Holiday Spirit, Opinion Rooted in Reality and The Unity That Goes Around

Holiday Spirit

‘Black Friday:’ Three dead so far. I’ve read some interesting thoughts about this, but at the end of the day one poor man is dead from being trampled to death. If it was because of over wrought materialism or the compulsion to show love with a new video game console doesn’t matter all that much. Respecting the basic rights of others has always been about reigning in our worse impulses.

Last Gunmen Killed in India, Ending Siege

Indian officials said they now believe that at least 15 gunmen carried out the operation after reaching Mumbai by sea. After an interrogation of one of the attackers, Indian intelligence officials said they suspected that a Pakistani Islamist group, Lashkar-i-Taiba, was responsible. An Indian intelligence document from 2006 obtained by The Washington Post said members of the group had been trained in maritime assault.

Just a reminder that tensions between Indian Hindus and Muslims is not a new phenomenon – for the Cliff Notes Hollywood version rent the Gandhi DVD. There is reason to pause and point out the glaring facts of history because the Chicken-Little crowd is singing another chorus of The End is Near. Every time a Muslim burbs you can count on Jihad Watch to wonder when the world is going to wake up and smell the next caliphate. Two Mumbai gunmen were British, Posted by Robert at November 28, 2008 6:35 AM

Britain, exporter of jihadists. Will this revelation lead to any searching questions about what is being taught in mosques in Britain? Will it lead to any public discussion about immigration and assimilation, or about British values and Sharia? Somehow I doubt it.

Such sweeping condemnations of the 2.2 million British Muslims. There are tensions because of a relatively few, very vocal and hateful Muslims. That is light years away from making Great Britain an “exporter of jihadists”. Imagine that some blogger had written this

Oklahoma, exporter of radical Christian Conservative terrorists like Timothy McVeigh. Will this revelation lead to any searching questions about what is being taught in right-wing Christian churches in the mid-west? Will it lead to any public discussion about preaching hate and that the federal government is tyrannical, or about Republican values and right-wing dogmatism? Somehow I doubt it.

Even opinion pieces have to be rooted in logic. One important point about the Mumbai terror attacks is that the group came from Pakistan. An issue that E.J. Dionne touches on in this look at President-elect Obama’s roaring centrism – something some readers may remember from the nineties, Campaign Memo: “Barack Obama Was Right”

Terrorist Sanctuaries: For years, we have given President Musharraf hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, while deferring to his cautious judgment on how to take out high-level al Qaeda targets – including, most likely, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Here is the result:

Bin Laden and Zawahiri – two men with direct responsibility for 9/11- remain at large.
Al Qaeda has trained and deployed hundreds of fighters worldwide from its sanctuary in northwest Pakistan.
Afghanistan is far less secure because the Taliban can strike across the border, and then return to safety in Pakistan.

By any measure, this strategy has not worked. Conventional wisdom would have us defer to Musharraf in perpetuity. Barack Obama wants to turn the page. If Musharraf is willing to go after the terrorists and stop the Taliban from using Pakistan as a base of operations, Obama would give him all of the support he needs. But Obama made clear that as President, if he had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan – and the Pakistanis continued to refuse to act against terrorists known to be behind attacks on American civilians – then he will use highly targeted force to do so.

Pakistan and President Musharraf were VP Cheney’s little fantasy island; no one was allowed to question island shenanigans except Dick “Meet the Press” of Sunday, September 10, 2006, Vice President Cheney,

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan. There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

Musharraf doesn’t even control much of the northen part of his own country.

With Afghainistan in mind and Bin laden and the “war on terror” and the terrorist group in India that trained in Pakistan, and Iraq – otherwise known as Bush’s School for Future Terrorists, and Wall Street and the credit crisis, and that China owns much of the future dollars that Bush used to finance his marvelous presidency, Bush reflects on legacy: ‘I’m leaving with the same set of values’

“I came to Washington with a set of values, and I’m leaving with the same set of values,” Bush told Koch in an interview taped earlier this month that aired on National Public Radio Thursday.

That might be the most deeply honest statement Bush has ever made. Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate —Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States“ dated April 2006

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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

It is not the least bit strange that Jihad Watch sees the sharia zealots as a threat and the combined opinion of the  Office of the Director of National Intelligence, The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps intelligence organizations, The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Coast Guard Intelligence, The Defense Intelligence Agency, The Department of Energy, The Department of Homeland Security, The Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), The Federal Bureau of Investigation and The National Security Agency (NSA) among other agencies, see sharia as a weakness.

Adviser Who Insulted Clinton Has Role in Transition

Samantha Power, the Harvard professor who was forced to resign from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign last spring after calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton “a monster,” is now advising the president-elect on transition matters relating to the State Department — which Clinton is slated to head.

Gasp, Obama has turned around and rehired someone that insulted Senator Clinton. The same Senator Clinton, who for multiple reasons, including to unify the Democratic party factions, Obama decided to make his Secretary of State. As the Secretary-to-be of our nation’s diplomatic front, it would be a relatively small gesture on Clinton’s part to embrace Power as part of her team. As I recall McCain supporters called Hillary far worse.

Cool Yule wallpaper