This Needed To Be Done

Yesterday CBN News posted an article about President Trump’s visit to the United Nations.

The article reports:

On Monday, President Donald Trump made history with a big push for the United Nations to truly focus its attention on global religious liberty

On the first day of a three-day scheduled visit during the UN’s General Assembly, the President’s big focus was a meeting about the worldwide persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians.

The event called a “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom,” was attended by key evangelical leaders including Franklin Graham, Paula White, Jentezen Franklin, Tim Clinton, and Cissie Graham Lynch. The president was introduced by Vice President Mike Pence.

President Trump began his remarks by saying, “The United States is founded on the principle that our rights don’t come from government, they come from God.”

He said the facts are clear that 80 percent of the world doesn’t enjoy the same protection for religious freedom that US citizens enjoy.

Trump said it was an “urgent moral duty” for world leaders to stop crimes against faith.

“The United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution, to stop the crimes against prisoners of faith, to release prisoners of conscience,” Trump said.

The Trump administration has hosted annual meetings on the topic in Washington, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during this year’s event that he would create an international alliance dedicated to the issue.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission includes the following members: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Pakistan. In most of these countries, religious freedom is an impossible dream. In South Africa, white farmers are being murdered and their land taken. This is the United Nations President Trump is working with. I admire his effort, but I believe that the United Nations has become so corrupt that they are no longer an organization capable of working toward either peace or freedom. They need to be kicked out of New York City and dissolved.

 

Why Immigration Matters

Immigration with assimilation is a wonderful thing. Immigration without assimilation is a threat to the national sovereignty of the country involved. Massive immigration without assimilation will eventually change the public policies of the country involved. We are currently seeing that change in Britain.

National Review posted an article today about the case of Asia Bibi. The article was written by Douglas Murray.

The article reports:

When I wrote The Strange Death of Europe, I wanted to highlight the sheer scale of change that immigration brings. Some people might be happy with it, others unhappy: but to pretend that the change doesn’t occur, or won’t occur, or isn’t very interesting so please move along has always seemed an error to me. For instance, as I noted then, an internal document from the Ministry of Defence that leaked a few years back said that Britain would no longer be able to engage militarily in a range of foreign countries because of “domestic” factors. It takes a moment to absorb this. We’re used to wondering about how immigration changes domestic politics. But foreign policy as well?

All of this is to say that the latest news from the U.K. is both thoroughly predictable and deeply disturbing. Readers of National Review will be familiar with the case of Asia Bibi. She is the Christian woman from Pakistan who has been in prison on death row for the last eight years. Her “crime” is that a neighbor accused her of “blasphemy.”

Because it is not safe for Ms. Bibi to remain in Pakistan because of her Christian faith, she is seeking asylum in various western countries. Britain has stated that it will deny Ms. Bibi asylum.

The article reports:

But today there are reports that the British government has said that it will not offer asylum to Asia Bibi. The reason being “security concerns” — that weasel term now used by all officialdom whenever it needs one last reason to avoid doing the right thing. According to this report, the government is concerned that if the U.K. offered asylum to Bibi it could cause “unrest among certain sections of the community.” And which sections would that be? Would it be Anglicans or atheists who would be furious that an impoverished and severely traumatized woman should be given shelter in their country? Of course not. The “community” that the British government will be scared of is the community that comes from the same country that has tortured Asia Bibi for the last eight years.

The article concludes:

In any case, if it is true that the British government has declined to offer Asia Bibi asylum for this reason, then it should lead to a huge national and international outcry. Among other things, it suggests that the British government has got its priorities exactly the wrong way around. For it is not Asia Bibi who should not be in Britain. It is anyone from the “communities” who would not accept Asia Bibi being in Britain who should not be in the country. Though I wouldn’t expect any British politician to express that simple truth any time soon.

Immigration without assimilation is not a good thing for any country.

 

When Justice Takes A Vacation

No, this is not an article about either Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen. This is an article about former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan.

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported:

A federal judge declined to give jail time to former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan Tuesday, saying he has “suffered enough” at the hands of politicians “at the highest levels of government.” In addition, the Department of Justice said it did not find any evidence that supported criminal charges.

…Judge Tanya Chutkin gave Imran three months of supervised release. Imran’s attorney had hoped to avoid the supervision, indicating Imran wanted to go back to Pakistan: “By ending this today, you will allow Hina to build her family wherever she chooses and allow Imran to visit his father’s grave and secure his legacy,” the attorney said.

The lawyer, former Hillary Clinton aide Chris Gowen, said Imran was motivated by love for his father, who was dying in Virginia when Imran flew to Pakistan. Imran, he said, was in a “panic” to get money to urgently build a charity hospital, described in court as a “women’s shelter.” He described the urgent moves as “securing his father’s legacy.”

Well, I guess everyone is entitled to their version of the story.

The article continues:

The story is at odds with a 2009 Pakistani newspaper article, police reports and lawsuits in Pakistan, as well as interviews. Those allege Imran tried to cut others out of a fraud-plagued real estate deal and secure a massive inheritance in the form of a major real estate complex, known as a “colony.”

A dozen farmers accused Imran and his father of stealing their land and subdividing it to build the development. The 2009 article said that Imran used political “muscle” stemming from his job in Congress to attempt to frame his alleged victims. Later, Faisalabad Agricultural University faculty apparently paid for some of those plots, but said that they, too, were ripped off. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, a university professor and president of the faculty association, told TheDCNF that Imran and his father refused to turn over the deeds and that in January 2017, Imran cautioned them that he “has got powerful political connections.”

In addition to two separate groups of victims, the Awans had two partners in this land deal — Rashid Minhas and Shabbir Ahmed — both of whom were allegedly cut out of the partnership. Minhas said that when he went out of town, they seized his share of the proceeds. Ahmed’s widow, Bushra Bibi, said in the 2009 article that, immediately after a car crash killed both Ahmed and the Awans’ mother, Imran threatened her with “dire consequences” to force her to give up her share, and framed her brother-in-law. A support letter submitted by a former aide to Rep. Robert Wexler seemed to contradict the widow’s own statements, claiming “Imran would send money every month to the widow and children of the driver to help take care of them.”

As if that were not enough, let’s look at some of the past antics of Mr. Awan.

In July, The Daily Caller reported the following:

A secret memo marked “URGENT” detailed how the House Democratic Caucus’s server went “missing” soon after it became evidence in a cybersecurity probe. The secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”

In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

The July article in The Daily Caller might shed some light on what just happened:

Eighteen months after the evidence was recounted in the urgent memo, prosecution appears to have stalled for reasons not publicly explained. Imran is in court July 3 for a possible plea deal in the bank fraud case. Gohmert said the FBI has refused to accept evidence demonstrating alleged House misconduct, and some witnesses with first-hand knowledge say the bureau has not interviewed them.

Let’s bring a little common sense into this. Mr. Awan had access to a large number of computers of Democrat House members. In some cases he had their passwords. He was aware of everything that went on in their computers and quite likely made copies of much of the information. Might there be some information people high up in our government are keeping from the American public? Is this another example of injustice in the Washington Swamp?

Common Sense Is Slowing Arriving In America Regarding The United Nations

Yesterday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the United States will be withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Some of the current members of the Human Rights Council are Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. The Human Rights Council does not have a history or actually protecting human rights.

The following is from Wikipedia, but still is noteworthy:

Since its creation in 2006—the Council had resolved almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined. The 45 resolutions comprised almost half (45.9%) of all country-specific resolutions passed by the Council, not counting those under Agenda Item 10 (countries requiring technical assistance).[1] From 1967 to 1989 the UN Security Council adopted 131 resolutions directly addressing the Arab–Israeli conflict. In early Security Council practice, resolutions did not directly invoke Chapter VII. They made an explicit determination of a threat, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, and ordered an action in accordance with Article 39 or 40. Resolution 54 determined that a threat to peace existed within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter, reiterated the need for a truce, and ordered a cease-fire pursuant to Article 40 of the Charter. Although the phrase “Acting under Chapter VII” was never mentioned as the basis for the action taken, the chapter’s authority was being used.

One thing to consider when looking at how the United Nations began and where it is now is the creation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1969. In 2011, this group was renamed the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation. The original charter of the organization emphasized the goal of “revitalizing Islam’s pioneering role in the world.” The group consists of 57 members, including Sunni and Shia states. Its membership is not limited to Arab states. This group has become a major power bloc in the United Nations and bears much of the responsibility for the anti-democratic turn the United Nations has taken. The United Nations no longer supports freedom–it has become a place where dictators can parade as great leaders while their people are starving or imprisoned.

Leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council is the right thing to do. The next step is to leave the United Nations entirely.

Ignoring A Major Story

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article which reveals how biased our mainstream media has become. If you depend on the mainstream media for your news, the following events may come as a surprise to you.

The article lists the timeline on the scandal involving the Information Technology specialists working for many of the Democrats in Congress. This is the timeline (the story has been covered from the beginning by The Daily Caller):

  • August 1GOP Rep: House IT Scandal Among ‘All-Time Congressional Scandals’ Of Last 30 Years.” That time frame would take things back to before the infamous House Bank scandal, which ended the careers of dozens of Congresspersons who routinely wrote checks despite having insufficient funds in their House Bank accounts to cover them. Of the 22 congresspersons singled out for particularly egregious abuse in this scandal (and although, to be clear, many other congresspersons engaged in the practice), 18 were Democrats.
  • August 3“Florida Congressman Pays Girlfriend’s Family, Money Launderer For Unexplained Work.” If it involves Florida and political corruption, you almost have to know that the name of Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was one a federal judge until he was impeached and convicted by the House and Senate, respectively, in 1989, will come up. In this instance, Hastings allegedly “used his taxpayer-funded office to pay high salaries to a convicted money launderer, as well as Hastings’s girlfriend and her daughter, and the Florida politician won’t say what kind of work the convicted money launder(er) does.” This is potentially relevant to the Imran Awan case because it “raise(s) questions about how common it is for members of Congress to place ‘ghost employees’ on the payroll” — an allegation which potentially applies to Awan’s vastly overpaid relatives.
  • August 4“DWS: Imran Awan Is The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest, Most Wonderful Human Being I’ve Ever Known In My Life.” This item by Jim Treacher, whose penetrating sarcasm is a national treasure, isn’t newsworthy by itself, but it does link to a Broward County (FL) Sun Sentinel item where Wasserman Schultz ridicules the notion that Awan was trying to flee the U.S. when he was arrested at Dulles Airport after having transferred about $300,000 to an account or accounts in Pakistan. If a Republican congressman made such a claim about an aide in a similar situation, the late-night leftist activists posing as comedians would be all over it.
  • August 4 — “Wasserman Schultz Says Laptop She Sought To Keep From Police Was Awan’s, Not Hers.” Imagine that: After resisting police efforts to seize the laptop based on issues relating to whether it belongs to a “member” (of Congress), Wasserman Schultz has now totally changed her tune, claiming that, in reporter Luke Rosiak’s words, “it was Imran’s laptop but purchased using taxpayer funds from her office,” and that, in her words, “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.”
  • August 5Jeb Bush Just RIPPED Debbie Wasserman Schultz Over The House IT Scandal.” What Bush said or didn’t say isn’t nearly as important as the should-be-obvious point that if someone like Chuck Schumer or Andrew Cuomo was “ripping” a Republican involved in a scandal like this, you’d have to rent a major hotel meeting room to accommodate the establishment media horde which would be hanging on their every word instead of ignoring the successful governor of one of the nation’s largest states.
  • August 8“Grassley Seeks Immigration Files For Pakistani Suspects In House IT Probe.” Yes, “suspects” is plural: “the immigration files were requested for … (Imran Awan’s) wife, Hina Alvi, his brothers Abid and Jamal, sister-in-law Natalia Sova and friend Rao Rabbas. All are suspects in the criminal investigation, which became public in February.”
  • August 17“Two Former Wasserman Schultz IT Aides Indicted For Conspiracy Against US.”
  • August 18“Media Ignores Indictment Of Wassermann Schultz IT Aide.” How often does the actual indictment of criminal arrested on serious charges while potentially facing far more serious charges relating to a congressional scandal get totally ignored by the establishment press? I’m sorry, I meant to ask how often that happens if the person involved is or is associated with a Republican or conservative. Answer: almost never.
  • August 22“Dem Rep Dodges Questions On Arrested House IT Staffer.” New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke “agreed last year to sign away $120,000 of missing computer equipment for the two former IT aides who authorities now believe stole the gear from Congress,” and “refused to answer questions” from a reporter about Awan.
  • August 24“DWS ‘Islamophobia’ Claim Prompts Angered Marine To Go Public On Awans.” Yes, Wasserman Schultz and Awan’s Bill Clinton-connected lawyer are claiming that the matter is of no substance, and that it’s really about “Islamophobia.” It’s really hard to blame the Marine involved for getting extremely angry over this when he sees someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and protect this country’s interest so obviously demonstrate that she cares about neither.

Isn’t this story newsworthy?

The Cost Of Political Correctness

Breitbart is reporting today that Britain is prepared to deport four Pakistani men who hold dual citizenship in the U.K. and Pakistan. The men have fought the deportation claiming that they were the victims of prejudice against Muslims. The truth is very different.

The article reports:

The Rochdale gang to which they belonged was convicted in 2012 of preying on girls as young as 13 in the northern town, plying them with drink and drugs before they were “passed around” for sex.

 Mr. Ahmed is currently serving 22 years for preying on vulnerable teenagers on the street of Rochdale, as well as for 30 child rapes on a young Asian girl he treated as a “possession” for more than a decade. Adil Khan, 47, Abdul Rauf, 48, and Abdul Aziz, 46, have been released on license.

Mr. Justice McCloskey, president of the immigration and asylum chamber of the upper tribunal, said: “The appellants were all many years older than their victims. In some cases girls were raped callously and viciously and in others they were forced to have sex with paying customers.

“The sentencing judge noted that some of the appellants acted to satiate their lust, others did so for financial gain and some had both motivations. All were condemned as having treated their victims as worthless and undeserving of basic respect.”

The judge added: “These offences were shocking, brutal and repulsive.”

As horrible as what they were doing is, it is not the whole story.

In September 2014, I posted an article about the problems with this group of Pakistanis preying on young girls.

That article included the following statements:

The Rotherham scandal and a series of cases in towns including Rochdale highlighted how evidence of Pakistani men targeting white girls for abuse was repeatedly played down for fear of accusations of racism.

Mr Danczuk (Simon Danczuk, who helped expose a pattern of grooming of white teenage girls by men from a Pakistani background in Rochdale, where he is the Labour MP) said the elements of Pakistani political culture itself were partly to blame for the cover-up.

“There are cultural issues around the way politics are done in the Asian community which have to change,” he said.

He said he had personally come under pressure from Asian councillors and members of the community for speaking out as well as being warned by prominent figures in his party.

He pointed to the way in which two Muslim councillors in Rochdale had provided character references for one of the perpetrators of the Rochdale abuse.

Politics are done differently in Pakistan, it is a cultural difference we have imported some of that into some of these northern towns and cities and I think we have to face up to the fact that we can’t carry on doing politics like that.

“It is not healthy and the direct consequence is that we end up having to tackle issues like has been faced in Rotherham.”

He described it as “a looking after your own” within the Asian community which other politicians had accepted.

So the rape of these teenage girls was played down in the name of sensitivity to another culture. What garbage! The actions of these men continued long past when they should have been stopped–because of racial sensitivity. Does this not perfectly illustrate the folly of political correctness? These young girls were subjected to horrific things because someone was afraid of being labeled racist or culturally insensitive. Have we lost our minds? Western culture does not condone the rape of young girls. In Islam, the marriage to a child was perpetrated by the founder of the religion. There are differences in cultures, and we need to recognize those differences before we find ourselves allowing things that no one should allow.

How Do You Identify A Terrorist?

The DC Caller posted an article today about the attack on students at Ohio State University this morning. The attacker was Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali refugee who came to America (after fleeing to Pakistan from Somalia in 2007) in 2014. As a refugee, he was granted legal permanent status. This morning he drove a car into a group of people and exited the car, attacking people with a knife. He was killed by a police officer during his attack.

The article reports:

Furthermore, “The Lantern” — OSU’s campus newspaperran an interview with Artan just a few months ago, in which he criticized the school for not having Muslim prayer rooms on campus.

“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media,” he stated. “I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be.”

“I don’t blame them,” he cotinued. “It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it, and it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable.”

How do we vet refugees so that this does not happen again? How many ‘lone wolf’ incidents do we need before we see a pattern? What role should the government play in keeping American citizens safe?

Sometimes You Wonder About The ‘What If’s’

The U.K. Daily Mail posted a story yesterday (and updated it today) about a Muslim man who was planning to go to Disneyland with his family, but was stopped from boarding his flight and his visa to America revoked. It seems that there was a Facebook page set up by someone who lived as his address claiming links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The article reports:

When asked about the account, Mr Mahmood believed hackers may have been to blame, adding: ‘That could be anything, maybe a mistake.’

He said: ‘It is not my son’s Facebook page. It has a similar name, but not the same as my son’s. 

‘The page is also linked to our home address and that could be coincidence. I don’t know why it is linked there. The name is not even the same. The authorities must have linked it simply because of the name Hamza.’

It was understood that the wives of Mr Mahmood and his brother had stayed at home for the trip because one of them was ill and one of the children did not have a valid passport.

But it is now believed that Mr Mahmood’s wife was in Pakistan at the time.

The family say were given no explanation why their visas, organised six weeks before the flight, were suddenly cancelled at the last minute and have now lost the £11,000 they had saved for the holiday.

It has also been suggested the move by US authorities could be due to Mr Mahmood’s brother having been refused entry to Israel eight years ago, but no official explanation has been given by the US Embassy.

Obviously, I have no way of knowing if the man is actually linked to terrorism or not, but I would rather inconvenience one family than let a terrorist into America. If the Facebook page was a joke done by Mr. Mohmood’s son, it was a joke done in extremely bad taste. It was also a joke that had unintended consequences.

I am sorry for the disappointment that this family experienced, but considering the contents of the Facebook page, I don’t think they should have been allowed to come to America until that was explained.

The Nobel Peace Prize Gets One Right

The Nobel Peace Prize committee has made some interesting choices in the past. Generally speaking, they have often considered politics rather than substance. This year, however, I think they have gotten it right.

The Washington Post posted a story today about the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.

The article reports:

Malala Yousafzai, who at 17 became the youngest Nobel laureate, won the prize exactly two years and one day after she was nearly killed by a bullet to the head during a Taliban assassination attempt in her native Swat Valley. She was targeted for her outspoken advocacy of female education — a cause she has championed relentlessly ever since, in spite of further threats.

Speaking from the British city of Birmingham on Friday, she reveled in the committee’s decision to share her prize with an Indian, 60-year-old Kailash Satyarthi, who has spent decades crusading against child slavery.

Congratulations to both of these brave women for the causes each one supports.

The Dangers Of Political Correctness

The story that recently came out of Rotherham England is extremely upsetting. The U.K. Telegraph posted a story on Sunday about the sexual abuse of at least 1,400 children over 16 years. The fact that this continued over a sixteen-year period is horrendous. These children can never buy back their innocence. They will probably never fully recover from the damage that was done when the abuse continued for sixteen years without being addressed. The really scary fact here is that the authorities were hesitant to pursue reports of the abuse because they did not want to be called racists. That is truly sad. People in charge were afraid to stand up for justice because it might not be politically correct.

The article reports:

The Rotherham scandal and a series of cases in towns including Rochdale highlighted how evidence of Pakistani men targeting white girls for abuse was repeatedly played down for fear of accusations of racism.

Mr Danczuk (Simon Danczuk, who helped expose a pattern of grooming of white teenage girls by men from a Pakistani background in Rochdale, where he is the Labour MP) said the elements of Pakistani political culture itself were partly to blame for the cover-up.

“There are cultural issues around the way politics are done in the Asian community which have to change,” he said.

He said he had personally come under pressure from Asian councillors and members of the community for speaking out as well as being warned by prominent figures in his party.

He pointed to the way in which two Muslim councillors in Rochdale had provided character references for one of the perpetrators of the Rochdale abuse.

Politics are done differently in Pakistan, it is a cultural difference we have imported some of that into some of these northern towns and cities and I think we have to face up to the fact that we can’t carry on doing politics like that.

“It is not healthy and the direct consequence is that we end up having to tackle issues like has been faced in Rotherham.”

He described it as “a looking after your own” within the Asian community which other politicians had accepted.

This is the danger in allowing an immigrant population to settle in a country and not assimilate. We have the same problem in America. I am not opposed to legal immigration, but when you bring in a population and do not teach them how America (or Britain) works, you may find that population doing things that are considered illegal here.

The role of women in Britain and America is very different from the role of women in Muslim countries. We need to make sure that young girls and women who live in America and Britain are treated with the respect the law grants them. In Muslim countries, under Sharia Law, women have no legal standing. Rape is not rape unless a woman has male witnesses to confirm that it was a rape. A women can be jailed or killed for being raped in a Muslim country. We do not need those laws or that attitude here. Immigrants should be welcomed, but they should also be required to understand that all citizens have rights in America and Britain–not just male citizens.

 

Securing The Border Is A National Security Issue

The Blaze posted an article yesterday reminding us that all of the people rushing across the southern border of the United States are not fleeing violence in South America–some are hoping to create violence here.

The article reports:

“We have limited resources,” said the agent (a Texas Border Patrol agent), who was not authorized to speak publicly. “It’s frustrating for all of us and there’s no doubt that we have OTMs [Other Than Mexicans] coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and other parts of the world that we are very concerned with — these guys won’t be turning themselves into Border Patrol like the family units or children. I expect we’ll see more the OTMs of special interest this year and next, now that they know they can get in easier and they won’t be turned back home.”

Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, is also spoken in parts of Afghanistan and India. People coming from these parts of the world are considered persons of special interest because of their potential connections to extremist groups in those regions, the agent said.

“We’ve found Korans, prayer rugs and many other unusual items at the border that certainly raise concern,” the agent said.

How many Americans will die before the current White House does something to close our borders?

My Heartfelt Sympathies For The Families Involved

My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who were on Flight 370. It just seems as if there is an awful lot we just don’t know.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today that throws a whole new light on the mystery. It seems that the two Rolls Royce engines on the airplane automatically transmitted data to Rolls Royce, on the ground, at 30 minute intervals.

The article reports:

It has now been revealed by American investigators that, according to Rolls Royce, the engines’ transmissions continued for four hours after the airplane disappeared. The pilot(s) or hijackers could have, and apparently did, turn off the plane’s transponder, but they couldn’t turn off, and likely didn’t even know about, the automatic transmission of data from the engines to Rolls Royce.

In four hours, depending on air speed, the plane could have flown just about anywhere–even, potentially, to Pakistan. While the mystery remains impenetrable for the time being, it is no longer a safe assumption that the airplane crashed at all. No one, presumably, would hijack or divert an airplane, fly it for four hours undetected, only to ultimately crash it into the sea. Not on purpose, anyway.

Somewhere there is a deserted airfield with a very large plane sitting on it. However, even that explanation makes no sense. I have no answers–only prayers for friends and family members of those aboard the plane.

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Why We Still Need Guantanamo

One of the reasons cited for closing the prison at Guantanamo has been that the terrorists held there should be repatriated to their home countries. In theory that is a great idea–why should we pay the kind of money we are paying to provide soccer fields, special food, and flat screen televisions for terrorists? The jails in their home countries are much more in line with the punishment they deserve. Unfortunately, there are some problems with that idea. These problems were illustrated by some recent news stories.

Reuters has posted two stories recently about jailbreaks in Pakistan and Iraq where the Taliban freed terrorists inmates. (July 30, and July 23)

The July 30 story is about a jail break in Pakistan where the Taliban freed 250 prisoners. That article reported:

The attack in the city of Dera Ismail Khan showed the ability of the al Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban to strike at the heart of Pakistan’s heavily guarded prison system and walk away with dozens of senior Taliban fighters and commanders.

The overnight assault on the Central Prison took place despite reports that regional officials had received intelligence days, if not weeks, ago suggesting such an attack was imminent.

Officials blamed a combination of negligence and lack of communication among Pakistan’s many security agencies, but some suggested there may have been a degree of insider help.

The July 23 story deals with an attack on two Iraqi prisons that freed 500 inmates. The July 23 story reports:

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, formed earlier this year through a merger of al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria and Iraq, said it had stormed Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib jail and another, some 20 km (12 miles) north of capital, after months of preparation.

Monday’s attacks came exactly a year after the leader of al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, launched a “Breaking the Walls” campaign that made freeing its imprisoned members a top priority, the group said in a statement.

Sunni Islamist militants have in recent months been regaining momentum in their insurgency against Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government, which came to power after the U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

The group said it had deployed suicide attackers, rockets, and 12 car bombs, killing 120 Iraqi guards and SWAT forces in the attacks in Taji, north of Baghdad, and Abu Ghraib, the prison made notorious a decade ago by photographs showing abuse of prisoners by U.S. soldiers.

One interesting aspect of the Iraqi prison break is contained in the first sentence of the above quote, “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, formed earlier this year through a merger of al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria and Iraq…” This is what has happened in Iraq because we did not negotiate a withdrawal that included enough American forces to prevent a civil war.

But beyond that, let’s look at what happened. Al Qaeda is reconstructing itself because there is a very limited American presence (and thus, influence) in the areas of Iraq and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda needs foot soldiers–the leaders are somewhat expendable. The foot soldiers carry out the suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. The leaders of Al Qaeda do not do a lot of the work–they simply generate propaganda and supervise the suicide missions. As long as there are young men and women who are willing to undertake these suicide missions, the missions will continue. Al Qaeda has claimed that the attacks on the prisons in Pakistan and Iraq freed 750 prisoners. In those prison attacks, Al Qaeda just gained 750 foot soldiers. No wonder our embassies in the Middle East are shut down.

How much of this story have you seen in the American media?

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This Really Does Not Sound As If It Were Handled Well

I will admit to being more than slightly paranoid. I live near Boston, and what happened at the Boston Marathon was a serious wake-up call. With this is mind, I am not happy about the way a recent event was handled.

CBS Boston reported yesterday that seven people were caught trespassing near the Quabbin Reservoir. The Quabbin Reservoir is the water supply for Boston. The trespassers were Pakistani.

The article reports:

State Police say there were no warrants or advisories on any of the individuals and “there was no evidence that the seven were committing any crime beyond the trespassing.”

All seven were allowed to leave and will be summonsed to court for trespassing. The FBI is investigating and routine checks of public water supplies have been increased following the incident.

I hope that this is not the whole story. Pakistan is a country heavily infiltrated by Al Qaeda–it is known for fomenting terrorism. A Pakistani scientist is probably the person most responsible for Iran’s progress toward a nuclear bomb. To allow these people to leave and assume that they will show up in court later seems very naive. I would be willing to let them leave if we tapped their phones and cell phones and put ankle bracelets on them. Otherwise, they may somehow disappear between now and the time of their court appearance.

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The History Of An Unfortunate Situation

On Wednesday I reported on the fate of Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the United States in the raid on Osama Bin Laden, who has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for conspiring against the state (rightwinggranny.com).

There is some further information on this story. The January 28, 2012, New York Times reported that:

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has confirmed publicly for the first time that an imprisoned doctor in Pakistan was working with the C.I.A. to gain access to Osama bin Laden’s compound in the months before American troops killed Bin Laden last May.  

What was Secretary Panetta thinking? In the past, the United States would have had the decency to get Dr. Afridi out of Pakistan before his cover was blown. The doctor was not allowed to be present in the court that sentenced him or allowed to defend himself.

An article in the American Spectator posted today points out:

A resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council after 9/11 required member states to assist in bringing Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network to justice.

Does either the United States or the United Nations have the character to intervene in this situation?

This is the administration that gave Hollywood unprecedented access to Defense Department information to make a movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden (which coincidentally will be released shortly before the Presidential election). Someone needs to provide the entire administration with a detailed lecture on the proper handling of classified information.

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Things That Make You Wonder (Although Some Of Us Stopped Wondering A Long Time Ago)

Fox News is reporting today that Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the United States in the raid on Osama Bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison on Wednesday for conspiring against the state.

The article reports:

Shakil Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden’s presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad where U.S. commandos killed the Al Qaeda chief last May in a unilateral raid. The operation outraged Pakistani officials, who portrayed it as an act of treachery by a supposed ally.

Wait a minute. Hasn’t the President been claiming all along that we were never sure that Osama Bin Laden was actually in the compound?

The article at Fox News reminds us:

On Tuesday, a Senate panel approved a foreign aid budget for next year that slashes U.S. assistance to Pakistan by more than half and threatens further reductions if it fails to open the NATO supply routes.

American lawmakers are also frustrated by suspicions that Pakistan is aiding militants who use its territory to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan — allegations Islamabad has rejected. There is also lingering resentment over the fact that bin Laden was found hiding deep inside Pakistan.

But the U.S. cannot afford to turn its back on Pakistan entirely.

Pakistan is seen as vital to negotiating a peace deal with the Afghan Taliban and their allies given the country’s historical ties with the militants.

The Pakistani government is also keen to repair relations with the U.S., partly to receive over a billion dollars in American aid it needs to fill out its budget as it looks ahead to national elections scheduled for 2013. But patching up ties is politically sensitive in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant.

Aside from the obvious questions surrounding the arrest of Dr. Afridi, why in the world are giving major amounts of money to a country that obviously does not support us? Also, why in the world are we negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban rather than defeating them?

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/23/pakistani-doctor-who-helped-us-in-bin-laden-raid-sentenced-to-prison/#ixzz1vhmujw1A

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Sometimes I Just Don’t Like Hearing The Facts

I am ready to pull our troops out of Afghanistan. If the government doesn’t want us there, why should we stay? I suspect that right now most Americans would agree. But–there are inconvenient things called facts. Marc Thiessen points out a lot of very inconvenient consequences of leaving Afghanistan in a Washington Post article he posted yesterday.

Mr. Thiessen points out five problems with leaving Afghanistan:

1. We cannot conduct the drone war against Al Qaeda in Pakistan without bases in Afghanistan.

2. When American pressure on Al Qaeda in Pakistan is lessened, Al Qaeda can step up its efforts to destabilize Pakistan and gain control of the country’s nuclear weapons.

3. Afghanistan will again become a sanctuary for Al Qaeda.

4. Al Qaeda would claim a victory in Afghanistan and be encouraged to plan further terrorism attacks on America.

5. Iran would be made stronger by our withdrawal.

Please follow the link to the Washington Post to read the entire article. I still don’t like the idea of remaining in Afghanistan, but I don’t like the consequences of leaving either.

 

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Does This Spending Represent Your Priorities ?

CBN News posted an article today listing some of the things that our government is currently spending money on. Remember, this is a time when we are borrowing one out of every four dollars we spend and Congress is saying that it is impossible to cut spending without seriously hurting certain sectors or our economy.

Please follow the link above to read all of the article, but here are a few highlights:

Like the $120 million for federal retirement benefits to retirees who are already dead. Patrick Knudsen, The Heritage Foundation’s senior federal budget expert, pointed showed CBN News a recent example.

“After a retiree had died, his son continued cashing his checks for 37 years. And it didn’t stop until 2008 when the son himself died,” he said.

…More federal funding in the amount of $593,000 went to a primate research center to study where in chimpanzees’ brains they get the idea to throw their feces.

…A Virginia university received $55,000 to study Jordanian students’ water pipe smoking habits.

…A new grant of $176,000 joined $350,000 already spent to study how cocaine hurts or helps the sex drive of Japanese quail.

Some other gems:

…A museum of magic received $147,000 to study the audiences of magic shows.

…More than $550,000 of U.S. taxes went to the production of a documentary on how rock bands contributed to the fall of the Soviet empire.

…A television production of a Pakistani version of PBS’ “Sesame Street” has already cost tax payers $10 million and $20 million more has already been budgeted.

…IPad 2s were purchased for $96,000 for students in Maine, where 96 percent of their parents said the cost wasn’t worth it.

…Nevada’s Western Folklife Center received $50,000 for cowboys and cowgirls to gather once a year to recite cowboy poetry.

Somehow, I think we can find some room for spending cuts in these programs.

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Some Ideas Are Not Compatible With Freedom

Today’s U.K. Daily Mail posted a story about Glasgow-based Saif Rehman, 31, and Uzma Naurin, 30, from New York, murdered in Pakistan earlier this month.

The article reports:

Police in the country say Miss Naurin’s taxi driver father, 58-year-old Muzaffar Hussain, is being viewed as a chief suspect in the shootings.

The family of the bride was not happy about the couple’s marriage, and the murder is believed to be an ‘honor killing.’

Mr. Hussain had complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital. His daughter, Miss Naurin, rushed to the hospital to see him. The article relates the story:

While in hospital, Mr Hussain is said to have asked his driver – ‘Adeel’ – to take her daughter and son-in-law to Gujrat for a shopping trip. At around 5.30pm, Adeel received a call on his mobile phone, he stopped the car and got out – then moments later the gunmen pounced.  

Police investigating the killings later found Mr Hussain was no longer in hospital. Officers say he drove to the port city of Karachi in a rental car and boarded a flight for the U.S.

Mr Hussain, who lives in a £250,000 house in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his wife Munir Begun, 55, insisted he did not know who had killed their daughter and her husband.

The good news here is that at least Pakistan is regarding the murder as a crime. Unfortunately, honor killing is an acceptable part of devout Islam. If a family member is behaving in a way that is considered to bring shame on the family, the family must kill that family member.

The number of honor killings in the United States has risen in recent years as the number of Muslims living in the country increases. I am not opposed to Muslims living in America, and I am not opposed to Muslims practicing their religion in America, but everyone in America, regardless of religion, needs to obey the laws of the land. I hope that Mr. Hussain, if he is guilty, receives the full penalty of the law in Pakistan for murdering his daughter and her husband.

 

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Some Comments From Someone Who Is There

This entry was posted on Power Line on November 9. I delayed in posting it because I was waiting for permission from the writer. I am posting a small amount of what he said, please follow the above link to read the rest.

Pete Hegseth, founder of Vets For Freedom, is now posted to Afghanistan, where he is training Afghans as well as American and coalition troops. His reports on the situation there are as knowledgeable as any you can find. Here is his latest dispatch, hot off the press:

Pakistan. With haven across the border, the insurgency is literally able to regenerate itself faster than we can degrade it. Likewise, conditions have not yet been made inhospitable for insurgents in either Afghanistan or Pakistan, so insurgents flow back and forth. Insurgent leadership operates openly in many parts of Pakistan, training, equipping, and indoctrinating young fighters to join the so-called “jihad.” Insurgent safe haven in, and support from, Pakistan is the single largest inhibitor to success and stability in Afghanistan.

Afghan Government. As I noted in previous emails, few Afghans view the administration of President Karzai favorably—undermining the national government’s ability to be seen as legitimate. More damningly, the government’s ability to project positive influence to the local level remains minimal. Basic local governmental functions—such as dispute resolution, swift justice, good education, and land management—are going unmet, providing a tailor-made opportunity for the Taliban to fill the void.

Taliban. Speaking of the Taliban, they have proven to be a very resilient, adaptive, and ideologically dedicated bunch. They’re not giants, and not liked by most Afghans. But their militants—along with regional shadow governments—remain potent and influential. The way I see it, the Taliban wouldn’t kill the head of the “High Peace Council” unless they felt fairly confident they don’t need to negotiate with the Coalition or Afghan government. We’re killing lots of them, but they still believe time, history, and God is on their side.

Timeline. The perception of our pending exit looms ever larger, marginalizing our influence by the day. Afghans are already starting to look through, and past, the Coalition (e.g. Karzai saying he’d side with Pakistan if they went to war with us) and hoarding supplies, weapons, and equipment for whatever is coming next (i.e. “gettin’ while the gettin’s good).

Population Response. The people (especially non-Pashtuns) don’t like the Taliban and don’t want them to come back. But, at the same time, they’re quietly terrified that the Taliban’s return is inevitable (and arming themselves accordingly). I’ve yet to meet a single Afghan who believes the situation here will improve once we leave. My orbit is admittedly limited, but I regularly speak with Coalition and Afghan elements from across the country—mostly mid-to-low-level folks—and the answer is universally the same. Similarly, while impressive tactical gains have been made throughout the South, there is limited evidence that the population in those areas have truly shifted their longer-term allegiance to the Afghan government or security forces.

Coalition Warfare. 49 nations are involved in the Coalition—but only a handful contributes on a meaningful scale. This is not to indict the soldiers from the other 40+ countries—most would love to contribute more. Yet, national (political) caveats limit their locations, missions, and activities. These nations therefore become more of a hindrance than an asset; consuming time, energy, and resources that could be spent more effectively. This fact is the worst kept secret in Kabul.

Afghan Capabilities. The lack of education and level of ignorance in Afghanistan is staggering. Literally, only 1 in 10 men who join the Afghan National Army can write his own name, and only slightly more can count. Similarly, the origins of our effort here is an enigma to many Afghans. September 11th is burned in our brains, but is largely unknown to Afghans outside of large cities. That said, Afghans are not dumb—they are savvy, resourceful, and generous people. But they are also prone to conspiracy theories, propaganda, and rumors. It’s no wonder the Taliban are so effective in using local communications mechanisms to shape the narrative—portraying the war as imperial aggression rather than self-defense and support for democratic governance.

Afghan Security Force Viability. In previous emails I’ve discussed this topic in the context of funding and force size. Those critiques remain. However, time has increased my concern about the long-term viability of the force. At a recent press conference, Afghan security forces acknowledged that “their goal is to no longer defeat the insurgency, but to create capable security forces.” Similarly, there is a great deal of doubt—especially at the soldier level where new Afghan combat outposts are being established—whether Afghans will maintain the initiative or just abandon contentious postings when we leave.

Similarly, the lack of Afghan urgency is readily on display at our center. At the end of a recent partnered class (meaning both Coalition and Afghan), and following a robust and engaging discussion on insurgent groups, the hand of an Afghan student shot up. I called on him. He spoke and the interpreter translated—looking very embarrassed. Sheepishly the interpreter said, “he [the Afghan soldier] wants to know when he can go home [for the day].” It was 2:00pm.

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With Friends Like These…

I understand that diplomatic relations are complicated.  I also understand that diplomacy will never be one of my gifts.  But I also understand that having a weak President has put America at risk both now and in the future.  There is a lot to be said for being feared. Being liked is nice–not necessary–but nice.  Being feared prevents countries from doing things to you that will compromise your security and well being.

Today’s Financial Times reports that:

“The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” said one person in intelligence circles, referring to the Pakistani spy agency. The Chinese engineers were allowed to survey the wreckage and take photographs of it, as well as take samples of the special “stealth” skin that allowed the American team to enter Pakistan undetected by radar, he said.

That is not good news.  The article further reports that John Kerry, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, went to Pakistan two weeks after the helicopter was lost in the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden to get the tail section of the helicopter back.

The Chinese have mastered the art of ‘reverse engineering.’  Between that art and the amount of computer hacking they have done and are doing, they are advancing rapidly in the area of military technology.  The fact that the Pakistanis were willing to show them the tail section of this helicopter shows how much credibility America has lost in that area of the world and how much China has gained.  It is time for the current leadership of America to stand strong and take action that makes it clear that this behavior on the part of Pakistan is unacceptable.  It really is time to review our foreign aid policies.