Osama Bin Laden is Dead

A “ground force” has killed Osama Bin Ladin just outside the capital city of Pakistan.

Al Jazeera is calling it a “farm house” while CNN is calling it a “mansion”. Reports are that the USA has taken the body to be able to prove “the deed is done”. There is a party on the white house street and embassy staff are on high alert.

It will be “good news – bad news”. Good that it’s “the beginning of the end”, bad that every single cell they have built around the world will now be wanting to activate.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2011/05/2011522132275789.html?asid=111b4c78

Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, is dead.

US president Barack Obama said bin Laden, the most-wanted fugitive on the US list, has been killed on Sunday in a US operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, about 150km north of Islamabad.

“Tonight, I can report to the people of the United States and the world, the United States had carried an operation that has killed Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist responsible for killing thousands of innocent people,” Obama said in a statement.

“Today, at my direction, the United States carried out that operation… they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body.

“The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date against Al Qaeda.

“We must also reaffirm that United states is not and will never be at war against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims,” Obama said.

US celebrations

As the news of bin Laden’s death spread, crowds gathered outside the White House in Washington to celebrate.

Former US president George Bush called his death a “momentous achievement”.

“The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done,” Bush said in a statement.

According to Al Jazeera’s Rosalind Jordan in Washington, the operation had been in the making for the last 9 or 10 months.

“The fact that it happened inside Pakistan, there have been suggestions that Pakistani intelligence may have been protecting them,” she said.

Reporting from Pakistan, Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder said the development had caught a lot of people by surprise .

By surprise? Now that’s an understatement…

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/05/01/bin.laden.dead/index.html

(CNN) — Osama bin Laden is dead, sources told CNN Sunday night.

A senior U.S. official tells CNN that Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members.

Bin Laden’s death affects the world

Congressional and administration sources say U.S. officials have the body of bin Laden. Further details around his death were not immediately available.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to address the nation shortly.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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135 Responses to Osama Bin Laden is Dead

  1. Level_Head says:

    Good for Obama.

    The news began about three days ago as White House leaks that it was “vitally important to get Bin Ladin” — I suspect that they had him in the [body] bag at that moment.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  2. Level_Head says:

    Since this event likely occurred days ago, it demonstrates already that an immediate wave of violence by sleeper cells did not happen.

    That does not preclude larger planned attacks — that sort of thing is likely, of course. But al Qaida has had motivation for larger planned attacks for the past nine years, and has so far been unsuccessful.

    Of course Usama bin Ladin has become a martyr for the jihadists. Though a fair reading would suggest that “martyr” is not the right term for a military commander killed in combat, jihadists are by definition uninterested in “fair.”

    We’ll get lots of details soon on this nine-month operation — it seems at this moment that the timing of Gates’ replacement is just happy coincidence.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  3. R. de Haan says:

    Congratulations.

    The hunt for Obama has been a long and frustrating endeavor but now everything is ok.

    Let’s see how the world responds and what backlashes will take place in response.

    The location of Osama’s hide out, 60 miles from the center of Islamabad, will be the subject to many questions and there will be a strong focus on Pakistani officials.

    This is a country on the edge of great turmoil.

    I for one am glad that he’s caught although I don’t think that Osama’s death will close the book on Al Qaeda. In fact I think we have to be extremely vigilant for the next few weeks.

  4. kuhnkat says:

    Level head, it proves nothing as very few people would have known about it. With the tight security around OBL only a couple of people would have know his location had been hit and it would have taken more time to verify that he was dead. it will now take even more time for them to decide whether to use this as a chance to claim we are lying or to declare OBL a martyr. Nothing is simple.

  5. Level_Head says:

    @R. de Haan:

    In fact I think we have to be extremely vigilant for the next few weeks.

    Years, no doubt.

    And you’re right; this hardly closes the book on al Qaida. For one thing, al Qaida was the most visible and one of the most violent franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood. That organization lost a key figurehead, but this year it has essentially gained entire countries, most obviously Egypt — in many respects the center of gravity of the Arab world.

    And the MB/jihadists are increasingly accepting coordination from Iran — the sort of Persian/Arab relationship that would have been hard to imagine not long ago.

    CAIR put out a “we’re glad he’s dead” press release — this was wise, as they’ve had years to think about how ambivalent they appeared after 9/11. But their internal communications are likely of a different tone, as leader after leader of that organization has been caught supporting jihadist violence, by words as well as cash.

    All over the world, particularly in undeveloped, backward places such as Pakistan, London, and the suburbs of Washington DC, jihadist madrassas teach young people to hate, and to maintain the cycle of jihadism into yet another generation.

    Taking out bin Ladin is a big step — but we have to unplug this education process. In the US, instead, we are subsidizing it, just as we send huge amounts of money to the Palestinians to keep up the “kill the Jews” elementary school training.

    We’ve been willing to stop funding entirely for countries that used DDT (before admitting, tens of millions of deaths later, that this was an overreaction). Why can we not stop funding the jihadist Palestinian governments until they cease their jihadist education process?

    Usama bin Ladin’s death will not trigger a huge wave of violence — though we must watch for differential reporting here. His death will also not substantially damage the jihadist movement.

    The happy news, though, is that we’ve apparently compromised their internal security to get UbL — and that will slow them down for a while.

    But in the meantime, we perversely continue to assist the jihadist takeover in Libya, and we stand idly by while Egypt attempts to take the role of Jihad Central away from Pakistan, with Iran overtly pulling strings.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  6. Ken McMurtrie says:

    Gentlemen, you don’t really believe that this is the truth, do you?
    Consider, he was not blamed for the 9/11 attacks.
    His family were given permission to fly out of the US, while all other aircraft were grounded. (9/11 time)
    It was reported years ago that Osama was very ill with kidney failure and was assisted in an overseas US hospital.
    Most people with their ear to the ground were convinced of his death years ago.
    Video broadcasts purporting to be from Al Qaeda were by known US agents.
    WTC7 bldg was brought down by the authorities, not terrorists.
    The pentagon was not struck by an airliner.
    The list is endless and very convincing.
    I know it must be hard to accept the lies being told by your officials, but there are a lot of reputable people in your country who have published the sources of my information.
    The official 9/11 story is impossible to believe.
    Sorry to contaminate your blog this way but I can’t react any other way after watching the TV coverage today.
    BTW, hope your family health situation has returned to satisfactory and you might yet get to the launch!

  7. Ken McMurtrie says:

    Buried at sea, eh!
    Election year! Good for Obama!
    In addition, maybe even an excuse to blame Pakistan for hiding him. Justifies the Americans on their soil.

    I still wonder how different people see black and white the opposite way around.

    I know I can be gullible, but there are thousands of intelligent people saying the same as me.
    You have to admit Obama is capable of lying – just listen to his election promises and note what he actually did instead.

    This post gives some backing to my contrary outlook.
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/220357-Osama-bin-Dead-Awhile.

    There is heaps more.
    Best regards, sincerely,
    Ken.

  8. dearieme says:

    It is no longer true that “Is Osama dead?” refers to a known unknown. Now I’ll have to think of a different example.

  9. Level_Head says:

    Here’s a Twitter stream from someone inadvertently Tweeting the operation.

    http://tweetlibrary.com/damon/osamaraidlivetweets

    Usama bin Ladin was apparently killed six days ago.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  10. One has to presume that the Pakistan Government was not involved in the process – or was it?

    How would Americans react to a US ally sending a clandestine hit team to assassinate someone within the USA without the US government knowing?

    Most people here would approve of the fact that bin Laden was dead. However, I feel uncomfortable about how it was done.

    Will we see US hit teams here in Australia hunting down Julian Assange for example?

  11. Ian W says:

    Interesting – misinformation abounds. So the compound was in the middle of a suburb of a major city in Pakistan close to a military establishment. There is a fire-fight involving helicopters and special forces with some saying one helicopter crashed. And this took place days ago and has not been reported? That is incredible – in the real sense of the word.

    How would that be kept quiet? A US military helicopter crash in the center of a Pakistan city? Even a significant firefight. This can not have taken place several days ago.

  12. It’s a strange, strange world we live in.

  13. Level_Head says:

    Interestingly, kuhnkat and Ian W are apparently arguing exactly opposite positions — no way it could have been kept secret, and of course it was kept secret.

    Of course, anything can be kept secret for a short time — even if that time is only measurable in Planck units. ];-)

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  14. Level_Head says:

    @Ken McMurtie:

    *chuckle*

    It’s easy to see white as black, apparently, if one keeps one’s eyes closed.

    I spent many hours perusing the best evidence the “9/11 was an inside job!” folks had to offer — and because I was familiar with the actual details, the apparent self-deception was perversely fascinating to me.

    I was convinced by the videos and documents — but not of anything that would would make you happy, I think.

    Relying on “pull it” and Clark’s hustling of the bin Ladin family members out of the country (on his own recognizance, he later admitted) and the notion that every eyewitness to the aircraft was simply mistaken … that’s all pretty sad. You realize, I hope, that the bin Ladin family disowned Son #17 years before 9/11/01, right? And that they had (and have) a large and legitimate business? Should we have thrown them in jail? We questioned them at length, and they were quite easy to find if we wanted to again. But the paranoids were likely to attack them, so I would say that Clark’s decision was not unreasonable, even though he was rather out of control in making it.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  15. PhilJourdan says:

    no way it could have been kept secret, and of course it was kept secret.

    Your apparent contradictory statement is correct on both counts. Given (if true) that it was the US military, they can keep it secret – for a short period. The Military is not like a fraternity in that respect. Soldiers can be kept on a very tight leash for short periods of time.

    I will wait for further information before dancing in the streets. Given that he was on borrowed time (kidney failure), there are many unknowns just from a documentary standpoint (we do not need to make a conspiracy of it).

  16. R. de Haan says:

    Talking about Wikileaks:
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8241119/capturing-bin-laden-would-unleash-hell

    Anyhow, looking at UN/US/EU/NATO actions in the Maghreb and the Middle East I see no objective which is aimed at an intervention strategy to end conflicts fast.

    Instead we see a tendency that points at a long period of chaos and I have the impression our foreign policies are not serving our interests.

    For this we only have to look at the current fuel prices.

    The Arab world is a tinderbox.

    We should protect our interests instead of blowing them up and let the Arabs solve their own conflict.

    We have parties among our midst pushing the green globalist agenda who think they can get in control when chaos rules.

    Yesterday a political debate on German television, which wasn’t a debate at all, but a dictate, presented a future where we had to reduce the use of carbon fuels and resources, the only to save the planet.

    Germany is a country that just closed it’s last coal mines which took the jobs of 25.000 mineworkers plus thousands of jobs related to the mining operations at the same moment they presented a proposal to close down all nuclear plants.

    This will not only skyrocket energy prices but also make power a rare commodity as the only solution is found in wind parks.

    We all know wind is not a solution for anything but wasting lots of money.

    Now we are risking the continuity of our oil supplies by conflicts in the Arab world.

    Our current problem is not people like Osama bin Laden, dead or alive but our own political elite.

    I even dare to say they are much more dangerous than Osama bin Laden ever was going to be even if he had a nuclear bomb.

    As long as our governments push a doctrine which is based on a lie and dream up solutions which won’t work creating chaos everywhere we are in serious trouble.

    The establishment has turned against it’s own people.

    They are traitors and should be treated accordingly Cold War style.

    Unless we want 100 years of conflict and suffouring even within our own borders we should intervene now.

  17. R. de Haan says:

    Don’t miss Spengler on the subject:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/ME03Df02.html

  18. R. de Haan says:

    Spengler makes a good point.

    Why was Obama killed now?

    He was killed because he has become obsolete and became more valuable dead than alive.

    What do you need Al Qaida for if the entire ME is on fire?

    What do you need Al Qaida for if the Taliban start their spring offensive by sending a 12 year old lid carrying a bomb into a crowd.

    What do you need Al Qaida for if Syrians kill Syrians,
    Libyans kill Libians, Libyans kill minorities, Egyptians kill minorities, Iraqi’s kill minorities and the West listens to a country like Turkey.

    Turkey was the first Islamic country to demand the resignation of Mubarak because his forces killed Egyptians in the streets.

    Turkey is killing kurds and minorities all over the place and work closely with Iran, another country famous for it’s bloody suppression of any opposition.

    Here the Turkish Government falls silent.

    We listen to the Turks but the Turks have no right to speak. They have no right to speak about other Arab leaders and they are not aloud to speak about Israel.

    This is only on the level of foreign politics.

    But what should we think of a country like Syria having a seat on the UN Council of Human Rights?

    Or a country like Saudi Arabia having a seat on the UN Council for women rights?

    This world and especially our political elite are rotten to the core on any level.

    It’s time for a clean up.

  19. R. de Haan says:

    Have a look at the futere Osama bin Laden Museum
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/pictures-bin-ladens-hideout-released

  20. Trouble is he will be considered, from now on, as an Ulema: an Islamic scholar, almost a saint….

  21. Ken McMurtrie says:

    @Level Head,
    Our debate will be impossible to resolve and shouldn’t use Chiefio’s blog to air it. OTOH, I must ask you:
    Are you satisfied that the 9/11 enquiry examined all evidence and came to a logical conclusion.
    Was not O/Usama Bin Laden at one time a helper to the US against the Taliban?
    Are you satisfied that the WTC7 bldg was brought down by actions by Islamic terrorists on the day?
    Are you satisfied that the pentagon was hit by an airliner when it was clearly not! If you saw video evidence why has it not been made public to shut up all the ‘inside job’ claimants?

    The argument that no airliners hit the 2 WTC bldgs is, of course, rubbish, because even I saw the second one on TV in Australia. This is a red herring to discredit the genuine claimants. The argument is whether they really were the passenger craft as claimed, and how did the aircraft cause damage resulting in the freefall collapse of the buildings?
    How did Islamic amateur pilots board and take over aircraft when there were no boarding passes for them?

    Books and hundreds of blog posts have been written with convincing evidence that there was complicity and cover ups by the US authorities.
    Any attempt to have an open enquiry has been met with serious resistance. Why, if it is possible to prove Islamic involvement independent of American assistance, don’t they respect the wishes of the thousands of people asking for justice for their lost ones?

    A hearing against Cheney, I think, for complicity was heard and judged by, of all people, a relative of GW Bush. What we would call here a ‘Kangaroo Court’.

    The conspiracy claimants don’t make up their evidence that disputes the official story. The officials, however, do hide any evidence that would show what really happened. They, and I, are asking for the truth, something clearly not being told. We have no ulterior motive, we don’t want innocent people jeopardised, only justice.

    I rest at this stage. It is EM’s Blog after all.

    I am just setting up my own site
    “tgrule.wordpress.com”.
    I will shortly post on this issue. If you want to try and convince me there, you are very welcome.
    With respect, Ken.

  22. Interesting Connections says:

    How convenient.

    After a fake birth certificate would you expect anything less than the faked death of a long time bogey man? Probably had him on ice all the time.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    More recent news has this as a Seal team of a couple of dozen in 4 helicopters. Refuling at a Pakistani base in N. Pakistan. On CNN they were interviewing some Pakistani representative of some merit (sorry, just woke up and not catching names yet…) and the interviewer did a marvelous job of putting him in the “detail question box”.

    Like watching chess. Each question narrowing the scope, not letting the deflections run from the point, ending with a “Did you know at the time the operation was lauched or only after?” and the “weasle word” response spoke volumes.

    IMHO, we “Informed Pakistan” as the choppers were landing and we had “Cooperation from Pakistan” for a refueling of a flight of choppers leaving Afganistan and headed “back to their naval support ship at sea” and just needed the “OK” to “tranisit Pakistani Airspace”…. that we stopped on the way, well, that was a “need to know” basis, now wasn’t it ? ;-)

    Now we get to watch as the dozen “underlings” reform their organization and work our way down the “food chain”…

    The Navy Seals get to hang one Very Large Honor on their mast…

    @Level_Head:

    The ‘news flow’ puts the “GO” decision at Friday. That implies to me it was underway inside minutes. (Assuming that Obama was honest about when he gave the “GO”) and that puts the operation as “done” by Saturday daylight. That gives 48 hours to do an autopsy and to get more “cooperation” from the Pakistanis about a more “formal” site inspection Sunday… for whatever we didn’t pick up on the first pass through and to haul out the one broken chopper (or bits of it).

    Today was have “burrial at sea” in the news. IIRC, the “Muslim traditions” have a 24 hour preference on burial and we claimed to be doing things inside their traditions. That, too, fits the timeline. Bagged and tagged, to autopsy, and done, for burial at sea “Sunday” daylight in the Indian Ocean…

    As Al Quada is “patient” and careful, I’d expect any ‘reprisals’ to show up slowly over time.

    Much more interesting, IMHO, will be watching Pakistan… With a 5 x larger than the neighbors “compound” (what US Govt has called it) with 12 – 18 foot walls, the locals knew about this place. Snuggled up inside checkpoints of a Pakistani garrison town, someone on the military knew.

    If it was up to me, I’d be issuing a press release thanking that local commander (general? whatever) for his great help in finding Osama… then watch what happens ;-)

    CAIR? Council on American Islamic relations, I presume…

    One minor quibble:

    You speak as though we actually have any influence over how Islam and Jihadists develop. IMHO, we don’t.

    Yes, we ought to stop funding people who want to destroy us. Yes, we ought to make it hard for them to get replacement funding. But we have no control of the insantity that is being promoted as “education”. Heck, we can’t even clean up our own schools. (Where MY kids had an Islamic Sensitivity training and had to adopt a muslim name and play the game et.al….)

    Were it up to me, I would immediatly stop 100% of “economic aid” and all the other graft and bribes we hand out via the State Department to any and all Muslim nations. I’d put all that money into building Coal to Liquids facilities to stop shipping buckets of cash to OPEC (who cycle it on to madrasses and mosques and …)

    Furthermore, I’d pull out of Iraq and Afganistan at a “reasonable rate”. Probably 2 years.

    “But what about the oil?” I can hear someone muttering?

    See, the nice thing about commodities are that they are fungible. I don’t care to whom the oil is sold. Sell it to China or Kenya for all I care. We can buy oil from other sources. Let France and Germany cut the faustian bargain with Iran and Iraq. We don’t need to do so.

    But it will never happen. It’s too “in your face”. Too honest. It tells the Saudis “We know your kiss-up to our face, fund madrasses and mosques teaching to kill us, game and we refuse to play.”

    Besides, CTL would drive the price of gasoline up to $3 / gallon and the US population would revolt… Oh, wait, we’re allready pushing $5 gasoline… /sarcoff>

    Frankly, while I’m quite proud of what the Navy has accomplished today, I’m embarrased and deeply saddened by our complete inability to see the virtue to turning coal and trash in to oil products and shutting of the money flow out of the country.

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I’m not interested in making this an Osama / CIA conspiracy theory thread. But just to comment on your embrace of the “conspiracy theory”:

    I’ve looked at that stuff. The claims are simply wrong.

    Just a couple of small examples:

    1) No plane hit the pentagon. We have eye witnesses. We have cell phone records from folks on the planes calling loved ones. The whole claim is based on “where are the airplane parts?”. The answer is “shrapnel all over”. It’s not missing, it’s shredded into chunks. Take a 500 mile per hour aluminum beer can and whack it into a concrete bridge abutment. You don’t expect to see an intact beer can… While an airplane is large, it is almoste entirely empty space with a super thin stressed skin around it. In pictures of the Pentagon you can see the engine bits strewn around. They found the bodies inside in the order in which you would expect from the relative “punch” into the building (i.e. inverted from seating order as last body has a hole to pass through made by the front of the plane).

    2) WTC 7 and all the “brought down with explosives” theories. I know something about explosives. It’s why I’m partly deaf now. I also know something about buildings. The thesis hangs on the notion that the buildings

    a) Don’t fall that way. or
    b) Ought not to fall.

    This ignores that many tons of debris from the towers were spread all over. Even a few inches of “ash fall” from a volcano can bring down a building. Now look at the “ash fall” from the tower collapse. Then realize that the subsurface was NOT solid. Crap was flying and taking out support columns all over in the underground area. The way the towers fell is exactly what would be expected in a progressive collapse from weakening steel.

    Those two towers were “special” in that they were a stressed tube design with the strength in the skin. Like when you stand on an empty beer can. But tap the sides in and you get a progressive collapse (pull fingers back smartly!).

    So yes, several hours of fire weakens the middle enough that the weight above can start to drop. Take all that mass in motion it has great inertia. That puts a “moment” into the next floor down beyond what it can support, so it joins the collapse too. Repeat, adding more mass and more velocity, all the way to the ground. Then spread that “crap” onto the tops of ajoining buildings. Frankly, I’m surprised more of them didn’t fall. “Snow load” spec must be high there. In California, you’d have had roofs falling in and walls falling out all over the place. (Zero snow load spec in many places).

    I’ve taken the time to look at the “conspriacy theory” aspect and frankly find if very lacking. It is all based on ignoring known principles of engineering and ignoring just how fragile structures have become as we have moved away from “rebar and concrete” and into “stressed steel skin” or “stressed aluminum skin” tubular structures.

    Add the facts of film and witnesses of the events proper and it becomes quite clear what actually happened. And that is planes flying into buildings.

    (There is a minor scope for a conspriacy theory over who actually instigated the flying and why).

    So please drop the “USA did it and used explosives to drop the buildings” conspiracy theories here. They simply don’t stand up to engineering analysis and don’t account for the known facts and witnesses.

    BTW, family doing fine now.

    @Level_Head:

    The timeline in the tweets puts it May 1, not “6 days ago”

    Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).
    May 01, 2011, 7:58 PM

    @Sandy McClintock:

    So, got any pointers to that Julian guy? And mind if we just fuel up a couple of helicopters?
    Just passing through ;-)

    @Level_Head:

    “Clark’s hustling of the bin Ladin family members”

    The key thing being “family” and not Osama his’self…

    The Bin Laden family (named for Osama’s Dad, not for Osama) was a highly placed Saudi family that made a bucket of money building things. They had one kid go rogue. You don’t paint them all with the kid’s brush. And some guy with $Billions of contracts and who’s worked well with you for a long time want’s to bug out to home in what might be the start of a major war? Yeah, you hustle them out. Put the protection problem on some other dirt.

    No consiracy about it, as you noted.

    @PhilJourdan:

    I would expect that the Seals were briefed just before being loaded on the choppers and that only the intelligence guys and the Presidential staff knew what was really up until things were “in the air”….

    @Interesting Connections:

    I’d also like to stay away from the “fake birth certificate” line of reasoning as well. The evidence to date is that the Hawaiian offcials released the documents. If you wish to go beyond that, I’ll open a thread specifically for you to put your links and reasoning, but would rather not have it here as it isn’t an Osama issue.

    I’d also hold judgement about it being a ‘fake killing’ until we see what evidence is provided.

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I don’t put any weight in “commissions findings”. I put a great deal into what I’ve seen of an engineering analysis of what happened to the materials of the structures and my own abilty to assess the veracity of those statements.

    That we funded Al Qada early on is, IMHO, evidence for the profound stupitidy of our CIA and State Department and why we ought not to go shoving money around the world (see Egypt and Libya for current examples). That we have idiots giving money to evil idiots does not make them them brilliant conspirators…

    BTW, I watched it all happen live on TV on the day. I was awake and preparing for market activities. I saw plane #2 fly into the building. I watched the buildings burning and saw the collapses in real time. There were no explosive detonations visible (and I’ve watched a lot of buildings brought down with cutting charges). I saw the news reports of unresponsive planes still in the air after the ‘land now’ order. I saw the interviews with family member who said they had phone calls from relatives on the planes just before impact. To make that a conspiracy will require one heck of a degree of orchestration. Far more than our government is competent to provide, IMHO.

    The basic point that the consiracy theories miss is that a tubular skin structure is only stable inside specific limits. Exceed those, it collapses spectacularly. They also give THE most usable volume for the least materials; so are a great design. Just don’t start a progressive crush and don’t bend that skin…

    So let me know when your blog is up and I’ll put a pointer to it as a place to discuss such things.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough if there is a hidden nuke or if it was just a smoke screen. I vote for smoke screen.

    Someone sets off a nuke in Europe and, well, Eurpeans may be prone to self centered lazy international political “relations” but they can also get pretty worked up about things and have had a few wars worth noticing (though the USA has had to clean up after them …)

    Your comments on Germany are most interesting…

    I’ve known for a while that the German culture has a tendency to “run away with things” (party from my own German ancestry / family) but shutting down the coal mines AND the nukes? Let’s see, that leaves the fantasy of wind, solar in a cloudy place, or OPEC oil…

    The Spengler article fits with my understanding (so I’ve got a risk of “self confirmation bias”…) which is that the real “game” being played here is the House of Saud vs The World. Look at the actions in Europe. Look at what the USA does. Look at how the pieces fall. It fits very very well with Saudi money and influence getting what benefits them best. The only exceptions being when Iran moves …

    A great deal can be explained as a Sunni / Shia war by proxy with The West as funder and stooge.

    Not ready to fully embrace the notion, but just noting the very good ‘fit’ to the data…

  25. R. Shearer says:

    I don’t believe the conspiracies, but it wouldn’t surprise me if OBL is now registered to vote in Cook County…as a Democrat.

  26. R. de Haan says:

    What’s the problem with Germany is that it is always Germany.

    From WWI to WWII and now this lunatic push for the reforming the entire society.

    Don’t forget the AGW scare was first introduced in Germany and although many people state we have to thank the scare from the scientists that came over from the former DDR (the Iron Curtain fell in 1989),
    the introduction of the imminent threats of Global Warming:

    “Do you remember January 22, 1986? On this day a press conference took place in Bonn at the Hotel am Tulpenfeld. The German Physikalische Gesellschaft e. V. (German Physical Society) invited journalists and presented them with the “Warning of a Pending Climate Catastrophe”. Written on the invitation: ‘The Energy Work Group of the German Physical Society urgently warns in the accompanying document of an imminent threatening climate catastrophe’.

    Later that year in August, Der Spiegel came out with its infamous Climate Catastrophe issue whose front cover showed Germany’s beloved Cologne Cathedral landmark half-submerged in sea water. The warning on the cover read: “Ozone Hole – Ice Cap Melt – Greenhouse Effect: Scientists warn of THE CLIMATE CATASTROPHE”.

    http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/19/dr-wolgang-thune-slams-climate-policy-efforts-to-steer-climate-are-utopian-pipe-dreams/

    Another detail worth mentioning about the 9/11 attack is the fact that the ringleader was educated in Germany and the larger part of the 9/11 preparations took place at German soil.

    And while Abgela Merkel is pushing the non excisting hoax of “Social Demokratie” and ‘solidarity’ we see the German police forces violently interacting with a peaceful demonstration against Stuttgard 21, a completely out of control spending project of the Deutsche Bahn.
    http://www.thetotalcollapse.com/hardcore-police-brutality-in-germany-against-peaceful-protestors-opposing-a-railway-project/

    You almost get the impression that the spirits of the Third Reich are still roaming around trying to achieve their objectives via the back door.

    Some German politicians sure have the right mind set and the same goes for some of their scientists.

    All overshadowed by Al Gore of course.

  27. R. de Haan says:

    As for the aftermath of of 9/11:

    We saw a complete elimination of basic civil rights in the US and in Europe and the terror eliminated all the ‘right of privacy’ arguments that kept observation camera’s from the streets.

    In Europe they can track you while driving from A to B.

    Getting a visa has become torture and for every activity you need a certificate of good conduct which has to be signed by the party who requests the certificate.

    So if I go to Florida to do some twin engine flying the flying school asks for a certificate of good conduct.

    No problem so far.

    But if you are in Florida and the plane they operate is broken down and they send you to another party the entire process requesting a certicate of good conduct start all over again.

    We really have lost our freedom and feel the every tightening grip of civil servants and sometimes realy crazy security requirements.

    In fact we now all have the status of potential terrorists.

    We have cameras connected to data bases everywhere.
    Free Europe after 9/11 has turned into a police state.

  28. R. de Haan says:

    Osama bin Laded is dead…
    How very convenient.
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-very-convenient.html

  29. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Is Spectra dead LOL. Is the US election round starting again

  30. H.R says:

    OK. Can everyone here account for their whereabouts over the weekend? Will your priest confirm you were in church? Were you having lunch with the Governor? Do you have incontrovertible proof of your whereabouts?

    There’s a guy dead out there you know, but no cadaver is available for a positive ID.

    I mean, we come here and chitty-chat a bit but I have no clue as to what ya’lls hobbies are. Who likes to go out on Black Ops on the weekend for grins and thrills? Anybody? Anybody?

    :o) [b-i-i-g winkie and grin!]

    @R. de Haan
    (on 2 May 2011 at 8:30 pm)

    Great link! How many times has Osama been killed? I lost count there. Looks like at least once or twice a year.

  31. Jerry says:

    All those great dimocrat supporters of the War on Terror rushing to the microphones to beat their chests over this small battle won – just disgusting. Obama first in line of course claiming sole ownership and Directorship. Hey BH, born of a Muslim father, lot of folks already consider you an apostate. Now you demand the credit for killing Bin Laden? – careful what you wish for little man.

  32. Level_Head says:

    The website news.com.au had originally reported “six days earlier” — I don’t see it now, but they’re now saying that it was Fox that reported he was killed “a week ago by a bomb.”

    Obviously in the early news, much was speculation and misfire.

    As you suggested, the go-ahead was apparently given at the time of the leaks of “we need to focus on bin Ladin” were coming out.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.: Which day was Sunday?

    (only 1/2 ;-) as I’ve just returned from another run to the hosptial as some fragement ‘passed’ and that ’caused issues’ and I’m starting to get just a bit unclear on which day was which…)

    @Level_Head:

    No worries. I had 3 different stories inside 30 minutes at the start, and one re-write before I hit ‘publish’ where I ripped out a bunch of stuff that “had changed”… Frankly, my challenge / query of it came from the fact that you simply could have been right, given how dodgy the early reports were and how prone to “misdirection” any government release about covert operations is likely to be.

    @Jerry:

    I find it fascinating how all the folks shouting to “shut it all down” are now the once patting themselves on the back for “doing it all so well”… “I was for the war before I was against it” (and now have won it… no doubt…)

    My personal speculation founded on not much at all is that in the Daily Security Briefings BHO got an earful about attempts to get him and his family and / or plots in progress to get the whitehouse in general. That wore on him and, well, gave him the stones to give the “Go Code”…

    At any rate, I’m glad to give him one “Well Done!” (And any Seal at a bar near me gets a free drink…)

    Why I don’t think this was a fake?

    Too easy to be caught in the lie.

    1) OBL still alive: Just release a tape of him with a recent newspaper….

    2) OBL died some time ago: Point to the grave.

    That we’ve had silence from the other side tends to indicate they are stunned by a reality…

    @Scarlett Pumpernickel:

    Look on the bright side, now BHO doesn’t have to start ANOTHER war somewhere to legitimize his legacy. He now goes into the history books. That can free a man to do what’s right without the need for more ego boost…

  34. Ken McMurtrie says:

    EM. I wouldn’t really agree with you about silence from the other side.
    BTW I am gently creating my website which is a good learning experience. It is public so if you wish to view it, and certainly comment please:
    tgrule.wordpress.com
    Thank you for your offer!
    Interesting that my security program ‘Kaspersky’ isn’t all that happy with it and sometimes applies parent control blocking.
    Best regards, Ken.
    (Not expecting you to publish this comment).

  35. PhilJourdan says:

    E.M.

    Look on the bright side, now BHO doesn’t have to start ANOTHER war somewhere to legitimize his legacy. He now goes into the history books. That can free a man to do what’s right without the need for more ego boost…

    Of course now that it has come out that he was targeted (not meant to be captured), it does give the Nobel committee pause to reflect on their premature prize to Obama. Turns out that when the tough get going – Obama is as ruthless as any other.

  36. Interesting Connections says:

    R. de Hahn,

    While it is convenient, a President in trouble in the polls has to go with what is available.

    For a while I thought that the timing was convenient, and indeed, the haste and manner of OBL’s burial at sea bother me, but it seems that the following have to be considered:

    1. The only timing here would be the military timing. Do it too quickly and you risk screwing it up and/or lots of collateral damage. Try to string it out for max political effect and the target might bolt, and so on.

    2. It does have the benefit of getting the fake BS out of the news.

    3. Obama will get a bounce from it in the polls.

    However, the price of gas and it’s follow-on effects will cause much indigestion in the administration.

    What leaves me wondering, though, is why are they so clearly and obviously trying to pander to Muslim sensibilities. What was that a cover for?

    I guess that will just have to go into the bin of unanswerable questions along with: Just how did that magic bullet do all that?

  37. PhilJourdan says:

    Interesting – re: #3,

    I would believe that, but now I am beginning to wonder. The mouthpieces for Obama are already starting to spin with statements to the effect that presidents no longer get bounces. The only reason such spin would be coming out is if their private polling already showed that none occurred.

    I did not believe there would be a big bounce, but I was expecting some (on the order of 10-15 points). Now? Given the early and quick spin, I think he got all of it already – bout 1 percent.

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    Well, I’ve not seen anything blowing up lately. Maybe they are being “unsilent” in other ways. Pointers to evidence welcome… (At some point I expect they will start making noise… but for the last few days “news flow” has been all about OBL dead, not AlQada noisemaking…)

    BTW, if you paste the whole URL in with the htt part in the front, WordPress makes a hot link out of it:

    http://tgrule.wordpress.com/

    like so…

    (BTW, as you are generally polite, even when we do not agree, you are on the “straight through” list, so anything you post will be immediately “published”… such as the last comment. So if you expect something to be private, er, well, it won’t be ;-)

    @PhilJourdan:

    Being non-violent is a virtue available to those who have not been targeted, or who do not mind death or destruction. I’ve been non-violent. Tried it for a couple of decades. Being violent, sometimes very violent, but only directed at those who would do you harm, works much much better. Obama either new that, or learned it “right quick”.

    “Violence never solves anything” is a flat out lie.

    Police carry guns and train in martial arts precisely because violence solves a great many things.

    The military is all about “deplomacy by other means” when being polite and non-violent fails. The use of violence by the Allies in WW.I.I. solved some very important things.

    Those truths extend to the individual walking down a sidewalk as well…

    Basically, I see it it as the Fire Ant Problem. You can be as nice as you want with others. You can put out noise makers to scare off unwanted birds. Have a dog to bark and scare off intruders. But once it’s clear that “they don’t listen so good” and are simply going to ignore anything you say, bite like hell, and pillage your farm like fire ants do, well, some amount of fire bombing the place and a follow up of ruthless extermination can work wonders…

    IMHO, anyone who wants to do a pacifist approach to world politics ought to be forced to live on a fire ant infested farm in South Texas for a year… It’ll smarten ’em up right quick… “Extermination is your friend”…

    So the Jihadies want to be all “Fire Ant” PITA and agrressive. OK, we’ve got a fix for that…

    (Sidebar on Argentine ants: There is some evidence from So.Cal that the Argentine black ant stops or slows the spread of Fire Ants. Good news as I have a significant Argentine ant colony somewhere on my place. Every couple of years some ‘stray inside’ and get coaxed into going back outside. Live and let live… mostly. If it proves out, it could be a very interesting thing indeed… )

  39. Ken McMurtrie says:

    @EM. Thanks for your info and support.
    Re “other side being silent” – I agree no evidence of Islamic reactions, either violent or demonstrations or press that I am aware of. I had misinterpreted your “other side” to mean the likes of me who likes to see a conspiracy at every opportunity and shout about this whole Osama death being a scam. There is a bit of that going on on my side of the cyber world.
    Re your comment to Phil Jourdan re violence solving anything or not – I have strong (but not violent)feelings about that and may be moved to comment in more detail but am late with my tax data to the accountant. Simply, I believe that violence begets violence. Of course, the matter is not simple, but….
    Regards. :-)

  40. Jerry says:

    May all 72 of Osama’s virgins be Rosie O’Donnell clones :)

  41. R. de Haan says:

  42. Level_Head says:

    @R. Shearer:

    I don’t believe the conspiracies, but it wouldn’t surprise me if OBL is now registered to vote in Cook County…as a Democrat.

    He would have wanted it that way — in 2004, he was rattling off the Democrats’ talking points in his pitch for John Kerry:
    http://level-head.livejournal.com/158380.html

    On habeas corpus:
    Just imagine the scenario in the last Administration and this one. A small working group would have been assigned the task of thinking though the scenario: If we get him, then what? What do we do with the body?

    Arrangements would have been made for the State Department, those folks who make the world safe for cocktail parties, to contact their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, and our “friends” in Afghanistan. The question would be put to them: Just hypothetically, do you want his corpse?

    Now, time has passed. Leadership has changed, especially in Pakistan. The US’s perception around the Arab world has continued to decline under Obama, which is not necessarily a bad thing except for the reasons.

    Apparently, the answer was “no thanks, keep him” — or so we’re told. So the plan to lose the body fast had to have been worked out months ago.

    It puts Obama in the position of not being able to produce the corpse of a man already widely thought of as years dead.

    I don’t think this is an evil conspiracy, but I DO think that it is horrifically incompetent.

    In many circumstances, such as running the US, that can be just as bad.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  43. Level_Head says:

    @R de Haan:

    I’m predisposed to like Judge Napolitano — but he got several key facts wrong in the video you posted. Most significant was the decision to set up a covert support network to oppose the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

    That decision was made in 1979 and early 1980. The judge blames this on Reagan, showing an extended clip of Reagan as President — but he would not take office until a year later. He continued Jimmy Carter’s covert support of the fighters, but he did not original this policy.

    Second, the judge uses “supposedly” in inappropriate contexts. Supposedly to oppose the Soviets? What did he think the real story was? Moments later, he admits that the tactic was effective — more Soviet soldiers were killed in Afghanistan than US soldiers in Vietnam.

    He ridicules communism as the “bogeyman” of the time, as if that threat was not real then — or now.

    He inflates US training support (most of the cash came from the Middle East, which he omits) to direct US/CIA support of Usama bin Ladin, which is false. (As an aside, UbL hated the US then as now.)

    I confess to being disappointed with this speech. Judge Napolitano should know better.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  44. Level_Head says:

    A great pity that these are not editable. I will try to do better on the typing.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  45. R. de Haan says:

    @level-head,
    After your most factual analysis i’m disappointed too.
    Thanks.

    In the mean time we have exclusive pictures from OBL’s burial at sea:
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/05/they-didnt.html

  46. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    It was “my bad” for not defining “other side”. I meant, as you noted, the Jihadies. Guess an “us vs them” ruler doesn’t work in a multifaceted discussion ;-)

    Per violence:

    Yes, there is the “Hatfield and McCoy” problem. The issue of engendering a blood feud. The ‘revenge killing’ cycle.

    That’s why I reserve it for last on the list. You try the other stuff, but when all else fails, well, “Be The Berserker” has it’s uses…

    It’s that old “Speak softly and carry a big stick” thing. IMHO, you need both of them. Where folks get into, or cause, trouble is when they are only 1/2 of it. Either half.

    The pure pacifist will eventually run into the pure evil and end up dead or enslaved. It actually can encourage the attack and the violence.

    The purely violent will invite reprisals (as you note) but can also cause a general uprising against them in “self protection” that may or may not be fully warranted.

    Those who choose “To be on good terms, as much as possible, with all” yet reserve the right of full self defense and let it be politely known; they have the least “issues” to deal with. Very few people choose to pick a fight with a POLITE armed POLICE.

    A weak king does not long hold the kingdom together and can not protect their people. A strong violent king leads their nation to ruin in wars, or engenders wars of reprisal and preemption. A stong polite kind king with a well trained popular army tends to live a long and peaceful life.

    The “hard bit” is getting that ‘on the cusp’ mindset and holding it. Being always prepared for violence, and never wanting it, nor using it ’till last.

    In matial arts training a fair amount of time goes into that mindset. It pays off. I’ve had folks accosting me where I knew I could kill them in less than 2 seconds and they would not be able to stop me. I was able to diffuse the situation via social means precisely because I knew I could “exterminate the issue” if it came to that. I’ve had a guy “jump me” unexpectedly and about 5 block/strikes into it have the full knowledge I could do anything I wanted to him, and chose to just hold it at “no injury”. The appropriate level of violence stopped the attacks and with the mininal injury to anyone. Precisely because I was using “responsible violence”. Had I been pacifist, I’d have been hurt and they would have gone on to others. At least one of them I’m pretty sure learned it’s a bad idea to attack what looks like an easy “pacifist” target…

    (For the curious, I had a grip on the guys throat and squeezed just enough to get him “focused” on his throat and backed off of me. I could just as easily have ripped the throat out. I have very strong hands. Fingers and thumb each on a major artery… 1 hand is all it takes. The decision came down to “Grip and Pull” vs “Pain and release”. )

    So my point is a very simple one. Violence is a horrid and terrible thing, never to be used; until it is the only way to the most peacful outcome… And that depends on the other person deciding to leave me alone. Sometimes you need to “communicate with them in the language they understand” until they “get it”… and for some folks they only understand force and violence. It may be a foreign language to me, but I’m ok with being poly-lingual… even speaking with sign language and tactile means…

    @Level_Head & R. de Haan:

    Carter initiated, but Regan was happy to keep up the funding, and UBL was one of the beneficiaries of the largess we dumped on the place.

    The simple fact is that ALL the presidents are, in fact, happy to run all around the world and stir up trouble. Napolitano is correct that only Congress ought to be authorizing such things.

    It is one of the faults of our “system” that we have decided to simply ignore that “forced restraint” as we have rushed toward the free exercise of violence at the order of the president. That the people LIKE it is even more distressing. (Heck, *I* like it…) So Napolitano is correct in his rant about what the law means and what ought to be done, and correct in pointing at how the free exercise of global power by the executive branch has caused ongoing problems (to Ken’s point…) but what he has not done is show a decent alternative.

    In essence, we have a formal system that says we must wait for the weekly meeting of The Lodge before we can parry a thrust… so we’ve given an “OK, do what you want for a little while” blanket OK. Now folks like the results (in general) and it’s being used rather a bit too much. Congress likes not being responsible… so doesn’t stop it. We’ve moved too far from the “talk your way out politely, first” step and are too much into the “violence can fix it” phase.

    The result has been a series of “overseas adventures” and propping up evil dictators “for our own needs”; that has lead to populations all over the place soured on our “friendship”. We are, in many cases, becoming the bully we are supposed to prevent…

    But now we’re in this pickle, so we have to deal with it. It will take a generation or two of ‘doing things right’ to end it. And it’s almost certain we won’t be doing things quite right…

    Per UBL at sea:

    It’s what I’d do. Why?

    1) Truncates all the “shrine” stuff.
    2) It is illegal to “display” the body of a slain combatent.
    3) It is emotionally satisfying (though I’d have left out the religion hocus pocus and just had “The Old Heave HO!”)…
    4) It terminates what would otherwise be extended legal wrangling.

    those are the main points. Only downside is a few conspriacy theories, but you always have them anyway.

    It’s also possible that during the “event” someone might have gotten a bit, er, ‘energetic’ with OBL and it also would eliminate any evidence of that. (“Honest, sir, I was aiming for his belly… It’s just that he’s so tall, sir…”)

    One other minor point: If the body showed him old, frail, and infirm (likely) it would be a bit hard to sell the story that the fully armed and trained Seal had to shoot him in self defense… As it stands now, we have the photos of him packing an AK-47 in our heads. So the story goes that UBL was unarmed, but ‘attacked’ the soldier? Yeah, right…

    You had a couple of dozen Seals against a few armed men? ( variously 3 to 4) And only ONE guy is facing UBL in that room? I don’t think so… The tactic is rapid entry in a tight group of 3 or more. If they had wanted him alive, they could have done it (IMHO). (Though at much increased risk).

    Basicaly, it also truncates some of the evidence that this might have been a ‘hit squad’ more than a ‘raid and capture’ assignment…

    So I’m happy to accept that UBL was there, was killed, and was dumped at sea. Largely for “butt cover” reasons.

    It’s what I’d have ordered… and for the same reasons.

  47. Level_Head says:

    @E. M. Smith:

    Usama bin Ladin had, just a few years earlier, inherited a $300 million dollar fortune from his construction-tycoon father, who had died in a plane crash. UbL was not poor prior to this, of course, and had allowances and luxuries that would have allowed him to entertain Saddam Hussein.

    He hated the US, wanted nothing to do with it, resented the US’s involvement in Afghanistan (to be fair, the Pashtun resented the arrival of all these Arabs as well).

    UbL set up his own fundraising operation, raking in millions from sympathizers and relatives, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

    Anyone dealing with him — for example, to give him some bit of CIA-provided equipment — had to maintain the pretense that it had been “liberated” from its Western origins.

    While that equipment provided some assistance, and there were others less fussy about who they got help from, I don’t think that it is fair to suggest that Usama bin Ladin benefited in any significant way from “our largess.”

    Remember that our role — the CIA — was mostly training and some specialized equipment. The funding and fighters came almost entirely from the Middle Eastern world.

    The ME governments involved — and there were several — accomplished two things with this: They obstructed the Soviet Union, which looked poised to take over Middle Eastern oil countries and eject their governments, and these countries also were able to get rid of hot-headed young troublemakers who were being stirred up by the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The US supplied new, fake passports for them.

    Years later, after the Soviet collapse, the ME countries did not want their hot-headed (and now combat-experienced) radicals back. And Washington discovered that it had lost the original passports of these radicals.

    There have many many attempts to portray UbL as a “creation of the CIA who went rogue” — and Judge Napolitano actually contributes to this in that speech. But it is far indeed from the truth.

    Usama bin Ladin is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, more than anything else. He was first radicalized at a Saudi university by Qutb’s brother, and another MB man al Zawahiri has run it for years, and is now the HMFWIC. (Um, let’s say “head Muslim figure what’s in charge.”)

    Zawahiri is, I think, far more dangerous — but he has not had the status of UbL. So this surgeon-turned-mass-murderer is not yet a rallying cry for Brotherhood operations. I don’t think he can reach that status — he is a brilliant and worldly tactician, not a holy man.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    @Level_Head:

    Not in disagreement with anything you said. Just pointing out where there is fact. UBL did benefit.

    Doesn’t matter how much money you have, it’s still easier to get stinger missles delivered directly from the maker…

    And even rich folks like having someone else slide a few $Million (or was it $Billion… I lose track…) to their side for use.

    No, he was not our creation, but we spread a lot of fertilizer around the field and supplied lots of “training opportunities”…

  49. Jeff Alberts says:

    In matial arts training a fair amount of time goes into that mindset. It pays off. I’ve had folks accosting me where I knew I could kill them in less than 2 seconds and they would not be able to stop me. I was able to diffuse the situation via social means precisely because I knew I could “exterminate the issue” if it came to that. I’ve had a guy “jump me” unexpectedly and about 5 block/strikes into it have the full knowledge I could do anything I wanted to him, and chose to just hold it at “no injury”. The appropriate level of violence stopped the attacks and with the mininal injury to anyone. Precisely because I was using “responsible violence”. Had I been pacifist, I’d have been hurt and they would have gone on to others. At least one of them I’m pretty sure learned it’s a bad idea to attack what looks like an easy “pacifist” target…

    (For the curious, I had a grip on the guys throat and squeezed just enough to get him “focused” on his throat and backed off of me. I could just as easily have ripped the throat out. I have very strong hands. Fingers and thumb each on a major artery… 1 hand is all it takes. The decision came down to “Grip and Pull” vs “Pain and release”. )

    E.M. “The Dragon” Smith ;)

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    That is rather an issue…

    I’d like to see the photo.

    Why?

    1) I deserve gloating rights. He started it, we get to gloat.

    2) Validation opportunities…

    E.M. “The Dragon” Smith ;-)

  51. David says:

    Just back from 8 days in Yosemite! We had a camping spot (large and private) where the Merced meets the stream from mirror lake. The week without the rest of the world was very nice. I hiked up into the snow line in several spots. The hike to the top of Yosemite falls was spectacular.

    Of course while I was gone the world did not stand still. I came back to headlines about UBL being dead, again. I guess he really is now, and bravo for the seals who got him. Good and informative comments here helped me get caught up quick.

    I have one minor quibble with E.M. on the burial at sea in that I think the Obama adminstration reasons were not as portrayed, “for the same reasons”.
    The whole Muslim burial at sea bothers me. If moderate Muslims do not want to be associated with Political Sharia law Jihad’s, then they should be protesting this decision and how it associates UBL with them. Think about it; If UBL were to claim to be representing my religion and killing thosands of innocents in the name of my religion, the very last thing I would want is for him to be burried in the tradition of my religion. I would be extremely upset and vocal in my objection to this.

    Also this formal Muslim burial kind of mocks Obama’s “we are not at war with Islam” comments. I agree that Bush also made certain he communicated that we are not at war with Islam. However Bush at least made a distinction that there was a “radical” Islam, and he did not redact (as Obama has) any mention of Islam from documents. Bush was trying (poorly in my view) to make a distinction between Political Islam and most Muslims, while Obama is trying to portray radical Islam as a “small band of men” comprising Al Queada, and virtually nothing else. Obama has always portrayed “Islam” as the religion of peace, as the Muslim morning call to prayer being “the most beautiful sound in the world”His comments ( made at different times and locations) that “America is a Muslim nation” and “America is not a Christian nation” are quite incredible and very strange. As Obama has stated that UBL is not Muslim, this Muslim burial at sea is contrary to his portrayal of the global situation. Also they had monthes to plan this out. They could have provided instance real time notice to many Arab nations and flown in Arab representives and recieved testimony from them as to the actual identity of the body, even providing DNA. Leaving room for the rumors is not helpful.

    Concerning Obam’s portrayal of Islam, it is clear that he either does not know, or is purposefully blind as to the historic nature of Islam as practiced. It is true we are not at war with Islam, though Islam is at war with everyone. By that I mean historical Islam is not just a religion, but a societal organization according to sharia law. It is the last “empire society” of antiquity.

    The bigger picture. I do understand the R2P policy theory and I think it has legs. I just think that Israel will know all this and will not accept their fate of being subjugated to a “new world order” especially if it involves the UN and the entire Arab world.

    It seems that Amr Moussa of the Arab League is now proposing to the UN that a no-flight zone be applied to Gaza. Moussa refers to the R2P doctrine, which he helped to formuate for the UN. Also, remember that the Assembly can act independently of the Council and there is no veto power. Moreover there are 57 (58 after Palestine) Muslim nations in the UN. That makes for a mighty block. Haman Ashrais (?) of the PLO is also a founder of the doctrine for the UN. She denies that Hamas is terroristic or even the Holocaust. Do not forget that towards the end of May another Turkish flottilla will attempt to reach Gaza. The Israelis will respond and the “world” will condemn the response — lending more credence to the thesis that the Palestians need to be “protected”. By the way, Moussa is a candidate for the head of Egypt. He is known for his Israel and America critiques — that makes him popular with Egytian youths.

    I think that this piece of evidence lends credence to Beck’s thesis that Israel is being set up and that the R2P doctrine is the means. Of more importance for the US is the thesis that national sovereignty is being recast as a reponsiblity to act protectively for “human rights” in some sort of international coalition under UN auspices. I think that Obama is purposely not having the American military finish the job in Libya, i.e., as the dominating or overtly leading force. Rather the US, however much American military might may be decisive, is subordinating itself to a international coalition blessed by the UN in name of its “right” to obligate the realization of the R2P doctrine. I thus see Obama subordinating US independence to dependence upon the dictates of a “new world order”. And the Congress???

    Finally: Just ask yourself what might happen, if Israel is forbidden by the UN to fly over Gaza. Result would of course be open season upon Isarael by Hamas. What follows? Simple, the need for massive military intervention so as to enact and enforce a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestianians.

    Israel is not fooled by the Muslim worlds move to democracy as apparently the “elite” in the west are. Once again the failure of the “progressives” to understand the dark side of the nature of mankind is manifesting in a working partnership with revolutions in the Middle East. For Israel the move to “democracy” is literally two wolfs and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch, with of course, Israel being the lunch. (How this all turns out in the end is anyone’s guess, but the process is certain to be very painful and violent)

    Israel has very strong anti-aircraft tech, plus much better then most anti-missile protection. They have nuclear (also on subs) as well as chemical and biological weapons with delivery systems. If push comes to shove, Israel will not back down and will deploy all of the above. That being said I do not know how much internal resistance the US military leaders may offer to the R2P policy being deployed. Would the US military leadership really want to place Israel in such a situation? Unfortunately. until Islam undergoes a radical transformation, such conflict may in the end be inevitable. This “elite” condemnation of Israel, which is far more productive, democratic and protective of individual rights and freedom of religion then any other middle eastern country, is an odd thing in my view.

    Sorry for the rant but any perspectives at this most thoughtful blog are appreciated.

  52. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    I read your “rant”.

    I want to respond with some force that you are clearly wrong.

    I can’t, though, as I don’t see where that might be…

    Responsibility To Protect is an odd doctrine and I’ve not got it integrated well into my “mental model” of what folks are up to at the UN. I cling to the hope that in the end the American People will NEVER accept subjugation or subordination of our national sovereignty to the gang of corrupt thieves that make up the UN.

    But “Hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith”… nags and nags..

    FWIW, I have a “mental model” of the future that has a W.W.III as likey outcome with nuclear and CBW in use. I’ve described the most likely “starting point” as being on a line from Israel / Egypt through India/Pakistan and on to North Korea /(everyone).

    Basically, I could see things “going hot and nuclear” in the two Koreas, at that India / Pakistan / China Kashmere disputed area, and anywhere from Pakistan through to the other anchor of the Muslim World in Egypt (either between any / all of them and Israel or as a Sunni / Shia blowup).

    Which is most likely shifts from year to year as different folks get more or less “cranky”.

    At present, IMHO, the most likely is a joint attempt to do in Israel in one swift blow. It’s a very small place and just a couple of nukes completely eliminate all above ground life. Then it’s a fairly easy “walkover” to occupy and finish.

    Mad? Yup. But not MAD. Mutually Assured Destruction does not matter when one party WANTS destruction as a gateway to heaven… Many Arabs in surrounding areas would not mind having the “Palistinian Problem” resolved with the removal of the Palistinians as a “minor benefit” too…

    My “nighmare scenario” is a simultaneous launch of a couple of sub based (or freighter offshore based) missiles with nukes on them. Heck, just put a ship 4 miles off shore with a 50 MT thermonuclear device and don’t even launch the sucker, just set it off! At the same time, fire a couple of missles in from some disputed and poorly managed areas like south Lebanon and the Egyptian desert. (You could even put on or two in some tanks and just run a column in, fast, with orders to hit “detonate” whenever the lead tanks started getting “popped” with anti tank fire. Add an airplane or two (and don’t forget that 20,000 ft commercial traffic on an overflight is just 4 miles up while a large nuke has a 20 mile kill radius…) and then what is left of Israel?

    Against whom does what is left of Israel launch it’s counter attack? If the national governments decry this dastardly deed done by “terrorists”, what grounds is there to drop a sub launched nuke on Tehran? Or Cairo? Or Riyadh?

    Sure, you lose some Palistinians (but aside from the fact that a lot of their “muslim brothers” despise them) they would want to go to Paradise (so the thinking would go…)

    Yeah, some fallout drifts on nearby countries, but not so much as to be a major issue. Just declare the victims Martyrs and move on…

    OK, so the world would condemn it. And there would be a big fuss about who gets to claim the dirt next. Heck, maybe even a bit of a dust-up between the Sunni and Shia in border countries as they rush in to “rescue” survivors…

    At any rate, that’s my “nighmare scenario”. A giant “Flash Bang” and in the afterglow, no clear target to hit.

    That, IMHO, is why any nuclear nutcase states in the area need to be squashed fast and hard.

    FWIW, I’ve called the doctrin that I think would work for this case SAD. Swift Assured Destruction.

    You build enough defenses that you can mute some of the attack. Push boats beyond 12 miles off shore. Limit commercial overflights. Build stellar antimissle and air defenses. AND put them all on a hair trigger. Feel free to appologize for downing a few stray airplanes and sinking a ship or two, and not change the policy. Add to it, a statement that an unknown nuclear attack will be presumed to come from “the usual suspects” and all will be immediately destroyed in such a case ( i.e. give them a reason not to want it… and to police against it.) and announce that any identified country of origin (even if used as a patsy launch area) will cease to exist.

    Let them all know that they face Swift Assured Destruction on any ATTEMPT at such an attack.

    This is, I think, similar to what Israel is presently doing, though a bit more “over the top”. It is something that I think the USA needs to do as well. To make it clear that anyone aiding such a “nuclear terrorism” would face a SAD end. It is the only way I can think of to prevent a nondescript cargo ship from taking out a US city.

    Without such a system, the “end game” becomes a surprise nuclear attack of foggy origin and a subsequent onset of W.W.III as various countries in turn get pulled into an expanding regional event as it turns global.

    At any rate, that’s my rather dismal long term view of things…

    Per the UN:

    I can only hope that my fellow citizens are much more willing to tell unelected parliamentarians to “go stuff it” than the Europeans have been in their rush to embrace serfdom.

    I know there is an ongoing push by some shady forces for a world governance (though it’s not real clear to me why, other than graft and corruption) but I also know that a load of Americans are chaffed a lot by it already. There is a rebellious thread just under the surface here. It’s already showing up in the Tea Party aimed at our own loony government.

    We also have a minor ace in the hole. The Federal Government is a creation of the States. If it gets too far out of hand, they can smack it. No, they’ve not used that power for a good long while. But every so often they rattle that sword just a little… At present, some states are talking about perhaps taking back the Senate as States Representatives… Returning us a bit more to a Republic and less to a Democracy (as we are again learning that Democracies are not stable and spend themselves to ruin…)

    I know. It’s a thin hope. And “Hope is not a strategy”… but it’s what I have to cling too… (Well, that and my God and Guns ;-)

    At any rate, Osama has had his “day in the sun” and assured himself a place in the history books. Times will turn, and it is highly likely that at the next election someone else will be president. He will be “so last election” and folks will be looking at $5 gasoline and hearing tapes of him saying “energy prices will necessarily skyrocket” and, well, right after God and Guns comes that big ‘ol Pick-em-up truck… Those are going to be some cranky voters…

    A large block of America is fed up with the game as it was played and have stepped to the side and said “Show me the results, or no money”. I’m one of them. I gave a campaign contribution to a candidate a few presidential elections back. They assured lower taxes. When they called asking for more for a reelection bid I said: “That last contribution was on a ‘pay for performance’ basis. So far, no performance as my taxes have not gone down. You will never see another nickel of my money until you provide the promissed tax cuts.” They called a dozen or so more times, each time getting the same result. Eventually they stopped calling… and eventually there was a minor tax cut deal.

    Now, little did I know that I was not alone. The same mindset has shown up in the Tea Party (who don’t care what “side” you are from; but look at performance. Did you deliver on your position? Or did you “compromise” back to Business As Usual?) The folks elected with the help of such a group know they have an audtor watching their principles…

    Will it grow big enough to change DC? I hope so…

    Oh, and if you take a drive through the Bible Belt it is a very enlightening thing… From Texas / Oklahoma all the way to Florida. No Way those folks are going to embrace some stooge in the UN telling them what to do to Israel. Especially on a Sunday drive, the radio is All Religion All The Time through there.

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/1912

    gives an idea of it. I’ve walked the “stations of the cross” there with some “true believer” family…

    http://www.crossministries.net/

    are the folks that run the place, I think. Notice the tiny little person in the lower right corner of the picture.

    You see that thing for 20 miles on I-40. It’s impressive.

    What’s more impressive is that these folks think of D.C. as some place that occasionally needs some reminding “who’s in charge”… and think the UN is a bag of trash that ought to have been dumped long ago.

    About the only thing stopping them from leveling the UN is a sense of propriety. A sense that they have a voice in DC and their representatives have decided to deal with the UN, but at a bit of arm’s length, so it’s barely tolerable.

    If the UN tries to make itself their master, well, there’s a lot of trucks and fertilzer in the Bible Belt… and a nice big freeway to New York City…

    (FWIW, I think you would see Texas exercise its option to leave the union first. I could easily see a New Confederacy say “Stuff It” to a DC that started ceeding too much to the UN. You “don’t mess with Texas” and they barely tolerate the loons in DC as it is…)

    At any rate, there is this odd fixation with Israel throughout the “born again” Bible Belt. It is seen as a needed step to the Rapture and the Return. Anyone wants to threaten Israel and they are threatening the immortal soul of those folks. Their central world view.

    They won’t take kindly to that…

    At any rate, it’s a hope…

  53. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Nice rant David. You laid it all out very well.
    If Obama tries to enforce R2P it will be the end of him.

    ” A third of the world will be bathed in blood” The Islamic third as they undergo a “radical transformation” Obama was raised as a Muslim and a communist, and no matter what he says he can’t change his spots. The muslim religon was created to justify war againist all others, this also means those not of the “right” sect, so Obama can say that Osama was not a real Muslim. The Islamic conversion of nations has generally been by conversion of the king and he forces his nation to convert. Those that moved Obama forward from childhood were following this precept. The Obamas think that they are anointed to the position of leadership over all americans, the beginning of the new era. They are actually the end of the old way of doing things. American politicians are disposable.

    America is the most christian nation in the world and americans will not allow Israel to fall. pg

  54. R. de Haan says:

    @David and E.M Smith
    I really think you are spot on with your assessment.
    We are in a much dangerous world now.
    The MAD doctrine only worked because we and the Russians were not suicidal.

    The Arab fanatics however are and that alone is a reason to prevent them from going nuclear (Iran, North Korea) and eliminate present capability present in Pakistan (Saudi Arabia).

    The UN clearly has turned in a house of horror and if we are lucky and history takes it’s ‘natural way’ it will crash by it’s own corruption.

    Historical events in the past show us that no written treaty is able to prevent war and no lawyers rule the battlefield.

  55. R. de Haan says:

    North Korea of course not listed as a Islamic country of course but with irresponsible and fanatic idiots in power.

  56. R. de Haan says:

    A remarkable article and a remarkable interview:
    US Pakistani-Chinese tensions growing
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/05/us-pakistani-chinese-tensions-growing.html

    The interview is with this man: Dr. Steve Pieczenik
    From Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Pieczenik
    Professional life

    Pieczenik served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and/or Senior Policy Planner under Secretaries Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, George Schultz and James Baker. [3] [2]

    Dr. Pieczenik has also previously worked for the state department as a psychiatrist, and was a press source for early information on the mental state of the hostages involved in the Iranian Hostage Crisis after they were freed. [4] He has additionally previously been affiliated in a professional capacity as a psychiatrist with the National Institute of Mental Health. [5]

    Dr. Pieczenik also served as an International Crisis Manager and Hostage Negotiator in The State Department under United States President Jimmy Carter. [6]

  57. R. de Haan says:

    I really hope this Pieczenik guy is a nut case.

  58. David says:

    Thanks for the response to my ramblings. So much agreement on such a pessemestic view kind of makes me wish to return to my Yosemitie campsite 504 in North Pines.
    BTW if you go there as we did in April, this site (the best in the Valley) and several others are available on a day to day basis as they flood depending on snow melt. We had a different site, found out 504 was available on a day to day basis only, rechecked the weather and recent USGS streamflow for similar weather, and moved to this site for 8 straight nights. The high temeperature was between 57 and 63 all week and the Merced only varied by about 8 inches. The low was 30 and Yosemitie falls produced some fantastic frazil ice.

    R. de Haan, well the man in your video appears to have credentials, but he says a lot of words and assertions without going into verifiable facts. There are so many verifiable facts in support of the 9/11 Muslim Terrorist attack that it would take a step by step logical refution of those facts. Also there is an incredible body of evidence supporting the reality of Islamic terrorism and the real threat it poses. Here is a site of some well qualified people from past administrations you may wish to check out if you have not already. http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.xml

  59. E.M.Smith says:

    R. de Haan

    I really hope this Pieczenik guy is a nut case.

    I think he sounds like one.

    For one thing, UBL was / is 54. Marfan’s folks can easily live that long. Further, looking at him, I’m not seeing Marfan’s. (I’ve got a friend with it…). He’s a bit tall and thin, but not excessively so. About like my brother in law (who is definitely not ill).

    Then there are those nagging issues of those video tapes of UBL released over the years… so what, someone made a batch of them in advance just in case they were needed?

    There is also the “emotional loading” of his words. Just reeks of someone trying to create something out of nothing… Don’t know if he’s “lost it” or “losing it” or just trying to turn his past work into a lever for book sales and interviews.

    At any rate, he didn’t give a whole lot of ‘fact checkable’ things to validate and is very long on accusation very short on data… Key flags to my “BS-O-Meter”…

    (Frankly, I just don’t think our folks are competent enough to have pulled off that level of deception…)

  60. David says:

    Dear Mr E.M. Smith
    Your WWIII senario sounds plausible. BHO and his advisors appear to be making it more likely. Egypts recent accords with the now united factions for Palestine, place Egypt in the position that Iran would like. Look out if they all formally find an accord.

    The end result, humm???, lots of violent death, massive economic upheaval, (perhaps before and contributory to causing WW) a world more sick then ever of war, then some form of international goverment, (technology makes this inevitable) but somewhere somehow the US idea of self responsbility, liberty, and freedom from goverment, religion any central authority, is realised in the ideals of a republic and a macro world wide version of the U.S.A. as it was intended, a United States of the World, so to speak. See, in the end, after the dark clouds have passed, I see some sort of sunshine, I must, it is in my nature.

    The biggest problem I see now (towards a postive end result) is that internationally and publicly no one with public persuasion is promoting the ideals of the US founding fathers, with the exception of Glen Beck (his influence is mainly national, not international) who is ridculed and feared for his efforts.

  61. R. de Haan says:

    E. M. Smith,

    Yes, we had lot’s of high officials who went completely submerged in cuckoo wonderland with in a period of ten years after fulfilling high posts.

    The interview, a monolog really, contains lot’s of anger, frustration and ego tripping.

    However up to now we a no single shred of evidence from the Obama Camp and that fact alone opens the door for every nut to add hi 2 cents to the discussion.

    I had a close look at the birth certificate published at USGov.org and a lot was wrong with it.

    I have concluded not to take Obama seriously on anything and I really hope the American people find a way to replace him with a more capable and reliable person.

  62. really now says:

    Who in their sane, logical, aware, thinking mind would believe the “official” story? The story that changes by the day. Dig deeper, folks. We’re not being told the truth about how much radiation is wafting our way… never told the truth about 9/11… oh, remember some years back Rumsfield said something about 2 trillion dollars missing, but does not know where…. or where the tax payers’ billions (trillions?) of dollars went towards the lucky recipients of the bailout money, but the Fed can’t be audited…. or hey, that poisonous fluoride and vaccinations are actually good for you? Or the decades long aerosol spraying of our now hazy-white chemical laden skies that the gov. won’t admit to but there is irrefutable evidence (just look up) to the contrary. Let’s add that the back-scatter airport machines the TSA says are safe (yeah, right)… on and on with the lies that most of the general public sucks up like open-mouthed guppies. Sorry for my rant today. Just so fed up with all the bs. And people still believe what the gov. says? Really? Oh, and Obama’s birth certificate looks to be a forgery, based up the various layers of the document showing adulteration.

    [ This is getting a bit far into the “conspriacy theory” muck… it would be nice to avoid straying too far down that path. While it’s true that even paranoids have real enemies, the notion that all of government is out to get you is a bit of a stretch too far… Floride, for example, was originally discovered to protect teeth in natural water supplies. It’s much easier to simply find a bit of stupidity in that they didn’t notice the high rate of brittle bones in the same population (as dentists are not M.D.s). A simlar set can be found for most “conspiracies”. -MOD]

  63. R. de Haan says:

    Obama is dead, now we can retreat from Afghanistan
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/05/next-steps.html

  64. Just to bolster my own viewpoint regarding the credibility, or lack of it, of Obama press releases.
    Someone else’s comment:
    “There was scarcely a sentence in the President’s Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman, Jay Carney, or by various documentary records.”
    (Attrituble to Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch.)
    This time I am back to the risks of accepting unverified statements, no matter who makes them.
    Yet the public thrive on them.

  65. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The “Great Deceiver” has a problem with facts. Even his wife says he over promises and under delivers. At least in this case the Navy Seals claimed the kill. Them I believe. pg

  66. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    Well, for me, because the Seals are some of the most honest and trustworthy people on the planet. The very best, brightest, and bravest folks this nation has, and driven by a sense of honor; a word sharing the same root with honest…

    While I’m certain that they can present a deception as well as the best of the best; when ordered to do so (as in making a ‘diversionary attack’ to hide where a main attack is coming) the fundamental dishonesty to their family and friends of making a false claim of this importance to their honor would be hard to swallow.

    It would be a hard deception to pull off, too. Lots of moving parts. Lots of people involved. Lots of witnesses along the way. Every one of them must stay perfectly to script…

    Yes, some you can ‘get there’ by giving them a ‘false play’ to watch (i.e you actually HAVE a burial at sea) but even there, the medical staff and the folks preparing the fake body have to be kept hushed.

    At some point that complexity just breaks down. There would be a leak… It could be as simple as one of the Seals asking folks to please stop congratulating them (as the wrongness wears on him) and then saying something like “because we don’t deserve it” when pressed with “why?”. We just are not seeing any of that indicia…

    So when everything points one way, and on the other side is a hypothetical “He was dead 10 years ago and this is all fake”… well, the hypothetical goes on the “probable conspiracy theory” list.

    One side takes a host of media experts creating fake videos (both those released by Al Qada over time and the recent ones released by the USA showing Osama in front of a wood patterned closet door that has been matched to the safehouse) along with an actual high risk operation into a (theoretically?) allied country against their will. Millions of dollars and a couple of dozen lives at risk for a ‘show’. The other side just needs a crafty and careful perp hiding with the help of friends in the ISI. Much more plausable.

    There is also the small matter of our spending $3 Billion a year to bribe Pakistan to let us use their air space and kill people in their northern provences. There is no reason for us to put all that (AND the access to Afghanistan) at risk for a ‘show’. We could have done the same thing with a mud hut or cave in Afghanistan, all under our control, and at no such cost or risk. (The “negative space” question… What was NOT done? Is that reasonable? Were I planning such an op, I’d put it where we had better control on the “play” and lest costly and risky context.)

    Look on a map. The only way in to Afghanistan is over Pakistan or over Iran. (Unless you come in from a base in China, or get Russia and the Ukraine to let you operate from their turf… and it’s ‘way hard’ to use all our carrier based task forces in that case). Logistically, Pakistan is the only way we can reasonable operate in Afghanistan. They say “NO”, and we’ve got an army stranded and surrounded with no logistics line. So we would put that on the table because? (I don’t think we want a nuclear war with Pakistan added to our “todo” list right now…)

    Finally, per the narrative, we’ve had a CIA op on the ground for a couple of months in the same place; one that was not “busted” by the Pakistani Military or ISI. So we are our own “existence proof” that it can be done. That a fake cover for who and why a building is wanted can be presented and “pass”. (And the Pakistani are VERY interested in foreigners hanging around, as that couple of $Million we paid, a few months back, to get one of our CIA guys back demonstrates. The two “atackers” he shot were likely ISI guys that wanted to pick him up for questioning…)

    When one side has so much stacked up going “the right way” and the other side has “I don’t think so”, well …

  67. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Ken McMurtrie @pg. Why?

    When you know how reality works and how professional lies work. you can tell the difference. The snatch was well planned and practice. Everyone on site says it happened, lots of auxilary proof. The aftermath handling by this administration has been amature hour, something they have been good at. Last but not least, prophecies for this man at this time was that he would drown or that his body would be lost at sea. pg

  68. @ EM and pg.
    I don’t want to go around in circles, nor look like I am trying for the last word.
    However, I am NOT questioning whether a raid occurred, where it was, or who was involved.
    The most suspicious factor is that we cannot be sure it was bin Laden. That is the only really important issue. There is insufficient evidence available to counter the extensive publicly-available, reasonably-sourced information, that fuels the doubts about Obama’s claims.
    And then, there is the circus of the press releases. That does nothing towards public confidence in official news reporting, or, in FACT, in Obama’s own statements. Enables us all to confidently think whatever we want.

    @ EM. It is hard to believe that people or organizations one respects could be part of a conspiracy. If it was just whose body it was, most self-respecting persons might respect a “keep-quiet” order. (Speculation of course).
    On Pakistan itself- what the CIA get up to there would be anybody’s guess. Although there may be some arrangement between Pakistan and the US, it seems far from satisfying the US. I sense the US is deliberately stirring up serious trouble. If “they say NO” there will be major US over-powering activity, IMHO.
    As for “a show”, Obama’s career is at stake. That is why they would go to a lot of trouble.

    @ pg. Not sure about prophesies being a very convincing factor. Not that I might not be prepared to believe some, in this case it is overshadowed greatly by other more visible evidence. (Or lack of it).

    Discussion is good. I enjoy thrashing these ideas and beliefs about. To me. it seems that more concrete evidence is needed, one way or the other, to settle the dust here.
    Thanks for letting me join in.

  69. Maybe some concrete evidence has appeared. Normally I would wait a bit to see if it is crushed to a powder by some better knowledge/evidence.
    But I will go out on my proverbial limb and refer you to:
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/228230-Exclusive-Osama-bin-Laden-s-Nose-and-Left-Ear.
    I am able to discern a distinct difference in the lips as well as the ear.
    IF the videos released by the Pentagon, as evidence of bin Laden’s living, and dying, in Pakistan at the hands of the US, actually do contain these photos, or photo clips, they still have not provided proof that the body was OBL.
    In fact, because it is false evidence, it really means that we are being lied to.

  70. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I don’t think anyone doubts that a raid happened. This is not like the “No Lunar Landing” happened (it was all on a stage in LA) conspriacy theory. (Even though anyone with a laser beam and telescope can SEE the corner reflectors we left behind…). So I don’t think that’s what anyone was thinking.

    At any rate, even Al Qada have come out and said he was killed.

    My point on “keeping quiet” vs leaking was not that someone would be of ill will (though that is a possible); it’s more that some folks just NEVER can keep a secret. The more people involved, the less likely it is to be kept. Any time you are over a half dozen, it’s starting to be an issue. Over 100? Pretty much forget it. There were at least a few hundred involved in this raid, all told.

    So you ‘have issues’. Everything from the coroner to the guy who cleans the uniforms and doesn’t find blood spatter or the video guy who finds the recording on the tape doesn’t match with the brand of recorder at the scene…

    It just becomes too hard to stage manage at that size.

    Then there is that small matter of the Seals and honor…

    Again: It would be WAY easier to do this at just about any other part of Afganistan or Pakistan. To diliberately choose to run a deciption op by dropping a couple of dozen Seals in a Pakistani Garrison town? It would be just crazy. Pick some farm town and you can do the same thing with 1/2 the cost and 1/10 the risk.

    Basically, I see nothing to indicate “set up” and everying to indicate “nailed him in a bad circumstance”.

    Per the “nose and ear” photos:

    The reference photo is a bit fuzzy, but I think I can work with it. Really ought to be better… but…

    The nose is a match. There is a change of head tilt and change of angle, also the lighting gives different perception of the ‘ridge line’, but that’s the same nose.

    Per the ear: Less of a match. HOWEVER. Not that in the ‘non-match’ picture the turban is pulled down to were it is resting on and bending the ear? All bets are off at that point. You don’t have the same angle. You dont’ have the same age (and potential wear and tear). And you even have the ears being impinged with stuff. You can’t get a decent “ear print” comparison of of that in any case. What I can see is “close within the error bands”. (Oh, and you have different cameras and lenses and f/stops with different distortions… that can be a major thing as most video cameras do not preserve edge shapes well).

    Between the different “just about everything” in camera, angle of view, etc. it’s just not enough to say.

    Frankly, I’ve woke up some times with one ear bent from sleeping on it a long time and it took a while to get the kink out. I’ve also got pictures of me with bent “Opy Ears” from a cowboy had pushing them a bit.

    Per the lips: They are incredibly flexible. In one they are held tight. In the other, more open and loose. The difference is from the expression, not the structure. The “bent ear” pictures have him in what looks like pursed a bit mid speach. The “high hat” photos he looks like he is smiling with lips pulled more tightly. In all the ‘bent ear” pictures the teeth are visible, in the tight liped, they are not. That alone changes lip shape as the teeth push on them.

    The rest of the face IS a match pretty clearly in any case. (And I could pick Sadam’s doubles out in the videos after a bit of study…) Though I’d rather have some “same angle” and better less fuzzy images to work from.

    With this quality, it’s not really possible to say for sure, but it looks like a ‘match’ to me. (And I do a LOT of photography and do a LOT of seeing minor differences in photos… I like especially figuring out how they make old folks look younger and fat folks look thinner using tricks of light, shadow, lighting, facial expression, etc.)

    There are key markers that are hard to fake that “work”. The attachment of the ear relative to the eye. The size, width, etc. of eyes vs nose. The general mouth shape (including symetry / asymetry markers) and the natural edge of the beard line.

    There are some “optical challenges” in the images that make them harder to compare (why same angle would be nice). For example, the “bent ear” photos he has his head tilted back (which foreshortens the face length making ear alignment look lower when it isn’t, and changes the lighting; also changes the angle of view on the ear cartilige and likely accounts for the difference you see, along with the hat ear bending.)

    Finally, as “ear prints” are a well establshed identifying feature, anyone doing a professional mock up would have photoshoped in the real deal. It’s easier to morph in ‘the real deal’ than thnk about it. These images just look to me like they have all the 1001 varations in apearance you get in any person as a 3D object is projected onto 2D “film” and with all the normal lens distortions et.al.

    (Home Video and their usual zoom wide angle lenses are notorious for poor geometrical rendering… I can make soneone look like they have a giant nose, or not, just with the zoom…)

    So, sorry, but I’m just not seeing anything wrong in those photos that can not be explained with known things.

  71. @EM.
    Firstly, the raid. You may have missed my comment
    11:51pm 8th. “However, I am NOT questioning whether a raid occurred, where it was, or who was involved.” No issue here except we don’t know exactly who was in the raiding party, no big deal.
    My issue is “is it the body of OBL that was so quickly disposed of?

    Secondly, the face. I didn’t look at the videos which are the source of these photo ‘grabs’ of the alleged fake. The point is that they were specific examples. The videos must show a lot of variable expressions enabling a better assessment . The video frames must be ‘as reproduced’ from the Pentagon videos. No point in the fraud claimant altering the ‘still’ shots because they can be compared to the video and be proven to be altered.
    Did you watch the videos?

    Well, you certainly have a different take on this than myself. We just have to agree to disagree, I guess.
    I won’t insult you with a barrage of other significant ‘evidence’. The photo evidence, to me, is quite convincing.

    Thinking about the individual agendas –
    Obama: Needs to impress his voters and is desperate. Wants to maintain the US domination.
    Myself: Need to show that the world would be better place if the American military, CIA and all the military appendages were to stay at home. (Something of that nature).
    Yours: Only you can answer that, but presumably you wouldn’t want for the President and his men to be proven to be the ‘baddies’.
    Rest of the world: A large majority desire to be free of British, Israel and US interference in their countries and lives. (My understanding).

    Why bring up the subject of agendas? I think they significantly shape our mind-sets.
    Best Regards, Ken.

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken:

    And the first line of my response:

    “I don’t think anyone doubts that a raid happened.”

    I didn’t miss anything. You are included in those who are not doubting that a raid happened…

    I’ve sent a whole lot of hours looking at minutia of photos. I’ve been an avid Photo Bug since about 1968 and own more cameras than I can number and have typically take a “few thousand” photos a year. With all the detail comparisions that entails to pick the “good ones”.

    After a while you start to recognize how much what is in the photo depends on things like:

    Angle of shot
    Angle of subject
    Lens focal length
    Specific lens design (edge sharpness, barrel and pincushion distortion, etc.)
    Lighting and shadow
    Exposure (flattening or highlight of creases and lines)

    I can change a facial shape from “bulging in the middle round chipmunk” to “long sleek skinny” with just those things. (Wide angle up close head on with barrel distorsion vs telephoto far back and pincusion distortion)

    There is a whole black art to photo interpretation. I can do a pretty fair job of it, but you really need more info to do it right and a calibrated lab.

    At the level of information and detail in those photos, there is just not enough ‘there there” to say it’s not the same guy; and a lot of it IS right and clearly so (those distinctive cheek raised line/bulge features off the middle of the nose, the detail slighly flat spot on the nose tip, the exact sparsity pattern to the beard upper edge, eyebrow placement and contour, etc. etc. etc.

    If those photos convince you it’s two different folks, spend more time with your camera and folks shifting angles while you change lenses and focal lengths…

    Oh, and NEVER let an assesment of someone or other’s agenda color how you approach the data and analysis. Ever. It is only a camera, a lens, an image. A news report. A video story. Etc. “Agenda” just does not have a place in analysis.

    Per Obama: I think he truely believes he is a good man and doing what is right for the country. I also think he is wrong (as the Progressive Agenda is always wrong for the country…). I don’t care at all if history shows him to be a Great Man, or an Evil Poser. He’s not relevant to me. He’s just the guy being told what to do by the Handlers this time…

    I have no agenda with respect to Mr. Obama. I wish him well, hope he doesn’t screw up, and would like a day to walk him through where the Progressive Ideas are simply broken. I generally don’t think of anyone as “the baddies” (with the exception of the Jihadies who have demonstrated their true colors time and again, so earned the tag) and simply expect that most folks don’t think very deeply and have a load of flawed data.

    (I’m probably wrong in that, but it’s how I approach things. The alternative of deep thinkers with the right data who STILL make evil choices is just repugnant to me…)

    BTW: On the ROW, you left out “And many wish to impose THERE interference in the world.” Russia. China. Islam. Latin Progressives (i.e. Chavez et.al.), …

    To leave out that other half of the balance is to not see the contervailing forces…

    And yes, I appreciate your restraint in not trying to convince me of the veracity of a load of evidence all of which would take a day or two per item to properly vet, and another day or two each to properly interpret.

    If I get a chance, I’ll look at a few of my photos and see if I can find any interesting “same person, two very different look” sets. I’ve got one of me with a 24 mm lens where I look like a chipmunk with big cheeks… but it’s in a shoebox on chemical film…

  73. Hi EM. I am going to say something strange, I hope it makes sense. It actually hurts me inside to be on opposing sides here. You are my “hero” in the fight for truth and justice on the AGW scam and your insights and comprehension of so many other things, puts you quite clearly in a league above me.
    But here I am running the risk of alienating myself because of one issue.
    I think we are talking at cross purposes regarding the photos.
    It is a video that has this visual information that we are discussing. The person supposed to be OBL in the video(s) has different facial characteristics to those of known images of OBL. These differences are evident in the photo, would would you call it, clip? given as an example.
    These differences are also evident throughout the video.
    So the photographic effects you ‘speak’ of, which apply to still photography exactly as you say, are not relevant when you are viewing the video, where hundreds of different minutely different views, facial changes and expressions, angles, lighting effects are in play in the space of a minute, say.

    On Obama. I agree he probably was a nice guy, now caught up in the exceptionally dirty political world. He may well believe he is doing good and is probably doing his best. Yes, I see him as a puppet.

    Of course you are right in saying there are other interfering countries, but they don’t cop the flack because they haven’t got bases, equipment and personnel installed in nearly every other country in the world. Nor are they, the other countries, actually killing, raping and pillaging elsewhere.

    The headlines are screaming – the architect of 9/11 is dead. Well I do not believe that. Nor do many thousands, in and out of the US. Some militant Islamists are responsible for atrocities. But not 9/11.
    Islamic people, in general, should not be categorised as trouble makers. (IMHO).

    Once again, I appreciate having a chance to contribute (hopefully an apt word), to your blog.
    Some matters of opinion can only be resolved after time has allowed events to unravel.
    Respectfully, Ken.

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken:

    Substantially ALL of the issues I mentioned in photo interpretation (excepting facial expression) are present in motion video as well.

    ALL of the physics of camera remain pristine. Typical “set shots” as have been used almost exclusively with OBL / UBL are done with one camera angle and ONE lighting. You do get changes in facial angle and expression.

    Also remember that there is a decade between “then” and “now” in some cases. I don’t look much at all like I did 10 years ago. Generally the same, yes, but the skin has sagged some, the hair is much thinner and even the facial bones have begun a bit of the softening of line that happens in old age. Cartlidge, too, thins.

    That is why photointerpretation is a specialty. I think I’m better at it than most, but I would be at best a Rank Amature compared to the pros who do it for a living.

    The computer match algorythims are based on the few features that change little with time. Eye spacing. Nose placement, angle, length. Mouth to eyes triangle. They don’t even begin to think about cartilage based features.

    For an “ear print” it is preferably from STRAIGHT ON to the side. Not a cornering angle or from the front, for precisely the perspective issues that can make a ridge look larger or smaller.

    I could go on, but this has become QUITE tedious as you continue to want my agreement with you and it will never be forthcoming. I see enough features that are a positive match that it would be very difficult for those two images to not be the same guy. You see a couple of the more marginal features that are a ‘somewhat off’ but under difficult circumstances of lighting, angle, differences of optics, etc. that they simply are not enough. Yet insist on certainty. Not going to happen.

    The typical video is about 540 scan lines. The face usually is in less than 1/2 that. So you have about a 250 x 250 resolution to work with. A 62 K image size. There is so much missing from that it is amazing we can recognize a face at all.

    The human brain LOVES to fill in missing details. To add the missing lines, fill in the missing shadow (or smooth the texture to ‘no feature’ when the shadow is too dim to mark the presence). You simply can not look at that kind of image and take it in “whole” and be assured of a valid answer. For example, on the more common Saddam double who was often seen in military outfit in crowd scenes, the key bit was that the face was just too short. The eye to mouth distance too close. I had to watch a half dozen shots from about a half hour of video to get to where I could reliably spot that. That is why these things are typically done on LARGE prints and with calipers and rulers (or a computer that does the measuring directly from the bits).

    Frankly, you could show me one picture of “before” OBL and one “after” where he has a green cauliflower ear in one and no ear in the other. It STILL is not sufficient. (Ears get messed up something horrible over a lifetime. In folks prone to fighting especially). I have a new “dimple / wrinkle” in one of my ears. It’s got in the habit of bending over on the pillow. In 6 months it may end up a full ‘cauliflower notch’. Lips even change fullness with how much and of what you have eaten. Using the “soft bits” is one of the worst things to do in photo ID.

    While I’m quite willing to say this could be the most elaborate bit of “stagecraft” ever recorded in military history (as we have gotten better at it) and that it is technally possible to do it, maybe, with a few hundred $Millions and the best team on the planet. It’s also the case that it simply would be an idiotic way to do it.

    Far easier and far better stagecraft could be done with less money and risk. And dramatically less chances of the whole thing coming down around your ears as some petty clerk snaps an iPhone picture of the guy being made up as OBL. As a manager of ops, I’d never approve it. That alone is enough to make me doubt gravely that thesis.

    Then add in the the evidence to date IS consistent with the “cover story” and that the claims to the contrary are weak and based on things that are about as solid as the face on Mars at Sedonia; and Occam Rules.

    The simplest explanation that accounts for all the known facts: The Seals did in Osama in Pakistan.

    And frankly, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference one way or the other. What is, is. What will be is unwritten. It is much more valuable to look forward than to waste time measuring 10 pixels of lips on a screen…

    So, no, we are not talking at “cross purposes”. I am stating what I see and what I know. Nothing more. Nothing less. What you do with that is up to you. I have no “purpose” to be “cross” with.

  75. Thanks EM for being respectful.
    Maybe “cross-purposes” was the wrong word. I was trying to say “different aspects’, of the evidence.
    Ok, so you conclude they’re the same person.
    OUR conclusion(s), as you say do not matter.
    What matters is that IF some lies are being told, people best know about it. Otherwise we are indeed on a slippery slope as a civilization.
    Regards, Ken.

  76. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    If you would really like to have “hard evidence”; what works very well are “lip prints”. You need a modestly hi-res image. Enough to see the individual wrinkle lines in the lips.

    Then you match them. There ought to be the same lines in about the same relative places. Having a line missing is not a demerit (as they can be below the res limit) but having the wrong lines in the wrong places is pretty much definitive.

    Lip prints were used to convict a bank robber who dressed in drag, but on the way out face planted into the glass door, leaving a lipstick lip print. When a suspect was found, and the wrinkle lines were a match, he went to the pokey…

    There ought to be SOME hi-res close ups of UBL before and after… and from ‘front on’ you get the lips nicely…

    Again, it’s not how the lips LOOK to you, it’s how the detail feature marks match…

  77. David says:

    Dear Ken

    Thank you for your sincere contribution. It is apparent that for the most part our host attracts folks sincerely interested in truth and your posts reflects that.

    I have two thoughts to add. The ear shots were the only thing that raised my eyebrow. However I did notice something about that shot. (The rounded soft ear shot) Overall it was fuzzy, but in particular the ear was more out of focus then face. This narrow field of focus indicates a wide open aperture. (One of many factors that E.M. indicates which can create distortion) Lack of focus spreads , blends and further softens features just as GISS spreads temperature anomalies to broader areas. (Hope you like the analogy)

    My second comment relates to this comment of yours; “ Islamic people, in general, should not be categorized as trouble makers.” On this we are polar opposite. Individually because someone is Islamic I do NOT maintain that someone to be a “trouble maker”, but in general Islam IS troublemaking.

    This is a fact of history and Islamic Ideology. In an earlier post on this particular subject May 5th at 12:35 PM I stated this, “…historical Islam is not just a religion, but a societal organization according to sharia law. It is the last “empire society” of antiquity….” Apologist for Islam state that the harsh interpretation of “Sharia” are not relevant to today, but to a specific period of history when Islam was under persecution. Unfortunately this is false both in current philosophy and practice.

    At the Chautauqua Institution in New York, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf stated: “Seven centuries before the Declaration of Independence was written Shari’a Law was intended to protect life, religion, property, family and mental well being. This is why I assert that America is in fact a Shari’a compliant state”.

    The Imam avoids mentioning that Islamic Sharia, in word and form as practiced allows, among other ruthless tenants, to beat women to discipline them, greatly reduced inheritance for women, raped women to be considered guilty of adultery if they cannot produce four witnesses to the rape, severe restrictions on music, special tax on non-Muslims, stoning to death for many crimes, and Sharia also still sanctions slavery. It is curious how different people have different ideas of what protecting life, religion, property, family and mental well being consists of.

    Virtually all Iman’s graduating from the highest education centers in Muslim countries support the ruthless versions of Sharia as described in detail in the Muslim Hadith and Sira. Islam is, in formal practice, a political system. For centuries, the rallying cry of Islamists has been to reclaim their lost medieval Islamic Empire in Southern Spain, known in Islamic history as Andalusia (Al-Andalus). Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and virtually all proponents of jihadi Salafist Islam speak incessantly of restoring Al-Andalus. Islamic violence is not the result of the west or US foreign policy. So to radical Islamists, a mosque rising near Ground Zero symbolizes Islamic supremacy, part of a long tradition of minarets built over the conquered religious sites of enemies. Some examples below:

    In 630 AD, Muslims captured Islam’s holiest city, Mecca, and erected a mosque at the Ka’aba — the site of a building reputedly built by the Patriarch Abraham.
    The great mosque at Cordoba was built over the Christian Church of St. Vincent.
    The eighth century Al-Aqsa Mosque rests on the site of the destroyed Jewish Second Temple in Jerusalem.
    The Ayasofya Mosque was built over the Byzantine Christian Hagia Sophia basilica in Istanbul.
    And the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus was constructed over the remains of what was once the Church of St. John the Baptist.

    Supporters of the project might argue that the actions of invading Muslim armies over a millennia ago are irrelevant to the issue at hand in lower Manhattan. However, it is impossible to separate the recent decline of such a trend with the parallel decline and territorial recession of Muslim lands in the second half of the second millennium. Moreover, recent territories that have returned to Muslim rule following decolonization have seen the return of the conversions of religious sites into mosques. Muammar Qaddafi, the current ruler of ½ of Libya, converted 78 synagogues into mosques in the 1970s. In 1975, the Great Synagogue of Oran was confiscated by the Algerian government and similarly transformed.

    Feisal Abdul Rauf’s support for “progressive” Muslim intellectuals like Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide and a favorite of the Saudi royal family, is an example of the pevasive radical ideology of “moderate: Muslims. Qaradawi’s fatwas, for example, call for the execution of Muslim reformers as apostates, the killing of American troops in Iraq, suicide bombings in Israel, and the rejection of secularism in Islamic societies. Rauf has also expressed respect for the late Egyptian cleric Muhammad Tantawi (who likewise endorsed suicide bombings) and Egypt’s Chief Mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa (who has endorsed Hezbollah and defended Islam’s use of the death penalty for apostasy). He called them “leading Muslim scholars”. He also has a long association with Imam Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, who said “only the Jews” could have perpetrated the 9/11 attacks’ and that if Americans only knew about this Jewish culpability, “they would have done to Jews what Hitler did”; and that Jews “disseminate corruption in the land” The Imam’s recent warning of violence far exceeding the violent Muslim reaction to the Danish editorial cartoon if this Mosque does not go through, was considered by many to be a threat, and at the very least is a condemnation of Islamic society as well as thoroughly contradicting President Obama’s “small band of men” comment.

    The Islamsists Hadith declares war on non-Muslims and commands to subjugate them under Islam, irrespective of their deeds. If terrorism is caused by the “harm by the West to Muslims,” why then do Sunni Muslims burn Shi’ite mosques in countries like Pakistan and Iraq? Why is it that Islamists have been throwing acid on the faces of women in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria and Iran? Consider the genocide in Darfur as well as the unending violence in India like the recent killings in Mumbai, the slaughter of Russian school children in Breslan, as well as the terrorist bombing in Bali. In the 90’s, in Algeria, in a conflict most Americans never heard of, 150,000 Muslims were killed by Jihadi. What of the blowing up of Buddhist sculptures as well as terrorism in Indonesia. Islamists bomb school houses with children inside. They stone women to death. They do not believe in property rights or religious freedom. They have thousands of schools (In the middle east, Africa, Europe and the US and Palestine) that to various degrees teach their children to hate people of other faiths as well as people of different views within their own faith. The list is long indeed and begs the questions; are these brutalities also committed because the West harms Muslims? Westerners are not the primary target of the Jihadi and it is unreasonable to blame the west or assume that terrorism would end if the west capitulated to Islamist who are as violent against more moderate Islamic views as they are against the west.

    Problems with Islamic extremist are current and worldwide. There is almost nothing in current Christian dominated countries that resembles the dark age mentality that is currently established in extremist Islam and the educational systems in numerous Arab countries that teach hate and violence to their own children. To ignore this in the haze of political correctness is both divisive and dangerous.

    Sorry for my long rambling in response to one comment, but this is a subject I have studied.

  78. Thanks David, I appreciate your time and effort to help make this commenting business work for everybody. (Can’t think of better wording.)
    Here, it is late in the evening and I need time to absorb your information. So I will come back to you on your interesting comments.

    However, one point please: This statement of yours,

    “Problems with Islamic extremist are current and worldwide. There is almost nothing in current Christian dominated countries that resembles the dark age mentality that is currently established in extremist Islam and the educational systems in numerous Arab countries that teach hate and violence to their own children. To ignore this in the haze of political correctness is both divisive and dangerous.”

    is something I am well aware of, I hope I didn’t give you the impression that I thought otherwise. I did mention that militant extremists are not representative of ?mainstream Islamism.

    BTW, political correctness is not in my line, but due respect is.

    You have given me a lot to think about, I will try to do it justice.

  79. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    I appreciate the care you are showing in “sticking to the facts” and trying to avoid a blanket condemnation of a people. I’ve worked for a predominately Muslim company (about 80%) and worked closely with one Muslim fellow for several years (he was a good guy and easy to like, easy to work with.)

    IMHO, most of the “mainstream” Muslims are rather like your typical Catholic. They go to “church” and try to live a full, fair, and decent life. They want good for themselves and their familes. And they just don’t have a whole lot of time to figure out what the details of this whole religion thing are all about, but trust that the specialists who spend their life in religious study are telling them the truth about it.

    In part, I base this on having raised a few “talking points” with some Muslims over the years. I would get the “sound bite” answers most of the time, and a “puzzled don’t know” if we tried to go much past that. About the same response you get today asking a Protestant about the importance of being an iconoclast with/to Catholics or a Catholic about the central trinity raising the issue of the divinity of Christ and multiple Gods… ( See the “post Apostolic controversies” here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christology ) an issue that left the West with several hundred years of wars and nearly exterminated the Gnostics…

    That is why I regularly say “Most Muslims just want to live a good and decent life and ‘do the right thing’.” Because I believe that is inherent in most folks.

    But all the trouble hinges on that “most”.

    So I’ve read large parts of the Koran. Probably more than many Muslims (judging by my attempts to discuss some particular verses with them…) And “therein lies the rub”.

    Those in that minority that DO study the Koran in great depth find that it commands, yes commands them to do many of the things that you list as bad or evil above.

    It specifically states the punishment for various “crimes” that include stoning women and chopping of hands and heads. Those crimes included being a non-Muslim (where it spends time on the topic of the ‘special tax’ a non-Muslim can pay to avoid conversion; for a while…) and any Muslim who converts away from Islam (penalty of death.)

    In many cases it is the Koran itself that is the radicalizing force; however there are now chains of “schools”, dedicated to indoctrinating a particularly virulent and violent interpretation of those readings, spread around the entire world. That is a deliberate strategy by two parties. The Jihadies who see it as a way to recruit and indoctrinate to a more violent Islam, and the Saudi Royal Family who entered a Faustian Bargain with them: The Saudi are left alone with their oil wealth as long as they promote radical Wahabi Mosques and “schools” around the world. As long as they use the “oil wealth” to promote Islam, they can stay filthy rich and bar hop in London…

    So there is a dichotomy in Islam. Some westernized Muslims proclaim it the “Religion of Peace” as it is repeated a hundred times in the Koran and from their “pulpits”. Yet they gloss over the part where the Koran tells “sojourners in foreign lands” to blend in and that it’s OK for them to practice Islam Lite to pass and help convert the infidel… and the violent parts that dictate death, especially to Jews. While at the same time the more radical parts in Islam advocate for the violent destruction of anything non-Muslim. The destruction of all art with images of people or music for example.

    No, that is not an overstatement. The Taliban banned music, and “graven images” are forbidden, so that means anything with a face. Ever notice how Islamic Art has a whole lot of geometric patterning in it? If you can’t show people, you get really good at geometry…

    So an essential end goal of the radical forms of Islam would include the destruction of the libraries of music of the world and the destruction of most of the works of the Grand Masters of painting. The Louvre would have the contents burned. (Please note, this is NOT a hypothetical. The destruction of art is well attested as historical and current fact. Vis the 3000 year old Buddha in Afghanistan and banning of music there with the destruction of musical instruments.)

    It is that schiszm between the “run of the mill” Muslim who just wants a decent life for their family; and the extremists who want nothing less than world domination in a supplicant society of drab brown and grey garb praying in unadorned drab buildings to a god of domination: That is what is causing the “issues” inside Islam, and that lead to many of the “issues” outside as well.

    Sunni and Shia are murdering each other for something about as obscure as the reason Protestants and Catholics murdered each other for a few hundred years. (As I understand it, it’s the issue of who can become an Imam. One group says “anyone can” the other group says “Decendents of Mohammed”. Sort of like the Catholics saying that you need the Pope and Bishops to become a true Priest and the Protestants saying “anyone can read The Book and become a preacher”. A load of folks died over that issue of who can read The Book, and folks were excommunicated for translating the Bible. Rather like today in Islam where translations out of Arabic are thought as somehow broken.)

    So I can’t “throw stones” at my fellow travelers on this earth for having the same issues my culture had, just a few hundred years later. I can only hope that they outgrow it faster than we did.

    With that said:

    There is the real risk that they don’t outgrow it and we enter a new Theocratic Dark Ages; and with that profound destruction of life, liberty, art, culture, understanding; all decend into a prison of religious thought control. Just as in the times of The Spanish Inquisition. We’ve had “conversion by the sword” in the Christian West (long before Islam existed). We’ve had theocratically driven government (long before Islam). It took us nearly a thousand years to escape from it’s torturous grasp. I see no reason to risk return to such a Dark Age.

    So I look at the history of Islam and I see a major threat to the last 1000 years of enlightenment. Islam states as it’s goal the elimination of all those things. One of the two must change (as Islam is also not content with ‘separate but equal’ and is a prosteletizing spreading culture). So, IMHO, Islam needs to get “westernized” pretty darned quick or it will end up with a whole lot of the world “Giving up” on the whole multicultural ‘live and let live’ thing and taking the Russian Approach of overwhelming counter attack. There is an entire generation of children in the west who have grown up with the words “Muslim Terrorist” on the nightly news. You can try to feed them all the “kiss and make nice” propaganda you want in school, they will be the adults who say “FOAD, just bomb them”. That timer has already been running for 20 years…

    Oh, and David, you need to add to your list the Parthenon, where you can also see the early Christians doing the same thing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon

    In the 5th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After the Ottoman Turk conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s, and it had a minaret built in it. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman Turk ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. In 1806, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures, with the Ottoman Turks’ permission. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. The Greek government is committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece, so far with no success.

    The Greeks, after a few hundred years of Muslim domination, eventually drove the Muslim Turks back out. It will be a cold day in Hell when Greece agrees to unlimited Turkish migration inside the EU… (Then again, maybe Greece will leave the EU anyway and then Turkey can enter…)

    Also, in India, there is some place where every few years the Muslims and the ?Hindu? trade buliding destruction on the same site… maybe it’s this one:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2009/1124/p06s04-wosc.html

    Hindu extremists had claimed in a concerted campaign that the structure, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, was built by Muslim invaders over the birthplace of a Hindu god. Its destruction provoked violent clashes that left some 2,000 people dead.

    I’m not sure, there are many such…

    http://dharmaveer.blogspot.com/2009/02/muslim-accounts-gloating-over.html

    might be it:

    (Left: An oil painting of Babar – the founder of the Mughal empire, who demolished the Hindu temples at Ram Janmasthan and erected a Mosque in their place.)

    To the western world, an iconic image of Islamic aggression is the conversion of the Hagia Sophia – Eastern Christendom’s greatest church – into a mosque by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet. It was his first act upon entering the conquered city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1493AD.

    It is relatively unknown in the western world that a mere 35 years later, in 1528AD, his fellow Turk – Zahir ud-din Babar, the founder of the Moghul empire in India, and a descendant of Tamerlane – demolished one of Hinduism’s greatest temple complexes, and erected a mosque in its place, which is known in India as the Babri Masjid (Babar’s mosque).

    It is the purpose of this article to give my western readers a glimpse into this act of destruction, and to provide further evidence of the compulsive aggression and profanity of Islam.

    At any rate, you can look at the ancestry of just about any big Mosque on the planet and find it was built on the rubble of an eariler religious shrine that was violently destroyed.

    Somehow I don’t think this tiger is interested in changing his stripes…

    But what IS different now is that it is no longer something that happens “at the margin”. It is done “in depth” where mosques are being placed all over the planet (due to the ‘tollerance’ of the host societies). At the same time, information flows “in depth” as well, so resentment will build globally. A destruction in any one place is reflected in all places.

    IMHO, we’re headed down a path of ruin as this inevitable culture clash turns into the physical clash of war (as it has done every single time in the past). The only really strange part is that the non-Muslims (especially Christians) continue to think otherwise; while the Muslims actively seek out the “struggle”.

    It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the “Be nice to them and they will be nice to you” folks to learn that their belief is very wrong when dealing with a predator.

    And Radical Islam is exactly that.

    At any rate, David, I think you will find that ‘selected Koranic verses’ clearly state that the actions you site are directed by the Koran as good, right and proper. The history is stuffed full of examples. And this time will not be different…

    The thing I havn’t figured out is why I have no trouble living with, working with, and being friendly with Muslims; while being quite aware of what the Koran dictates and what the history has been. I can only guess it is because “hope springs eternal” and I take each person as an individual… (Besides, I’ve known some really crappy Christians, Jews, and Atheists too ;-)

  80. I am still needing to do more thinking and research about Islam.
    However, here is one post that gives me concern in regard to how Western people and authorities can have a low regard for Islamic people, for no real logical reason, other than their belief of propaganda.
    Not only that, but exhibit what I would call disgusting behaviour towards other US citizens because of the citizen’s beliefs or race.
    And worse, are being encouraged to behave in such disgusting ways.

    Ref: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/228310-Your-Taxes-Fund-Anti-Muslim-Hatred
    An extract:
    “News personalities, politicians, self-appointed experts on the Muslim world, and law enforcement and intelligence officials, as well as the Christian right, have successfully demonized Muslims in the United States since the attacks of 2001. It is acceptable to say things openly about Muslims that could never be said about any other ethnic group. And as the economy continues to unravel, as we face the possibility of revenge attacks by Islamic extremists, perhaps on American soil, the plight of Muslims is beginning to mirror that of targeted ethnic minority groups on the eve of the war in the former Yugoslavia, or Jews in the dying days of the Weimar Republic. ”

    As EM more or less said, all countries/races/creeds have their low life.
    But if long term citizens of the US are not able to respect other people, and we know the government is not, the future of civilization is much more at risk. It is one thing for the US scorn and oppression to be applied to other countries, completely another if it is applied at home.
    This is what I was saying about, (can’t find my earlier statement), that we should not judge a race because of the actions of some militant element. Are we at war with Islam? Where does this leave the innocent decent people unjustly harrassed by our “esteemed” officials?

  81. PhilJourdan says:

    @Ken

    First, I take issue with this statement:

    It is acceptable to say things openly about Muslims that could never be said about any other ethnic group.

    for 2 reasons. One is they are not ethnic, but religious. Muslims come in all ethnicities, colors and shapes. So the author is trying to inflame his audience, yet he cannot even use his words correctly.

    Second, while there is a lot of unjust demonizing of Muslims by SOME Americans, it is by far no more prevalent or worse than the demonizing of Christians by SOME Americans as well. The difference is that most Christians simply suck it up, realize that there will always be small minded bigotted people, and that the cost of Freedom is the endurance of idiots to say what they will. However since the demonizing of Muslims is fairly new, they have not yet learned that lesson, or choose to ignore it and so yell at every opportunity against such talk.

    And they have a propensity to try to turn everything into a persecution of their religion. You can only cry wolf so many times before people just stop paying attention to you.

  82. David says:

    Ken, here is some more food for thought. There are decent arguments on all sides of most issues. Unfortunately the media focuses on the most ignorant in any crowd, often zooming in on the most divisive billboard displayed by the loudest. The medias attempt to sensationalize the news and political commentary which often belittles the opposition is very unproductive. When either parties view is misrepresented and made to look ignorant, arrogant, or bigoted then it can only inflame the emotions of both sides against each other. It is always possible to find a mean spirited ill informed person in any crowd on any side of any controversy. Paramahansa Yogananda stated “Ignorance is fifty-fifty everywhere“ This is not intended to express that there is no right and wrong, but that there are individuals on all sides of every issue who, even though their conclusion may be correct, their expression of and reason for that conclusion can be deeply ignorant. The adage “Fools argue, wise men discuss their differences” is fair warning for a country that is rapidly losing it ability for rational discussion.

    Your source is misrepresenting the facts. To portray understandable objections as bigoted and ignorant is both untrue and divisive as it perpetuates a false view of Americans to moderate Muslims, angers those who feel legitimate in their objection, and reinforces the disrespect in their own mind for those with whom they disagree. If America was truly full of hateful bigots then, after an assault like 9/11 on their country, you would not find hate crime statistics that look like this report on hate crimes in the USA:

    There were 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias in 2008. A breakdown of these offenses shows:
    65.7 percent were anti-Jewish.
    13.2 percent were anti-other religion.
    7.7 percent were anti-Islamic.
    4.7 percent were anti-Catholic.
    4.2 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
    3.7 percent were anti-Protestant

    In the first year following 9/11 anti Jewish hate crimes were double anti-Islamic hate crimes. Every year since then anti-Jewish hate crimes have outnumbered anti-Islamic hate crimes by six or more to one.

    Unfortunately the media will instead concentrate on those crimes which do occur against Muslims, rarely if ever acknowledging the low overall number of hate crimes against Muslims, or that anti Semitism in this country is many times worse, and hate crimes against Christians outnumber those committed against Muslims.

    E.M. Thanks for your comments and I have incorporated said additional facts into my records. I am trying to understand the Islamic interaction of their scripture. Ahmed Mansour, a moderate “Quran only” Muslim scholar, formally educated in Cairo Egypt where he was once imprisoned for his moderate views and reformist teaching http://www.freemuslims.org/about/mansour.php was sued in America for voicing concerns about the ISB’s construction of a large mosque in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury.
    http://www.ahlalquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=6600
    The majority of Muslims teach that Islam has three sacred texts: Koran, Sira and Hadith, the Islamic Trilogy. The Sira is presented by most as Mohammed’s biography. The Hadith are considered his traditions—what he did and said. Sira and Hadith form the Sunna, the perfect pattern of all Islamic behavior. These two texts preach an intense and violent version of Jihad and are the basis of Sharia. Ahmed Mansour teaches that the Hadith, A’al Al Bait and other Sirah were written about 200 years after the Quran by an already hijacked faith and used to justify barbaric ways and conquests typical of the middle ages. Mansour’s interpratation of some of the violent Koran quotes is quite convincing of time and circumstance specific (as is your version of when you would choose the inner predator) and in a scholastic ways he details how this is so, but that the Hadith and Sira allow a far more universal pattern of interpretation.

  83. AAh EM. Hit a nerve? Hope you can cope with this.
    I need to defend my comments and the author because I brought him into your blog. Some objections are appropriate, others not.

    @PhilJourdan:
    The difference between ethnic and religious in this context is irrelevant. The incidents have inflamed me, his use of words is not relevant, the issue of mistreatment is relevant. Have people been mistreated? Yes!
    Demonising by SOME Americans- that makes it allright?
    Christians also get demonised? That makes it allright?

    “the cost of Freedom is the endurance of idiots to say what they will” – these “idiots” are government officials, politicians, news personalities! (According to the author). Question that if you think he is wrong.
    Being treated as described in the article, if true, is indefensible! If your not seeing serious wrong here is typical of the American public, my criticism is well founded.

    @David:
    Your first paragraph down to “…. rational discussion”
    may be food for thought but is not really addressing the issue. (Not for me anyway).
    “Your source is misrepresenting the facts” – which particular facts do you refer to?
    “To portray understandable objections as bigoted and ignorant is both untrue and divisive as it perpetuates a false view of Americans to moderate Muslims” – Could you please spell out to me what you are saying? Perhaps just the “objections’ you are referring to.
    “If America was truly full of hateful bigots” – neither I nor the author said or implied that.

    “65.7 percent were anti-Jewish.
    13.2 percent were anti-other religion.
    7.7 percent were anti-Islamic.”
    Given that the ‘anti-other’ were several, anti-Muslim is second on the list.
    [The 65% anti-Jewish amazes me, even though there my be some justification of sorts. There again, it would likely be the citizens getting the blame for their leader’s actions.]
    As I said to Phil, the “quantity ” of the wrong is not relevant.
    Offensive, discriminatory wrongs occurred, they are unarguably wrongs. If the authorities condone or encourage such wrongs and the citizens accept them simply with a “life wasn’t meant to be easy” attitude, this is definitely what I would call an un-civil country.
    Funny that, we have come the full circle.
    EM asks “what is civil or un-civil”, here is a good example, IMHO.

  84. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    As near as I can tell, none of my “nerves” have been hit. (I need a couple of more cups of coffee to be sure ;-)

    There are facts of history and properties of reality. I note them, integrate them into understanding, and move on. If something is “broken” in an interpretation, I’ll say “But what about this?” or if very broken “No, that is in conflict with this well attested thing.” If it doesn’t “fit” or integrate into existing established understanding, I’ll flag it as an error (on one side or the other, but most likely on the ‘new bit’)

    It’s a surprisingly emontionless process. No “nerve” involved.

    I strongly supress folks wanting to be rude and sling mud for the simple reason that it becomes damned hard to figure out what they are saying that has any merit (it becomes hard to filter out all the emotional baggage…) and in short order it’s all emotional rant and not content.

    I find emotional ranting rather empty, so boring. (Though well seasoned emotional loading in a well reasoned argument can be rather tasty…)

    So, frankly, I have “no clue” what you’re “nerve” statement points to as there is no “touchstone” for me on this side.

    If I run prolix on an answer, such as to David here:

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-is-dead/#comment-17523

    it has ZERO emotional information in the length. A significant Aspe trait is a strong NEED for COMPLETION. If an answer needs length to be complete, there is little I can do to stop it 1/2 way…. Again, with ZERO emotion involved (other than a vague feeling of anxt if I’m cut off prior to completion).

    So it is generally (almost universally) an error to refer to my emotional state as it typically is completly unlike what others expect it to be. (For example, right now, it’s “need to finish waking up, where’s the coffee, my feet are cold, should I make breakfast now? Am I hungry? Need coffee to know… guess not hungry… Where’s that coffee? What? I have to make it… Oh. Slight annoyance.)

    And yes, most of the time that’s about the level of complexity in my emotional state. Later in the day, with application of the coffee I’m about to make, I’ll get more of the “Gee, that’s INTERESTING!” positive state that constututes most of my alert hours. Doesn’t matter much if it is “Volcano Ate New York” or “Microbes found that shit gold”, the emotion attached is “Gee, that’s INTERESTING! (positive warm fuzzy)”… And is a source of grave concern to family living near the places where the volcano ate (hypothetical) “Aunt Mable”… as I’m not “emoting appropriately”… But Aunt Mable never was very interesting, was about to croak from old age anyway, and I only ever met her once for 5 minutes 40 years ago… whereas the volcano that ate her IS interesting!

    So if you stray far from “bored”, or “need coffee”, or “interesting” it usualy takes a pretty big motivator. (Like the times I’ve jumped out of airplanes… talk about a rush! Though by the third time it was starting to dampen…) and pretty much “words” just don’t get me there.

  85. PhilJourdan says:

    @Ken McMurtrie

    The difference between ethnic and religious in this context is irrelevant. The incidents have inflamed me, his use of words is not relevant, the issue of mistreatment is relevant. Have people been mistreated? Yes!
    Demonising by SOME Americans- that makes it allright?
    Christians also get demonised? That makes it allright?

    So much in just your first paragraph, I will have to revisit the rest of your response later, but let’s begin.

    #1: There is a big difference. There is a reason there are 2 different words for religion and ethnicity. because there is a difference. I would not expect some mentally deficient person to know the difference, but a writer? no, he chose to use the wrong words to make an invalid point. That is his own sin, no one elses (unless they support his sin).

    #2: Has anyone said no one has been mistreated? Please point out where that declarative was made.

    #3: & 4 – Again, point out where either anyone condoned demonization (to recognize is not to condone). The best you can ASS-U-ME is that my attitude as portrayed in my response shows a resignation to it happening. Like you might be resigned to the fact that someone will be murdered. but does that mean you condone murder? i think you need to stop projecting and start reading closer.

    And second, I never excused it. I merely said it would happen. As long as you have people who are different you are going to have some who hate for that reason alone. Again, that is not condoning anything. that is not even a resignation of circumstances. That is an inevitable fact of life.

    Perhaps if you had spoken up more vocerferiously about the treatment of the Jews – even today in the US – your words would carry more weight. As David points out, the “injustice’ to the “religious” Muslims is far out weighed by that which is done against the Jews. yet you chose your battles interestingly.

  86. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    FWIW, I have spent far more of my life than I care to admit needing to make clear to folks that to:

    1) Notice
    2) Explain
    3) Count
    4) Expect
    5) Describe
    6) Understand
    7) Project future trends
    8) Catalog motivations
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    Has nothing to do with my beliefs, feelings, attitudes, wants, needs, desires, …. in fact, nothing to do with ME at all.

    Yet for reasons I simply can not ken, many folks can not separate the person from the message, nor the emotional from the factual.

    Oh well.

    That I can cite statistics on tobacco and even have some growing in my yard (as a poisonous trap for leaf miners) says nothing about my attitude toward human consumption and use of tobacco. For example.

    That I despise the smoking of tobacco, especially in range of my nose, says nothing about my attitude toward smokers rights. (Do whatever you want, away from my nose, and there ought not to be punative taxes.)

    But say “Muslims killed {foo} thousands” and you get tagged with all sorts of “attitudinal dirt”. ALL of it bogus.

    But say “The Koran says to kill the infidel” (even with citation of the verses) and you get tagged with all sorts of “bigotry dirt”. ALL of it bogus and despite the existence proof of the fact.

    Don’t know if it be stupidity that causes it, or ‘smart deception’, or ‘political gaming’, or ??? but it’s just wrong.

    So good luck tilting at the windmill… I’d join you but I got a dent in my lance last time and I’m still polishing it out ;-)

    (A part of why I constantly rail at folks to not speak to my emotional state and / or have arguments “to the person” instead of “to the facts”… a vain attempt to reduce the inevitable [broken] name calling and ‘attitude tagging’…)

  87. Hi EM. I need to be careful how I word my comments. So often they are taken out of context.
    My ‘nerve’ comment applied to my touching the nerves of Phil and David, because of their responses.
    I directed it to you because it’s your blog and we are ‘fencing’ on it.

  88. Hi PhilJourdan.
    We seem to comprehend things differently.

    Re ethnic and religious – of course they are different in meaning. What I am saying is that the name or label, given to the group by the author, is irrelevant to the issue of their treatment by the authorities.
    The ability of the author to use the right words, doesn’t detract from the issue of ‘mistreatment of people’.
    If you were not denying that there was mistreatment, nor condoning it, nor excusing it, but admit to perhaps being resigned to it, why are you actually commenting at all? Are you saying that you may be resigned to it yet still feel the need to criticise my publicising the issue?
    BTW, to say that they should grin and bear it, or get use to it, or not be sensitive, whatever, is condoning it, IMHO.
    Then to say that it’s not worth my/the authors writing about, because worse things are happening, is also condoning it.
    I think I have just experienced an “Aha” moment. There may be some sensitivity to a particular ethnic/religious group.
    My reason for posting this particular story was because of the obvious relevance to current issues.
    I am not insensitive to other unjust discriminatory behaviour which, in fact, may be even worse. All or any disrespectful behaviour/activity is against my principles.
    Regards, Ken.

  89. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    Yes, you do need to be a bit more, um, precise…

    “AAh EM. Hit a nerve?”

    Sure looks like it’s aimed at someone named with “EM”…

  90. @EM. Feeling suitably admonished.
    Presume you can see where I was trying to come from.
    [So many times I find myself ending a sentence a preposition with :-) . I wonder if anyone notices it, or bothers?]
    Of course, I should have said ‘from where I was trying to come.’
    I seem to have stirred a couple of your readers, making me think they are a bit ‘touchy’. So my comment was aimed at you, but really checking to see if you were comfortable with our debate.
    Regards, Ken.

  91. E.M.Smith says:

    Controversial subjects are generally OK as long as folks discuss them politely and without “to the person” arguments.

  92. Level_Head says:

    @Ken McMurtrie

    I am intrigued by your assertion that the large majority of crimes against Jewish people have “some justification of sorts” — something you do not ascribe to Muslims or others.

    What did you have in mind for the justification to commit crimes against Jews?

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  93. David says:

    Ken, from your post “… Western people and authorities can have a low regard for Islamic people, for no real logical reason, other than their belief of propaganda.” Ken a prejudice is a prejudgment, an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge. Thus you accused the west of prejudice.

    The following comments from you and the source you linked make it sound like this prejudice and bigotry is rampant and large in America and particularly among Christians.

    “News personalities, politicians, self-appointed experts on the Muslim world, and law enforcement and intelligence officials, as well as the Christian right, have successfully demonized Muslims in the United States since the attacks of 2001” It is acceptable to say things openly about Muslims that could never be said about any other ethnic group…
    …the plight of Muslims is beginning to mirror that of targeted ethnic minority groups on the eve of the war in the former Yugoslavia, or Jews in the dying days of the Weimar Republic. ”

    So you are supporting comments that indicate that what America is doing to Muslims is a mirror of or the German hatred of Jews. You then quote me “If America was truly full of hateful bigots” –and then claim, “ neither I nor the author said or implied that.” when in clear fact you did indicate that the West was full of prejudice Islamphobic people “
    “for no real logical reason, other than their belief of propaganda”

    Thus my first paragraph was directed directly at you. Please reread it. https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-is-dead/#comment-17563

    Your comments Ken, and the source you linked to were very careful to point out zero facts on how pervasive these assertions of prejudice were in America. So I brought out some facts about hate crimes in the US…
    65.7 percent were anti-Jewish.
    13.2 percent were anti-other religion.
    7.7 percent were anti-Islamic.
    4.7 percent were anti-Catholic.
    4.2 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
    3.7 percent were anti-Protestant

    which you misconstrued., stating “Given that the ‘anti-other’ were several, anti-Muslim is second on the list. [The 65% anti-Jewish amazes me, even though there my be some justification of sorts. There again, it would likely be the citizens getting the blame for their leader’s actions.]”

    Let me explain how you misconstrued this. Catholics and Protestants are Christians, just as Shite and Sunni are both Muslim, thus the Christian percentages equate to 8.4% of hate crimes. Christians and Jews in this Country are victims of more hate crimes then Muslims. I have no idea how you possibly think the hate crimes against Jews may be justified. Such an assertion without an explanation leads one to think their may be prejudice involved, and that this statement possibly has “no real logical reason, other than belief of propaganda”

    My earlier post which you promised to consider gave many examples of the real and justified concern the world has with Islam. Perhaps you should reread it, and then consider that my examples as well as the ones given by E.M. and others are just tips of the iceberg on the problems with Islam. Until you become educated on these facts you will read articles like the one you linked which are deeply ignorant of the very real problems with Islam. Just a couple more facts you can confirm to set you on your way.

    A 2004 Pew Research survey revealed that Osama bin Laden is viewed favorably by large percentages in Pakistan (65%), Jordan (55%) and Morocco (45%). In Turkey as many as 31% say that suicide attacks against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq are justifiable.

    However support for Islamic terrorism is declining according in more recent polls.

    “Pew Research surveys in 2008 show that in a range of countries – Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Bangladesh – there have been substantial declines in the percentages saying suicide-bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets can be justified to defend Islam against its enemies. Wide majorities say such attacks are, at most, rarely acceptable. (The “rarely acceptable” as opposed to always unacceptable, is troubling)
    The shift has been especially dramatic in Jordan, where 29% of Jordanians are recorded as viewing suicide-attacks as often or sometimes justified (down from 57% in May 2005). In the largest majority-Muslim nation, Indonesia, 74% of respondents agree that terrorist attacks are “never justified” (a substantial decline from the 41% level to which support had risen in March 2004); in Pakistan, that figure is 86%; in Bangladesh, 81%; and in Iran, 80%”

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1338/declining-muslim-support-for-bin-laden-suicide-bombing

    It is fair to say that when this high of a percentage (14% to 29%) of the Islamic population in many countries support Islamic based suicide terrorist attacks as “often or sometimes justified” there is great cause for concern and a reasonable basis to view some Muslims with apprehension.

    Ken, you stated to Phil…“As I said to Phil, the “quantity ” of the wrong is not relevant.”
    Of course it is. Both quantitatively and quality (the violence of the attacks) of the Islamic world is the problem. The list is long indeed. Also the link you presented named two Islamic councils as innocent of supporting any Jihad, yet both were unendidted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Trial, successfully prosecuted in the US. Currently Attorney general Holder is doing all possible to stop their indictment, running over the objections of prosecutors persuing “The Brotherhood” or Muslim Brotherhood, (MB) which is a Sunni transnational movement and the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states as well as active in up to 90 countries worldwide.

    The general goals and strategic plans of the MB are found in Arabic documents. One for Europe called “The Project” was found in 2001 in Switzerland, another for North America was found in 2005 called the “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” An evaluation of this Memorandum was made for the US-Congress and for the Pentagon. Their influence is fast growing, especially in Europe, but not easy to trace partially because most active members, the Ikhwan, keep their membership secret.

    One citation from the sized document “General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” makes the objectives of the MB clear: “The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other”

    The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means.” This is a direct reference violent and to stealth or non violent community organizing Jihad. However the goal of the M.B. is clear, no matter how politely placed by CAIR or, for that matter, many of the Libyan or Egyptian rebels…”eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other”

    Here is a documentary of stealth Jihad operating in Briton…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYq6_5GYxBM&feature=related

  94. @ LevelHead.
    I am in for a torrid night tonight, I’ve got much to try and defend. Firstly, this was my statement: [The 65% anti-Jewish amazes me, even though there my be some justification of sorts. There again, it would likely be the citizens getting the blame for their leader’s actions.]
    Initially, it should be realised that this was not part of the issue, so to speak. The claim of anti-jewish sentiment in America came out of the blue. That it was 65% did amaze me. So my comment came as a ‘top of my head’ thing. Given that you still deserve an answer, and I did say MAY(my =may) be SOME SORT of justification, ie., basically speculation, here is the reason.

    There is a very strong belief system in the 9/11 doubters ‘world’ that the Mossad are responsible for the organization and attacks. (I think about 67% of Americans do not believe the ‘official story’ not all of them necessarily blaming the Israeli SS or whatever it is.) Not only this, but the beliefs are that the Israeli influence extends right through the American hierarchy and control structure. Media, government and banking.

    My awareness of these beliefs are what fuelled my response. There is a real base for anti-Jewish feelings on these grounds, and also because the aggression towards, and invasion of, Palestine concerns many people.
    I have a strong feeling that we are now on a head-on collision course, but I am being honest. Mind you I haven’t said that this is my own belief. I am trying to look from ‘afar’.
    Regards, Ken.

  95. Further to @ Levelhead:
    I re-read your question and realize it has more seriousiousness than I first thought.

    “I am intrigued by your assertion that the large majority of crimes against Jewish people have “some justification of sorts” — something you do not ascribe to Muslims or others.

    What did you have in mind for the justification to commit crimes against Jews?”

    I have nothing in mind for the justification of crimes against Jews! I have some reason to see why OTHER PEOPLE MAY have justification, this I have explained above.
    As for not ascribing to others – irrelevant.

  96. @David.
    Rather than address the issues individually I prefer to make a blanket statement:
    My comment was intended to highlight unjustified treatment by American authorities and others against innocent American Muslims, apparently because of other, militant extremists doing untold damage. It doesn’t matter to what degree, I certainly had no intention to indicate it was widespread. Nor does it have relevance that other injustices are going on, to whatever degree.
    Nothing else matters, we only have a disagreement if you deny that a certain amount of injustice is evident. Chris Hedges said more than I would have and, although I linked his article, there is no point in thrashing that to death.
    I am not interested in arguing about the reasons, the fundamentals of Islam or whether you think I might be an Islamic supporter or anti-American.
    This particular post was initially about “OBL”‘s death at the hands of Obama’s Seals, including questions about the proof of whose body.
    Then we branched off onto what is basically a debate about Islamic fundamentalism. You said: (sorryEM)
    “My second comment relates to this comment of yours; “ Islamic people, in general, should not be categorized as trouble makers.” On this we are polar opposite. Individually because someone is Islamic I do NOT maintain that someone to be a “trouble maker”, but in general Islam IS troublemaking.” And so it went on.
    Well, if you want to think about Islam and ideals please have a look at this:

    “‘Religious Indoctrination

    Under NSDD 166, US assistance to the Islamic brigades channeled through Pakistan was not limited to bona fide military aid. Washington also supported and financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the process of religious indoctrination, largely to secure the demise of secular institutions:

    … the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.

    The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..

    The White House defends the religious content, saying that Islamic principles permeate Afghan culture and that the books “are fully in compliance with U.S. law and policy.” Legal experts, however, question whether the books violate a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to promote religion.

    … AID officials said in interviews that they left the Islamic materials intact because they feared Afghan educators would reject books lacking a strong dose of Muslim thought. The agency removed its logo and any mention of the U.S. government from the religious texts, AID spokeswoman Kathryn Stratos said.

    “It’s not AID’s policy to support religious instruction,” Stratos said. “But we went ahead with this project because the primary purpose . . . is to educate children, which is predominantly a secular activity.”

    … Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtun, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska -Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $ 51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.” (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)””

    I will quote the reference in the next comment. I don’t want to lose this while I search for it.
    Then we can really discuss evil and it’s sources and applications. On second thoughts, I might give further discussion a miss. So far it has proved to be fruitless.

  97. PhilJourdan says:

    @Ken – Round 2

    “the cost of Freedom is the endurance of idiots to say what they will” – these “idiots” are government officials, politicians, news personalities! (According to the author). Question that if you think he is wrong.
    Being treated as described in the article, if true, is indefensible! If your not seeing serious wrong here is typical of the American public, my criticism is well founded.

    So who is defending them? Did I defend them? Show me the defense? Again, read what is written, not what you want to read. I surely do not agree with the idiots, but I am sure as hell going to defend their right to be idiots! I do not want some other idiot deciding what I can and cannot say based upon their arbitrary whim! Such malevolence leads to totalitarianism (ala Stalinist Russia, Maoist China). Indeed, the press is replete with stories coming out of the “educated” EU where someone is arrested for – what? Criticizing a protected group! (Bridget Bardot – remember her?)

    I have no problem with offering the facts as they are to the public, but stop short of forcing re-education camps. And as I said, the price of freedom is to abide the rantings of idiots. if you do not see the danger in your diatribe and quest to rid the world of wrong – you are a dangerous and very wrong man.

  98. @ David.
    Here is the article from which that prior extract came.
    Things are not always what they seem.
    regards, ken.

  99. @ David: That was an understatement!

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7746

    Now you have it.
    Ken :-)

  100. PhilJourdan says:

    @Ken

    Hi PhilJourdan.
    We seem to comprehend things differently.

    Indeed we do. I take it (this is an assumption, so please correct me if i am wrong) that you support “hate crimes” legislation? We sure do have a problem there, for a crime is a crime, period. What the author (I am using him since it is his words) wants to do is make speech a hate crime. And that I will never condone.

    Depriving them of their rights? That IS A CRIME, and thus it is not whining and complaining – but law enforcement. The Author wants to intermingle the 2, and that is just blatantly wrong. And that is my Don Quixote Quest – to make sure idiots like him cannot intermingle the 2.

    You have the right to call me every name in the book, insult my parentage, my progenies, and do so in a verbal (or even written way – you can get away with a lot of things when you preface it with “I Beleive” or “I think”). But you have no right to place your fist upon my face. That is where your rights end, and the law begins.

    That is what I fight. That is what many of the ‘persecuted” would deprive us of. Not the laws that are broken – they merely need to be enforced, corrupt officials impeached – but when they do not like that I call them a whiny meally mouth denebian slime devil – and they demand my torture and death. Sorry, we do indeed comprehend things differently and I will never comprehend things the way you do.

  101. @ PhilJourdan:
    I give up. You think what you will, say what you will.
    But much as I have said to David. Discussing stuff with you guys is a waste of time.
    If EM doesn’t want my input, comments that’s ok. It’s his Blog and his call. SO
    @EM This is too much for me. I concede!

  102. PhilJourdan says:

    @Ken –

    EM has been very tolerant of all of us in this discussion. That we will not agree is another matter, but I have yet to read where EM has admonished you or me or David or anyone for the discussion.

  103. @PhilJourdan:
    EM has not admonished anyone for this discussion.
    I didn’t intend to give that impression. I was simply resigning from the discussion and apologising to EM for our ranting! I worded it badly in the heat of the moment.

  104. David says:

    Ken McMurtrie
    @David.
    “Rather than address the issues individually I prefer to make a blanket statement:”

    No more for now. I always prefer to directly address the point, mine was simple. Your comments indicated that large portions of America and the West are prejudice against Islam.
    I, in some detail, pointed out how this was false, as were the accusations of the person you linked to. I, as well as others, took pains to show you that there are many reasons for legitmate reasoned fear of Islam and that many of the so called “prejudiced statements” were simply facts, and based on a logical “reasoned response” to what political Islam is.

    I will not be diverted into the history of US foreign policy during the cold war with the Soviet Union.

    It takes me a long time to come to a point of view. First I must force my self to google search the opposite perspective and read it clearly. This must go back and forth numerous times.

  105. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    If I may help out a little (as it looks a bit lopsided with 3 on 1 at the moment…)

    The “from afar” view in sociology is called “The Martian View”. It is intended to bring as completely un-self-biased cultural viewpoint as possible to observation of human ritual and culture. There is a great example of it in “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” where the author does a wonderful job of presenting some of the more, er, peculiar aspects of that culture through “the martian view”, only at the end does one realize the ‘lesson’ is about the view more than the people

    http://spot.pcc.edu/~rwolf/miner.html

    Another link to the same basic stuff with somewhat different citations / links out:

    https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/miner.html

    All well and good to try to be an unbiased Cultural Anthropologist.

    One assumes that your “may be some sort of justification” was not directed at the idea of Jew as “Evil Manipulator” of banks and congress but perhaps more from the idea that non-Jew can have a bigotry triggered by a local context? Such as with the anti-Jew rant of Mel Gibson. The upper levels of management at movie studios DO have a large number of jewish folks in them, so if someone had a generic “hate management” (as management often must make decisions that piss off folks) that could easily become mis-focused on one ethnicity, seen in that role more widely than others. (Much as white male managers were often vilified on racial grounds… but that is slacking off a bit as the percentage of blacks and women in management is rising).

    I.e. more that “Success breeds contempt” and Jews have been successful. (Rather than “some aspect of Jewishness or Jewish acts justfies the bigotry”.)

    (FWIW, in my dealing with Jews the biggest thing I’ve personally concluded is that their culture is horrifically driven to avoid failure and persue success. It leads to a large number of emtional issues – the classical “Jewish Guilt” et. al. if there are no “bragging rights” produced. This leads to both success, and “issues” in their lives. Much like the Asian cultures can drive their children to great successes, but at a high personal emotional price.)

    So in your view there are a lot of folks who “have doubts” and some of them cast those doubts at the “Powerful” which includes a higher than general population number of Jews (as they ARE driven to success by their culture. To be lazy is a sin…)

    Does that capture it?

    There is no “Israeli SS”, one presumes you mean The Mossad

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossad

    Oddly, they have a web page, but it was taking a very long time to open on my browser and I got a bit paranoid about why…. so I havn’t read it.

    “http://www.mossad.gov.il/Eng/AboutUs.aspx”

    To link them with the SS will have caused some (hopefully unintended) secondary responses in folks that could have been avoided with a bit more care. Even “Israeli CIA” would have been better. Thank about it…

    I’ve worked with a guy who was ex-mossad (and became a cop in the USA). One of the best men I’ve ever worked with. One of his stories was about being stationed on the Egyptian border during the ‘near the war’ years. They had melons on their side, the Egyptian equals had some other crop on their side, so the two “sides” would, from time to time, meet at the fence and swap “this for that” from the fields… as they tired of the monotony of what they had.

    Said they got on great with the Egyptian spys and guards, even though both sides knew they might be shooting at each other any day…

    He “walked a bit funny” from the result of being in their prisons for a while in later years… but didn’t harbor any resentment about it that I could see. “They were just doing their job”…

    But I digress…

    Per Jewish “invasion of Palistine”… there have been a few (a few dozen?) UN rulings on that… And if you are talking about the original founding, that was more driven by Europe and Britain out of a sense of guilt over Germany. So the issue really ought to be addressed to them. That the Jews lobbied that their new homeland be placed where their old one had been prior to the {Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman, Bedouin, Ottoman Turk, British } invasions (hope I didn’t leave out too many of importance…) is quite reasonable. But your choice of words could have been better. Perhaps “Jewish re-occupation”…

    One also does need to realize that that particular piece of dirt has been stolen from the prior owners substantially every time it has changed hands in all of history. So anyone who claims “ownership” has a burden of “invasion” and “theft” on their shoulders… Even the “Palistinians” (a concept that did not exist before Britain created it).

    @PHilJourdan:

    Um, please avoid the “to the person” arguments:

    if you do not see the danger in your diatribe and quest to rid the world of wrong – you are a dangerous and very wrong man.

    Could just as easily been said:

    “To not see the danger in your statements and quest to rid the world of wrong is a very dangerous and very wrong position”.

    Ken McMurtrie

    @ PhilJourdan:
    I give up. You think what you will, say what you will.
    But much as I have said to David. Discussing stuff with you guys is a waste of time.

    You seem to think that you must prevail for some discussion to have merit. It is often enough to simply show the other point of view. While I never expect to convert a Jew or Muslim to Catholicism (party as I’m none of them ;-) it can be very enlightenening to discuss their different views on iconoclastics and Christology (for example). “Winning isn’t everything”.

    If EM doesn’t want my input, comments that’s ok. It’s his Blog and his call. SO
    @EM This is too much for me. I concede!

    If I may offer a bit of advice?

    You have several times talked about “in the moment” or “in the heat” or something similar. There is no clock running on postings… You can “fact check” with a simple Google search in about 20 seconds. You can get “background data” in about a minute. You can ponder a point, and read two or three times an alternate posting POV to see if there are other interpretations that might be more valid (before taking the one that is wrong, but that you saw first, and running with it…)

    So take a breath, and take a moment to be a bit more careful in how you read things, and how you phrase responses. It will avoid a lot of backpedaling later.

    Oh, and as of now, with the above note to PhilJourdan, I’ve got one “gentle chiding” on the books, though no “admonshing” yet ;-)

    One other point you didn’t raise, but could have:

    Statistics “have issues”. The percentage of “hate crimes” against Christians will be biased by them being by far the dominant percentage of the population. The percentage of “hate crimes” against Jews by their tendency to report them rapidly and frequently. The percentage against “White male agnostics with a Buddhist bent” to be near zero as it just seems pointless. (How many times in the last month have I had some religious rant or another insulting atheists or infidels or? I’ve lost count. How often is the Evil White Male the target on sit-coms and nightly news and even in social engineering programs? Beyond count. My “sociology” class in college was largely a study in how many ways you could say “Get Whitey” and “Men Are Evil”… I long ago gave up caring or even noticing how often it happens. Daily? Hourly? You will never see me file a ‘hate crime’ report. And the Buddhist part of me just sees that reporting does not bring peace and centeredness and has nothing but strife and angre in it, so moves on with the flow of the cultural waters…

    So you could easily have questioned the statistics on that count..

  106. PhilJourdan says:

    @EM

    Sorry, that one did slip through. My apologies to you and Ken McMurtrie. I tried to keep it 3rd person, but failed.

  107. Level_Head says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    If I understand you correctly, the justification for the crimes against Jews is the irrational belief by some people that the Jews brought down the World Trade Center.

    The pattern of those crimes, of course, predates the World Trade Center attack by decades, just as the violent uprising of the Muslim Brotherhood and its franchise operations from Al Qaeda to CAIR predate the World Trade Center attack by decades — even the first MB World Trade Center attack on February 26, 1993.

    But if an irrational belief about a generally non-violent group of people justifies violence against them, how is a complement to this not “justified” for the religion that boasts more than 95% of terrorist-caused deaths in the last half-century to its credit?

    Certainly not all Muslims are guilty of jihadist thought — in Egypt, the number barely reaches two-thirds according to recent polls. But the Jews? What percentage of terrorist deaths were caused by the Jews as a religious group? Could it amount to a tenth of a percent in the last half century? (Is it even non-zero?)

    I am not religious; I don’t have a God in that fight, so to speak. But I keep seeing strange “justifications” to blame others besides jihadists for terrorism, like a comment on my own blog that “Christian terrorists were just as bad.”

    When I looked into that, the total number of abortion clinic deaths over the past half-century was arguably as high as thirty — a number which was exceeded by the victims killed by jihadists so far on the morning of my research. They’d doubled it by the end of the day, and it was just another day for them.

    Islamic terrorists really do kill people, by the hundreds of thousands. It gives people real cause to be concerned when a man tries to break into an airliner cockpit while screaming Allahu Akbar — which happened in the US last Sunday.

    Such a fear is not irrational. It is “justified.” Don’t you think so?

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  108. David says:

    M. thanks for your May 12th 4:45. comment concerning the statistics and “the fact that “the percentage of “hate crimes” gainst Christians will be biased by them, being by far the dominant percentage of the population. The percentage of “hate crimes” against Jews by their tendency to report them rapidly and frequently…”

    ( I know my refutation is not to you personally as you have made your views on redical Islam clear)

    But I then considered that the opposite may be true, as their are then far more potential Christian perpetrators of such crimes, yet the numbers of hate crimes against Muslims is so
    low. Which is the more relevant statistic, the number of potential criminals, or the number of potential victims? Being that there is no shortage of either, victims or perpertrators.
    there are millions (about three to five I think) potential Muslim victims in the US. and there are about 5.5 million Jews. In my mind this was all a wash.

    Most especially so when I considered the Islamic reaction to the Dainsh editorial cartoon and the Islamic violence and murder that followed, or that The Imam of the NY Mosque
    recently warned of violence, far exceeding the violent Muslim reaction to the Danish editorial cartoon, if this Mosque does not go through. This was considered by many to be a threat, and at the very least is a condemnation of Islamic society as well as thoroughly contradicting President Obama’s “small band of men” comment. Rauf has stated “Islam does not need a reformation.” and recently said we are fighting religious extremism, not Islamic extremism, and he like to point out violence in the Bible. He often engages in the logical fallacy “Tu Quoque”, as do many, justifying countless current acts of terror on the basis of a relatively miniscule fringe activity of a few other contemporary groups, or retreats to violence done by others in past centuries.

    Problems with Islamic extremist are current and worldwide. There is almost nothing in current Christian dominated countries that resembles the dark age mentality that is currently established in extremist Islam and the educational systems in numerous Arab countries that teach hate and violence to their own children.

    All of the above being true and obvious to one with no dog in the fight, ( I was raised to respect all religions) my intial comments to Ken were the fact that his entire post was a microcosm of what the media reports. As a recent example, when a Christian priest somewhere decided to threaten (he never did) burn a Koran, the MSM condemmed him for days, yet when the Muslim world went psycho and murdered and beheaded many christians as a result of this threat, the Christian ministers “threat” remainded the main focus of the media. The article Ken linked to and the false accusations in it, portraying many of prejudice, when in fact they were just being factual, is an example of the divisive harm done by the media. Such false and deceptive articles as Ken linked are used by the jihadists to convince young unemployed Muslim men to feel that they are victims, and so to move toward a more radical view of Islam.

  109. Paul L. says:

    Paul Joseph Watson explains the Al Qaeda confirmation: a message in an internet board pointed at by a US government contractor, and various other things along the same lines.

    [ I find this an amusing collection of paranoia. But please, no more of the “conspiracy theory” stuff and the crafty Jews so capable that they have Mossad agents at 17 able to devote their entire life to going undercover and rising to the top of a major terrorist group… As much as I like a good yarn, this guy has “whoppers” falling left and right. As he tells it, the whole operation of Al Qaeda must be a Jewish / American “put up job” complete with an entire library of faked videos (for how many years to decades back in time?)… I guess we blew up our own embasies and buildings just for kicks…

    Look, if it IS the case that the guy is Mossad, then great. There’s an inside guy. Fine with me. But odds are greater that he is just a somewhat lost kid who wandered to the wrong side of the tracks. I’ve known a number of such in my life. Rebelling against the parents and all. Heck, my Grandmother was Amish (you know, full body cover all the time, music is sinful so no instruments in the home, no images… sound familiar?) and married a Catholic (causing BOTH families to have fits…). My Dad was Roman Catholic but married a Church of England Potestant (To iconoclast, or not to iconoclast, that is the question… and that whole “holy trinity thing” is a bit of a Christology issue…). I was raised in a Baptist church (what? no scramental wine? Welch’s Grape Juice? – invented by Welch as he was a Baptist as a non-alcoholic sacramental…) , but find my strongest affiliation to Buddhism… So by the logic in the video I must be an Agent Of The Pope!! (Or Luther… Or maybe the Anabaptists…).

    The level of “craftwork” needed to pull off what that guy asserts was done would be just astounding. The potential for screwups gigantic. Yet supposedly it was done perfectly for a decade+? And the tens of thousands of dead world wide just ‘the cost of doing business’ for keeping up a good cover… Just amazing. Occam must be rolling over in his grave. So please, this posting was intended mostly just as a “news flash”; not as a “Conspiracy Theory Showroom”; and I’d really rather we didn’t head down that path. It is fruitless; and by definition there is never vetted evidence to conspiracy theories (or they would have ceased being theoretical…).

    So at everyone: Please drop the “USA Did it to ourselves” and the “Jews dominate the world” and the “it’s all a great hidden power grab / manipulation / conspiracy” lines. It’s just a waste of hot air and I’m tired of it.
    -E.M.Smith ]

  110. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, the guy in Florida DID eventually burn a Koran (though slightly by proxy as someone else lit the match):

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-03-21-quran-burning-florida_N.htm

    He said the punishment — burning the book after it had been soaked in kerosene for an hour — was determined from four choices on his organization’s Facebook page. He said “several hundred” were polled and voted for burning over shredding, drowning and facing a firing squad.

    Jones considered the burning — which was conducted by another pastor since Jones was serving as the judge — a one-time event.

    But yeah, “Asymetricall emotional explosion nuttiness” is a signature trait of the Jihadies in particular and others in general.

  111. Interesting Connections says:

    Of course, 700 years ago if you stuck a crucifix in a bucket of piss or you burned a bible you would probably have been strung up.

    However, that’s the difference, isn’t it. Do we really have to wait 700 years for them to become more enlightened?

  112. E.M.Smith says:

    @Interesting Connections:

    We don’t have 700 years and “they” are moving at a slower rate. The result of those two observations is “not good”.

    I don’t know how this is going to sort out, as the present situation where one side is engaged in “total war” (including cultural, economic, ‘5th column’, demographic,…) while the other is engaged in watching TV is not working out so well for “the west”. At the same time, America has a long tradition of waiting to the very last minute and THEN acting with astounding ferocity and power.

    Makes “predicting” a challenge.

    If I had to “pick one”, I’d presently go with “The West” as since 911 there has been a “sea change” in the population. (Politicians still need to ‘catch up’…). It happened in an “eye blink” when the folks over Pennsylvania said, in essence: ‘So, you changed the rules from “ransom” to “we die”? OK, then we change the rules to “you fail and die” from “we are passive”.’

    Most of the country made that shift with them. I know I did.

    Any Jihadie tries to do something stupid (on a plane or otherwise) I’ve already decided “He dies first”. If I die after that, oh well… But he will die with my hand on his throat and my blue eyes giving him one very cold stare… with a smile if I can remember it ;-)

    Don’t care if they have a bomb strapped to them, a knife in their hand, or if I’m just the “human shield” for the guy behind me to get close enough to take away his gun. It’s no longer “go along to get along”. It isn’t even “him or me”. It’s “If I’m toast, at least I’m going to die happy and he will fail.”… The phrase “Blaze of Glory” comes to mind…

    I think they have no idea what they have started, nor what kind of person lives inside the “Average American”. But Japan learned about it after Pearl….

    So while we don’t have 700 years… I think they don’t have even 100… I sure do hope they start “reforming” fast, as the alternative is “not pretty”.

    As someone or other once said: “No brag. Just fact.”…

    Kind of like the “SAD Doctrine” per Islamic Nukes. Swift Assured Destruction. Sometimes I think of it as “Swift Asymetrical Destruction”… not sure which one I like most, but the reality is 50/50 of each… I’d make it SAAD Doctrine but that isn’t as “catchy”…

    So they want to be all peacable and “live and let live”, fine with me. If not? Well, I can accept that… I’ve dealt with “Fire Ants” before…

  113. Level_Head says:

    @Interesting Connections:

    However, that’s the difference, isn’t it. Do we really have to wait 700 years for them to become more enlightened?

    This is, indeed, a key difference.

    Looking around at the world, we can see societies and cultures that began thousands of years BC (like China) and other cultures that have come about much more recently (some of the island nations). In each case, they are fairly close to synchronized now in their “enlightenment” — including a freshly formed Jewish nation that is modern, democratic, and spinning off tremendous technical and scientific innovation.

    Christianity is, of course, several hundred years older than Islam, and Judaism is older yet. The Hindu and Buddhist communities are rising rapidly, hindered only by political situations that are not native to those cultures. (The communist takeover of China was within the lifetimes of some on this board.)

    So with all of this, what is with Islam? What’s that key difference that makes Islamic countries write into their governing documents that one must be put to death for insulting (or leaving) that religion?

    I submit that it started with the Gutenberg press (a device Gutenberg actually lost control of in a lawsuit). When the press became popular, and printed books became the rage, they could not be printed in any Islamic country — as the plates were cleaned with pig-bristle brushes, and they could not countenance the idea of a pig hair touching the name of Allah, as written in all Islamic writings even if not on religion.

    So this one-time repository of knowledge fell behind — they sidestepped a great surge in the world’s stored knowledge.

    They’ve never caught up.

    Another issue lies in how they think of their holy works, the Sunnah, al Hadith, and Qur’an. While some of these can be argued about with regard to authenticity, much as Christian and Jewish scholars debate the provenance of their books, the Qur’an is considered a literal transcription of the word of God (Al-lah, “the God”) as passed by the angel Gabriel (“Jabreel”) to Mohammad, and recorded without the slightest error.

    They’re stuck with it. It’s still in the original language, the classical Arabic essentially created and maintained by the Qur’an and other writings, and they can’t argue that a translator got it wrong. (Such an argument will get you a death sentence in several countries.)

    There’s also no equivalent of the “Old Testament/New testament” dichotomy that changed the rules for Christians. There is something that seems analogous — the Mecca and Medina sura — but there was no easing of the core edicts.

    The other big difference is that Islam stands alone as having a famous warrior/conqueror as its founder; Jesus was not known for being good with a sword, and Buddha hijacked no caravans that we’re aware of, nor did Confucius put large numbers of people to death or enslave them. Those parts of Mohammad are as revered — and relied upon for guidance — as any other.

    So the path to enlightenment — the softening of the much-talked-about “sword verses” of the Qur’an, cannot happen the way they did with the fiercer aspects of the Bible, say, like the Old Testament’s Leviticus.

    Islamic scholars do not want a casual, modern treatment of the faith, preserving its good parts but allowing the Qur’an to be not-quite-authoritative. That way, they feel, lies the dissolution of the religion.

    I think they’re right — but the faith will continue to fuel jihad as an official doctrine of uncounted millions until such an accommodation is reached.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  114. Level_Head says:

    @E. M. Smith:

    As someone or other once said: “No brag. Just fact.”

    Walter Brennan, as Amos McCoy on “The Real McCoys” television series.

    Hah! It’s online:

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  115. @ Level-head:
    This is probably my last attempt to debate these issues because, like the other guys who disagree with what I am saying, your methods of debating tend to be illogical.

    “If I understand you correctly, the justification for the crimes against Jews is the irrational belief by some people that the Jews brought down the World Trade Center.”
    No not quite, and more:
    ‘justification for the crimes” isn’t what we were talking about, it was the justification for “the anti-Jewish sentiment”
    “rational belief” is what some people have, and is what I have. I also included the very important facts that the US media, the banking system and the government, either by presence or powerful lobbying, are controlling the US.

    “The pattern of those crimes, of course, predates the World Trade Center attack by decades, just as the violent uprising of the Muslim Brotherhood and its franchise operations from Al Qaeda to CAIR predate the World Trade Center attack by decades — even the first MB World Trade Center attack on February 26, 1993.”
    This has no relevance whatsoever to the debate.

    “But if an irrational belief about a generally non-violent group of people justifies violence against them, how is a complement to this not “justified” for the religion that boasts more than 95% of terrorist-caused deaths in the last half-century to its credit?”
    “generally non-violent” – I don’t think the Palestinians or the groups who are trying to provide aid and support to Palestine would agree with you.
    “95% terrorist caused deaths” – if you conducted a survey throught the world, you might find that the majority might agree with Martin Luther King Jnr (a patriotic American) when he said “the US is the world’s greatest purveyor of violence”.

    “Certainly not all Muslims are guilty of jihadist thought — in Egypt, the number barely reaches two-thirds according to recent polls. But the Jews? What percentage of terrorist deaths were caused by the Jews as a religious group? Could it amount to a tenth of a percent in the last half century? (Is it even non-zero?)”
    Guilty of crime thoughts, that is not violence!
    I already provided evidence of the US inciting Islamic hatred in their schools, who are we to blame?
    Re the Jews – once again its not the Jewish people, any more than it is the American people who are committing the war crimes. It is their leaders.

    “I am not religious; I don’t have a God in that fight, so to speak. But I keep seeing strange “justifications” to blame others besides jihadists for terrorism, like a comment on my own blog that “Christian terrorists were just as bad.” ”
    “strange justifications” – a matter of personal belief and opinion.
    What other organizations might be up to is irrelevant. We are talking about, in this case, the actions of one country, actively persuing military aggression against the Palestinians, actively influencing American behaviour not in the interests of its own people, and, through it’s secret service group Mossad, allegedly (as believed by many), being responsible for all the American deaths associated with 9/11 attacks.

    “When I looked into that, the total number of abortion clinic deaths over the past half-century was arguably as high as thirty — a number which was exceeded by the victims killed by jihadists so far on the morning of my research. They’d doubled it by the end of the day, and it was just another day for them.

    Islamic terrorists really do kill people, by the hundreds of thousands. It gives people real cause to be concerned when a man tries to break into an airliner cockpit while screaming Allahu Akbar — which happened in the US last Sunday.”
    “hundreds of thousands of deaths” by Jihadists, (I would need to have a look, in particular at the information sources, to confirm your estimate), again, but again, we are really discussing the Jewish connection.

    “Such a fear is not irrational. It is “justified.” Don’t you think so?”
    If you mean is it rational and justified for America to fear the Jihadist terrorist, I say, not necessarily.
    There is much not proven to my satisfaction.
    In any case, that is not the subject, which was anti-Jewish sentiment.

    @EM.
    The above might clarify what I was trying to say in earlier comments.
    Re “invasion of Palestine”, I was referring, not the original allocation of land post WW2, but to Israel’s 6 day war and subsequent land grabs, wall building, illegal settlements and the like.
    Re “heat of the moment”. Your suggestion of time to research, is of course, very wise. Yet, I need to respond rapidly, whilst in the ‘mood’. Such reliance on my memory and previous sources and ?prejudices, no doubt lead to occasional generalizations rather than specifics, some emotive responses and perhaps some misconceptions. On the whole, I am confident that most of my statemements are relevant and accurate. Keeping in mind that a lot of the time we are talking about beliefs, opinions, judgements. Facts are not always available as such.
    Speaking of which, even researching as you suggest is not necessarily all its cracked up to be. Sources of information are notoriously unreliable – history written by the victors, or perhaps the losers. Either way the info will be biassed. Google/other search programs give thousands of hits and require much time to assess. Wikipedia is known to be less than completely reliable.

    After all that, we were supposed to be on the topic of ‘Bin Laden is dead’, and my theme was ‘of course, but was it his body killed in the raid?’
    We have left the trail way behind.

    Re “prevailing”. Winning or losing? I agree this is not the aim and it is hopefully not mine. Having put my view, however, I felt attacked as comments went further than “certainly do not agree with you”.
    Mostly it’s a matter of what we choose to believe. Once stating this, is it appropriate to actually argue amongst ourselves, or to simply absorb the other comments and assess them privately? We do not have much chance of creating a change of mind, that is probably obvious. In offering some explanation and clarifying my comments in response to a question or criticism, the return answer was never, “I see what you mean but I still don’t agree”. It would more likely be another ?diatribe/rant on why I should be thinking ‘their way’. Hence my feelings of ‘waste of time’.
    Re your suggestion re my statistics comment. The main point there was that the statistics had nothing to do with the issue. Unfortunately, I bought into that because David was making a point which I thought was misleading.
    You and I, on the few occasions of disagreement, usually agree to disagree, and move on.
    In these above cases, there was no easy way to do this. Hence my picking up my bat and ball and going home, so to speak.
    Best regards, Ken.

  116. PhilJourdan says:

    Ken McMurtrie
    @ Level-head:
    This is probably my last attempt to debate these issues because, like the other guys who disagree with what I am saying, your methods of debating tend to be illogical.

    I am sorry you feel that way, but perhaps the fault is your own? When everyone is wrong and you are right, perhaps it is time to do a hard critical self evaluation to see if perhaps you are looking in a mirror when making such accusations.

    I am sure some on both sides appeal to emotion versus logic, but I doubt either side is totally at fault in that department.

    As a final thought, I would ask that you research land sales in the area formerly known as Palestine. You might be surprised.

  117. HI Phil, Thanks for your comment.
    I am not infallible, am aware of it and don’t desire to seem to be.
    I am a bit emotional and that shows.
    I am a bit agenda driven and that shows.
    These reasons are why I try so hard to be very correct when I write something.
    It is not a matter of right or wrong, it’s a matter of truth or not truth.
    For example, your quoting my statement “like the other guys who disagree with what I am saying, your methods of debating tend to be illogical”
    All I am saying there is that those who disagree with me tend to be illogical. I am not saying I am right and ‘they’ are wrong. I am capable of being illogical, I don’t think I have been, here. Obviously they are not illogical in all things, just that sometimes their argument is not logical because, for example:
    Take the comments with LevelHead on anti-Jewish sentiment.
    L: “If I understand you correctly, the justification for the crimes against Jews is the irrational belief by some people that the Jews brought down the World Trade Center.”
    K: No not quite, and more:
    ‘justification for the crimes” isn’t what we were talking about, it was the justification for “the anti-Jewish sentiment”
    “rational belief” is what some people have, and is what I have. I also included the very important facts that the US media, the banking system and the government, either by presence or powerful lobbying, are controlling the US.

    His statement, although prefixed with “if I understand you correctly” was simply wrong and suggested I had said something which I definitely had not, as I pointed out in my reply.
    (My claiming “rational” belief perhaps a little provocative but was in response to his assuming he is right, and other people were irrational.)
    So we were talking about different issues – justifications about “crimes against Jews” and justifications about “reasons for anti-Jewish sentiment”, the latter being my original statement.
    Then, picking out one of my four suggested reasons (for anti-Jewish sentiment), and applying it to something I wasn’t talking about anyway, was illogical. (Nothing to do with right or wrong).
    The funny thing here is that where I originally commented about OTHERS might have reasons to have anti-Jewish sentiment, we finished talking about it as if I had claimed that there was justification. I could be in disagreement with the ‘others’ and still report what I thought the ‘others’ reasons were.
    Funnier still, my original comment that started all this discussion centred around my contribution, was that there was obvious anti-Islamic, not just sentiment but actual harassment in America.
    After that, there was hardly any logical relevant discussion at all.
    And even funnier still, the post topic was bin Laden being dead. I contributed that he might have been dead for years, and how did we know that ‘this’ body was OBL?
    We certainly got off the track, but its been fun.
    So thanks again, you have given me the means to explain myself a little better (I hope).
    Not a matter of fault, right, wrong. Just trying to be factual. Nothing needs to be personal. I might be wrong in some way in this debate, but so far no-one has convinced me.
    I am curious as to the Palestine land sales comment, has that got something to do with the issue? (Which issue, you may ask? There are so many)
    Regards, Ken.

  118. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    When someone says “If I understand you correctly” and then follows it with a paraphrase of your position, it is very much “illogical” to call that “illogical”. It is a question and request for confirmation / clarification and contains no “logic” to be ill…

    The technique is widely taught ( I’ve had it shoved at me at least 1/2 dozen times in “Managers and the Law” – that was mandatory every 2 years at a prior employer and in various “sensitivity” trainings – also mandatory at various employers). The whole purpose of it is to avoid “getting it wrong” by assuming you understood the person and to instead do what is generically called “Reflective Listening Skills”. So you “reflect” back at the speaker what they have said (as you have heard it) and ask for confirmation / clarification.

    To call that “illogical” is to have one of a narrow set of errors:

    1) Failure to understand it is “reflective listening skills”
    2) A belief that “transmission error checking” is ‘illogical’ to do.
    3) Hearing your own “illogical” presentation in reflection and ascribing that the the reflective listener.
    4) Ascribing lack of “logic” to a person who might be doing “reflective listening” through a warpy agenda driven mirror. (I.e. deliberate distortion for rhetorical device).
    5) Ascribing motivation to a simple act of “poor comprehension” on the part of the listener.

    There may be other possibles, but I think that set pretty much covrers the turf.

    As Level_Head has never shown any tendency to deliberate distortion for rhetorical device, I think we can scratch #4 off the list. As he has got everything “spot on” every time I’ve seen a reply, I think we can scratch #5 as well. (That others heard your statement the same way tends to confirm that. Me among them.)

    What Phil did was to point out, with modestly gentle tones, that perhaps some of #3 was involved. As noted before, and confirmed by yourself, you have tended to “post first think second” from time to time “in the heat” of things… So there is some grounds for that “introspection question”.

    As for #1 and #2, I think that only you can answer the question of how well they might fit. ( I would only remind that #2 is a very blatent error as the skill is deliberately taught for the benefit it brings – and as the same technique is used in computing and for the same reasons … see ACK / NAC and CRC…)

    FWIW, I had a “Guffaw” moment at the assertion that Level_Head was being “illogical”. I tend to keep a very “tidy mind”. I’ve had formal training in logic, including a university level class in symbolic logic. I can spot logical inconsistencies a mile away and do formal proofs of it (though I don’t as most folks are offended by it). Rarely, to perhaps never, have I seen as careful a mind as Level_Head and as keenly careful to be logically consistent at every turn. The “accusation” of “illogical” was simply unbelievable. So I would suggest being aware that in those cases, what is tossed tends to return to the point of origin…

    OK, to leave “to the person” behind and speak “to the facts”:

    I suppose that the audio tape of Osama Bin-Ladin circulating from just before his death at the hands of the Seals, in which he is discussing the Arab Spring, is presumed by you to be some sort of fraud as well?

    Is there any evidence you would accept for his death then?

    We have video and audio from the time between when you assert he died, and now.

    We have video of the attack and reports of eye witnesses of his death.

    We have his family that were living with him NOT disputing that he was alive (are they all in on the conspiracy too?)

    We have the Pakistani Government insenced at the killing (are then co-conspirators?)

    We have the Taliban Organization vowing revenge for his killing by Americans in that raid (Are they stooges of the USA, artfully disguised?)

    We have the Al Quada organization “announcing” organizational changes in response to the raid. (Had they not noticed for a half decade that Osama was already dead? Are they dupes of the USA?)

    We’ve got Senators who have seen the records (including photos) from the raid and confirm their veracity. (Is everything forged? And to what end?)

    Which answer does Occam’s Razor select:

    1) It is the truth, Osama was shot by a Seal Team member.

    2) There was a grand conspiracy of incredibly intricate detail and depth, involving several TLA’s (Three Letter Agencies), the Navy Seals, at least 2 national governments, over 1/2 a decade or more, with the family of Osama confirming the “scam”, carried off with such perfection that even his own organization didn’t notice nor did the Taliban (who were supposedly his protectors in the early years and knew where he was as they were moving him arround). Oh, and with a “technical” side that can make near perfect audio and video “mock ups” of him… and never get caught even by advanced “voice print” analysis and artifact dredging…

    Basically, you’ve got a very high mountain range of evidence to shovel out of the way to assert that Osama was already dead; and darned near nothing in the way of a shovel to work with…

    Yes, it’s possible to immagine grand schemes where UBL’s wives and son are “in on it’ and working with the ISI to support the myth that the USA killed UBL so that (and here it starts to get fuzzy)… so that… they get the glory? or they support US aims? or maybe they just didn’t notice that thier husband had been replaced with a “body double”? I’m having trouble seeing their motivation… It’s not like Pakistan has a large interest in making us look good.

    No, such schemes dont’ hang together well. And Occam says to pitch them out. No, it’s not a perfect razor, but it’s the best you can do with competing scenarios with conflicting evidence that can never be ‘vetted’.

    That others do not AGREE with your conclusions or do not ACCEPT your evidence as factual does not make them “illogical”. It may simply mean they find faults in the presented data, are more familiar with other data, or with William d’Ockham…

    (FWIW: I’m very tepid on the audio and video data. It is possible with sufficient computer processing to make any image you like. It’s “kids play” – litterally – to morph a old photo of you onto another person and have ‘live’ video of you that isnt’ real. What I find by far the most convincing is simply the reaction of those folks whose agenda is 100% opposite of ours and who ought to have known the prior status of UBL. His wives. His kids. The Taliban. Al Quada itself. To explain that in the context of an already dead UBL would require a degree of deception and penetration of their organizations by the USA TLA’s that is simply beyond the possible. Basically, if he’d been dead for 1/2 a decade, I think they would have noticed…)

  119. Level_Head says:

    @Ken McMurtrie said:

    ‘justification for the crimes” isn’t what we were talking about, it was the justification for “the anti-Jewish sentiment”

    You seemed pretty annoyed at this.

    But you were explicitly talking about anti-Jewish crimes as well as anti-Jewish sentiment. In fact, your use of the phrase “some justification” — the only appearance of that phrase until I quoted it, was in explication of the anti-Jewish crimes statistic. You said:

    The 65% anti-Jewish amazes me, even though there my be some justification of sorts.

    When I asked about this, you asserted that

    ‘justification for the crimes” isn’t what we were talking about, it was the justification for “the anti-Jewish sentiment”

    You clearly included “some justification” for anti-Jewish crimes — but perhaps forgot that you had said this when insisting that I was being “illogical.”

    When I asked about the 95% of terrorist deaths caused by jihadists, you asserted (by quoting someone else) that the US was the “world’s greatest purveyor of violence.”

    Assuming you are willing to believe these sorts of statements — it is your right, of course — it strikes me as interesting to follow these assertions with an accusation that your opponent’s argument is illogical.

    Your suggestion that jihadists would agree with your statements about the Jews is probably true enough — but were you under their control, they would simply kill you without thanking you for your support.

    I have pointed out that jihadism is a serious problem. You seem to be alternately blaming the Jews (including blaming the Jews for the 6 day war, I see above) or blaming the US.

    It’s not quite clear to me whether you see jihadism as a creation of the West, or a fabrication of the West for political purposes. You seem to have a foot in both camps.

    In the meantime, jihadists will kill anyone who leaves their religion, kill thousands of innocent Muslims for political purposes, kill daughters and wives who bring their odd notion of “dishonor” on their faith, and continue their quest to kill/conquer/convert the rest of the world. Jihadists are a minority of Muslims, but they are an armed, vocal, and violent minority — to the point where others fear to oppose them.

    Usama Bin Ladin was a significant figurehead for this movement. His operational role could not have been large, but the esteem in which he was/is held by thousands — millions? — suggests that his death will be significant.

    But even if Usama bin Ladin (or his death) was a creation of the United States — his death is still important to jihadists.

    The only real solution to the problem of jihadism, it seems to me, is education — but that education must include a moderation of the faith, and an enlightened approach to the Hadith and Sunnah that are driving the violence.

    Jihadism is well-supported by the Islamic holy works, the Qur’an, al Hadith and Sunnah. What jihadists do makes logical sense in their world — they must see that their world is not reality, and needs to change.

    But considering what some of us believe in the “enlightened West,” it seems that we have a great deal of work to do.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  120. Level_Head says:

    @E.M. Smith:

    Well, I just saw your post; thank you for the kind words. It must seem to Ken McMurtrie that we’re piling on.

    To the original topic: It has now been nearly three weeks since the death of Usama bin Ladin. There was an uptick in jihadist attacks — as usual, directed against Muslims who disagree — but not a very large spike.

    No doubt, violent reprisals on a large scale have been planned — but these were planned before. One will probably ultimately succeed, and then we’ll have folks saying that this, too, was a show put on by the US.

    But it will be hard, I think, to pin such a future attack on the death of Usama bin Ladin, though of course the jihadists taking credit for it (or the soi-disant “operatives of the US government” posing as jihadists) will invoke UbL’s “martyrdom.” Different views will connect or disconnect this, but it seems unlikely to be clear-cut one way or the other.

    Pakistan’s government has been sporadically helpful to us, for pragmatic reasons. But Pakistan’s religious leadership (the Ulema Council) is the group that awarded Usama bin Ladin the exalted “saifullah” or “Sword of Allah” title.

    Note, in that BBC link above, that even elected officials in a non-Islamic country were willing to go on record saying that they would personally kill someone for the crime of insulting Islam:

    The Speaker of the Punjab provincial assembly, Chaudhry Mohammad Afzal Sahi, said that he would kill Sir Salman Rushdie if he came face to face with him.

    “Such blasphemers deserve death. Islam does not allow suicide attacks but it would be justified in the case of a blasphemer, who is worthy of death,” he said.

    These are not people that see jihadism as wrong — and until we can get to that point, the death of Usama bin Ladin is merely a newsworthy moment in a very long war.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  121. Sigh!!!
    Thanks gentlemen for your considered comments.
    Just a couple of thoughts right now, I am away from PC for a couple of days.
    1. We seem to be high achievers in rhetoric, but not actually making too much progress in understanding each other.
    2. I remain unconvinced that my last ‘letter’ of comments deserves all the criticism it got.
    3. I stand by my interpretation of existence of logic or otherwise, other than saying – where I use the word illogical, perhaps I should have simply said lacking in logic. Given that there can be good logic, no logic and also bad logic.

    Looking forward to returning to the fray early next week.
    Have a good weekend!
    Regards, Ken.
    BTW EM., If you prefer us to discontinue our seemingly endless discussion, please say so. I can live with myself and can bear the weight of your advice. :-)

  122. David says:

    regarding Ken McMurtrieon 15 May 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Dear Ken, I am not trying to pile on, but you may find this constructive. I will be brief.

    Ken to Level Head,”This is probably my last attempt to debate these issues because, like the other guys who disagree with what I am saying, your methods of debating tend to be illogical.”

    It is so much easier to say I find this statement illogical because… Blanket statements of “illogic” are not possibly constructive as there is nothing to respond to. I and others have in detail pointed to logical flaws of your statements. With regard to my comments, full of verifiable facts, you have primarily changed the subject.

    Ken to EM
    “Re “invasion of Palestine”, I was referring, not the original allocation of land post WW2, but to Israel’s 6 day war and subsequent land grabs, wall building, illegal settlements and the like.”

    I have a challenge for you. There is a very different perspective of what you call ” Israel’s 6 day war…” Please research and articulate to me what that perspective is and why it is wrong. Otherwise my friend, you are just playing from bunker to bunker while pretending you are in the fairway. Because you think you are in the fairway, you fail to adjust your stance and grip, you then, yet again, hit over the green into the next bunker, alas.

  123. Level_Head says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I’d like to clear up a couple of open questions.

    This was one of your comments:

    I am in for a torrid night tonight, I’ve got much to try and defend. Firstly, this was my statement: [The 65% anti-Jewish amazes me, even though there my be some justification of sorts. There again, it would likely be the citizens getting the blame for their leader’s actions.]
    Initially, it should be realised that this was not part of the issue, so to speak. The claim of anti-jewish sentiment in America came out of the blue. That it was 65% did amaze me. So my comment came as a ‘top of my head’ thing. Given that you still deserve an answer, and I did say MAY(my =may) be SOME SORT of justification, ie., basically speculation, here is the reason.

    There is a very strong belief system in the 9/11 doubters ‘world’ that the Mossad are responsible for the organization and attacks. (I think about 67% of Americans do not believe the ‘official story’ not all of them necessarily blaming the Israeli SS or whatever it is.) Not only this, but the beliefs are that the Israeli influence extends right through the American hierarchy and control structure. Media, government and banking.

    Note that this refers to the 65% — and that statistic was the percentage of anti-Jewish crimes in the US. Hence my question to you attempting to clarify this, as you’d explicitly used “some justification” with regard to anti-Jewish crimes.

    Secondly, you brought up in this same comment the issue of the “9/11 doubters” — claiming that some unspecified large number of Americans believe that the “Israeli SS or whatever” were involved.

    This was the reason that my questions to you, attempting to clarify, dealt with both your understanding of justification for anti-Jewish crimes and mentioned the fact that they pre-dated 9/11.

    Rather than being “illogical” and “irrelevant,” they were attempts to find out what you thought about these topics.

    I hope you now recognize that my questions were in direct response to your own statements. You may have been mistaken to conflate “crimes” and “sentiment,” not reading carefully what you were responding to; that’s fine.

    And you may have forgotten that you had interjected the 9/11 attacks as something that some Americans blamed on Jews — or more specifically, the “Israeli SS or whatever it is” — so my mention of it was not “irrelevant.”

    But let me put something to you more directly, if I may.

    Our host has indicated that he’s not interested in the theories here. And, like him, I’ve seen the materials and evidences presented at some length. My questions here arise because you’ve indicated that (1) you are driven by an agenda, and (2) you’ve mentioned many times what others think, referring to world opinion, or Americans, or whatever.

    There was a hint of your own thought here:

    If you mean is it rational and justified for America to fear the Jihadist terrorist, I say, not necessarily.

    I’d like to understand your own position better, hence these three simple questions:

    1. Do you think that the Israeli government was one of the agencies who executed the 9/11 attacks?

    2. Do you think that the US government was one of the agencies who executed the 9/11 attacks?

    3. Do you think that al Qaida was one of the agencies who executed the 9/11 attacks?

    These should be “yes” or “no” questions, I’d think.

    I would guess, from your statements, that you think that it’s “yes, yes, and no” respectively to these three. And that you believe that it’s rational for Americans to have anti-Jewish sentiments, but not rational to have anti-jihadist sentiments.

    I’ve spent some time researching Usama bin Ladin — to the point of noting that at one time he and I had the same unusual sort of automobile (a 1967 Chrysler Imperial). I have an old picture of him with the car, which I obtained prior to the 9/11 attacks. His worldview was unusual (though apparently distressingly common in the Muslim Brotherhood), and was inspired by that group and specifically the thinking of Sayyid Qutb, whose brother was one of UbL’s college professors. They shared the view of the need for jihad, and its rationalization. As the 9/11 Commission put it, “Any Muslim who rejects his ideas is just one more nonbeliever worthy of destruction.”

    I find it quite interesting to seek to understand the thinking of other people who have very different world views, regardless of the nature of the differences. I’m not at all suggesting that you think like him — I see the ideas as being very different — but it does seem that you and I are further apart than I would have guessed.

    That may not be true, though. Hence my questions.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  124. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    Per the “6 day war”:

    I’m from the Russian School when it comes to wars and land. That is… You attack me, and I beat your ass and take some land, it’s now mine. Period. Don’t like it? Go suck a rock.

    (Ask Japan about those Northern Islands…)

    Now, IFF I start the fight as a war of unprovoked aggression, then you can make a case to the rest of the world that I ought to be forced to cough up the land. Otherwise you get folks attacking their neighbors for land all over the place, and that’s a bad thing.

    Basically, the penalty for “land loss” always ought to land on the guy who starts the fight. Think of it as a “starting wars tax” if you like. It ought to work toward greater peace; and against “attack with nothing to lose”.

    By those rules, IMHO, Israel ought never to have given back a single scrap of land. “Land for peace” is a flat out lie. Muslims do not want peace with Israel. They want Israel eliminated. The reality is “Land in exchange for poor lies”.

    Pretty simple set of rules to keep.

    1) Who started the war? Oh, Muslims?

    2) Isreal gets to keep any land captured in the process of not being murdered in their sleep…

    I’ve never found a reason to go beyond that reasoning.

    (UN and “world court” can go suck rocks too…)

    For the 6-Day war, you have the fact that Israel did toss the first punch (a stellar air strike) but only after a heck of a lot of soldiers and tanks were lining up on the other sides of borders aimed at it. I don’t have to wait for the guy to start shooting at me to see that he and his buddies are loading guns, pointing them at me, and talking about who takes the first shot…

  125. Level_Head says:

    @E.M. Smith:

    I agree on the analysis of wars and land acquisition. One exception, more of an extension really, has to do with contracts:

    If the parties resolve their differences by way of treaty, that treaty should be upheld, even if one side or the other decides later that they do not like it.

    Two clear examples come to mind: Mexico. (Yes, Mexico is two examples of this.)

    In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo resolved a war between the United States and Mexico, and through this treaty the US acquired large amounts of land. (They gave Mexico some value in exchange as part of the deal.)

    This is now decried by leftists as some sort of illegal deal, because it was a treaty to end a war. These leftists insist that such a treaty cannot be legal, and that the land thus still belongs to Mexico. (I’d note that Mexican-born people who have become US citizens tend to disagree.)

    But if we wind ourselves back to 1848. People born in the territory given up by treaty who were 28 years old or more were not born in Mexico. Instead, they were born in a possession of Spain.

    How did Mexico acquire the territories that became California, Arizona and so on? They were given to Mexico as part of a treaty to end a war. It was “New Spain” prior to the Treaty of Cordoba. As Wikipedia puts it: “Mexico had claimed the area in question for about 25 years [as of 1846] since the winning of its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence.”

    (I’d note in passing that Mexico sort of lost that war, and badly — it wasn’t until Spain’s own army commander turned against the country, because he didn’t like a “liberal takeover” that had just occurred in Spain, that Mexico even had a chance. After winning independence for the “republic,” Iturbide arranged to appoint himself Emperor instead and dissolved the new government. He lasted less than a year, but so irritated everyone that several parts of the new “Mexico”—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua—simply got up and left.)

    Spain reneged on the Treaty of Cordoba, but brand-ne Mexico still considered it binding.

    So — territory acquired by treaty to end a war: Exactly the sort of situation that leftists now claim is illegal.

    The logic is straightforward. If the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo is illegal, then so was the Treaty of Cordoba, and those territories never belonged to Mexico to begin with.

    The upstart Emperors of Mexico are all dead now (including one stuck in by France while the US was busy with the Civil War) — and so, as of May 2nd of this year, is Usama bin Ladin (to wind back toward the topic).

    The Mexican emperors appeared to have been more-or-less miserable monarchs and bad for their countries, but UbL was a figurehead for the greatest threat to Western civilization now in existence. His death is a particularly good thing, though it hardly ends that threat.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  126. David says:

    22 May 2011 at 6:38 am E.M.Smith
    @David:

    I agree with your thoughts on this. Yes, Israel dealt the first blow, and it was definitive. But, as you say, the opponents were rushing at her with guns drawn. It is historically true that the attack on Israel was planned, and Israel was pretty certain of that. if I rush at you with my gun out and you deck me with a superior offensive move, it would look rather stupid for me to say, why did you do that, I was not going to shoot you?

    I am quite certain that you could break out the above six day war senario into great detail with supporting facts. I was simply wishing to give Ken the understanding that, before he adopts a position, any position, he should first be able to articulate the other side at least as well or better then those with whom he disagrees. If you do not know what your opponent is likely to do, in a war or a debate, your chance of countering it is greatly reduced, thus my golf analogy.

    Level Head, with regard to the land of Texas, I believe that the Spainsh population there voted for both independence, and to be part of the US, but never to remain with Mexico. I could well be wrong here, as I am just reflecting on some distant learning. As to your contractual treaty analogy, I think it spot on, I just thought it particulary cogent if the people living there for the most part did not desire to be part of Spain or Mexico.

  127. E.M.Smith says:

    @Level_Head:

    Oh, yeah, contracts…

    Land transfered via a contract (and a treaty to end a war is just a kind of contract) is also valid.

    BTW, does the land given by Israel to Egypt to “end the war” constitute an illegal transfer in the eyes of the folks complaining about the Mexican treaty? Ought Israel take back the Sinai? It was a ‘Land for Peace’ deal…

    @David:

    I wasn’t trying to “dump” on your conversation with Ken, just tossing in my opinion into the soup. Others can feel free to dissagree with it (as it IS a very non-PC and non-centrist view… more “old school” than most of the world…)

    Oh, and don’t forget that California is part of that same Spanish / Mexican deal.

    One Small Point (or maybe two):

    California wasn’t all Spanish or Mexican to claim…

    Sir Franicis Drake claimed it for England.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_California_to_1899#Sir_Francis_Drake

    On June 7, 1579, the English explorer Sir Francis Drake saw an excellent harbor, on a land-mass that he called Nova Albion and claimed for England. The location of Drake’s port remains unknown and there was no follow-up. But subsequent English maps name the land above Baja California, New Granada, New Mexico and Florida “Nova Albion.” Drake held the first Protestant Christian service somewhere in what is now California.

    So the Spanish claim is based on military force taking the land from the English claimant… though there was an earlier Spanish exploration that is known to have reached the Channel Islands, it is less clear how far north they got.

    In either case, the claim of Spain is subject to dispute.

    The Russians occupied the place down to just above San Francisco until well after the Mexican claim started.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_California_to_1899#Russian_colonization

    Part of Spain’s motivation to settle upper Las Californias was to forestall Russian colonization and British incursion in to their territory. In the early 19th century, fur trappers with the Russian-American Company of the tsarist Imperial Russian Empire explored down the West Coast from trading settlements in Alaska, hunting for sea otter pelts as far south as San Diego. In August 1812, the Russian-American Company set up a fortified trading post at Fort Ross, near present day Bodega Bay on the Sonoma Coast of Northern California, sixty miles north of San Francisco on land claimed, but not occupied by, the British Empire. This colony was active until the Russians departed in 1841. In 1836 El Presidio de Sonoma, or Sonoma Barracks, was established by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the Commandante of the northern frontier of Alta California. It was established as a part of Mexico’s strategy to halt Russian incursions into the region, as the Mission San Francisco de Solano (Sonoma Mission) was for the Spanish.

    Now compare that 1812 date with the date of Mexican Independence:

    Mexican era (1821–1846)

    Substantial changes occurred during the second quarter of the 19th century. The victory in Mexican War of Independence from Spain in 1821 marked the end of a European power ruling California

    So a good 9 years AFTER the Russian claim, Mexico comes into existence… and the Russians were at Fort Ross up until 1841.

    So it looks to me like the Mexican claim is based on a military theft from Russia (who were in turn in breach of an English claim).

    Then in 1846 we had the California Republic that then joined the USA.

    So how many bodies are we talking about in this “claim”?

    By 1846, California had a Spanish-speaking population of under 10,000, tiny even compared to the sparse population of states in Mexico proper. The “Californios,” as they were known, consisted of about 800 families, mostly concentrated on large ranchos. About 1,300 American citizens and a very mixed group of about 500 Europeans, scattered mostly from Monterey to Sacramento dominated trading as the Californios dominated ranching. In terms of adult males, the two groups were about equal, but the American citizens were more recent arrivals.

    So we have a European / American urban group from Monterey to Sacramento, and about 800 Spanish “Californios” (who sometimes were mixed ancestry with at least one local family being mixed Spanish / Irish) living on ranches.

    Such is the stuff on which empire claims are made…

    At best Mexico can claim LA south to San Diego (but then again, they aready own East LA and the border…) as the parts north of there have very muddy ‘title’ as to which empire “owned” them. Oh, and Mexico had about a 25 year period to their “claim” at most, and closer to a 9 year claim in reality. Even then, they were often claiming what the locals said they did not own:

    The leader of a French scientific expedition to California, Eugene Duflot de Mofras, wrote in 1840 “…it is evident that California will belong to whatever nation chooses to send there a man-of-war and two hundred men.” In 1841, General Vallejo wrote Governor Alvarado that “…there is no doubt that France is intriguing to become mistress of California,” but a series of troubled French governments did not uphold French interests in the area. During disagreements with Mexicans, the German-Swiss francophile John Sutter threatened to raise the French flag over California and place himself and his settlement, New Helvetia, under French protection.

    So the locals of the time were not all Mexicans interested in a Mexican government… “New Helvetia”…. not exactly a Mexican ring to it…

    What happened next?

    To hear the Mexican version of it, the US Army stole California from them. The reality was that a body of locals (of non-Mexican decent mostly – though not exclusively) told Mexico to “go stuff it” and then threw in with the USA.

    What I find most striking about the whole story is the size of things. “Armies” measured in dozens of men.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_California_to_1899#Bear_Flag_Revolt_and_American_conquest

    (Note the use of the word “conquest”… when folks like Sutter were already talking “revolt”… The fact is that Mexico was behaving very badly and screwing over the locals who didn’t like it at all. They basically destroyed the Missions and kicked out the priests, so lots of folks were pissed at them.)

    Main article: Mexican-American War

    After the United States declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846, it took almost two months (mid-July 1846) for definite word of war to get to California. Upon hearing rumors of war, U.S. consul Thomas O. Larkin, stationed in Monterey, tried to keep peace between the Americans and the small Mexican military garrison commanded by José Castro. American army captain John C. Frémont, with about 60 well-armed men, had entered California in December 1845 and was making a slow march to Oregon when they received word that war between Mexico and the U.S. was imminent.

    On June 15, 1846, some 30 non-Mexican settlers, mostly Americans, staged a revolt and seized the small Mexican garrison in Sonoma. They raised the “Bear Flag” of the California Republic over Sonoma.
    The so-called California Republic lasted one week until the U.S. Army, led by Frémont, took over on June 23. The California state flag today is based on this original Bear Flag, and continues to contain the words “California Republic.”

    Commodore John Drake Sloat, on hearing of imminent war and the revolt in Sonoma, ordered his naval forces to occupy Yerba Buena (present San Francisco) on July 7 and raise the American flag. On July 15, Sloat transferred his command to Commodore Robert F. Stockton, a much more aggressive leader. Commodore Stockton put Frémont’s forces under his command. On July 19, Frémont’s “California Battalion” swelled to about 160 additional men from newly arrived settlers near Sacramento, and he entered Monterey in a joint operation with some of Stockton’s sailors and marines. The official word had been received—the Mexican-American War was on. The American forces easily took over the north of California; within days, they controlled San Francisco, Sonoma, and Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento.

    So here we see those folks from Sacramento “New Helvetia” joining up to toss their Mexican overlords out.

    IFF Mexico had bothered to treat the locals in California decently at all, they would not have had a revolution on their hands and 60 guys with US patches on their uniforms could not have taken over the bulk of the State.

    In Southern California, Mexican General José Castro and Governor Pío Pico fled from Los Angeles. When Stockton’s forces entered Los Angeles unresisted on August 13, 1846, the nearly bloodless conquest of California seemed complete. Stockton, however, left too small a force (36 men) in Los Angeles, and the Californios, acting on their own and without help from Mexico, led by José Mariá Flores, forced the small American garrison to retire in late September. Two hundred reinforcements were sent by Stockton, led by US Navy Capt William Mervine, but were repulsed in the Battle of Dominguez Rancho, October 7–9, 1846, near San Pedro, where 14 US Marines were killed. Meanwhile, General Kearny with a much reduced squadron of 100 dragoons finally reached California after a grueling march across New Mexico, Arizona, and the Sonoran Desert. On December 6, 1846, they fought the Battle of San Pasqual near San Diego, where 18 of Kearny’s troop were killed—the largest number of American casualties lost in battle in California.

    Stockton rescued Kearny’s surrounded forces and with their combined force, they moved northward from San Diego, entering the Los Angeles area on January 8, 1847. Linking up with Frémont’s men and with American forces totaling 660 troops, they fought the Californios in the Battle of Rio San Gabriel. The next day, January 9, 1847, they fought the Battle of La Mesa. Three days later, on January 12, 1847, the last significant body of Californios surrendered to American forces. That marked the end of the war in California. On January 13, 1847, the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed.

    As a side note, the “Californios” were willing to fight for Mexico as the Mexican government had promissed to give them the land of the Missions. Basically, the Mexican Government was stealing the land of the Catholic Church and handing it out to rich friends in exchange for “loyalty”.

    That, BTW, is a large part of why the Missions have a history of ruins. The Catholic Church has them stolen and then given over to rich farmers (who sometimes used them for stables…).

    At best you can say that the Mexican claim is based on taking the land from the Spanish via war. At worst, it was Russian and English claims being trampled. In all cases, it was the locals that started the revolution against them (so if Mexico is a valid non-Spanish land via revolution, then California is a valid non-Mexican land via revolution as well).

    At any rate, California has an interesting history, even if claims to the whole place are made based on a dozen guys sticking a flag in the ground… or 800 families wanting a land bribe.

  128. Level_Head says:

    Perhaps the Mexicans think that the Russians have no Bering on West Coast ownership. But I think that they played a vitus role in the area, and their island exploration in particular made aleut of impact.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  129. Level_Head says:

    @David:

    You’re exactly right with regard to Texas; a number of nominal “Mexicans” fought on the Texas side, and the population was overwhelmingly in favor of the separation.

    There was an odd sort of international dance going on. England and France were happy to see Spain’s troubles in that war, and were content for a while to see the new “Mexico” suffering internal uproar. But Texas was a potent player, in terms of size and potential manpower (it was physically rather larger than today’s state).

    England and France saw Texas independence as inevitable. (Besides the emperor business, Mexico’s forced religion — you must be a Catholic to own land — grated on the Texans, many of whom had recently arrived from Europe or the US.

    France did not want Texas to become part of the US and further tilt the balance of power in the area, and neither did England for somewhat different reasons.

    England was right in the middle of the “54 40 or Fight!” border dispute between with the US, and England anticipated war. France had its eye on Mexico as a potential French colony (and a few years later they succeeded in this) but did not think they could quell the fierce Texans.

    So both were trying to convince the fledgling nation not to join the US, and to convince Mexico to let Texas go—if Texas promised to remain a separate country. Mexico didn’t buy it — but Texas was spooked enough to require some very odd provisions in the deal when they joined the United States. Texas has the right, for example, to break into five states any time it wants to — and those states don’t have to be part of the Union.

    These things are all Texas-specific, and don’t apply to the California and other areas. Chiefio, I see, has a very nice write-up just above on that area’s broad and interesting history.

    It is my area, as it is his — and when I see a Steller’s Jay outside, I remember that Georg Steller was Russian — a scientist in the employ of Vitus Bering, for whom the Bering Strait is named.

    And, of course, my “Native American” ancestors were here earlier — we were the second wave, and apparently killed off the original “First Americans” without a trace other than archaeological scraps and tooth patterns that no American Indian carries.

    So even the original “Mexican” “Indian” “natives” were usurpers.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  130. E.M.Smith says:

    @Level_Head:

    Per the Clovis People being “killed off” by the second wave:

    There is reasonable evidence for a very small survivor group (some Clovis close-to-type points after wave 2). There is also some very reasonable evidence for a major “rock fall from space” onto the ice sheet being what did them in (along with the other megafauna of North America) just before the start of the Holocene… So I’d not pack on any guilt about who killed whom… The place was mostly empty of people most of the time anyway until the Holocene got rolling and things warmed up.

    Per Calfiornia history:

    You don’t want to go Russian to any conclusions or you will be strait wrong. You don’t want to be mission anything imPortant in your analysis or you will be Baying at the moon… Spain had the coast (in all those isolated spots of Catholicism) but there is a mountain pile of evidence that the First Nations still held a lot of the inland empire. Then there was a helvetia of a French claim too… All in all, it’s more of a patchwork quilt of claims. If you Reed the whole history, it’s a real “who Donner it” of land ownership (and non-ownership). So if you are hungry for more, read on…

    (I know, more forced than yours, but you already took the good bits… then again, that’s sort of California history too…)

    See:

    http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/183414-castro-breen-adobe-elicits-family-feud

    for a bit on the Castro / Breen Adobe in the state park at San Juan Bautista

    Castro Breen Adobe Elicits Family Feud

    A panel entitled “The Elusive Margaret Breen” attempts to reconcile three different accounts of Margaret’s moral fiber. The first paragraph quotes journalist J. Ross Browne’s depiction of Margaret Breen as a “cannibal” with a “wild piercing expression of the eye,” in reference to the Breen family’s experience in the Sierras with the Donner Party, which the exhibit says “captured the lurid imaginations of newspaper readers.” This passage is a particular point of contention with the Breens who disapprove of the new exhibits
    […]
    The next paragraph of the exhibit, however, points out that two women who were trapped along with the Breen family credited Margaret with saving their lives, and described her as a kind, thoughtful and intelligent woman. The Breen family has always maintained that their ancestors did not engage in cannibalism, regardless of what other travelers in the Donner Part were forced to do.
    […]
    The Castro Breen Adobe was home first to the Castro family, a governing family from Mexico. When the Breen family came to settle in San Juan Bautista a few years after surviving their expedition with the Donner Party in the 1840s, the Castro family’s view towards an American presence was less than kind. However, probably due to a connection through their shared Catholic faith, the Castros took the Breen family into their home, where their descendants lived until the building was made part of the state park system in the 1930’s.

    Note that “Catholic Faith” … The whole thing was in some ways an extension of the Cathollic vs Protestant “issues” in Europe at the time. Spain accepted many non-Spanish but Catholic folks into California (as did Mexico). It was the Protestant folks they were not keen about. When Mexico took over, they trashed the Spanish Mission System and in the process got the Catholic Church P.O.d at them. Bad Move… It also didn’t set all that well with many of the local Catholices; though some of those 800 “land owners” were promissed the Mission Lands if they fought for Mexico… and Political Bribery trumps Religion often enough to work… Something we still indulge in today… Though I must note that it only works in the short run, and not all that well, with the eventual outcome clearly being against the interests of Mexico. Something we ought to keep in mind as we bribe give “aid” to Pakistan.

    But to give a bit of the other side in that article:

    In comparison, Bob Picha, a descendent of the Castro family who attended the adobe’s ribbon cutting ceremony, says he and the roughly 20 Castros who attended couldn’t be happier with the adobe’s new look.

    “I thought it was very cool. I know it was a controversial move, but they did a great job,” he said. “You can see that the Castros weren’t villains, they were humanitarians. They did some nice things for their community along the way, and they really helped out the Breens.”

    Local resident and retired judge Tom Breen, who also was present at the adobe’s re-opening, has said that he has no problem with the new exhibits, but could not speak for other Breens.

    Oddly, in that Adobe, there is a discussion of the intermarriage of the Mexican and Irish that I don’t see in this article… though you get a small sense of the mixing from the fact that the Castro Family Decendent has a Czech last name. ;-)

    This article gives a clue about why Castro was seen as good by some and not-so-good by others:

    http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=15354

    After 1834 the town of San Juan, close beside the old mission, became known temporarily as San Juan de Castro. Jose Tiburcio Castro became the civil or secular administrator of the mission and, acting in accordance with the mission secularization decree issed that year, he divided up the mission property and auctioned it off to friends, neighbors and relatives.

    So you have the appointed “Mexican leader” stealing the Mission grounds and “auctioning” that property to his “friends and relatives”… you can guess how that turned out….

    http://www.sjbca.com/history.html

    Gives a few clues about just how stable the area was.

    After 1834 the town of San Juan, close beside the old mission, became known temporarily as San Juan de Castro. Jose Tiburcio Castro became the civil or secular administrator of the mission and, acting in accordance with the mission secularization decree issed that year, he divided up the mission property and auctioned it off to friends, neighbors and relatives.

    Castro House was built in 1840-41 at the request of his son Jose Maria Castro, who had become prefect of the northern district. It was intended to serve as the judicial and administrative-headquarters of a district that included the entire northern half of Alta California. However, Jose Maria Castro was unable to spend much time there. After 1840, when he was cleared of charges of treason arising from an 1836 military revolt he led against Governor Juan Guttierrez, his military responsibilities required him to travel extensively.

    In 1843, San Juan once again became the rallying point for a military revolt, as Castro organized friends and family into the force that overthrew and deported Governor Micheltorena. Later, he became commanding general of Mexican military forces in California, preoccupied with the threat of foreign invasion and with the many other problems caused by the flood of immigrants beginning to arrive in California.

    So the Political Power Boss was setting up his Son to have a nice place and loads of land… and was entangled in some internal revolts…

    When they talk about there being 10,000 Spanish Speakers and ony 800 adult males that kind of glosses over that many of those Spanish Speakers were not Spanish. Some were other nationalities that had moved here and learned the language. Some were natives who under the mission system converted and learned Spanish. And some were wifes who were not Spanish (either natives or europeans of other ancestry).

    This has a great article from the memories of someone alive just after the transition to US rule:

    Click to access san_juan_bautista.pdf

    At any rate, the place was a very mixed set of ethnicities and only a modest number of families had an afinity for “Mexico” (and them largely due to land bribes… being given land stolen from the Indians by the Church then stolen from the Church to be handed out as political party favors… ). And all of THAT being substantially inside one day wagon travel from the ocean; most of the central valley and mountains being still in the hands of the Native Amercans.

    Such is the history of Mexican California…

    For the terminally curious, from here:

    http://www.loeser.us/flags/california.html

    you can find that there was an Argentine Flag flying over Calfironia for a while:

    The War and Naval Ensign of Argentina 1818

    In a little known incident, the privateer Hippolyte de Boucharda, commanding two warships of the Argentine Revolutionary Navy occupied Monterey from November 24 to November 29, 1818. Bouchard was French by birth, but an Argentine citizen. The purpose of the attack was to encourage the Alto Californians to rebel against the Spanish government in support of the Mexican War for Independence. Therefore, for a short time, a small portion of the future State of California was under the flag of Argentina (hoisted in support of Mexican independence), although the hoped for spontaneous “Californio” rebellion didn’t result at the time.

    Then, for completion, we ought to remember that for a little while “The Mexican Republic” didn’t exist as a country as it was part of the Franch dominion, so California can’t be part of something that didn’t exist…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_intervention_in_Mexico

    e subsequent French invasion resulted in the Second Mexican Empire, which was supported by the Roman Catholic clergy, many conservative elements of the upper class, and some indigenous communities; when the presidential terms of Benito Juárez (1858–71) were interrupted by the rule of the Habsburg monarchy in Mexico (1864–67). Conservatives, and many in the Mexican nobility, tried to revive the monarchical form of government (see: First Mexican Empire) when they helped to bring to Mexico an archduke from the Royal House of Austria, Maximilian Ferdinand, or Maximilian I of Mexico (who married Charlotte of Belgium, also known as Carlota of Mexico), with the military support of France. France had various interests in this Mexican affair, such as seeking reconciliation with Austria, which had been defeated during the Franco-Austrian War, counterbalancing the growing U.S. power by developing a powerful Catholic neighbouring empire, and exploiting the rich mines in the north-west of the country.

    So for my money, if Mexico wants to claim California, it has a French claim with precidence to work through.

    So, all in favor of California becomming a “historical province of France” say “Oui!”

    Just think how “neat” it would be to unify all those California Vinyards under a French appellation… it IS part of our cultural heratage after all ;-)

  131. PhilJourdan says:

    This is better than reading history books as the writing is far superior! Thanks Level_Head and EM for some valuable lessons (if you actually attended public schools in California, you would know that the history started in 1849!) ;)

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