Saturday, September 30, 2006

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2006�

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2006�

GORE: CIGARETTE SMOKING 'SIGNIFICANT' CONTRIBUTOR TO GLOBAL WARMING
Fri Sep 29 2006 09:04:05 ET

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff on Thursday evening about the perils of climate change, claiming: Cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming!"

Gore, who was introduced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the world faces a "full-scale climate emergency that threatens the future of civilization on earth."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Telegraph | News | Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites

Telegraph | News | Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites:

"China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by 'blinding' their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

How it works

The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.

Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon's annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat.

'After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line,' Defense News said.

The document said that China could blind American satellites with a ground-based laser firing a beam of light to prevent spy photography as they pass over China.

According to senior American officials: 'China not only has the capability, but has exercised it.' American satellites like the giant Keyhole craft have come under attack 'several times' in recent years.

Although the Chinese tests do not aim to destroy American satellites, the laser attacks could make them useless over Chinese territory."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Rover arrives at prime location

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Rover arrives at prime location:

"Nasa's robotic Mars rover Opportunity has arrived at what researchers hope will prove to be a 'dream' location - the 800m-wide Victoria Crater.

The depression has high walls with layers of exposed rock that should reveal significant new information about the Red Planet's geological past.

Opportunity has been exploring Mars' Meridiani Plains since January 2004.

Its 'twin', the Spirit rover, continues to explore Gusev Crater on the other side of the Red Planet.

Both robots have continued working far beyond their designed mission lifetimes.

Opportunity has now driven more than 9.2km (5.7 miles) across the planet's dusty surface, examining rocks and studying the Martian environment.

Water story

It has found strong evidence that its region of Mars was covered with shallow waters many millions of years ago. The investigation of rocks at Victoria is expected to fill out the story still further.

'This is a geologist's dream come true,' said Professor Steve Squyres of Cornell University, the principal investigator on Nasa's rover programme."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Declassified_NIE_Key_Judgments_092606.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Declassified_NIE_Key_Judgments_092606.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Declassified Key Judgments of the National
Intelligence Estimate “Trends in Global Terrorism:
Implications for the United States” dated April 2006
Key Judgments
United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of
al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’ida will continue to
pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist
organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement—which includes al-
Qa’ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells—is
spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.
• Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body
of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists,
although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and
geographic dispersion.
• If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become
more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.
• Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority
nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such
progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the
vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa’ida,
could erode support for the jihadists.
We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global
strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti-
American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose
and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.
• We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in
importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the
Homeland.
• The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests.
Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate
recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and
2005 London bombings.
We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and
operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the
struggle elsewhere.
• The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep
resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for
the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves,
and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry
on the fight.
We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its
vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.
• Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1)
Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western
domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the
Iraq “jihad;” (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and
political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US
sentiment among most Muslims—all of which jihadists exploit.
Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed
and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement. They include
dependence on the continuation of Muslim-related conflicts, the limited appeal of the
jihadists’ radical ideology, the emergence of respected voices of moderation, and
criticism of the violent tactics employed against mostly Muslim citizens.
• The jihadists’ greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution—an
ultra-conservative interpretation of shari’a-based governance spanning the
Muslim world—is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the
religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists’ propaganda
would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.
• Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few
notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a
constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also
could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim
communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on
passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the
most powerful weapon in the war on terror.
• Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated
multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist
leaders.
If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years,
political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and
groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless,
attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities
for jihadists to exploit.
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the
situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.
• The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and
al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into
smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the
mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements.
We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less
serious threat to US interests than does al-Qa’ida.
• Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against
Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global
threat.
• The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qa’ida in Iraq might
lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.
Other affiliated Sunni extremist organizations, such as Jemaah Islamiya, Ansar al-
Sunnah, and several North African groups, unless countered, are likely to expand their
reach and become more capable of multiple and/or mass-casualty attacks outside their
traditional areas of operation.
• We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al-
Qa’ida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests
abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime
targets and regional or global ones.
We judge that most jihadist groups—both well-known and newly formed—will use
improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to
implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct
sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a
potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.
• CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups.
While Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, remain the most active state sponsors of
terrorism, many other states will be unable to prevent territory or resources from being
exploited by terrorists.
Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical
ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt
terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more
quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of
surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to
pinpoint.
• We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to
communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial
support.

Okay, so they took one line out of context to blare that the Iraq war was fuelling terrorism. Now will there be headlines that Iran and Syra are the most active state sponsors of terrorism?? After all, they said this report was ultra-accurate when they were using it to attack Bush, right?

Hot Air � Blog Archive � Video: Karzai responds to reporter’s question about terrorism; Update: Reporter was left-wing shill Jennifer Loven

Hot Air � Blog Archive � Video: Karzai responds to reporter’s question about terrorism; Update: Reporter was left-wing shill Jennifer Loven

errorism; Update: Reporter was left-wing shill Jennifer Loven
posted at 1:19 pm on September 26, 2006 by Allahpundit
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly

We’ve gotten four or five requests for this since it aired this morning. It’s not so much what he says as how he says it: the long pauses, the look of utter incredulity that an educated person — from New York City, no less — might not still appreciate the stakes five years later.

You’ll find the clip at the end of this sequence, which also features Bush’s angry comments about the NIE leak. Rarely has he been so blunt in his criticism of the press.

Update: Poland’s speeding up its deployment to Afghanistan to help NATO crush the Taliban.

Update: A new CNN poll says support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped to 50% but I can’t find an article about it on the main site or a breakdown by party. It must be Republicans who are bailing out given the left’s incessant shrieking about how we’ve “forgotten” Afghanistan, that’s where the “real” battle is, etc. Can anyone find this poll online?

Update: WaPo has a transcript of the press conference.

Update: The White House transcript reveals that the reporter who put the terrorism question to Karzai was the notoriously partisan Jennifer Loven of AP. See
here, here, and here for a taste at LGF. And here’s more at Powerline. In fact, just google her and drink it in.

The irony is, Loven’s question on its own terms wasn’t unfair. But Bush and even Karzai knew what agenda was driving it, and responded accordingly:

Q Thank you, sir. Even after hearing that one of the major conclusions of the National Intelligence Estimate in April was that the Iraq war has fueled terror growth around the world, why have you continued to say that the Iraq war has made this country safer?

The NIE and the Chumps at the NYT :: Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt:

"Keep in mind that the National Intelligence Estimate, portions of which were declassified today --hailed by the New York Times on Sunday as 'a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government'-- begins its 'Key Judgments' section this way:

United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa'ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qaida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization.

The Times' reporters and editors that ran Sunday's stories were either chumps who got played by anti-Bush leakers, or purposefully deceptive agenda journalists from the anti-Bush fanatics division.

Read all of the declassified sections of the report. Nothing in it supports the Pelosi-Dean-Reid-Murtha Democrats' demand to cut-and-run from Iraq. Just the opposite in fact: 'If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives.'"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Plumbing the Depths Of Depression - washingtonpost.com

Plumbing the Depths Of Depression - washingtonpost.com

Oddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com

Oddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com:

"CINCINNATI (Reuters) - A car commercial proclaiming a jihad on the U.S. auto market and offering 'Fatwa Fridays' with free swords for the kids is offensive and should not be aired, Muslim leaders said on Sunday.

The radio advertisement for the Dennis Mitsubishi car dealership in Columbus, Ohio, has 'a whole jihad theme,' said Adnan Mirza, director of the Columbus office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

'They are planning on launching a jihad on the automotive market and their representatives would be wearing burqas ... ,' Mirza said. 'They mentioned the pope in there and also about giving rubber swords out to the kiddies -- really just reprehensible-type comments.'

Details of the radio ad, which has not yet been broadcast, have been reported in the local media, but officials at the dealership declined to comment about the content of the radio spot.

Two employees at the dealership said they had been deluged with calls about the commercial.

'The ad has never been released, it is not out for public listening,' said one employee who declined to give his name. He would not say whether the dealership had changed its mind about airing the commercial.

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Motors Corp. could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mirza said several local radio stations had already rejected the ad and he hoped the controversy would convince the dealership to rethink its sales strategy.

He also said the Council on American-Islamic Relations would likely contact the dealer to 'offer some kind of cultural or sensitivity awareness training.' "

By the way, 6 of the leaders of CAIR have been arrested for helping fund terrorism. Too bad the media quotes them without mentioning this ever!

Monday, September 25, 2006

BREITBART.COM - German opera house cancels provocative Mohammed staging

BREITBART.COM - German opera house cancels provocative Mohammed staging:

"Berlin's Deutsche Oper has removed the provocative staging of a Mozart opera from its schedule for fear of enraging Muslims, the opera house said in a statement.

One of three opera houses in the German capital, it cancelled director Hans Neuenfels's production of 'Idomeneo', a 1781 drama set in ancient Crete, because authorities warned it could present an 'incalculable security risk'.

In the staging, which sparked audience protests during its premiere in December 2003, King Idomeneo presents the lopped-off heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddha and the Prophet Mohammed and displays them on four chairs.

German critics saw the show at the time as a radical attack on religion and religious wars.

Musical director Kirsten Harms decided to cancel the new staging of the opera, scheduled for November, to avert 'any danger to the audience or staff' that could arise from violent protests.

The opera itself deals with resistance to sacrifices demanded by the gods but makes no mention of any of the world's major religions."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Khaleej Times Online - Ramadan — month of prayer for Muslims, of “holy war” for extremists

Khaleej Times Online - Ramadan — month of prayer for Muslims, of “holy war” for extremists

DUBAI - Islam’s holy fasting month of Ramadan began on Saturday in most of the Middle East, with bloodshed in Iraq, threats of violence across the region and many Muslims still incensed over remarks by the pope.

In the first reported bloodshed of the holy month, at least 31 people were killed by a bomb in a Shiite stronghold of Iraq where calls for “jihad’, or holy war, echoed earlier threats of attacks in the Gulf and on Israel.

A day of protests on the eve of Ramadan saw no let-up in demands for Pope Benedict XVI to apologise for quoting a medieval Christian emperor who criticised some teaching of the Prophet Mohammed as ”evil and inhuman”.

The pope has invited ambassadors of Muslim countries to the Vatican for a meeting on Monday as part of a diplomatic offensive to repair rifts caused by his remarks.

But Jordan’s Islamic Action Front derided the pope’s call. “The pope committed a great wrong against Islam and a meeting with Muslim countries’ ambassadors is not sufficient. There must be a clear apology,” said Zaki Saad Beni Rsheid, the front’s secretary general.

As the religious row rumbled on, the shadow of more violence during Ramadan hung over security forces.

US military commanders in Iraq warned of an upsurge in violence while several other countries were fingered as Ramadan targets in a message to Western leaders from Ayman Al Zawahiri, the number two in Al Qaeda.

Charles Krauthammer - Tolerance: A Two-Way Street - washingtonpost.com

Charles Krauthammer - Tolerance: A Two-Way Street - washingtonpost.com

"How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I'll kill you for it" is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation.

First Salman Rushdie. Then the false Newsweek report about Koran-flushing at Guantanamo Bay. Then the Danish cartoons. And now a line from a scholarly disquisition on rationalism and faith given in German at a German university by the pope.

And the intimidation succeeds: politicians bowing and scraping to the mob over the cartoons; Saturday's craven New York Times editorial telling the pope to apologize; the plague of self-censorship about anything remotely controversial about Islam -- this in a culture in which a half-naked pop star blithely stages a mock crucifixion as the highlight of her latest concert tour.

In today's world, religious sensitivity is a one-way street. The rules of the road are enforced by Islamic mobs and abjectly followed by Western media, politicians and religious leaders.

The fact is that all three monotheistic religions have in their long histories wielded the sword. The Book of Joshua is knee-deep in blood. The real Hanukkah story, so absurdly twinned (by calendric accident) with the Christian festival of peace, is about a savage insurgency and civil war.

Christianity more than matched that lurid history with the Crusades, an ecumenical blood bath that began with the slaughter of Jews in the Rhineland, a kind of preseason warm-up to the featured massacres to come against the Muslims, with the sacking of the capital of Byzantium (the Fourth Crusade) thrown in for good measure.

And Islam, of course, spread with great speed from Arabia across the Mediterranean and into Europe. It was not all benign persuasion. After all, what were Islamic armies doing at Poitiers in 732 and the gates of Vienna in 1683? Tourism?

However, the inconvenient truth is that after centuries of religious wars, Christendom long ago gave it up. It is a simple and undeniable fact that the violent purveyors of monotheistic religion today are self-proclaimed warriors for Islam who shout "God is great" as they slit the throats of infidels -- such as those of the flight crews on Sept. 11, 2001 -- and are then celebrated as heroes and martyrs.

Just one month ago, two journalists were kidnapped in Gaza and were released only after their forced conversion to Islam. Where were the protests in the Islamic world at that act -- rather than the charge -- of forced conversion?

Where is the protest over the constant stream of vilification of Christianity and Judaism issuing from the official newspapers, mosques and religious authorities of Arab nations? When Sheik 'Atiyyah Saqr issues a fatwa declaring Jews "apes and pigs"? When Sheik Abd al-Aziz Fawzan al-Fawzan, professor of Islamic law, says on Saudi TV that "someone who denies Allah, worships Christ, son of Mary, and claims that God is one-third of a trinity. . . . Don't you hate the faith of such a polytheist?"

Where are the demonstrations, where are the parliamentary resolutions, where are the demands for retraction when the Mufti Sheik Ali Gum'a incites readers of al-Ahram, the Egyptian government daily, against "the true and hideous face of the blood-suckers . . . who prepare [Passover] matzos from human blood"?

The pope gives offense and the Mujaheddin al-Shura Council in Iraq declares that it "will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the 'jizya' [head] tax; then the only thing acceptable is conversion or the sword." This to protest the accusation that Islam might be spread by the sword.

As I said. No sense of irony.

BREITBART.COM - Terror Group Posts Footage of Bodies

BREITBART.COM - Terror Group Posts Footage of Bodies:

"An al-Qaida-linked group posted a Web video Saturday purporting to show the bodies of two American soldiers being dragged behind a truck, then set on fire in apparent retaliation for the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by U.S. troops from the same unit.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council _ an umbrella organization of insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq _ posted another video in June showing the soldiers' mutilated bodies, and claiming it killed them. It was not clear whether the video posted Saturday was a continuation of that footage, or why it was released.

It was impossible to identify the bodies, but the footage was believed to be of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, who went missing after being attacked by insurgents on June 16 at a checkpoint south of Baghdad. Their remains were found three days later, and the U.S. military said they had been mutilated.

The video showed masked men dragging the corpses, first by hand, then behind a truck, beheading one of them and then setting them on fire. Below the graphic footage is a subtitle: 'The two soldiers belong to the same brigade of the soldier who raped our sister in Mahmoudiya.'

The U.S military has charged four soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division _ Spc. James P. Barker, Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard _ in the March 12 alleged rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe is accused of failing to report the attack but is not alleged to have been a direct participant."

OK, so some American soldiers committed a horrible crime. I hate them for doing that. They will be punished, and I hope very severly. See? Do crime, get punished. Logical. Then the Jihadis capture some innocent soldiers. Do they hold them as POW's, treating them fairly according to the Geneva conventions, as they are soldiers wearing uniforms, who did not commit any crime? No, they torture, dismember them, desecrate the bodies, set them on fire and drag them behind a truck. This pisses me off so much. Why should we treat any captured jihadis according to the geneva convention? Why shouldn't we torture them also? And I mean real torture, not this waterboarding cakewalk stuff. And I'm against torture, but I'm so pissed off. If you kill a muslim, they go to heaven, right? They are martyrs then. That's the best thing in the world according to muslims. So wouldn't we be doing a great deed by killing them all? They keep saying they love death. Why can't we kill them all, if that's what they want? Death with dignity. Then they'll all be in heaven laughing at us! Right?

The Columbus Dispatch - Business

The Columbus Dispatch - Business:

"Some Columbus radio stations have rejected as insensitive an advertisement for a car dealership that invokes Islamic references.

The general manager of the dealership, though, says the promotions — which he called 'tongue-in-cheek' — will air on some stations beginning next week.

In the spot, Keith Dennis of Dennis Mitsubishi talks about 'launching a jihad on the automotive market.'

Sales representatives 'will be wearing burqas all weekend long,' the ad says. One of the vehicles on sale 'can comfortably seat up to 12 jihadists in the back.'

'Our prices are lower than the evildoers’ every day. Just ask the pope! ' the ad says. 'Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies.'"

[...]

The dealership was a little surprised by the hesitation to run the ad, Masterson said, although he noted, "According to the people who have heard it, it is the most controversial commercial they’ve heard in the last 15 years."

Calling the commercial aggressive, Masterson said, "This is one where we feel we’re taking a bull’s-eye on terrorists. After all the nonsense that the terrorists put the public through, they’re fair game."

The president of the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, doesn’t think terrorism is to be taken lightly.

Asma Mobin-Uddin said she is concerned the ad’s tone and imagery are "mocking and disrespectful to many different areas. One is Islamic faith and Islamic culture."

"Using that as a promotional pitch when so many are dying from the criminal activity of suicide bombers, that’s not funny," Mobin-Uddin said. "I don’t think it’s appropriate when it causes real pain. It exploits or promotes misunderstanding in terms already misunderstood or misused. That type of ad does nothing but promote discord in a very difficult time. The timing is just amazing. Maybe that’s part of the shock value."

When Dennis previewed the commercial Wednesday for radio executives, Masterson said, "everybody in the room thought it was very funny, extremely aggressive."

Yet executives did have some concerns.

"We talk about the pope, fatwa, terrorists. You hear one of these words, and their minds froze on it," he said.

Can you believe there are people who actually care if muslims are offended by anything these days? Every year that goes by, the muslims keep coming up with crazier and crazier stuff. Atrocities, unimaginable brutality and cruelty. There will come a day when people just won't give a fuck anymore. Well, the media and academia will always be dhimmis, but everyone else will see the truth some day. I think we should already start creating special military units with a cell structure. Their mission? Terrorist attacks on muslim countries. Do the exact same stuff to them they do to us. Bomb blows up in Iran. Who did it? Not us, the U.S. explains. Maybe the UN should have a committee investigate? Oh, turns out it was some US soldiers? Well, they're rogues, we can't control them. What they are doing is contrary to American values. But maybe the muslims should try to understand why they're so angry. Terrorist bomb goes off in a Western nation? Next day 10 missles blow up 10 schools in muslims countries. Where did those missles come from? Who knows. Perhaps a video of masked men claiming responsiblity pops up on the internet the next day. Bush says that's terrible, he wishes it would stop, but he certainly didn't order it. See? Just play stupid, don't take responsibilty. No uniforms. No civilians. No military targets. Just blood for blood. It's terrible, but that's how our enemy fights. And they will win until we turn their own medicine on them, and fight fire with fire. I guess I should backtrack at this point and say I'm not honestly advocating attacks on civilians. I don't hate muslims, I just hate islam. But I'm so pissed off. You know, the damn Nazi's at least wore unifoms. They attacked military targets. In addition they committed unimaginable crimes. But at least they had the guts to put on a uniform and declare war and field an army, not like these sneaky jihadist pieces of garbage, who won't even admit they're fighting a war against us unless they cover their faces and release a video anonymously. The only reason the middle east isn't a sheet of glass is because we in the West have moral values. We don't always live up to that, but we have a sense of right and wrong, and there are rules of war. islam doesn't have any values other than "kill the infidels". allah the pagan desert moon god wants blood and doesn't care how he gets it. Stop jihading us!

Is The Islam Religion Harmless?

Is The Islam Religion Harmless?


The U.S. State Department has documented numerous instances of religious persecution overseas against Muslim converts to Christianity. What is not so well known are the threats against such converts in the United States.

Some have simply been shunned by their families. Others have been kidnapped by family members and friends, and put on a plane back home. All are reluctant to ask for protection from U.S. law enforcement, especially those converts with Arabic surnames who are leery of getting their names on a U.S. police report. However, there are no known instances of converts from Islam to Christianity who have been killed in the United States for their decision to leave their faith.

Most established Christian denominations are unaware of the situation, as converts attend Bible study groups in their own language or small hidden churches that appear on no denominational radar. No academic research has been done on such converts. The closest figures are those by David Barrett, co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, who estimates that within U.S. borders, 50,000 Christians per year turn to Islam while 20,000 Muslims adopt Christianity.
Befriending the latter, the men say, is a dicey proposition.

"It's written in their books," one said. "You cannot be a friend with unbelievers."

'Christ in the Koran'

The Rev. Esper Ajaj, the Syrian-born pastor of Washington Arabic Baptist Church at 4605 Massachusetts Ave. NW in the District, concedes that there are dangers to working with Muslims. Situated within walking distance of American University, he gets a fair amount of seekers at his door.

"They want to ask questions," he said. "Sometimes they come to pray here. Then they have a cup of coffee, and I talk to them. Then I discuss the greatness of Christ in the Koran.
"We've seen more Muslims in [the 1990s] become Christians more than any time in history. If they are open-minded, it is easy. If they are closed-minded, it is not."

He is writing a book tentatively titled, "Difficult Questions a Muslim Asks" but confesses that "I don't know if I'll put my name on it."

"Look at Salman Rushdie," he said, referring to the Muslim author from India whose 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" earned him a death warrant from Persian mullahs.

"One guy called my wife and said, 'Let Esper die.' They could give a person $1,000 and shoot me, and no one would know."

Mr. Ajaj said Christianity is not logical to a Muslim mind that cannot fathom worshipping someone who was ridiculed, then killed. Muslims are divided on whether Jesus even died, and the Koran said Jesus was snatched up to heaven by God before the Crucifixion. Some Muslim commentators think Judas Iscariot or Simon of Cyrene died in His place, and none believe He rose from the dead.

The Rev. Hisham Kamel, pastor of the Arabic Evangelical Church in Temple City, Calif., said the certainty of heaven is what draws Muslims to risk losing family and friends when they accept Christ.

"In Islam, the only way they know they'll get to heaven is if they take part in jihad," he said.

[...]

Sometimes even offering sympathy to a convert brings opposition. One Washington area pastor asked not to be named because of a nearby mosque that has been scrutinizing him.
"I have seven Muslims who have converted," he said. "I do not want any trouble."

Ann Buwalda, an immigration lawyer for Just Law International in Fairfax, said she's been approached by Pakistani converts who are refugees. One man, "Masih," was working at a retail store in Northern Virginia, she said, when a Muslim co-worker from Pakistan noticed he was wearing a cross. The man asked Masih why he was wearing it.

"I am Christian," said Masih. The Muslim co-worker became angry, called him derogatory names in their native language, shoved him in a hallway and thereafter tried to get him fired and threatened him after work one night.

"He told the security guards at the retail store, so the employer has separated the two," Ms. Buwalda said.

"I worry about these people. I have given him a cell phone so he can call 911 if these guys stalk him. He has informally told police about it but filed no report" because, she adds, most refugees view American law enforcement in the same light as police from their own countries: people to be avoided at all costs.

She tells of another young female convert who wears a cross and who was stalked by a Muslim Pakistani taxi driver in the retail store where she works. Yet another Pakistani woman who converted to Christianity was threatened with death by Pakistani neighbors. "That kind of stuff, it's frightening when it happens," Ms. Buwalda said.

Victor Gill, a Pakistani immigrant who lives in Philadelphia and who leads a ministry called Christian Voice of Pakistan, said converts are regularly harassed in the United States.
"The threat is real," he said. "They think they are doing something to earn credit with God when they kill Christians. When John Walker Lindh converted to Islam, his family supported him. But not so for the converts here. The Koran said people who leave Islam must be killed."

Killing converts

Actually, that instruction is in the Hadith, a collection of the sayings of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. It has been enforced in varying ways. Female converts are usually imprisoned in a room — for months or years — as a sort of psychological torture until they recant. As for the men, all the traditional schools of Shariah (Islamic) law stipulate that "apostates" — those who leave their faith — must die. But before they die, they lose all civil liberties. Their children are taken away, their marriage is dissolved, they lose their family inheritance and they cannot be buried in a Muslim graveyard.

One dissident to this traditional interpretation of the Hadith is Taha Jabir Alawani, president of the Graduate School for Islamic Social Sciences in Leesburg, Va. He said the apostate rule was formed in the early seventh century, when leaving one's religion was seen as a traitorous act.

"Mine is a minority opinion," he said. "There's a certain hadith [verse] that said if anyone changes his or her religion, he deserves to be killed. In my research, I found that was linked to some people who were trying to penetrate the Muslim community at the time in Medina. They came from Jewish or pagan communities, and announced they had become Muslims. Then after a few days, they announced they had found this religion to be very bad and they had decided to go back to their religions: Judaism, paganism, whatever.

"The Prophet was trying to stop that kind of conspiracy so he said that if anyone changes from the religion he has adopted, we will kill him. Islamic jurists [ scholars] have not paid attention to [the exceptional nature] of that event. They have generalized that hadith to say if anyone practices apostasy, we should kill him."

Not only has the Hadith been misunderstood, Mr. Alawani said, but the famous Koranic command that there is "no compulsion" in the choice of one's religion has been ignored.

"Everyone has the full right to choose his or her religion," he said. "No one should interfere with that." He is writing a book on the topic but jokes that it should never be released in countries where Islamic law is in full force.

"I should stay away from Pakistan and other places, or I would lose my neck," he said. "Some people living in America even, they don't like those kind of opinions. They will say: 'Don't listen to him. He is trying to Americanize Islam.'"

RAPES IN BESLAN: IN MUHAMMAD’S FOOTSTEPS by Srdja Trifkovic

RAPES IN BESLAN: IN MUHAMMAD’S FOOTSTEPS by Srdja Trifkovic

RAPES IN BESLAN: IN MUHAMMAD’S FOOTSTEPS
by Srdja Trifkovic

The media in the United States have been oddly fastidious in failing to report one aspect of last week’s horror in Beslan: that several Russian girls were raped by Muslim terrorists in front of their parents and classmates. The failure to report rapes in the Russian school was at odds with the eagerness of American journalists, a decade ago, to report ad nauseam on the entirely fictitious "rape camps" supposedly run by Bosnian Serbs in which Muslim women were allegedly subjected to similar degradation.

That Muslim propagandists and their Western abettors should have resorted to this particular whopper is especially galling in view of Islam’s encouragement of violence against women in general, and its explicit blessing of rape of captive non-Muslim women by Muslims in particular. The behavior of Chechen terrorists in Beslan, disgusting in every gory detail by the standards of civilized humanity, was justified by the tenets of Islam and by the personal example of the cult’s inventor, Muhammad.

Having established himself as the ruler of Medina, Muhammad attacked the Jewish tribe of Banu-‘l-Mustaliq in December of A.D. 626. His followers slaughtered many Jewish tribesmen and looted thousands of their camels and sheep. They also kidnapped 500 of their women. The night after the battle Muhammad and his brigands staged an orgy of rape. As one of the brigands, Abu Sa’id Khudri, later remembered, a legal problem needed to be resolved first: In order to obtain ransom from the surviving Jews for the captive women, Muslims had pledged not to violate them:

We were lusting after women and chastity had become too hard for us, but we wanted to get the ransom money for our prisoners. So we wanted to use the Azl [coitus interruptus]. We asked the Prophet about it and he said: "You are not under any obligation not to do it like that."

Having ethnically cleansed and robbed of property all but one of three Jewish clans in Medina, in A.D. 627 Muhammad decided to deal with the last, Banu Qurayzah. He offered the men conversion as an alternative to death. Upon their unsurprising refusal, some 900—exact numbers are unknown—were decapitated, one by one, in a ditch surrounding their encampment, in front of their women and children. Muhammad’s Einsatzgruppen worked hard: Torches had to be lit so that the slaughter could be accomplished in one day. The women, thus widowed or orphaned, were raped that same night. Muhammad chose as his concubine one Raihana bint Amr, whose father and husband were both slaughtered before her eyes only hours earlier. (Such treatment of the victims had been duly sanctioned by a prophetic revelation in the Kuran.)

In his early years, as a powerless and often ridiculed outsider in Mecca, Muhammad had enumerated the series of temptations which could enslave human beings: The passion for women, the desire for male children, the thirst for gold and silver, spirited horses, and the possession of cattle and land (Kuran, 3:12). Once enthroned in Medina as the head of a theocratic statelet, he wanted to possess them all. Muhammad freely admitted that two things in the world, women and perfume, attracted him—so much so that he departed from his own laws in pursuit of both. Contrary to his own regulations he had at least 15 wives (some sources claim up to 25). The youngest was Aisha, who was seven years old when Muhammad—44 years her senior—"married" her. Two years later, 53-year-old Muhammad consummated this liaison and raped the girl of nine left under his control.

The sordid story of Muhammad’s "marriage" to Aisha reflected a mind-set and a lifestyle. Rape of enslaved women came naturally to Muhammad. A Christian slave woman by the name of Maryah aroused his passion for nights on end, which provoked a rebellion in his harem. Divine assistance was, in the end, needed to restore order in the household, with the Kuranic verse duly advising Muhammad not to restrain himself from "that which Allah has made lawful" (66:1–3).

Even more scandalous was the case of Zeinab, the wife of Zayd, Muhammad’s adopted son. Lusting after her, Muhammad ordered Zayd to divorce her and took Zeinab as yet another wife. The deal was soon sanctioned by another revelation from Allah: "there should not be any fault in the believers, touching the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished what they would of them" (36:37).

These examples indicate that the status of women in Islam is comparable to that of the human rights in Cuba: theoretically exalted, deplorable in practice. The sources of true Islam—the Kuran and Hadith—provide the basis for theory and subsequent Shari’a practice regarding the role of women. When a judge in Pakistan recently sentenced a young woman to death for "adultery" by stoning after she had been raped by her husband’s brother, he had merely followed the Kuranic law. The fact the woman, Zafran Bibi, was raped was of no consequence: She was still guilty of "having intercourse outside of marriage."

Violence against women is also condoned, even mandated, in Islam. Allah mandates that the disobedient wives are to be beaten (4:34). As the authoritative Azhar University scholars in Cairo explain, "the Qur’an bestows on man the right to straighten her out by way of punishment and beating, provided he does not break her bones nor shed blood." Physical violence against one’s wife is divinely ordained and practically advised in Islam. In Muhammad’s rendering of the story of the righteous Job, Allah ordered him to beat his wife: "Take in thine hand a branch and smite therewith and break not thine oath" (38:44).

Some Muslim apologists claim that the Islamic teaching and practice is in line with the findings of clinical psychology. Beating is beneficial to them, we are told, because "women’s rebelliousness (nushuz) is a medical condition" based either on her masochistic delight in being beaten and tortured or sadistic desire to hurt and dominate her husband. Either way,

beating is her remedy. So the Qur’anic command: ‘banish them to their couches, and beat them’ agrees with the latest psychological findings in understanding the rebellious woman. This is one of the scientific miracles of the Qur’an, because it sums up volumes of the science of psychology about rebellious women (The Australian Minaret, Australian Federation of the Islamic Councils, November 1980, p.10).

Islam stands or falls with the person of Muhammad, a flawed man by the standards of his own society, as well as those of the Old and New Testaments (both of which he acknowledged as divine revelation). He was flawed even by his new law, of which he claimed to be the divinely appointed medium and custodian. The horror unleashed by Chechen terrorists on Russian children in Beslan, and the rape of adolescent girls in particular, is the fruit of Muhammad’s example.

Following is taken from Robert Spencer's article "The Rape Jihad"

There are two things the massacre in Beslan have in common with the ongoing massacres in Darfur: both, no less than the 9/11 attacks, are examples of Islamic jihad terrorism, and both are characterized by rape.

The jihadist element has been made clear by the ringleaders of both atrocities. Sudanese General Mohamed Beshir Suleiman recently declared: “The door of the jihad is still open and if it has been closed in the south it will be opened in Darfur.” In southern Sudan, of course, the jihad was waged against Christians; in Darfur, the targets are black African Muslims whose Islamic bona fides don’t satisfy Khartoum. As for Beslan, the Chechen jihadist leader Shamil Besayev warned the Russian government last winter: “Praise Allah, we are dreaming of dying in jihad, we are dreaming of dying on the way of Allah, so that we could earn paradise and mercy of Allah.”

What does rape, then, have to do with these religious conflicts? Unfortunately, everything. The Islamic legal manual ‘Umdat al-Salik, which carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates: “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.” Why? So that they are free to become the concubines of their captors. The Qur’an permits Muslim men to have intercourse with their wives and their slave girls: “Forbidden to you are ... married women, except those whom you own as slaves” (Sura 4:23-24).

After one successful battle, Muhammad tells his men, “Go and take any slave girl.” He took one for himself also. After the notorious massacre of the Jewish Qurayzah tribe, he did it again. According to his earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad “went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of Banu Qurayza] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” After killing “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900,” the Prophet of Islam took one of the widows he had just made, Rayhana bint Amr, as another concubine.

Emerging victorious in another battle, according to a generally accepted Islamic tradition, Muhammad’s men present him with an ethical question: “We took women captives, and we wanted to do ‘azl [coitus interruptus] with them.” Muhammad told them: “It is better that you should not do it, for Allah has written whom He is going to create till the Day of Resurrection.’” When Muhammad says “it is better that you should not do it,” he’s referring to coitus interruptus, not to raping their captives. He takes that for granted.

beastfishlove


beastfishlove
Originally uploaded by redtailstinger2.

Papacy and the Vatican on Yahoo! News Photos


Papacy and the Vatican on Yahoo! News Photos

A Palestinian protester holds an unflattering picture showing Pope Benedict XVI during a demonstration against his recent speech about Islam, following prayers in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, Sept. 22, 2006. Thousands of Muslim worshippers staged anti-pope marches in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza on Friday, waving green Hamas banners and denouncing the pontiff as a coward. The Arabic writing on the poster reads, ‘There are many lies that go out of their mouths. ‘ (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

Notice the Pope is shown wearing a Star of David.

India's Cash-for-Fatwa Scandal

TIME.com: India's Cash-for-Fatwa Scandal -- Page 1

Last week, many Muslims in India, like their counterparts around the world, gathered on the streets to burn effigies of the Pope and shout slogans denouncing him for his remarks on Islam and violence. Even before that fully died out, however, a new controversy erupted — one that has turned Muslim ire against some of their own local clerics.

India’s “cash-for-fatwas” scandal broke out last weekend when a TV channel broadcast a sting operation that showed several Indian Muslim clerics allegedly taking, or demanding, bribes in return for issuing fatwas, or religious edicts. The bribes, some of which were as low as $60, were offered by undercover reporters wearing hidden cameras over a period of six weeks. In return for the cash, the clerics appear to hand out fatwas written in Urdu, the language used by many Muslims in Pakistan and India, on subjects requested by the reporters. Among the decrees issued by the fatwas: that Muslims are not allowed to use credit cards, double beds, or camera-equipped cell phones, and should not act in films, donate their organs, or teach their children English. One cleric issued a fatwa against watching TV; another issued a fatwa in support of watching TV.

Adding to the shock in India, home to the world’s third-largest Muslim population (approximately 150 million), is that some of the clerics apparently caught in the sting operation teach at important institutions — one belongs to India’s most famous Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom at Deoband. At least two of the clerics have been suspended from their posts, but that hasn’t satisfied everyone. Students at one madrassa in north India denounced the clerics, and in the city of Meerut, where a mufti, or cleric, had been caught on camera, the congregation at one mosque refused to offer prayers until he came before them, admitted to taking the money, and apologized.

Muslim cleric says Pope should be crucified

Pakistanis protest, cleric says Pope should be crucified - Yahoo! News

Last week, many Muslims in India, like their counterparts around the world, gathered on the streets to burn effigies of the Pope and shout slogans denouncing him for his remarks on Islam and violence. Even before that fully died out, however, a new controversy erupted — one that has turned Muslim ire against some of their own local clerics.

India’s “cash-for-fatwas” scandal broke out last weekend when a TV channel broadcast a sting operation that showed several Indian Muslim clerics allegedly taking, or demanding, bribes in return for issuing fatwas, or religious edicts. The bribes, some of which were as low as $60, were offered by undercover reporters wearing hidden cameras over a period of six weeks. In return for the cash, the clerics appear to hand out fatwas written in Urdu, the language used by many Muslims in Pakistan and India, on subjects requested by the reporters. Among the decrees issued by the fatwas: that Muslims are not allowed to use credit cards, double beds, or camera-equipped cell phones, and should not act in films, donate their organs, or teach their children English. One cleric issued a fatwa against watching TV; another issued a fatwa in support of watching TV.

Adding to the shock in India, home to the world’s third-largest Muslim population (approximately 150 million), is that some of the clerics apparently caught in the sting operation teach at important institutions — one belongs to India’s most famous Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom at Deoband. At least two of the clerics have been suspended from their posts, but that hasn’t satisfied everyone. Students at one madrassa in north India denounced the clerics, and in the city of Meerut, where a mufti, or cleric, had been caught on camera, the congregation at one mosque refused to offer prayers until he came before them, admitted to taking the money, and apologized.Pakistanis protest, cleric says Pope should be crucified - Yahoo! News

Last week, many Muslims in India, like their counterparts around the world, gathered on the streets to burn effigies of the Pope and shout slogans denouncing him for his remarks on Islam and violence. Even before that fully died out, however, a new controversy erupted — one that has turned Muslim ire against some of their own local clerics.

India’s “cash-for-fatwas” scandal broke out last weekend when a TV channel broadcast a sting operation that showed several Indian Muslim clerics allegedly taking, or demanding, bribes in return for issuing fatwas, or religious edicts. The bribes, some of which were as low as $60, were offered by undercover reporters wearing hidden cameras over a period of six weeks. In return for the cash, the clerics appear to hand out fatwas written in Urdu, the language used by many Muslims in Pakistan and India, on subjects requested by the reporters. Among the decrees issued by the fatwas: that Muslims are not allowed to use credit cards, double beds, or camera-equipped cell phones, and should not act in films, donate their organs, or teach their children English. One cleric issued a fatwa against watching TV; another issued a fatwa in support of watching TV.

Adding to the shock in India, home to the world’s third-largest Muslim population (approximately 150 million), is that some of the clerics apparently caught in the sting operation teach at important institutions — one belongs to India’s most famous Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom at Deoband. At least two of the clerics have been suspended from their posts, but that hasn’t satisfied everyone. Students at one madrassa in north India denounced the clerics, and in the city of Meerut, where a mufti, or cleric, had been caught on camera, the congregation at one mosque refused to offer prayers until he came before them, admitted to taking the money, and apologized.

Friday, September 22, 2006

USATODAY.com - Navy retires F-14, the coolest of cold warriors

USATODAY.com - Navy retires F-14, the coolest of cold warriors:

"By Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
VIRGINIA BEACH — Today the Navy holsters the F-14 Tomcat, the top gun in its Cold War arsenal and one of the most recognizable warplanes in history.

Maintenance costs for the F-14 have soared, and its replacement, the F/A-18 Super Hornet, is more versatile and cheaper to maintain.

VIDEO: The F-14 Tomcat

The Super Hornet is unlikely to surpass the F-14's following. Furiously fast, deafeningly loud and lethal to enemy aircraft, the Tomcat had attained legendary status by the 1980s. The 1986 film Top Gun, in which Tom Cruise portrayed an F-14 pilot in training, cemented the supersonic warplane's reputation in the popular culture.

'There's something about the way an F-14 looks, something about the way it carries itself,' says Adm. Michael Mullen, chief of naval operations, the Navy's top officer. 'It screams toughness. Look down on a carrier flight deck and see one of them sitting there, and you just know, there's a fighter plane. I really believe the Tomcat will be remembered in much the same way as other legendary aircraft, like the Corsair, the Mustang and the Spitfire.'"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pelosi slams Chavez :: My Way News

My Way News: "Leading Bush critic at home calls Chavez a 'thug'
Email this Story

Sep 21, 12:43 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of President George W. Bush's fiercest political opponents at home took his side on Thursday, calling Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a 'thug' for his remark that Bush is like the devil.

'Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug,' House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference, referring to Chavez' comments in a U.N. General Assembly speech on Wednesday.

'Hugo Chavez abused the privilege that he had, speaking at the United Nations,' said Pelosi, a frequent Bush critic. 'He demeaned himself and he demeaned Venezuela.'"

Five Tips to Increase Your Likeability | PI

Five Tips to Increase Your Likeability | PI:

"Five Tips to Increase Your Likeability
In the office and the world
Justin Hartfield


Being likeable isn’t required in order to achieve the position or job of your dreams, but it helps. When other people are on your side providing you with encouragement, helpful tips, and even free resources, it can greatly increase the chances of success in your chosen field and in life. Many times, it is not what you know but who you know.

While the listing below may seem to be cursory and easy to implement, they are not. It is difficult to make real and permanent changes in your personality. The process of becoming an exceptionally likeable individual takes years. Do not let that intimidate you, however. Remember: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Likeability, like drawing, writing or golf, is something which must be practiced."

1 be positive
2 control your insecurities
3 provide value
4 eliminate all judgements
5 become a person of convictions

Really good article. Explains each of the five.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Iranian leader urges more papal protests and attacks on the US - Yahoo! News

Iranian leader urges more papal protests - Yahoo! News

In Iran, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used the comments to call for protests against the United States. He argued that while the pope may have been deceived into making his remarks, the words give the West an “excuse for suppressing Muslims” by depicting them as terrorists.

“Those who benefit from the pope’s comments and drive their own arrogant policies should be targeted with attacks and protests,” he said, referring to the United States.

Telegraph | News | Hold fire at Taliban fighters: they are attending a funeral

Telegraph | News | Hold fire at Taliban fighters: they are attending a funeral:

"Hold fire at Taliban fighters: they are attending a funeral
By Philip Sherwell

The American intelligence officers monitoring the satellite feed from an unmanned spy plane at their base in Afghanistan could hardly believe their eyes.

An estimated 190 Taliban fighters were lined up in tightly packed formation, captured in the crosshairs of a gun sight — as the picture shows.

Men at funeral
The Predator drone traps 190 men in its sights before they disperse

Rarely in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan are so many Taliban fighters gathered together on open land. The target was too tempting to ignore: all it required was authorisation for the Predator drone to launch an air strike.

'We were so excited. I came rushing in with the picture,' an army officer told an NBC television journalist who obtained the grainy black-and-white photograph taken in July. But then, to his frustration, they were told that the United States military's rules of engagement made an attack impossible because the men were attending a funeral in a cemetery.

The officers then watched the satellite footage of the fighters splintering into small groups — not big enough for the drone to target — and heading back to their mountain redoubts. They were convinced that prominent Taliban leaders had been present.

At a time when British-led Nato forces are incurring heavy casualties as the resurgent Taliban pursues a guerrilla war on several fronts, the decision has caused amazement in America and been criticised by relatives of US troops killed in Afghanistan.

For many, it also brought back memories of the decision not to order an air strike when a Predator drone tracked Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader and Osama bin Laden ally, as he left Kabul in a convoy in late 2001 and took cover in a building with 100 fighters.

The disbelief was heightened as the picture of the assembled Taliban fighters appeared on an NBC news blog just two days after a suicide bomber killed six people at the funeral of the governor of Paktia province, who was assassinated by the Taliban."

My Way News - Panda Bites Man, Man Bites Him Back

My Way News - Panda Bites Man, Man Bites Him Back:

"BEIJING (AP) - A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated by chomping down on the animal's back, state media said Wednesday.

Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, drank four jugs of beer at a restaurant near the zoo before visiting Gu Gu the panda on Tuesday, the Beijing Morning Post said.

'He felt a sudden urge to touch the panda with his hand,' and jumped into the enclosure, the newspaper said.

The panda, who was asleep, was startled and bit Zhang, 35, on the right leg, it said. Zhang got angry and kicked the panda, who then bit his other leg. A tussle ensued, the paper said.

'I bit the fellow in the back,' Zhang was quoted as saying in the newspaper. 'Its skin was quite thick.'

Other tourists yelled for a zookeeper, who got the panda under control by spraying it with water, reports said. Zhang was hospitalized.

Newspaper photographs showed Zhang lying on a hospital bed with blood-soaked bandages and a seam of stitches running down his leg.

The Beijing Youth Daily quoted Zhang as saying that he had seen pandas on television and 'they seemed to get along well with people.'

'No one ever said they would bite people,' Zhang said. 'I just wanted to touch it. I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much.'"

Papal assassin warns Pope Benedict his 'life is in danger' if he visits Turkey | News | This is London

Papal assassin warns Pope Benedict his 'life is in danger' if he visits Turkey | News | This is London

Pope Benedict faces a growing chorus of demands to make an unequivocal apology for remarks seen as portraying Islam as a violent faith, despite attempts by Western leaders and churchmen to defuse the crisis.

The calls came as it emerged papal hitman Mehmet Ali Agca, who is serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in May 1981, has written to Pope Benedict XVI from jail, warning him not to go to Turkey as planned in November in the light of his remarks.

Agca, a Turk gave his ominous warning in a letter to an Italian daily newspaper.

[...]

In a telegram to the order of an Italian nun killed in Somalia who may be the crisis' first victim, the Pope hoped her sacrifice would help build "real fraternity among people with reciprocal respect of everyone's religious convictions".

But the deluge of criticism and threats continued. Italian media said an al Qaeda group in Egypt called for the German-born Pope, who is 79, to be punished by strict Islamic sharia law for insulting their religion. An al Qaeda umbrella group in Iraq has also vowed war on "worshippers of the cross".

Workers at Turkey's Directorate General for Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, petitioned for the arrest of the Pontiff when he makes a scheduled visit to Turkey in November.

They held banners saying "Either apologise or don't come". The Pope's comments annoyed the Turkish government but there are no plans yet to cancel the trip.

In Iraq, where an effigy of the Pope was burnt on Monday, parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani called his apology "inadequate and not commensurate with the moral damage caused to Muslims' feelings".

The Grand Mufti of the Palestinian Territories, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, said the Pope must make "a personal and clear apology to 1.5 billion Muslims in this world for the insult caused by his lecture..."

In his two page letter to leading Italian Rome based daily La Repubblica, Agca, who was a member of the Turkish terrorist cell the White Wolves, wrote: "Pope Ratzinger listen to someone who knows these things very well.

"Your life is in danger. You absolutely must not come to Turkey. Pope Benedict you must know that between 1980 and 2000 I was in contact with various Western intelligence services and with the Vatican.

"In those twenty tears I learnt many things and I came into possession of many classified secrets."

The letter closed with Agca imploring Pope Benedict to resign for his own safety he wrote: "For your own welfare you must make a grand gesture of honour and resign.

"Then you must return to your native land (Germany) and in your place an Italian cardinal can be elected Pope, possibly (cardinal Dionigi) Tettamanzi or (cardinal Tarcisio) Bertone.

"Then the Vatican should become a centre of peace and fraternity. The world has a need of this it does not need hatred and vendetta."

Agca was jailed for his attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Square in May 1981 and in 2000 he was allowed to return to Turkey to serve the rest of his sentence.

Earlier this year he was briefly freed from his life sentence after a judge released him but after a huge outcry he was jailed again within days and is now at Istanbul's Kartal Maltepe jail and not due for release until 2012.

In Italy, politicians and churchmen defended the Pope and said his words were taken out of context and his explanation was quite clear.

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano published it in Arabic on its front page to try to clarify his meaning.

But while some Muslim clerics say the alleged insults are the latest skirmish in a new Western 'crusade' against Islam, some Catholic churchmen say the Pontiff's words have been purposefully twisted by militant Muslims.

"We pray for the Pope whose words have been maliciously interpreted," Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe said in Naples at the annual 'miracle' of fourth century Saint Gennaro, whose blood turns from powder to liquid in what is seen as a good omen.

The head of Australia's 5.1 million-strong Catholic church went as far as to say that violent reaction "justified one of Pope Benedict's main fears" about Islam.

Cardinal George Pell said this showed "the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence". Local Muslims called Pell's comments 'unhelpful'.

I had to copy one person'a comment about this article in thisislondcon.co.uk:

"I ask you one thing, now that the Pope has been insulted, blamed, threatened with death, why dont the Catholics riot in the streets?

- Rul Antal, germany"

Ha ha ha! Thanks Rul!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

BREITBART.COM - Mideast Christians in Uneasy Position

BREITBART.COM - Mideast Christians in Uneasy Position: "Two churches were set on fire in the West Bank on Sunday, a day after Muslims hurled firebombs and fired guns at four other West Bank churches and one in the Gaza Strip to protest the pope's comments.

Authorities in Lebanon, where Christians account for about 36 percent of the Arab country's population, tightened security outside churches as a precaution Sunday. They said there was no specific threat against Christians.

Police said security also was tight around churches and universities in Egypt, where Christians make up about 10 percent of the country's 73 million people."

See! Islam has nothing to do with violence!

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Revealed: the tough interrogation techniques the CIA wants to use

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Revealed: the tough interrogation techniques the CIA wants to use

The techniques sought by the CIA are: induced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called “the attention grab” where a suspect’s shirt is forcefully seized; the “attention slap” or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the “belly slap”; and sound and light manipulation.

Several of those techniques chime with information gleaned about interrogation methods used against some serious terror suspects. The New York Times recently reported that Abu Zubaydah, the first al-Qaida member captured after the September 11 attacks, was kept in a freezing cell until he went blue, and later assailed with loud Red Hot Chili Peppers music.

I think that's pretty light for people who saw other people's heads off for a living.

Monday, September 18, 2006

ABC7Chicago.com: Mayor Daley signs onto repeal of foie gras ban

ABC7Chicago.com: Mayor Daley signs onto repeal of foie gras ban:

"September 15, 2006 - After his successful veto of the 'big-box' minimum wage ordinance, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is ready to bring back the foie gras.
Daley calls last month's city council ban on serving the delicacy made of goose or duck liver in restaurants 'the funniest law they ever passed.' And he's signed onto a repeal proposal introduced by two aldermen.

Alderman Bernard Stone says the ban has made Chicago a laughingstock across the nation.

Alderman Burton Natarus voted in favor of the ban, but he says he had a change of heart after talking to more people in the restaurant industry and animal welfare activists.

Foie gras is made by force-feeding geese and ducks so their livers expand up to ten times their normal size. The city initially banned it because of concerns of animal cruelty."

The Pope must die, says Muslim | News | This is London

The Pope must die, says Muslim | News | This is London:

"Choudary's appeal for the death of Pope Benedict was the second time he has been linked with apparent incitement to murder within a year.

The 39-year-old lawyer organised

demonstrations against the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in February in Denmark. Protesters carried placards declaring 'Behead Those Who Insult Islam'.

Yesterday he said: 'The Muslims take their religion very seriously and non-Muslims must appreciate that and that must also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet.

'Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment.'

He added: 'I am here have a peaceful demonstration. But there may be people in Italy or other parts of the world who would carry that out.

'I think that warning needs to be understood by all people who want to insult Islam and want to insult the prophet of Islam.'

As well as placards attacking the Pope such as 'Pope go to Hell', his followers outside the country's principal Roman Catholic church also waved slogans aimed at offending the sentiments of Christians such as 'Jesus is the slave of Allah'.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said of his comments: 'We have had no complaints about this. There were around 100 people at the demonstration. It passed off peacefully and there were no arrests.'

Larger Islamic groups in Britain said they accepted the Pope's apology. Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain said: 'The Vatican has moved quickly to deal with the hurt and we accept that.

[...]

The Pope appeared determined to move quickly to try to defuse the anger but the fury of many radicals was unabated last night and there were fears for his safety.

Iraqi jihadists issued a video of a scimitar slicing a cross in two, intercut with images of Benedict and the burning Twin Towers.

The website run in the name of the Mujahedeen Army, used by extremist groups who have claimed responsibility for attacks in Iraq, was addressed to "You dog of Rome" and threatened to "shake your thrones and break your crosses in your home".

In a reference to suicide bombing, it said: "We swear to God to send you people who adore death as much as you adore life."

The threat of violence against Catholics and Christians was emphasised by the murder of an Italian nun in Somalia. Sister Leonella, 66, was shot as she walked from the children's hospital where she worked to her house in Mogadishu, a city recently taken over by an Islamic government.

A Vatican spokesman said he feared her death was "the fruit of violence and irrationality arising from the current situation".

Father Frederico Lombardi said he hoped it was an isolated event. "We are worried about this wave of hatred and hope it doesn't have any grave consequences for the Church around the world," he said.

The murder suggested that extremists are determined to use the Pope's embarrassment as an excuse for violence.

[...]

There were fierce denunciations of the pontiff from Iran. The English-language Tehran Times called his lecture in Bavaria last week "code words for a new crusade".

The powerful cleric Ahmad Khatami told theological students in the holy city of Qom: The "Pope should fall on his knees in front of a senior Muslim cleric and try to understand Islam.""

BREITBART.COM - Pope burned in effigy in Iraq as Mideast anger simmers

BREITBART.COM - Pope burned in effigy in Iraq as Mideast anger simmers

Hundreds of angry Iraqis demonstrated against the pope in this southern Iraqi port city on Monday, burning him in effigy and calling for an apology.

The 500 protestors, followers of Ayatollah Mahmud al-Hassani, a mystical Shiite Muslin cleric, also burned German and American flags and called for the pope to be tried in an international court.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq warned in an Internet statement Monday that it will wage jihad, or holy war, until the West is defeated.

"We say to the servant of the cross (the pope): wait for defeat... We say to infidels and tyrants: wait for what will afflict you. We continue our jihad. We will not stop until the banner of unicity flies throughout the world," said the statement attributed to the Mujahedeen consultative council.

"We will smash the cross," it added, promising Muslims they would "conquer Rome... as they conquered Constantinople."

Another armed group linked to Al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sunna (Partisans of the Precepts of the Prophet), threatened in a website statement to attack the West -- Italy in particular.

Calling the pope "Satan's hellhound in the Vatican," the statement addressed to "Crusaders" said: "The day is coming when the armies of Islam will destroy the ramparts of Rome."

In Tehran, Iran's supreme leader Khamenei linked the pope's remarks to caricatures published in a Danish newspaper last year deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed. The cartoons set off deadly protests in the Muslim world.

"Leaders of the arrogant imperialists have already defined the links of the chain in this US-Zionist project by attacking Iraq," Khamenei said.

"The issue of insulting cartoons and remarks of some politicians about Islam are different links in the conspiracy of the crusaders and the pope's remarks are the latest links in this," he added.

BREITBART.COM - Israeli-US plot behind pope's remarks: Iran hardline press

BREITBART.COM - Israeli-US plot behind pope's remarks: Iran hardline press:

"Iranian hardline newspapers said there were signs of an Israeli-US plot behind remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that linked Islam to violence and created a wave of anger across the Muslim world.

The daily Jomhuri Islami said Israel and the United States -- the Islamic republic's two arch-enemies -- could have dictated the comments to distract attention from the resistance of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah to Israel's offensive on Lebanon.

'The reality is that if we do not consider Pope Benedict XVI to be ignorant of Islam, then his remarks against Islam are a dictat that the Zionists and the Americans have written (for him) and have submitted to him.'

'The American and the Zionist aim is to undermine the glorious triumph of Islam's children of Lebanese Hezbollah, which annulled the undefeatable legend of the Israeli army and foiled the Satanic and colonialist American plot,' it said.

Fellow hardline daily Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there were signs of Israeli inteference aimed at creating conflict between Islam and Christianity.

'There are many signs that show that Pope Benedict XVI's remarks regarding the great prophet of Islam are a link in a connected chain of a Zionist-American project,' it said.

'The project, which was created and executed by the Zionist minority, aims at creating confrontation between the followers of the two great divine religions.'"

Italian nun slain in Somalia, Pope link speculation - Yahoo! News

Italian nun slain in Somalia, Pope link speculation - Yahoo! News:

"MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Gunmen killed an Italian nun at a children's hospital in Mogadishu on Sunday in an attack that drew immediate speculation of links to Muslim anger over the Pope's recent remarks on Islam.

The Catholic nun's guard also died from pistol shots in the latest attack on foreign personnel in volatile Somalia.

The assassinations were a blow to Mogadishu's new Islamist rulers' attempt to prove they have pacified one of the world's most lawless cities since chasing out warlords in June."

Muslims PROOVE they are not violent by killing nun.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

CNN.com - First female 'space tourist'�ready for blastoff - Sep 17, 2006

CNN.com - First female 'space tourist'�ready for blastoff - Sep 17, 2006

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- If all goes according to plan, Anousheh Ansari will realize a life-long dream and ride a Russian rocket into space Monday.

As the fourth space tourist, the Iranian-born American also will become the first woman to pay her way into space, and the first person of Iranian descent to get there.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ansari told us she knows people will be watching - a belief confirmed by the comments posted on her blog, anoushehansari.com.(Watch Anshari prepare for her lifelong dream -- 2:42)

"Me being the first female has inspired a lot of women and girls in Iran, especially being Iranian, and I¹ve received numerous e-mails, messages of different sorts saying how proud of me they are."

Ansari's biography reads a like the American dream.

She left Iran at the age of 16 just a few years after the Islamic Revolution, in part because her family wanted her to pursue her passion for the sciences to the fullest extent possible.

When she arrived, she knew next to no English except for a few verses from the song "My Favorite Things," from the film "The Sound of Music."

But within the next several years, Ansari had taught herself English, earned a university degree and landed a job at MCI earning just over $26,000. There she met her husband. Soon, she and her husband quit their jobs at MCI, cashed in their retirement savings, and ran up their credit cards to finance a telecommunications company they opened.

In 2000, she and her husband sold that company for more than half-a-billion dollars to Sonus Networks Inc. A year later, Fortune Magazine estimated her personal wealth at about $180 million dollars.

Techdirt: Sometimes It Sure Is Easy To Hate The Phone Company

Techdirt: Sometimes It Sure Is Easy To Hate The Phone Company

Sometimes It Sure Is Easy To Hate The Phone Company
from the kicking-puppies-and-making-babies-cry dept

There's been a fair bit of uproar about the story of the 82-year-old widow who's been paying to rent a phone from her phone company for 42 years. At first glance, it looks like another case of everybody's favorite company taking advantage of an innocent customer, while acting like it's providing a valuable service, a view that gets strengthened by the woman's family claiming she's paid over $14,000 for the use of two rotary phones for 40 years. For one thing, that math is off by quite a bit -- the woman was charged $29.10 every three months, not every month, making the actual amount based on that figure about $4900 (Lucent, which manages the rental service, says she's paid $2,000 since 1985). Less, but still pretty steep. And some might argue that when mandatory phone rental was stopped in 1985, the woman wasn't exactly old, and should have been aware she was paying for the service. But all that seems a little beside the point, really: this woman paid several thousand dollars for the use of a couple of rotary phones, certainly paying for them many times over. Neither Lucent nor the phone company would want to cut off the service, since apparently 750,000 people nationwide still rent their phones. It's not clear they should necessarily have to, either, despite the venom being slung at them from online forums. That said, they certainly could run it a little more equitably, or at the very least, at much lower prices given the cost of phones these days. What's interesting to note, though, is that nowhere does the woman herself say she wasn't aware she was paying the fee -- all the indignation seems to be coming from her granddaughters, who weren't aware of the charge, dispute how much Lucent says it was, and claim "they were taking advantage of the elderly". And for what it's worth, the old lady says she liked the rotary phones better than her new ones to boot. Still, that doesn't let the phone company or Lucent off the hook, when $10 would pretty much buy you a new phone each month.

Big Brother is shouting at you | the Daily Mail

Big Brother is shouting at you | the Daily Mail

Big Brother is shouting at you
Last updated at 21:02pm on 16th September 2006

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Headlines

* Blair to back Miliband, not 'lightweight' Johnson, as Labour heir
* Now 80,000 Moldovans eye UK move
* Drink laws blamed for soaring crash rate
* After Blair's Babes, now it's Cambell's Crackers
* Pony doping and the Pimms parade
* Super Rat blamed on end of weekly rubbish collections
* Ready steady gone for TV chef's restaurant
* The CCTV camera that talks to you
* The woman at the centre of Chris Tarrant's marriage problems
* Mother of black judge takes legal action over abuse claim
* Natascha Kampusch - first picture of her in public
* Muslims welcome Pope's apology
* Met's Operation Burberry causes fury at fashion house
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Big Brother is not only watching you - now he's barking orders too. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.

The system allows control room operators who spot any anti-social acts - from dropping litter to late-night brawls - to send out a verbal warning: 'We are watching you'.

Middlesbrough has fitted loudspeakers on seven of its 158 cameras in an experiment already being hailed as a success. Jack Bonner, who manages the system, said: 'It is one hell of a deterrent. It's one thing to know that there are CCTV cameras about, but it's quite another when they loudly point out what you have just done wrong.

'Most people are so ashamed and embarrassed at being caught they quickly slink off without further trouble.

'There was one incident when two men started fighting outside a nightclub. One of the control room operators warned them over the loudspeakers and they looked up, startled, stopped fighting and scarpered in opposite directions.

'This isn't about keeping tabs on people, it's about making the streets safer for the law-abiding majority and helping to change the attitudes of those who cause trouble. It challenges unacceptable behaviour and makes people think twice.'

The Mail on Sunday watched as a cyclist riding through a pedestrian area was ordered to stop.

'Would the young man on the bike please get off and walk as he is riding in a pedestrian area,' came the command.

The surprised youth stopped, and looked about. A look of horror spread across his face as he realised the voice was referring to him.

He dismounted and wheeled his bike through the crowded streets, as instructed.

Law-abiding shopper Karen Margery, 40, was shocked to hear the speakers spring into action as she walked past them.

Afterwards she said: 'It's quite scary to realise that your every move could be monitored - it really is like Big Brother.

'But Middlesbrough does have a big problem with anti-social behaviour, so it is very reassuring.'

The scheme has been introduced by Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon, a former police superintendent who was dubbed Robocop for pioneering the zero-tolerance approach to crime.

He believes the talking cameras will dramatically cut not just anti-social behaviour, but violent crime, too.

And if the city centre scheme proves a success, it will be extended into residential areas.

The control room operators have been given strict guidelines about what commands they can give. Yelling 'Oi you, stop that', is not permitted.

Instead, their instructions make the following suggestions: 'Warning - you are being monitored by CCTV - Warning - you are in an alcohol-free zone, please refrain from drinking'; and Warning - your behaviour is being monitored by CCTV. It is being recorded and the police are attending.'

Mr Bonner said: 'We always make the requests polite, and if the offender obeys, the operator adds 'thank you'. We think that's a nice finishing touch.

'It would appear that the offenders are the only ones who find the audio cameras intrusive. The vast majority of people welcome these cameras.

'Put it this way, we never have requests to remove them.'

Friday, September 15, 2006

Al-Qaida joins Algerians against France - Yahoo! News

Al-Qaida joins Algerians against France - Yahoo! News

PARIS - Al-Qaida has for the first time announced a union with an Algerian insurgent group that has designated France as an enemy, saying they will act together against French and American interests.

Current and former French officials specializing in terrorism said Thursday that an al-Qaida alliance with the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known by its French initials GSPC, was cause for concern.

Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, announced the “blessed union” in a video posted this week on the Internet to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

France’s leader have repeatedly warned that the decision not to join the U.S.-led war in Iraq would not shield the country from Islamic terrorism. French participation in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon could give extremists another reason to strike.

So France, despite giving the muslims everything they want, is now a target of Jihad. The Pope got it so totally right. Religion of Violence, this is islam!

BREITBART.COM - Muslims Assail Pope's Remarks on Islam

BREITBART.COM - Muslims Assail Pope's Remarks on Islam

Pakistan’s parliament unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the pope for making what it called “derogatory” comments about Islam, and seeking an apology from him. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry also called the pope’s remarks “regrettable.”

“Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

So, if you say Islam is violent, muslims will get angry and use violence to silence you. Yeah, makes perfect sense.

'Pope must apologise in person'

'Pope must apologise in person':

"Cairo - Muslims deplored on Friday remarks on Islam by Pope Benedict XVI and many of them said the Catholic leader should apologise in person to dispel the impression that he had joined a campaign against their religion.

In a speech in Germany on Tuesday, the Pope appeared to endorse a Christian view, contested by most Muslims, that the early Muslims spread their religion by violence.

'The Pope of the Vatican joins in the Zionist-American alliance against Islam,' said the leading Moroccan daily Attajdid, the main Islamist newspaper in the kingdom."

What a pile of crap! "endorse a christian view, contested by muslims, that early muslims spread their religion by the sword". It's not a christian view! Any history book will tell you that! And the muslims history books? They'll say the same thing, and praise the glorious warriors who practiced jihad. Sorry, it's just part of their religion. For that matter, christianity spread itself by the sword as well, and that's not a muslim view, that's just a fact. The difference is that christianity stopped that, but islam has not. Did we all miss Adam Gardacki, Bin Laden's newest spokesman, making statements just WEEKS ago that they wanted to kill everyone who was not a muslim, and inviting several western critics of islam to join him in islam or suffer death under his knife? Are we supposed to be so stupid we don't remember this? What a crock!

THEN, they top it off with anti-semitism, in the same sentence as a demand for an apology! UNBELIEVABLE!

Muslims are the greatest liars in the world. It's actually part of their religion, called takfiri, which is lying to non muslims to help you kill them or convert them to islam. And the media helps them in this. The two headed serpent. DON'T BELIEVE THE RADICAL MUSLIMS! There are some good muslims out there, I've met them, but even they are afraid to speak out.

Fury Over Pope's Remarks Raises Concerns - Forbes.com

Fury Over Pope's Remarks Raises Concerns - Forbes.com

Pakistan's legislature unanimously condemned Pope Benedict XVI. Lebanon's top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. And in Turkey, the ruling party likened the pontiff to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades.

Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict's remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

By citing an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman," Benedict inflamed Muslim passions and aggravated fears of a new outbreak of anti-Western protests.

The last outpouring of Islamic anger at the West came in February over the prophet cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper. The drawings sparked protests - some of them deadly - in almost every Muslim nation in the world.

Some experts said the perceived provocation by the spiritual leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics could leave even deeper scars.

"The declarations from the pope are more dangerous than the cartoons, because they come from the most important Christian authority in the world - the cartoons just came from an artist," said Diaa Rashwan, an analyst in Cairo, Egypt, who studies Islamic militancy.

On Friday, Pakistan's parliament adopted a resolution condemning Benedict for making what it called "derogatory" comments about Islam, and seeking an apology. Hours later, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican's ambassador to express regret over the pope's remarks Tuesday.

Notably, the strongest denunciations came from Turkey - a moderate democracy seeking European Union membership where Benedict is scheduled to visit in November as his first trip as pope to a Muslim country.

Salih Kapusuz, deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party, said Benedict's remarks were either "the result of pitiful ignorance" about Islam and its prophet or, worse, a deliberate distortion.

"He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world," Kapusuz told Turkish state media. "It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades."

What a joke. Christianity HAS reformed itself. It is Islam that lives in the dark ages still and needs reform.

"Benedict, the author of such unfortunate and insolent remarks, is going down in history for his words," Kapusuz added. "He is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini."

Even Turkey's staunchly pro-secular opposition party demanded the pope apologize before his visit. Another party led a demonstration outside Ankara's largest mosque, and a group of about 50 people placed a black wreath outside the Vatican's diplomatic mission.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi has tried to defuse anger, saying the pope did not intend to offend Muslim sensibilities and insisting Benedict respects Islam. In Pakistan, the Vatican envoy voiced regret at "the hurt caused to Muslims."

But Muslim leaders said outreach efforts by papal emissaries were not enough.

"We do not accept the apology through Vatican channels ... and ask him (Benedict) to offer a personal apology - not through his officials," Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon's most senior Shiite cleric, told worshippers in Beirut.

Rashwan, the analyst, feared the official condemnations could be followed by widespread popular protests. Already there had been scattered demonstrations in several Muslim countries.

"What we have right now are public reactions to the pope's comments from political and religious figures, but I'm not optimistic concerning the reaction from the general public, especially since we have no correction from the Vatican," Rashwan said.

The pope quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," Benedict said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

The pope did not explicitly agree with nor repudiate the comment.

[...]

In Britain, the head of the Muslim Council, a body representing 400 Muslim groups, said the emperor's views quoted by the pope were bigoted.

"One would expect a religious leader such as the pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor's views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations between the followers of Islam and Catholicism," said Muhammad Abdul Bari, the council's secretary-general.

Repudiate the Byzantine emporer's "views"? Are you kidding me? Pick up a history book. Turkey was a Christian country, Constantinople the Capital of eastern Christian Europe. It was attacked and destroyed by the Muslims, turned into Instanbul, and everyone was forced violently to become Muslim. And the king of this city, while fighting off the Muslims, is now a bad guy for saying muslims use violence to spread their religion? Maybe the Muslims should stop the bloody Jihad they've been waging on non muslims for the last 1,300 years? The Islamic world is EXACTLY THE SAME as it was over a thousand years ago. What's different? They have oil we found for them, oil wells we built for them, money we gave them for oil we found, books we gave to them, science we shared with them- no change or creation or reform they themselves started. They still abuse women and cut people's head off. Their views of Islam and the Koran are still exactly the same- primative and barbaric. How dare they try to rewrite history- Islam WAS spread by the sword. It still is today! Muslims do this in Darfur, Thailand, the Phillipines, India, Germany, France, England, The US, Australia, every place where muslims come in contact with non muslims, they are cutting off their heads and using violence to make them convert. I wish the pope could call a holy war and Europe would fight it. That would be awesome! It's not going to happen though, Western Civilization would never allow it. We don't use violenc in ther service of religion. Only Islam does that!

And the irony of violent protests because the Pope quotes some guy who says Islam is violent! Islam means surrender, surrender to the sword. Jihad is one of the five pillars of islam, mandatory for all muslims!