stand his ground. And on this one, Gov. Romney should stand with the president, not the prime minister.

Let’s do a little alternate history/fantasy here. What if there were terrorists operating throughout the Southwest, demanding that the region be returned to Mexico, its rightful owner? What if Brazil were ruled by fanatic Catholics who were funding these terrorists and demanding the destruction of the Protestant Entity to the north? What if we had good evidence that Brazil was developing nuclear weapons and its president proclaimed that the United Stated was a cancer that he would destroy? Does Pat Buchanan seriously believe that we wouldn’t be organizing military action against Brazil? Why in the world don’t we want the Israelis to defend themselves against a regime that has openly proclaimed its desire to exterminate them? Isn’t one holocaust per century enough?

And, contrary to what Pat Buchanan believes, this isn’t really a case of Israel dragging us into its war. Perhaps he has forgotten, but seizing a country’s embassy and holding its diplomatic personnel hostage is an act of war. Iran has, in fact, been at war with the US for over 30 years. Just because our leaders like to pretend that isn’t the case, doesn’t mean that Iran’s leaders are so blind. The truth is that Israel is preparing to do what we ought to have done a long time ago.

 

Eleven Years Since 9/11

September 11, 2012

 

Another year has gone by and it is September 11 again. I am not sure if I really have anything to add to my comments from last year. There have been memorials going on all over the country and the world, but all of these are useless if we do not heed the lessons we should have learned from that tragic day.

I know that few Americans are paying attentions to foreign affairs lately. We have a bad economy to contend with and a presidential election coming up. I wish that more Americans, including some in the White House, would realize that the world is still a dangerous place, even if Osama bin Ladin is no longer in it. We ought to be a lot more concerned about how the Arab Spring is rapidly turning into the Islamic nightmare all over the Middle East. We ought to be thinking how many more bin Ladins there are in the next generation of young Arabs, who are frustrated by the abject failure of their societies and decide to take those frustrations out on the successful, this time with the full support of an Islamist government in Egypt, Syria, or Turkey.

We also should get over the political correctness and admit that Islam is a problem. I know that the great majority of Muslims are like anyone else and want no trouble with their neighbors. The problem is that Islamic theology recognizes no distinction between mosque and state and Islamic scriptures do encourage violence against unbelievers. I really don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but pretending that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance will not make the problem go away, nor will pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood is secular or that Iran does not want nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, we remember and hope that we never have cause to mourn again.

May God continue to bless America.

 

 


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