Friday, June 30, 2006

Who's looking out for you?

Certainly not the Democrats. The House voted today on a bill titled in part "Supporting intelligence and law enforcement programs to track terrorists and terrorist finances ... and specifically condemning the disclosure and publication of classified information".

The result? The bill passed 227-183, no thanks to the left side of the aisle. While Republicans supported the measure by a margin of 210-8, the Democrats voted against it 17 yea, 174 nay.

In short, the Democrats are against intelligence and law enforcement programs to track terrorists and their finances, and in favor of disclosing and publishing classified information related to such programs.

Remember this on election day in November.

Click here to see how your representative voted and for details of the roll call vote.

Hat tip: Hot Air

Changing Times

Hot Air has a new video on the mendacity of the New York Times' disclosure of terrorist tracking methods. This one is a must-see.

Take no prisoners

Imagine the following scenario:
American soldiers in Afghanistan come under attack by a couple dozen Taliban jihadis. Returning fire, they kill half the attacking force and pursue the remaining terrorists, who flee to a nearby deserted house. Realizing they're surrounded, the Taliban offer surrender.

But instead of ordering the terrorists to throw down their weapons and come out with their hands over their heads, the ranking soldier calls in an airstrike on the house. The soldiers pick through the rubble after the A-10s have left the scene, firing a bullet into the head of any survivors.
Most would say this is a grotesque and horrifying scenario, but it's effectively what the international community, and the left here at home, are calling for. In demanding that the prison at Guantanamo Bay be shutdown without any meaningful alternatives offered, they are denying the military any effective methods for taking and holding prisoners captured in combat.

When cornered on the question of what should be done with the prisoners currently held there, the anti-Gitmo crowd will squirm a bit and say they should be "repatriated", which is a weasel word meaning "kick them loose".

Maybe we should release the prisoners from Gitmo. It can then be turned into a psychiatric ward.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Most Germans oppose EU membership for Turkey

A recent poll of German citizens reveals that 63 percent of Germans oppose membership in the EU for Turkey. The reason?
The biggest reason for rejecting Turkey joining the EU is "fear of a growing influence of Islam in Europe," the poll revealed.
There's a shocker. That's a big change from less than four years ago. A similar poll in December 2002 had 60 percent of Germans backing Turkey's admission to the EU.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dude! Where's my editorial position?

The editors at the New York Times are horrified over the Bush administration's use of international banking records to track terrorists. In publishing details of the administration's efforts to fight terrorist organizations, the Gray Lady implied it was immoral, illegal and was further evidence of the administration's heavy handed methods. Politically motivated hit piece? You be the judge.

Over at Sweetness & Light, they've dug up a New York Times editorial that ran mere days after 9/11 in which the Times demanded that the Bush administration use financial records and leverage "foreign banking authorities" to track terrorists' movements. The money shot from the column:
The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America’s law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies.
It's amazing what BDS will do to one's values over the course of long-term affliction.

Hat tip: LGF

Red Sox Watch

Magic number: 85

Well, the Red Sox beat the Mets in inter-league play last night to make it ten straight wins, and the Evil Empire lost to Atlanta to put them 3.5 games behind us. The evil-doers are just 5-5 during the same ten game stretch.

I know watching the magic number this early is kind of silly, but it's long as we're in first place.

Denmark stands up - again

Denmark's Jyllands-Posten reports that a Danish court has delivered a sweeping verdict in an honor-killing case. This verdict represents a severe smackdown of the quaint Muslim practice of killing female family members who disgrace the family name by doing such horrifying things as entering into a marriage not arranged by the family.

In this particular case, according to J-P:

The young woman, Ghazala, married Emal Khan in September 2005. Two days later, her brother, Akhtar Abbas, approached her and Khan in front of the train station in Slagelse, 100 km west of Copenhagen, and shot them.

Abbas admitted his guilt to the court, but claimed the shooting came in self-defence.

The court thought otherwise. In fact, it decided that Ghazala's father and others shared the guilt:

The court found not only the brother guilty, however. It also laid blame on Ghazala's father for plotting the shooting, while uncles, aunts and a family friend were found to have acted as accessories.

Once again, Denmark stands out as Europe's leader in the struggle against Islamofascism. Here's to hoping other European countries grow similar backbone.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rep. King is right - prosecute the New York Times

A couple days ago, Rep. Peter King, R-NY, urged the White House to pursue charges against the New York Times for publishing national defense information they knew to be classified.

In publishing details about the US effort to track international funds transfers, the Times knowingly disclosed national defense information. As anybody who's ever held a government security clearance can tell you, this is against the law. Further, the law applies to everybody, not just civilian or military employees of the government.

With the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, the applicable portion of the US Code would appear to be the following: TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 37 § 793 Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.

The pertinent paragraph reads:

(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or ... Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
That's for individuals. For co-conspirators:
(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.
Now I'm sure that our 'friends' on the left would argue vehemently that such mundane matters don't apply to members of the fifth column, er, I mean, the fourth estate. But if I were Attorney General Gonzalez, I'd be willing to throw it at the wall. I'd bet it sticks.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Journalist doesn't get why Americans distrust al Jazeera

Update (and apology!)
It's been pointed out to me by an anonymous commenter that aljazeera.COM is not the web site of the al-Jazeera satellite television network. Had I not been so careless, I'd have found the following disclaimer on this portion of the site:
Important note: Aljazeera Publishing and are not associated with the controversial Arabic Satellite Channel known as Jazeera Space Channel TV (also known as Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel) station whose website is

Aljazeera Publishing disassociates itself from the views, opinions and broadcasts of Jazeera Space Channel TV station.
In fact, the real web page for al-Jazeera satellite network shows a far more responsible news network, but one that, in my opinion, is still slanted to the Arab point of view.

Some links from the real al-Jazeera web page:

The US has failed in Somalia - again
This item is an interview with Suleiman Baldo, head of the International Crisis Group's Africa program. Baldo asserts, unchallenged by AJ, that the US backed the warlords recently defeated by Islamist forces in Somalia.

Not that it should surprise anyone, but AJ is hardly a friend of Israel, and it shows in their reportage. In an article about the recent kidnapping of 19-year-old IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, AJ includes this picture of doctors treating children injured during Israeli counter-attacks:

And try not to get dizzy as this guy spins Islamic teaching to distinguish between religious and political apostasy.

Original post follows...

An opinion column in today's Washington Post by Al Jazeera International journalist Joanne Levine is exhibit 'A' for the case for the jaw-dropping stupidity of mainstream journalists. The headline is the first bit of evidence: "Al-Jazeera, as American as Apple Pie". Oooookay.

The misguided Ms. Levine left a job as a producer at ABC's "Nightline" to join al-Jazeera International and seems genuinely puzzled by Americans' distaste for the propaganda arm of al-Qaeda, Hamas and jihadists everywhere. Take for example the following headlines from al-Jazeera's web page appearing today:

Iraqis battle war of poverty and hunger -- The story is accompanied by this picture:

I don't even think that's an American tank in the background. Clearly an image intended to demonize America.

A bomb attack or Marines’ fists killed Al Zarqawi?
This one's already been discredited by far more reliable news outlets than AJ.

Guantanamo detainees didn’t commit suicide- They were subject to torture

This is just a sampling of their outrageous lies, like the article I can no longer locate there which claimed American casualties were not a mere 2,000 as reported by the Bush administration, but actually 12,000. Maybe they decided that this lie was too outrageous even for them.

Still confused, Ms. Levine?

WaPo: Never mind those WMDs, let's dwell on the past

In today's Washington Post, page 1 above the fold, is an article detailing the flawed intelligence about Iraq's WMD program and their use by the Bush administration as the casus belli for the invasion of Iraq.

In their article about 'Curveball', the codename for the Iraqi informant who supplied the bad intel about Saddam's mobile WMD labs, WaPo rehashes and vomits up yet again the intelligence failures that have been the bedrock of lefty journalism for the past three years.

This comes, of course, just days after it was reported that stockpiles of chemical weapons were in fact found in Iraq, which the Post opted to bury on page A10, with a slanted headline, numerous 'buts', and other qualifiers in an effort to discredit the find. bias there.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Meet the Manring Brothers

My son's a budding bass guitarist, so my wife and I took him to Picker's Supply, a local music store here in Fredericksburg, VA where he takes lessons, to see a sort of impromptu concert today. The performers were Doug Manring, and his younger brother Michael. Doug plays in several bands in the area and teaches guitar at Picker's, and Michael is an accomplished musician based now in California.

All I can say is, "wow".

Doug started the show with three tunes. During these songs, I don't think he once picked or strummed his guitar. He used a different guitar for each piece. During "Storm Watch", "Continuance" and "Thank You", Doug didn't so much play the instrument as force it to do his bidding. He coaxed, cajoled, persuaded and occasionally slapped the guitar to make it produce sounds it would never make for anybody else.

Doug then handed the stage over to Michael. We were able to only stay for two of his songs, but what an experience. Michael's specialty is electric bass, and during those songs, each played with a different fretless bass, we were treated to sounds I never even knew a bass guitar could make. Absolutely amazing.

These guys must be from another human can play like that.

Pool Party

We get a lot of these little guys around our pool every day. At night, the noise from them can be almost deafening. I have to check the pool skimmers every morning for swimmers.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Axis of psychos

Feel free to supply a caption in the comments section.

(Does it look like they're holding hands?)

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?

Noted physician, philosopher and peacenik Deepak Chopra wrote an essay that was published in the Baltimore Sun's op-ed pages a couple days ago. Entitled "Try listening to Muslim world" [I'm trying to, but I can't hear anything over the explosions and gunfire! --ed.], Chopra asks:
Isn't it possible that we would be more secure by trying to understand how Muslims think and feel?
Now that's all well and good, but I think we already know how a "radical minority" of Muslims think and feel, and the only ones I'm concerned with are the ones that hate me and want to kill me. As for the rest, I assume they want to peacefully practice their religion, raise their kids well, yada yada yada.

Chopra goes on to say,
"Watching the news, one would think that all Muslims are either wildly fanatic or wildly irrational."
Well, that might be true if we weren't constantly reminded by the news media and CAIR that these "wildly fanatic and irrational" Muslims don't represent the "vast majority" of Islam. He then cites a recent Gallup poll of ten Muslim countries:

• A majority of Muslims in all 10 countries had a favorable opinion of the European Union and thought the EU could serve as an agent of peace. This contradicts the mantra that Muslims hate the West and that a clash of civilizations is inevitable. [Well, it doesn't really contradict the "mantra". It merely highlights the dhimmitude of Eurabia. --ed.]

• A majority of Muslims supports freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. [Of course they do...provided the freedoms are limited to Muslims. How would they hold all those protests otherwise? --ed.]

• The same majority believes that women should have a right to vote, drive and work outside the home. [ that's really progressive. --ed.]

And then there's this quote, where he further cites the findings of the poll:

For example, a basic question with regard to the war on terror is how many Muslims are religious extremists. The answer: far fewer than anyone tends to believe. According to the Gallup Poll, only 8 percent of Muslims hold extremist views (for example, they think the 9/11 attacks were justified). Fifty-five percent are "skeptical moderates" (they don't like the United States but don't believe that 9/11 was justified). Fully 35 percent are pro-American (they like the United States and also feel that 9/11 was unjustified).

These facts make me breathe a little easier. I see a ray of light, and we certainly need one.

What? These facts make him "breathe a little easier"? Assuming 1.4 billion Muslims in the world, if 8% of them are radicalized, that makes a potential army of jihadis 112,000,000 strong. That's one hundred twelve million. And I won't even speculate on the number that wouldn't admit to being extremist.

We now have the answer to Elvis Costello's question of "What's so funny about peace, love and understanding". The answer is "Deepak Chopra".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Worst. Beverage. Ever.

Keep out of reach of children. Not to be taken internally.
If swallowed, seek immediate medical attention.
Do not induce vomiting (it'll do that all by itself).

I found myself a bit thirsty this afternoon, and stopped into a little store for something to drink. Looking at the refrigerator case, I was confronted with a wide array of choices. I really wanted a Coke, but they only came in those ridiculous 20oz. bottles, and I just didn't want that much soda (I was saving room for beer.)

But in the top-left corner was a row of Coca-Cola Blak, in 8oz. bottles. I figured, what the hell. It's a Coke, it can't be all that bad, so I grabbed one. BIG mistake.

This crap tastes like something that should never be ingested. I wouldn't make Saddam Hussein drink this shit. I wouldn't even make George Galloway drink it. Well, maybe I would.

This vile concoction should come with a big warning label, something along the lines of this:
Don't say you haven't been warned.

The Guantanamo solution

You know something? I'm bloody sick and tired of our "allies" in Europe demanding that we shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

What the hell do they expect us to do? Shut down the prison, and then what? Dump the jihadis into the sea? Sure, there may have been a dirtbag or two who wasn't a real jihadi who somehow ended up there, but the fact that he was captured on the fucking field of battle doesn't do much to endear him to me.

So, here's my proposed solution. Let's go ahead and shut down the prison. Then, we'll take all the jihadis imprisoned there and distribute them amongst all European nations, with the largest number going to those nations doing the loudest bleating.

This will allow us to re-deploy
to Afghanistan and Iraq those forces currently running the prison, and any future captured jihadis we can simply put on the next flight for Paris, Berlin, Brussells, whatever.

Let the EU decide what to do with them.

Theatre shooting update

I'm still not convinced that Mujtaba Jabbar's "random" shooting of Paul Schrum in an Owings Mills, Maryland theatre was a simple case of a nutter gone nuttiest.

In typical antique media fashion, the Baltimore Sun continues to report that Jabbar was mentally ill, their sole, uncorroborated source for that piece of information being Jabbar's sister. There's been no probing (or at least none reported) into Jabbar's religious beliefs or practices.

But then again, it would just be so wrong to profile someone on the basis of their ethnic background.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bizarre news item of the day

I hardly know what to say about this. Expatica reports that a certain country is miffed with France for being soft on terrorism. The country with the complaint: Iran.

After France lifted restrictions on Iran's main opposition group, Iran was outraged:

"This decision is unacceptable. It is a violation of Paris's responsibility to fight against terrorism," Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

"It is a green light to terrorism and violence. We are going to complain to the French," he fumed.

If the headline of the article wasn't hysterical enough ("France soft on terrorism: complaint from Iran"), that last sentence from Mr. Asefi should put any reasonable person over the edge.

Poll: French are glum; US greatest threat to global security

Expatica reports that a recent poll of 5,000 Europeans shows that 85% of French citizens believe their country is heading in the wrong direction. The poll, originally published in Financial Times, also showed that Europeans believe the United States to be the biggest threat to global security, ahead of Iran, China, Iraq, Russia and North Korea. (The Financial Times piece on the poll leaves out the part about America as global playground bully.)

I guess the Europeans have capability and malicious intent confused.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Movie theater shooter mentally ill?

Today's Baltimore Sun has a follow-up story on last week's movie theater shooting near Baltimore. Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar, 24, was arrested after fatally shooting 62 year old Paul Schrum in a "bizarre" and "random" act after planning the act "for months".

Jabbar's sister, Gul Jabbar, claims that her brother is mentally ill. According to Gul:
"My brother is a good guy, he hated lying, cheating and hurting anyone," Gul Jabbar, a 20-year-old college student, said in the statement. "He was also mentally ill and our family tried our best to get him the treatment, but he refused." Because doctors said he wasn't a threat to himself or anyone else, the family couldn't force him to get help, she said.

"He just wanted to handle it himself, but he couldn't," his sister said. His illness, which she believes developed in recent years, was never diagnosed.
This all may be true, and I guess we'll just have to wait and see what investigators discover in the coming days and weeks. Some might even argue the fact that it took him months to plan something so simple lends weight to the mental illness defense.

The fact that Jabbar attended Loyola College, a Jesuit school, may indicate a less-than fanatical devotion to Islam if, in fact, he's a practicing Muslim at all. But attendance at a church-affiliated university does not, in and of itself, mean much. Georgetown University for example, another Jesuit school, as well as a host of other schools with church affiliations, admit students of all religious backgrounds.

Time will tell if this was another incidence of one-off jihadism or a simple, tragic case of a young man gone haywire.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Christians arrested during private worship in Saudi Arabia; MSM sleeps

The Anti-Jihad Pundit reports that four Christians were arrested for holding a private worship service in a home. Strange how stories like this one never seem to make it outside the blogosphere.

A-J Pundit got the news from another blogger, Solomonia, who got it from Compass Direct, a web site that reports on persecution of Christians.

Compass Direct reported on 15 June that on the evening of 9 June, four east Africans were arrested for conducting a private service in a private home in Jeddah. The four, two Ethiopians and two Eritrians, are being held in a deportation jail in the city.

According to the CD article:

Typically the Saudi government deports expatriate Christians caught conducting worship meetings in their homes or privately owned villas, forcing their employers to terminate their work contracts.

Under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, public non-Muslim worship is prohibited, although members of the royal family insist that Christians are free to worship within their own homes.

Nice reforms they've got going there in Saudi Arabia.

So maybe this isn't huge international news. But one would think this would at least merit a mention on the major news services. In fact, a search of Yahoo News turns up nothing on this incident, and a wider Google search turns up nothing except word of a larger arrest of 40 Christians which occurred in April. This incident was not reported by the major news organizations either, but rather by a few Christian publications.

Apparently, if it's not Muslims doing the suffering, it's not news-worthy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Baltimore theater shooting update

The Baltimore Sun has an update on the "random" movie theater shooting. This one will get interesting, I'm sure.

According to the article, the motive for the shooting remains "elusive", but offers this:
According to charging documents, Jabbar told police that he had planned to kill someone for several months.
The article also reports that Jabbar was a 2005 graduate of Loyola College, with a degree in biology. And here's something odd:

Neighbors said they believe the Jabbar family is originally from Texas and owns at least one gas station in the area. They say the family moved into the neighborhood about a year and a half ago, shortly after their house was built.

The house -- just under 8,000 square feet, according to tax records -- has a circular driveway, wooden double doors, large vertical windows and, in the back, a section that appears to house an indoor pool. The home is valued at $1.6 million.

Now I realize that gas has gotten pretty expensive, but I don't know of too many owners of even two or three gas stations owning homes with value in excess of $1.5 million.

This is starting to sound oddly similar to the case of the jihadi in North Carolina who attempted vehicular mass murder in the name of Allah.

RoP in Baltimore?

The identities of the shooter and victim in last night's movie theater shooting near Baltimore have been released.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the man arrested at the scene was 24 year old Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar of Owings Mills.

In what police described as a "bizarre" and "random attack", the Sun gives this account:
About 8:20 p.m., officers from the Franklin precinct were dispatched to a reported shooting at the Valley Center 9 cinema in the 9600 block of Reisterstown Road during the 8 p.m. showing of X-Men: The Last Stand. Police said they found the victim slumped over in a seat four rows from the back.

According to authorities, immediately after the shooting, Jabbar walked up to a counter in the lobby where the theater manager was seated, placed the gun on the counter and said, "I just shot someone."

The manager called police, and the man waited for officers to arrive and arrest him, authorities said.
I guess we'll have to wait to find out which mosque he attended.

Update: Corrected spelling of suspect's name.

McKinney gets a pass for assaulting a police officer

A grand jury has declined to indict Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) for assaulting a Capitol Police officer.

Initially, McKinney attempted to portray the incident as a case of racial profiling, but received little support for that position, even from the Congressional Black Caucus. This was a simple case of criminal arrogance which should have been prosecuted, but wasn't.

Aftenposten: Just 1 in 10 new Oslo residents are Norwegian

Yesterday's Aftenposten ran an article stating that less than ten percent of new residents in Oslo are native Norwegian. According to the article:
Immigrants account for 92.5 percent of the capital's total population growth over the past ten years. Immigrants from western nations make up seven percent, while non-western immigrants are nearly 86 percent of the growth. [emphasis mine --ed.]
But the politicians, as usual, are shrugging it off:

City council leader Erling Lae is well aware of the trend, and still views the overall immigrant segment as not particularly large.

"But growth is positive, stagnation is not. Without immigrants growth would be minimal," Lae said. "Balanced growth is ideal growth. I would not define any groups as a problem," ... "It is only dangerous if the new groups do not become a normal part of the city's population, a combination of ghetto and unemployment. But we should remember that immigrants have contributed to the diversity that makes the city a magnet," Lae said.

Right. Just ask France how positive that "non-western" growth has been. Or Britain. Or the Netherlands. Or...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Twenty-six months enough prison time for convicted Bali bomber

Abu Bakar Bashir leaves prison to return to his position
as dean of Jihadi U.

Abu Bakar Bashir, convicted of a "sinister conspiracy" in the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 88 people, has been released after just 26 months in prison in Indonesia.

This is further evidence that Indonesia has no interest in effectively prosecuting Islamic extremists, a group to which no reasonable person can argue Bashir doesn't belong, based on the following quotes:
Of western countries:
If they want to have peace, they have to accept to be governed by Islam.

On fighting western countries:
We'll keep fighting them and they'll lose. The
batil [falsehood] will lose sooner or later. I sent a letter to Bush. I said that you'll lose and there is no point for you [to fight us]. This [concept] is found in the Koran.

This fight is compulsory. Muslims who don't hate America sin. There is no
iman [belief] if one doesn't hate America.

As long as there is no intention to fight us and Islam continues to grow there can be peace. This is the doctrine of Islam. Islam can't be ruled by others. Allah's law must stand above human law. There is no [example] of Islam and infidels, the right and the wrong, living together in peace.
So what's old Abu Bakar going to do now? According to Fauzan al Ansori, spokesman for the Indonesian Mujahedin Council:
"He will rest a few days, doing nothing. After that, he may return to teaching at Al-Mukmin," he said, refering to Bashir's Muslim boarding school in Ngruki, just outside Solo.
The Ngruki school is dubbed "the ivy league of militant academies", according to this article.

You can't make this shit up.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sean Thomas: Even the Beeb's arts review has a leftie bias

Sean Thomas has another good opinion piece in The First Post this week, this time pointing out that on BBC, even their arts program has an unapologetic left-wing bias.

Describing an off-hand swipe at George Bush, Thomas writes:
Yet, when Harris made his remark on air [Bush is a war-mongering moron, etc. --ed.], no one batted an eyelid. The other panellists just nodded. There was no attempt to challenge Harris's viewpoint; no one reminded viewers that Bush is the democratically elected president of the USA. The snide quip about Dubya was just accepted as the sort of thing every sensible person should agree with.
And when he had the temerity to call BBC on their blatant leftward tilt:
They claimed that Newsnight Review editors "try to balance the panel in political terms". I asked them to prove it, at which point they replied "er, well, we have Tory MP Michael Gove on, and once we had Michael Portillo." And that was it. That was their idea of balance: one-and-a-half right-wing people. Over several years. This makes an interesting comparison with the number of left-wing people they feature as panellists on the same programme.
The outrageousness of this unbridled left-wing bias is surpassed only by its meek acceptance by the viewing public, and the American media (and viewing public) is no better.

Self-indulgent space filler post

This is not a gift I'll be bringing home for the wife.

I'm on yet another west coast trip, with not much time for posting anything meaningful. So, here's a completely meaningless post.

I arrived in Palo Alto this evening a bit early for a dinner engagement, so I wandered around doing a bit of window-shopping. Now, I'm a bit of a Persian carpet nut, so when I saw this "carpet gallery" (rug store would be far too low-browed for this place), I had to check it out. The first thing I saw when I walked in was this carpet, which measures 33 feet long, and if I recall correctly, 9 feet wide.

I asked the salesman (curator?) the price, which naturally wasn't marked on the carpet. The response: "one point two". I assume he didn't mean 1.2 thousand.

For the curious, the carpet is made of silk, and is from the city of Qum in Iran.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Saved Sect" of Islam wants to "save" Britain

This may be old news to folks in Britain, but I just came across this today. The Saved Sect is an Islamic group based in Birmingham, England which has all the hallmarks of Islamic extremism. As an example, their current front page sports an item about the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, headlined "Jihaad Will Never End".

[Note: The Birmingham location is inferred by the contact information provided by a "whois" lookup on the domain registration for]

In the article, they refer to the killing of this sub-human piece of shit as an "assassination" and go on to say:
Zarqawi's attacks were not indiscriminate; rather, they were orchestrated – specifically targeted against the "crusader forces" and their allies (the Shiites).
They apparently believe that the deaths of innocent Shiite Muslims is perfectly OK, and don't even make note of the large number of Sunni Muslims killed during Zarqawi's murderous spree. And he just may want to check with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr about the "alliance" between Shiites and the "crusader forces".

In another item, they complain about the arrest of a few demonstrators after the Mohammed cartoon protests there, saying:
The demonstration that took place shortly after the publication of the Danish cartoons in London was peaceful and trouble free – so we all thought until the media 'lying' machine whipped the masses into a frenzy claiming that al-Qaeda had taken to the streets of London. The public were being told that death threats and murder were being incited by Muslims in the UK because "they refuse to accept our freedom of speech". The ignorance of the general masses with regards to the sensitivity of such an issue concerning Muslims was played upon and used to further the already savage media crusade, forcing the government to make a stance and show their condemnation in line with the falsely generated public opinion. The natural consequences of which were that action was to be taken.
I think they're talking about these "peaceful and trouble free" people:

But the most troubling item comes from this section of the site:
O people of Britain, we invite to Islam, to accept it as the truth and to worship and obey Allah exclusively and not associate partners with Him. If you accept, then Allah promises you contentment in this life and Paradise in the Hereafter. If you decline, Allah promises you misery in this life, and severe punishment in the Hereafter. The decision is yours O people of Britain.
Sounds pretty threatening, if you ask me.

Hat tip: LGF commenter msdixie for posting a reference to the "saved sect" web site.

Arab News: Other countrys' textbooks no better than ours

Arab News is carrying a rather feeble response to the Washington Post's expose on Saudi school text books. Rather than refute the charges leveled in the WaPo piece, the writer, Tanya Hsu, takes a grade-school "I know you are, but what am I?" stance in her column. Well, that's not entirely fair. She does attempt to redefine the word Infidel by quoting a representative of the World Association of Muslim Youth:
“[T]he textbooks instruct students that Christians and Jews are apes and pigs,” claims Freedom House — a gross mistranslation of Qu’ran Surah 5 Verse 60. “Infidel in Arabic is “kafir”,” Dr. Saleh Al-Wohaibi of the World Association of Muslim Youth told me. “The correct definition of kafir is “disbeliever” in the sense of covering the truth, as a farmer who “covers the seed” with soil. Infidel (kafir) simply means “one who covers the truth of the word of God as revealed in the Holy Qu’ran."
Excuse me, but, what? Are we to believe that infidel really means farmer? So I guess the Qu'ran really exhorts good Muslims to "slay the farmer whereever you find him". Small wonder that there's so little successful agriculture in Islamic countries.

So instead of providing evidence that the charges in the WaPo article are false, Hsu provides the following in defense of the Kingdom's school texts:
The books they studied amounted to twelve in total. Out of 25,000 public schools, a dozen or more books per grade per year, hundreds of pages per book and hundreds of thousands of words, Freedom House found a few words objectionable.
Correct...twelve books. Approximately one book of religious instruction per grade 1st through 12th. And here's a sampling of the "few" objectionable words from the Post article:

" Every religion other than Islam is false."

"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."


"True belief means . . . that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."


"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives."

"It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."

"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion."


"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power."


"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."

"God told His Prophet, Muhammad, about the Jews, who learned from parts of God's book [the Torah and the Gospels] that God alone is worthy of worship. Despite this, they espouse falsehood through idol-worship, soothsaying, and sorcery. In doing so, they obey the devil. They prefer the people of falsehood to the people of the truth out of envy and hostility. This earns them condemnation and is a warning to us not to do as they did."

"They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied [with them]."

"Some of the people of the Sabbath were punished by being turned into apes and swine. Some of them were made to worship the devil, and not God, through consecration, sacrifice, prayer, appeals for help, and other types of worship. Some of the Jews worship the devil. Likewise, some members of this nation worship the devil, and not God."

"Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."


"The clash between this [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills."

"It is part of God's wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour [of judgment]."

"Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him."


The 10th-grade text on jurisprudence teaches that life for non-Muslims (as well as women, and, by implication, slaves) is worth a fraction of that of a "free Muslim male." Blood money is retribution paid to the victim or the victim's heirs for murder or injury:

"Blood money for a free infidel. [Its quantity] is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, whether or not he is 'of the book' or not 'of the book' (such as a pagan, Zoroastrian, etc.).

"Blood money for a woman: Half of the blood money for a man, in accordance with his religion. The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money for a male infidel."


"The greeting 'Peace be upon you' is specifically for believers. It cannot be said to others."

"If one comes to a place where there is a mixture of Muslims and infidels, one should offer a greeting intended for the Muslims."

"Do not yield to them [Christians and Jews] on a narrow road out of honor and respect."


"Jihad in the path of God -- which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it -- is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God."

Except for Hsu's mendacious redefinition of Infidel, the article does nothing to say the charges in WaPo's article are not valid. As if to invalidate the charges, she says:

What they did not reveal is that no one bothered to ask Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Abdullah Al-Obeid. There were no requests made for copies of the textbooks, and in fact, there never have been any such demands by anyone in the US government for such materials.

Shea and Al-Ahmed state that because Saudi Arabia is such a closed society, the books had to be “smuggled out” by Al-Ahmed. Quite James Bond, presumably under the cover of darkness.
She goes on to lash out at American history lessons and textbooks with unsubstantiated and /or irrelevant charges:
American schoolbooks today teach that Columbus was a discoverer and hero, but he was the 15th to “find” America and actually left a legacy of mass murder behind in Haiti, reducing the population from 8 million to zero within 100 years. History classes omit how George Washington was a designated terrorist per the British. The Alamo was fought for the right to maintain slaves, President Woodrow Wilson was an avowed racist and anti-Semite, and Warren Harding ascended the presidency with mass support from the Ku Klux Klan. And three quarters of Americans still can’t find Iraq on a map. Let’s not worry about textbooks in Israel or America — let’s talk about “Wahhabi” madrasas breeding terrorists and change another nation’s education system first.
Nothing Hsu writes changes the fact that Saudi children are being inculcated at a very early age to hate non-Muslims.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Big brass balls watch

One of the accused Madrid train station bombers is claiming compensation for the death of his step-daughter. It seems Abdenneri Esabar's step-daughter, 13 year old Saane Ben Salah, was killed in...wait for it...the Madrid train station bombings!

Some days it just doesn't pay to wake up and chew through the restraints.

Well, they're also big fans of lutefisk...

Norway's Liberal Party wants to share their lutefisk with these nice fellas.

In Scandinavia, there's a popular dish known as lutefisk. If you've recently eaten, you may want to wait a bit before continuing with this description of lutefisk. OK, ready? From an article at
For the uninitiated, lutefisk is "salt cod"--cod gutted, salted, and dried in the sun, rehydrated with lye, and rinsed with water. The process creates a yellow, mucousy glob that's trimmed with cream sauce or butter. It tastes foul, like ancient cold cream--slightly salty, with a chemical tinge and an overpowering odor.
"...When people ask me my feelings about lutefisk, quite bluntly, I tell them I wish I was a dog--because if I was a dog I could lick my ass to get the taste out of my mouth."
Today in Norway's Aftenposten, there's an item headlined "More Muslim Contact". It's short, so here it is in its entirety:
Norway's politicians want to establish more and better contact with the Muslim world.

The Liberal Party has suggested that NOK 2 million (USD 163,000) be earmarked as start funds for a cooperative program between Norway and the Muslim world.

Norway's parliament, the Storting, has already approved a proposal for more contact and exchange to promote cooperation between individuals, voluntary organizations, political parties and industry in Norway and the Muslim world.

The proposal became highly topical after the controversy and conflict sparked by the publication of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in newspapers earlier this year.

"The Liberal [natch. --ed.] Party's proposal for a program of exchange and cooperation between Muslim nations and Norway builds on a firmly rooted belief in dialogue. This can help clear up prejudice, misunderstandings, or even sheer ignorance, [um, on whose part? --ed.] " said Liberal Party deputy leader Trine Skei Grande.

But then again, they think leaving fish out in the sun for a few days, soaking it in lye and eating it is a good idea, too.

Attention infidel bloggers!

I was looking through my sitemeter stats on recent visitors, and I came across a visitor from Amman, Jordan. The visit entry page URL was a bit odd: file:///d:/ISLAM IN THEIR EYES/The Pool Bar.htm

In case you're unfamiliar with this type of URL, here's a little overview.

You can actually open files locally stored on your computer through the method shown above. In this case, the user has a drive called D:, which could be a second internal hard drive, or possibly an external USB drive, or it might even be a network resource, such as a file share from a server on the local network. The "islam in their eyes" portion is a directory (folder) on that drive, and The Pool Bar.htm is an HTML file, apparently the HTML source code copied from this blog. This code is obtained easily enough directly from the browser.

So, it would appear that someone out there is surfing the net, looking for web sites that have content critical of Islamic extremism, and compiling the source HTML files from those sites.

Unfortunately, sitemeter doesn't supply the entire IP address from visitors, but the originating subnet is, and the ISP is identified as Jordan Data Communications Company LLC.

And now, a message to my visitor from Amman:
Don't look outside of Islam to see what "they" are saying about your religion. Look inside Islam and ask why so many are saying it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Loony left reaction to death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

After seeing the welcome news of Zarqawi's death, I was curious of what the left's reaction would be. I was fairly certain it wouldn't be one of jubilation. Here are a few selections from Democratic Underground. Judge for yourself:
He was dead on March 4, now he's dead again?

How sad that we cannot trust our government to be honest with us in matters of war and death. The boy who cried wolf is not believed in my house.

Interesting indeed--if true that would mean Al Quada ratted him out--A little message from some of Bin Laden's operatives to U.S. Intelligence giving the address and time he was expected for dinner, perhaps?

Don't worry, he's not dead.--In a few months, Shrub will wake up in his bed, go into his bathroom, open the shower door and there al-Zarqawi will be. It will all have been a dream.

PsssT! This guy is a "PsyOps" creation. Absurd one at that!

It's almost an "open joke" among the military and civilians who know how PsyOps operate, and the History, that Zarqowi is merely a "Pentagon creation." And oh, don't we need some good news now? It's so predictable I could write the OP Orders. It's all bullshit LIES paraded around for PR exploitation. We almost need wings to rise above it.

Well, at least it will have time to fade before the elections. Catching Saddam isn't helping Bush's numbers right now, is it?

OMG, this is so damn over the top. I woke up to the beginning of Morning Edition on NPR. And for the next forty minutes that proceded to tell us in varying ways that al Zarqawi was dead. Forty fucking minutes solid wall to wall. And the lead off on the Marketplace report was drop in oil prices due to Zarqawi dying. PROPAGANDA!
Well, there you have it. Everything from "he was an American psy-ops creation" to relief that the timing won't help the president. And they wonder where the term "Bush Derangement Syndrome" comes from.

Rest in Pieces

Worm food. Pushing up daisies. Fertilizer.
Six feet under. Muerte. Takin' a dirt nap.
Flatliner. Paying the piper...

Wow. I wake up this morning, feed the dog and cat, get my coffee, and what's the first thing I see when I turn on the TV? The Z-man's been killed in a US airstrike! It's gonna be a good day.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

France shrugs off America's D-Day vets

An item on shows just how far down the road of anti-Americanism France has gone. During ceremonies marking the 62nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy, French minister of veterans Hamlaoui Mekachera said:

"I want to voice our deepest gratitude towards the air, land and sea forces of the United Kingdom," Hamlaoui Mekachera told a crowd assembled at the British cemetery in the northern town of Bayeux.

"At dawn on June 6, 25,000 children of Albion launched the assault on Gold" -- one of the five beaches where 155,000 Allied troops launched the drive to free Europe from Nazi occupation.

"Their courage, their valour, their greatness will never be forgotten. With their comrades-in-arms... these men carried the values of selflessness and sacrifice to their pinnacle," said Mekachera.
Not a word one about the American contribution to Operation Overlord, which liberated France from Nazi Germany at the cost of thousands of American lives.

Political Correctness 1, Brain Activity 0

These apparent relatives of the arrested terror suspects
represent a broad strata of the community, but just
happen to shop at the same clothing store.

The Toronto Star has an almost unbelievable display of politically correct group think in this article from 4 June. (Hat tip LGF)

Last weekend, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) rolled up a suspected terror ring in the suburbs of Toronto. All of the suspects are Canadian residents or citizens, but all had one thing in common: they were either foreign-born immigrants or Canadian-born to immigrants. Every one of the suspects bears a distinctly Islamic name.

Yet this article, entitled "The Ties That Bind 17 Suspects?", says "They represent the broad strata of our community", and that it's difficult to identify one common thread linking the suspects:
In investigators' offices, an intricate graph plotting the links between the 17 men and teens charged with being members of a homegrown terrorist cell covers at least one wall. And still, says a source, it is difficult to find a common denominator [my emphasis --ed.].
Kind of makes one wonder about their source, ay? But let's see if we can help them out a bit. More from the article:
The suspects are mainly teens and men in their young 20s, with the exception of 43-year-old Qayyum Abdul Jamal, a bus driver and recognized figure at a Mississauga Islamic centre.

Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, a 21-year-old health sciences graduate from McMaster University, was born in Canada, the son of a doctor who emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago in 1955. He and Zakaria Amara, 20, are married to sisters, and were wed by the same Scarborough imam.

Yasin Abdi Mohamed, 24, and 22-year-old Mohammed Dirie were arrested bringing weapons from the United States to Canada in a car allegedly rented by Fahim Ahmad, 21.

Mohammad Attique couldn't believe the man who had been renting an apartment in his basement for six months is suspected of being a terrorist. He exchanged only brief greetings when he ran into his tenant, Steven Vikash Chand, a 25-year-old Muslim convert who went by the name Abdul Shakur.
OK, Toronto Star. Now can you connect the dots?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Another setback for Chavez

Garcia appears to be describing his margin of victory over
commie candidate Ollanta Humala

Poor Hugo. What's a commie tinpot dictator to do when he's trying to build a South American commie conglomerate, but neighboring countries keep voting against his comrades?

Just days after Colombian voters kept a commie from taking the presidency there, Peru follows suit, and elects Alan Garcia president, keeping comrade Ollanta Humala in retirement for the foreseeable future.

The opening words of the Peruvian national anthem are Somos libre, meaning "We are free". Peru may have their share of problems, but at least Chavez-style Marxism won't be one of them.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Operation Opera: 25th anniversary of the strike on Osirak

The strike pilots of Operation Opera, minutes
after their safe return. Then-Capt. Ilan Ramon,
at upper left, would later die in the space shuttle
Columbia disaster in 2003. Squadron leader
Col. Ze'ev Raz is at bottom right.

This coming Wednesday, 7 June 2006, marks the 25th anniversary of Operation Opera, the Israeli strike on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. Coming as this does at a time when Iran's nuclear program similarly threatens stability in the Middle East, this event is worth noting.

In the late 1970s, Saddam Hussein's government convinced France to sell Iraq an Osiris-class research reactor. Construction of the reactor and associated laboratory facilities (also provided by France) began in 1979. Fearing the reactor could, and would, be used to produce nuclear weapons, Israel pursued diplomatic negotiations with France to keep the reactor from coming online. The diplomacy failed.

By 1981, the reactor was ready for fueling. Menachem Begin, then Prime Minister of Israel, decided that the reactor must be destroyed before destruction of the plant could bring radioactive fallout to the surrounding civilian population.

Planning for the operation would be a daunting task. The Osirak reactor was more than 1,000 miles round-trip from Israel's air base in southern Israel. Further complicating the planning were the geographical necessities of flying over Jordan and Saudi Arabia, both countries decidedly not friendly to Israel. In the end though, the Israeli Air Force decided it was theoretically possible to launch with external extended range fuel tanks, strike the plant, and return safely to base.

On the afternoon of 7 June 1981, the Israeli Air Force launched eight F-16As, each loaded with two 1,000Kg (about 2,200lb) bombs and external tanks. Accompanying the F-16s were six F-15As to fly top cover and engage any unfriendly aircraft sent to intercept. On the way to the target, the aircraft would fly at an altitude of 150 feet to avoid radar detection. Definitely not the best altitude for fuel conservation.

According to Israeli diplomat Yehuda Avner, as the strike package was en route, Menachem Begin paced his office awaiting word on the mission. During these tense moments, Begin was cursing opposition leader Shimon Peres:
As the waiting continued, Avner writes, Begin also bitterly castigated Shimon Peres, the opposition leader, for having written to him a few weeks earlier "to ask me to desist from taking action. Hoss gehert aza meisa? [Yiddish for 'Have you heard of such a thing?']," Begin stormed, according to Avner.
An hour and a half after launch, the strike aircraft climbed to 40,000 feet, then dove on the target. Each pilot released his two bombs, and all 16 bombs struck the plant, although two may have failed to detonate. Miraculously, all 14 of the Israeli aircraft, running nearly on vapors, made it back to their base in southern Israel without a scratch. Ten Iraqi soldiers and a French scientist died in the attack.

Upon receiving word of the operation's success, Begin phoned Sam Lewis, US ambassador to Israel. The reaction was less than enthusiastic:

"I have to tell you in all honesty that I suspect some people in the White House will be pretty furious about this," said a shocked Lewis. "Your weaponry was procured from us under the Arms Export Act, for purposes of self-defense only."

"Self-defense?" Begin retorted. "What greater act of self-defense could there be than to demolish Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, designed to bring Israel to its knees, kill our people, vaporize our infrastructure - in a word to destroy our nation, our country, our existence? Over these past months I've told you again and again, Sam, that either the US does something to stop that reactor, or we will have to."

Shamefully, the UN Security Council passed resolution 487 demanding that Israel place its nuclear program under IAEA monitoring and declaring that Iraq was entitled to compensation. The US, much to its disgrace, supported the resolution and temporarily withheld a shipment of promised aircraft to Israel.

Today, Operation Opera's legacy has undergone something of a "rehabilitation" in the US, and is regarded much more favorably. But regardless of world reaction, it stands as testimony to the courage and determination of the Israeli people. May the rest of the world find similar courage in dealing with Iran's nuclear threat.

Update: The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star published this piece as an op-ed column on 7 June.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Chavez: Carlos 'The Jackal' a "good friend"

Chavez: Bad Company

Just when I thought Venezuela president and apparent supporter of terrorism couldn't get any whackier, he raises the bar. During the OPEC meeting held in Caracas, he described Carlos "The Jackal", infamous assassin and terrorist, as "a good friend".

A little about "The Jackal" from the article:
Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, gained notoriety during the Cold War for staging a string of bombings and assassinations. He is serving a life sentence for murder in France.
Apparently, they've been pen-pals:

Chavez recalled in his speech how Ramirez once in a letter referred to the Venezuelan leader's 1999 tour of OPEC member states.

He said Carlos, "a good friend," said in the missive from his prison that the tour appeared "hair-raising."

Small wonder that friendship with Chavez was recently described as "toxic".

Spain enforces law, gets bitch-slapped

Yesterday I was critical of Spain in a post about arms deals with Venezuela. Today, I'll defend Spain. Fair and balanced, see?

In an Expatica news item it's reported that Spain repatriated 99 Senegalese illegal immigrants, and Senegal isn't happy with the manner in which it was done. It seems the 99 illegal immigrants were handcuffed (gasp!) and "tricked" into being flown to Dakar in Senegal. Oh, and this was just the first batch of 623 illegals from Senegal to be repatriated.

Six hundred and twenty-three. Folks, that's not an immigration. That's a battalion or brigade-sized invasion. Spain could have responded with a brigade of their own, and taken the survivors as prisoners of war.

Another convert to the "Religion of Peace"

The Expatica web site reports today that another European female convert to Islam, this time in Germany, turned instant Jihadi. But this one, identified only as Sonja B., was stopped before she could travel to Iraq and blow herself up. Last November, a Belgian woman named Muriel Degauque converted to Islam and managed to go all the way. Her target was an American convoy, but fortunately, she was the only fatality.

According to the article:
A German woman who converted to Islam has been placed under surveillance after police thwarted an attempt by her to travel to Iraq as a suicide bomber, media reports said.

The 40-year-old, identified only as Sonja B., is one of three German women said to have used the internet to disclose their intention to carry out missions against US soldiers.

Police reportedly prevented them leaving Germany in April.
Note that neither Sonja B. nor her two co-conspirators have been arrested. In fact, it appears that only Sonja B. was "placed under surveillance"; the article never says what happened to the other two women.

I'm not sure what an aspiring German Jihadi would have to do to get arrested, but Germany has already proven its lack of will in fighting terrorism.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

With "friends" like these...

Chavez and Zapatero: Two peas in a socialist pod

J. Michael Waller of the Institute of World Politics wrote an op-ed piece that appeared this morning in our local (Fredericksburg, VA) newspaper, the Free Lance-Star. In it, he details why Spain can no longer be considered an ally of the United States. As if we needed further evidence after Spain's shameful behavior following the Madrid train station bombings.

Not content to abandon her allies in combating global terrorism, Spain is now selling military hardware to Venezuela. According to Waller:

Until two years ago, Spain was a staunch ally in the global war on terrorists and their supporters. Most observers expected Spain's pro-U.S. government to win re-election until the al-Qaida bombings of the Madrid transit system propelled the Socialist Workers Party to power.

In one of his first acts in office, after pledging to pull Spain from the Iraq coalition, President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero flew to Venezuela to sell military patrol boats and CASA CN-235 transport planes to the dictator Chavez.

After failing to persuade Spain not to make the sale, the Bush administration invoked a law allowing the US to veto the sale of any arms containing US-made parts. No problema, said Spain. They pulled the US parts and made the sale.

And as if that wasn't enough, Spain and Venezuela "conspired to rub it in America's face abroad, while CASA lobbied in Washington for U.S. tax dollars." To wit:

Last November, after CASA lobbyists had gotten Congress to spend $68 million on the first Coast Guard CN-235s, Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono flew to Caracas "to stress what [Chavez] described as a 'defeat' of the United States," according to the major Madrid daily El Pais.

In Caracas, Bono publicly criticized the United States as an "empire" as he stood with Chavez, who praised Spain for "confronting the hegemonic and imperialistic ambitions of the elite that now governs the United States [and is] massacring the people of Iraq."

While Chavez celebrated the deal with the Spanish defense minister, he refused entry to a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation that had been cleared to visit Venezuela. In an act orchestrated to humiliate Congress, Chavez forced the lawmakers (led by 81-year-old House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill.) to sit in their plane for two hours without being allowed to disembark. Chavez then ordered the congressmen expelled from the country.

This behavior from a supposed ally of the US is outrageous, and any member of congress who votes to authorize the purchase of even a single olive from Spain should be voted out of office.

Simon Bolivars they're not

Bolivar and the three amigos: One of these things is not like the
other things. Can you spot which one?

The First Post has another on-target opinion piece, this time on the latest crop of Latin American lefty populist politicians.

Chavez likes to call his movement Revolucion Bolivariana, evoking the memory of the great South American liberator, Simon Bolivar. But according to the author, Damien McElroy, he'd be more accurate naming his movement after Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Chavez has quickly taken under his wing Evo Morales, a country bumpkin Chavez knock-off in Bolivia. And in Peru's upcoming elections, one of the front runners is another politico in the Chavez marxist mold, Ollanta Humala.

Of the three amigos, McElroy says:
Chavez recently turned a horse on the Venezuelan flag to look left, not right. His weekly television show is an intemperate rant in the style of a Latin John Prescott. Only weeks before flying to London to meet Ken Livingstone last month, he was promising to kill gringos with poison-tipped arrows.

After five months in office Morales, who makes a point of wearing alpaca jumpers instead of suits, has pushed Bolivia's gas-rich southern provinces to seek Argentinian and Uruguayan assistance to secede.

If Humala wins on June 4 - and polls show him closing in on front-runner Alan Garcia - Peru's descent into madness is likely to be swift. One centrepiece of his manifesto is to legalise coca leaves as a health drink.

Simon Bolivar, indeed.