Saturday, March 12, 2011

Islam a religion of peace? View 10 grisly reasons that prove it is not!

Verne Strickland Blogmaster                            March 12, 2011

Ten Obvious Reasons Why
Islam is NOT a Religion of Peace

 #114,000 deadly terror attacks committed explicitly in the name of Islam in just the last eight years.  (Other religions combined for perhaps a dozen or so).
 #2Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, had people killed for insulting him or criticizing his religion.  This included women.  Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad.
Muhammad said in many places that he has been "ordered by Allah to fight men until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger."  In the last nine years of his life, he ordered no less than 65 military campaigns to do exactly that.
Muhammad inspired his men to war with the basest of motives, using captured loot, sex and a gluttonous paradise as incentives.  He beheaded captives, enslaved children and raped women captured in battle.  Again, Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad.
After Muhammad died, the people who lived with him, and knew his religion best, immediately fell into war with each other. 
Fatima, Muhammad's favorite daughter, survived the early years at Mecca safe and sound, yet died of stress from the persecution of fellow Muslims only six months after her father died.
Fatima's husband Ali, who was the second second convert to Islam and was raised like a son to Muhammad, fought a civil war against an army raised by Aisha, Muhammad's favorite wife - and one whom he had said was a "perfect woman."  10,000 Muslims were killed in a single battle, waged less than 25 years after Muhammad's death.
Three of the first four Muslim rulers (caliphs) were murdered.  All of them were among Muhammad's closest companions.  The third caliph was killed by allies of the son of the first (who was murdered by the fifth caliph a few years later, then wrapped in the skin of a dead donkey and burned).  The fourth caliph (Ali) was stabbed to death after a bitter dispute with the fifth.  The fifth caliph went on to poison one of Muhammad's two favorite grandsons.  The other grandson was later beheaded by the sixth caliph.
The infighting and power struggles between Muhammad's family members, closest companions and their children only intensified with time.  Within 50 short years of Muhammad's death, even the Kaaba, which had stood for centuries under pagan religion, lay in ruins from internal Muslim war...
And that's just the fate of those within the house of Islam!
 #5Muhammad directed Muslims to wage war on other religions and bring them under submission to Islam.  Within the first few decades following his death, his Arabian companions invaded and conquered Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian lands. A mere 25 years after Muhammad's death, Muslim armies had captured land and people within the borders of over 28 modern countries outside of Saudi Arabia.
Muslims continued their Jihad against other religions for 1400 years, checked only by the ability of non-Muslims to defend themselves.  To this day, not a week goes by that Islamic fundamentalists do not attempt to kill Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists explicitly in the name of Allah. 
None of these other religions are at war with each other.
 #7Islam is the only religion that has to retain its membership by threatening to kill anyone who leaves.  This is according to the example set by Muhammad.
 #8Islam teaches that non-Muslims are less than fully human.  Muhammad said that Muslims can be put to death for murder, but that a Muslim could never be put to death for killing a non-Muslim.
The Qur'an never once speaks of Allah's love for non-Muslims, but it speaks of Allah's cruelty toward and hatred of non-Muslims more than 500 times.

"Allahu Akbar!  Allahu Akbar!  Allahu Akbar!" 
(The last words from the cockpit of Flight 93)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pantano Supports Congressman King's Hearings On Muslim Radicalization

Verne Strickland Blogmaster 
March 10, 2011

As the editors of National Review Online have rightly noted:

"The scandal is not that House Committee on Homeland Security chairman Peter King (R., N.Y.) will tomorrow hold hearings on 'The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response'; the scandal is that they have been so long in coming."

Ilario Pantano could not agree more:

Homegrown terror is an overwhelmingly Islamic phenomenon. And yet a search of the Homeland Security hearings in the 111th (Congress) yields not one mention of Islamism or jihad. So the cries of religious persecution from groups like CAIR and their allies on the left badly miss the point: it isn’t that we have cast a discriminatory eye toward Islam, but that excessive concern with the pieties of multicultural relativism has prevented us from being sufficiently critical of Islamism. A problem cannot be dealt with that is not first faced foursquarely, and, to appropriate a phrase, we have for too long been a nation of cowards when it comes to addressing jihadist radicalism between our shores. Representative King’s hearings make an honest first effort to do that.

More on the National Review Online article about today's hearing

The Department of Homeland Security was created in direct response to an act of Islamic terror, an act perpetrated by radical Muslims who lived and worked, planned and plotted inside the United States. Post-9/11, the threat of homegrown jihad is as great or greater.

Among the witnesses expected to appear at the hearing is Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, head of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, whom we expect to provide an overview of the threat of not only violent but also cultural jihad being waged by Islamists inside the United States.

Witnesses Melvin Bledsoe and Abdirizak Bihi will share their firsthand knowledge of this threat. Bihi’s nephew, Burhan Hassan, was radicalized in a Minneapolis mosque and in 2008, at the age of 17, disappeared to Somalia, where he died, apparently fighting for the Islamist group al-Shaheeb. Mr. Bledsoe’s son, Carlos, converted to Islam in college after traveling to Yemen and went by the name Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad when he shot two army recruiters in Little Rock in 2009, killing one. We expect both men’s testimony to be both heart-rending and sobering.

There will of course be some dead weight among the witnesses: We doubt that Reps. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) and John Dingell (D., Mich.) will add much to the proceedings, besides defending their many peaceful Muslim constituents from an attack no one is contemplating. And we wish King had called the likes of Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and an indispensable voice on Islamism in America. But it is our understanding that this will be only the first of several hearings on the subject. So there may, at long last, be time to address this long-neglected topic.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lugar sells out on his sell-out. Now he'll back House-passed spending cuts. What a pansy!

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Dick Lugar is an unwavering advocate of U.S. leadership in the world, strong national security, free-trade and economic growth.This fifth generation Hoosier is the U.S. Senate's most senior Republican and longest serving Member of Congress in Indiana history.

He is the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976 and won a sixth term in 2006 with 87 percent of the vote, his fourth consecutive victory by a two-thirds majority.

VS: Well, that's very interesting and all that, but this man who followed in the footsteps of the late conservative GOP icon Senator Jesse Helms is acting like an addled old man and a pansy to boot. Which is how I've seen him all along, except I had to add the "old man" bit recently.

This GOP turncoat spouted off  to the media that he would vote to oppose House-passed spending cuts!

Then the duplicitous jerk got cold feet, and said he would vote for the cuts, a centerpiece in the conservative GOP drive for fiscal sanity in Washington. He apologized for the "confusion", and commented, "I'm sorry if I misled people."

No confusion, Senator. You sold out the GOP, the Tea Party, and yourself.

Question: WWJD? What would Jesse do?  Helms was head of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee when I knew him, and before Lugar took the reins. Jesse never switched a vote. He was a straight arrow, an implacable patriot and conservative. He knew where he stood, and so did everyone else.

Lugar is nothing more than a windvane -- a disappointing successor to the shining legacy of Jesse Helms. 

Now here's rest of the story:

By Alexander Bolton  /  THE HILL 03/08/11  

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who faces a Tea Party-backed challenge in his 2012 primary, has withdrawn his stated opposition to House-passed spending cuts.

Lugar said Tuesday afternoon that he made a mistake when he told reporters earlier in the day that he would oppose H.R. 1, the House GOP plan to cut an additional $57 billion from the 2011 budget.

“I’m going to vote with the Republicans on the issue when H.R. 1 comes up,” Lugar said. “If it’s strictly an affirmative vote, I will be for H.R. 1 because all the Republicans will be voting for H.R. 1.”

Lugar said he does not like the “formulation” of the spending cuts passed by the House and would like Congress to go even further to cut the deficit.

“My own feeling would be that we probably need to have more extensive savings than $58 or $61 billion,” he said.

Slightly more than an hour earlier in the day, Lugar told reporters that he would oppose the House bill as he walked into a weekly lunch meeting with Republican colleagues.

Lugar apologized for the confusion.

“I’m sorry if I misled people,” he said. “I’m going to vote for the Republican resolution, which is as clearly as I can say it.”

Lugar said he misunderstood the question because of the chaos of the press scrum that chased him to the door of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room.

“I couldn’t figure out what the question was, I simply did not understand what everyone was all shouting and jumping around about,” he said. “Nevertheless I have indicated to the Republican Whip that I will vote, whenever the vote is — this afternoon or tomorrow — with the entire Republican group on H.R. 1.”

A Republican senator who attended the lunch meeting said leaders made a strong argument for all members of the caucus to support the House bill. The GOP lawmaker said Lugar did not speak up during that discussion and no comments were directed at him specifically.

As Lugar entered the weekly caucus lunch, he indicated he would oppose the House bill, saying, “I’m opposed to it."

Lugar had previously raised concerns about the bill during a television appearance last month.

When CNN host Candy Crowley asked Lugar if he could support the House-passed spending cuts, he said: “No, I would not support the entirety of the House bill, but I think the basic problem presently is there’s very little time.”

Lugar said he worried about a possible government shutdown.

Senate Declares March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”

Resolution Introduced by Senator Richard Burr

Verne Strickland Blogmaster
 March 8, 2011

Washington D.C – The U.S. Senate yesterday declared March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” agreeing unanimously to a resolution introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. This March 30th, the Senate has encouraged Americans across the country to recognize Vietnam veterans for their sacrifice and demonstrate a warm welcome to these soldiers who returned from war to a politically divided country.

“I’m pleased that the Senate has agreed to set aside a day to give our Vietnam veterans a warm, long-overdue welcome home. I strongly encourage communities throughout North Carolina and across the country to observe this day with activities and events that honor these veterans for their service. It’s time they receive the recognition they have earned and deserve.  This day also provides our nation with an important teaching moment. Never again should our men and women serving in the armed forces receive the same treatment as those returning from Vietnam,” said Senator Richard Burr.

Senator Burr introduced the resolution for the second consecutive year on February 16, 2011. For Senator Burr’s remarks on the introduction of the resolution, click here.

The United States became involved in Vietnam because policy-makers believed that if South Vietnam fell to a communist government, communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast Asia.  The US Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961, and in 1965, ground combat troops were sent into Vietnam.  On March 30, 1973, after many years of combat, all US troops withdrew. More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam. 

Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) co-sponsored the legislation. The resolution now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. 

Office of U.S. Senator Richard Burr                              
825A Hart Senate Office Building • Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2074 • FAX (202) 224-8908

Monday, March 7, 2011

Obama caves on military trials for guest residents at GITMO

Verne Strickland Blogmaster
By Sam Youngman  /  THE HILL  03/07/11

President Obama on Monday ordered that military commission trials be resumed at Guantánamo Bay.

The move represents a defeat for Obama, who pledged to close the terrorist detention facility in Cuba within one year of taking office. The president had hoped to hold trials in federal court for many of the detainees, but ran into stiff opposition from both parties.

The decision will be a disappointment for liberals already upset with Obama’s political compromises. That faction received a second blow Monday when Defense Secretary Robert Gates told The Associated Press that troops could remain in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 date advocated by Obama.

The White House said Obama “remains committed” to closing the Guantánamo camp, but the president’s decision to direct Gates to rescind his suspension of new charges by military commissions signals it is unlikely prisoners will be successfully transferred anytime soon.

The sense that Guantánamo would remain open for some time had become clearer in recent weeks, with both Obama’s attorney general and CIA director raising serious doubts to Congress about its closing.
The administration says it wants to close the facility because of the alleged torture and physical abuses that were committed against suspected terrorists.
Terrorist groups use the prison and its improprieties as a recruitment tool for people to be drawn to attack the U.S., the White House contends.

Obama suspended military trials shortly after taking office, but the administration ran into a buzz-saw of opposition on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers refused to allow any detainees into courts or jails in their districts.

Monday’s decision was received warmly by members of both parties, with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) saying Obama “has finally seen the light.”

Smith said he saw the announcement as a clear step away from trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts, which the administration has heavily advocated over the past two years.

“As Republicans have been saying all along, terrorists should be treated as enemy combatants, not common criminals,” he said in a statement. “Trying foreign terrorists in civilian court makes it harder for prosecutors to obtain convictions and gives terrorists a public forum to spew their radical hate for America.”
The White House and Gates, however, insisted the administration was not shying away from using civilian courts to try suspected terrorists.

“For years, our federal courts have proven to be a secure and effective means for bringing terrorists to justice,” said Gates in a statement. “To completely foreclose this option is unwise and unnecessary.”
The ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.), echoed his support for civilian trials and blamed lawmakers for confusing the issue.

“I take the president at his word that he still wants to close Gitmo and try detainees in civilian courts,” Thompson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the relentless politicization of this national-security issue in the Congress has left him little room to maneuver.”

Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said that Obama’s executive order on Monday would allow the U.S. greater flexibility in prosecuting suspected terrorists. He added that it was only the first step and called on fellow lawmakers to work together to create a long-term solution.

The White House said statements given as a result of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” had been banned based on work with members of Congress in both parties. The statement also hailed a better system for handling classified information.

Additionally, Obama by executive order created a periodic review process for detainees who cannot be tried or released because they represent a continued threat to national security. Under the newly reformed military commission process, detainees would be able to retain a voluntary lawyer or hire private counsel.

“While we continue to work to close Guantánamo, these steps will ensure that the detention of individuals there is appropriate under our laws,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

The White House said the review “will help to ensure that individuals who we have determined will be subject to long-term detention continue to be detained only when lawful and necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States.”

A senior administration official said that the State Department and the Department of Defense would continue the work of trying to transfer some of the remaining Guantánamo detainees to foreign countries. To date, 67 detainees have been transferred.

“If a final determination is made that a detainee no longer constitutes a significant threat to our security, the executive order provides that the secretaries of State and Defense are to identify a suitable transfer location outside the United States, consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and applicable law,” the fact sheet said. “As the president has stated before, no Guantánamo detainee will be released into the United States.”

Hostage Hell is a Civilized Country's Dilemma. So Do We Pay?

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

There is an old chestnut that often resurfaces when Americans are taken hostage:  Emulate Thomas Jefferson’s resolute dispatch of forces to free hostages held by the Barbary pirates.  Yet the historical truth is quite different, and explains why Somali pirates have killed American hostages with impunity.  The depressing reality is that in our republic’s earliest years, most hostage crises were resolved by paying tribute money, even when military force was also used.

The fabled taming of the Barbary corsairs by Thomas Jefferson—“to the shores of Tripoli ” in the Marine Corps hymn—was accompanied by a $60,000 ransom (around $850,000 today) to the Dey of Algiers.  In 1904, Teddy Roosevelt, legendary Rough Rider he, paid $70,000 ($1.7 million today) to free Ion Perdicaris, an American diplomat kidnapped in Greece and taken to the Barbary Coast.  Conveniently forgotten was TR’s first message: “Perdicaris alive or [the bandit] Raisuli dead.”

The 1979 to1981 Iran hostage crisis ended with the release of 52 U.S. embassy personnel on the eve of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, with President Carter greeting the hostages when they touched down in Europe.  Though it is plausible to believe that fear of possible military action ordered by Ronald Reagan played a role in securing the hostage release, the Carter administration unfroze Iranian assets to consummate the deal.  That action was upheld in 1981 by the Supreme Court in Dames & Moore v. Regan.  The high court dismissed a $3 million lawsuit from private firm Dames & Moore against Treasury Secretary Don Regan, filed to recover a debt incurred by the Shah of Iran’s government.
Ronald Reagan’s two terms were marked by the serial taking of hostages by Islamic terrorist groups in Lebanon, with military force held in abeyance.  The Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages deal was a desperate attempt by Reagan to secure the freedom of hostages still held in Lebanon.

European governments have paid ransom too.  All Western leaders feel intense pressure to capitulate and pay tribute rather than use force and risk losing the lives of hostages.  Pressure is amplified by television coverage stressing the human plight of the hostages.  What then can the West do—most of all what can America do, as its citizens are the prime targets of hostage-takers?

Even Israel has ransomed not only live hostages but also dead ones, releasing terrorists who had committed hideous crimes in exchange for corpses.  But there is a better way.

America should take a page from the Evil Empire's playbook, specifically how the former Soviet Union handled one hostage-taking episode.  In the late 1980s, Russians were taken hostage by one of Lebanon’s countless Arab militia groups.  The Russians paid ransom and the captives were freed.  Then the Russians did what our allies and we have yet to do:  They sent in Spetznaz commandos, akin to our special forces but, unlike ours, stone-cold killers.  Their commandos found the perpetrators and, to put it delicately, rearranged their body parts in killing them, circulating the gruesome photos of their handiwork throughout Lebanon.  No more Russians were taken hostage in Lebanon.  Barbaric, but effective.

One wonders how many fewer episodes of hostage-taking in the Mideast would have taken place if, after the hostages were freed in January 1981, President Reagan had sent the Marines in to hang the Iranian hostage-takers high.  He might have risked impeachment by a Democratic House of Representatives infatuated with liberal concepts of international law.  Likely the American public would have supported the action, and a Republican Senate would not have voted to remove Reagan from office after he had won a landslide re-election.

Short of doing that, any President can declare that Americans living in or visiting dangerous places, which Lebanon assuredly was in the 1980s, stay there at their own risk.  Then the government can refuse to negotiate for release of any hostages taken.  But when Americans are killed overseas, it is best to avenge their killings.  Such action is complicated in the case of the Somali pirates, because the Somalis hold more than 700 hostages.  Had they been dealt with a few years ago—through destroying their camps and ports of egress and sinking pirate vessels on sight if they refused to surrender, there would be far fewer hostages, if any, today.
In 1815, Commodore Stephen Decatur led a punitive expedition to defeat the corsairs, and they left us alone for the rest of the 19th century.  A repeat of that episode is called for.  We will earn the right to be taken seriously if and when an American President has his naval commander say, upon finding pirate ships, what Adm. George Dewey said upon entering Manila Bay in 1898:  “You may fire when ready, Gridley.”

John C. Wohlstetter is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a trustee of the Hudson Institute, author of The Long War Ahead and the Short War Upon Us, and founder of the issues blog Letter From the CapitolSM.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Congress to Hold Hearing on American Muslims; Protest Planned

WASHINGTON (AP) Mar 6, 2011 -- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says affiliates of al-Qaida are radicalizing some American Muslims and that he plans to hold hearings on the threat they pose to the U.S.

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York tells CNN's "State of the Union" that he sees an international movement with elements in the United States of Muslims becoming more radical and identifying with terrorists.

A Minnesota Democrat, Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the House, says that while it's proper to investigate radicalization, he thinks it is wrong to single out a religious minority.

On Sunday, groups opposed to King's hearings plan to rally in New York. President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser will speek on the administration's approach to countering domestic radicalization.