US ‘suburbs more violent than Iraq’

US ‘suburbs more violent than Iraq’

By Jonathon Moran

November 07, 2006 02:32pm

Article from: AAP

 

MORE fighting goes on in parts of suburban US than Iraq, according to Australian filmmaker George Gittoes who has just finished a documentary set in a Miami “war zone”.

Gittoes’ latest feature, Rampage, contrasts life for a family living in the blue-collar community of Brown Sub, Miami, with ongoing fighting in Iraq.

“It is much worse in Miami than it is in Baghdad,” Gittoes said in Sydney today.

“There is a sense of people with guns, drug dealers lairing at you … and being there, I knew I was in a war zone.”

Rampage is the second in Gittoes trilogy of documentaries based on the war in Iraq.

It follows the success of 2004s Soundtrack to War, which depicted American soldiers and their music in Iraq.

The film will be released in cinemas around the world and Gittoes is expecting plenty of controversy.

“Even left-wing Americans … don’t want to recognise the mess they’ve got in their own backyard,” he said.

Gittoes has spent much of his career travelling the world, painting, filming and photographing wars in places such as Rwanda, Afghanistan, and East Timor.

“To me, this was just another war zone and it was in America,” he said.

Gittoes said there were similar stories to Rampage in Australia’s indigenous communities, although he said the task of translating that on the big screen would be difficult.

“The film that I’d like to make in Australia I couldn’t make,” he said.

“All of our politically correct laws and things wouldn’t let someone like me make a film like this in an Aboriginal community in Australia.”

The final film in the trilogy, Fearless, and will examine the impact of the Iraq war on the American soldiers who have fought there.

“It is about the difficulty of exit and how much the soldiers have changed and become hardened warriors and how much the people they’re fighting have changed as well,” he said.

Rampage opens nationally on November 30.

Folks, Let’s Talk Seriously About The War

Folks, Let’s Talk Seriously About The War
Terrorism Jeff Lukens
October 28, 2006
My 21-year-old son recently joined the Army reserves, and is now in basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He writes to tell me that his drill sergeants are telling him that, reservist or not, get ready to go to Iraq.He has no reason to doubt them. For my son, it is a reckoning he calmly accepts.

What can I say? He wants to serve his country, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

I’m just a regular guy like millions of people everywhere who love this country. I was in the Army years ago, but they never deployed me to a war zone. The thought of my son going into one sets me back a bit. When I think about the thousands of parents who have sons and daughters over there already, I get a bit choked. And when I think about those who have had their child die over there, I go beyond choked. God forbid . . . it could happen to my son too.

We’ve all heard fellow Americans badmouthing our country while military personnel overseas are risking their lives. They say they support the troops but they don’t support the war. Well, that’s baloney. It’s the same thing.

They say we shouldn’t question their patriotism either. Well, that’s baloney too. To actively root for our side to lose just so they can further their politics is more than unpatriotic. It’s criminal.

“The real reason for the Iraq invasion was that it was strategically necessary to influence the entire Middle East. The invasion was meant to show that we meant business in this war against al Qaeda.”

Let’s face it; many politicians, media people and others simply don’t care about this country. They don’t care about you or me, my son or your daughter. They’re not willing to make any sacrifices.

Folks, it’s us, the regular people who need to own the issue of the war on terror because we’re the only ones who are serious about fighting it.

We’ve all witnessed the political pretenders who say they voted for the Iraq war, but then have no problem when leaked classified information is used against it. Nothing is prohibited in their two-faced attempt to gain power, even when their tactics do our nation lasting harm.

The spin is that, by fighting terrorists, we somehow are the ones creating the terrorists. That thinking harkens back to the pre-9/11 days of waiting to be attacked before responding. What these people don’t understand is that our government’s most sacred duty is to protect the American people.

Think about it. After 9/11, there were just a few options open to us and all involved invading somebody. The only way to fight terrorism was to go on the offense and hit them so hard that they can’t hit back. And so we did. But invading Afghanistan alone was not enough to alter the root causes of terrorism.

The real reason for the Iraq invasion was that it was strategically necessary to influence the entire Middle East. The invasion was meant to show that we meant business in this war against al Qaeda.

Much complex analysis lay behind U.S. strategy, and much of its basis was too complex to present to the public. So, for right or wrong, WMD became the selling point for the invasion of Iraq.

The leaders in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have no doubt noticed the large presence of U.S. ground and air forces within easy striking distance of their countries. It no doubt is a major reason why they no longer support Al Qaeda, when they tolerated it – and even funded it – before.

So, now we have established a fledgling democracy in Iraq, and sectarian violence has become a problem. The government cannot be our ally if it is itself allied with terrorists. And terrorists are exactly what Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army are. We should’ve taken them out in 2004. Now we need to finish that job.

But this is a secondary issue. We cannot allow disappointments to turn to disillusionment about our reasons for engaging in this war. Poor decisions can surely make matters much worse.

Wavering members of congress have been calling for a timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq. This is all hot air in an attempt to score political points. They’ll say anything to get elected. Nowhere in the history of warfare has a nation pre-announced such a timetable to their enemies. It would be disastrous.

Whether democracy succeeds in Iraq is up to the Iraqi people, not us. But they are watching our domestic politics too, and many more may decide to side with our enemies based on what the “loyal opposition” in Washington is doing to undermine the war. We cannot afford such irresponsibility.

It is naive to think that by getting out of Iraq, we can spare ourselves from the clash between radical Islam and the rest of the world. With Iran next door moving steadily toward a nuclear bomb, the question now is whether we are going to remain serious about terrorism, or frivolously pretend it is no longer important.

It’s up to us, the ones with a personal stake in winning the war, to make our voices heard. We owe that to our nation’s future. And we owe it to our sons and daughters who wear its uniform.

Jeff Lukens writes engaging opinion columns from a fresh, conservative point of view. He is also a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets. He can be contacted through his website at www.jefflukens.com

Holding Islam to Account

Holding Islam to Account

Amil Imani

 

Islam has spawned many sects that are master practitioners of the art of double standards. As far as Muslims are concerned what is good for Muslims is not good for the non-Muslims; and, what is bad for Muslims is good for non-Muslims.

What complicates matters is that there is no way of knowing which of the dozens of at-each-other’s-throat sects is the legitimate Islam. As sooner as Muhammad died his religion of peace became a house of internal war: jockeying for power and leadership started, sects formed and splintered into sub-sects, and bloodletting began in earnest.

The internal infighting in Islam is presently playing in full color—in red—most dramatically, in the Iraqi theater. Shiite raid Sunni civilians, slaughter them like sheep, and toss their bodies like trash in the streets or the rivers. The Sunnis return the favor with just as much viciousness and savagery.

Question: if this is the way these Muslims treat each other, how would they deal with the infidels, when they have the chance?

 

Answer: these devoted followers of Muhammad would deal with the infidels exactly the way Muhammad did: behead the non-believers, take them as slaves to hold or sell, or make them pay back-breaking jazyyeh—pole taxes.

Some may object that writings like this are little more than hatemongering and fanning the fire that rages between Islam and the non-Islamic world. They may further flash the Islamic apologists’ few well-worn-out propaganda cards as evidence for their contention that Islam is not what its detractors claim.

Here are the few favorite cards:

* There is no compulsion in religion says the Quran—the full context is never shown.

* “Islam,” means “Peace,” so Islam is religion of peace.

* “For you, your religion, and for me, my religion,” Muhammad reportedly had said.

The Muslims and their apologists quickly run out of their few cards and the rest of the Islamic deck is all about intolerance, hatred, and violence toward the infidels and all others who are not true Muslims, even toward those who consider themselves as Muslims. Shiites, for instance, judge the Sunnis as traitors to Islam and Sunnis condemn the Shiites as heretics. Each side deems the other worthy of death and hellfire.

This internecine Islamic war of the religion of peace is not confined to the Shiite-Sunni divide. There are so many internal divisions within each side that listing and describing them comprehensively would be encyclopedic.

So, who is right? What are the facts about Islam and how does Islam impact the ever-shrinking village earth and its inhabitants? Admittedly, this is a huge question and cannot be answered satisfactorily in one article. However, some facts can be presented to help the reader decide.

There is no need to belabor the point that Islam is not and has never been a religion of peace. The word “Islam,” is derived from “taslim,” which means “submission,” while the term for “peace,” is “Solh.” Another derivation of the word “taslim,” is “salamat” which means “good health,” and so on.

Irrespective of what the term “Islam” may mean, the facts on the ground conclusively demonstrate Islam’s violent nature from its very inception. No need to go back to the time of Muhammad and examine the historical records. Just a few from contemporary events should make the point.

Here is a partial list: the savage Shiites-Sunnis bloodletting in Iraq; the barbarism of the resurging Taliban in Afghanistan; the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur; the Somalis’ killings; the Iranian mullahs’ murder of their own people and support of mischief abroad; the cross-border attack on Israel by Lebanese Hizbollah; the incessant terrorist acts of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatwa of the Palestinians against Israel; the bombing of Shiites mosques in Pakistan and the Shiites retaliation against easy innocent civilian targets.

Clearly, there is no place on the planet where Muslims reside that is in peace from the religion of peace. Spain, France, Holland, England Thailand, and Indonesia, have already been attacked while others such as Belgium have been threatened and sanctioned.

Stretching the benefit of the doubt beyond limits, one may believe that all these acts of horrors are committed by a small minority of thugs and radicals who happened to be Muslims.

Fine, let us ignore all those “fringes” for now: those who are giving Islam a bad reputation. And never mind Saudi Arabia, the cradle of barbarism fixed in formaldehyde since Islam’s inception. Also, let us overlook the dastardly Shiite fanatics presently ruling (ruining) the great nation of Iran. Iran Shiite Hitlerists are hell-bent on wiping Israel off the face of the planet while viciously devastating Iran’s own largest minority—the Baha’is; the people universally-recognized as law-abiding and peaceful.

Would someone account for what is happening in the “civilized” Islamic country of Egypt? The world owes Egypt a debt of gratitude for giving it the Muslim Brotherhood—the lead promoter of Sunni hatred toward the infidels with chapters and front organizations in much of the world. With typical Islamic hypocrisy, the Egyptian government claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed, when in actuality the Brotherhood holds twenty-five percent of the seats in the Egyptian parliament. The same country that gave the world vicious American killers like Al Zawahiri is the recipient of huge largess from the American taxpayer.

And the latest shameful action of the Egyptian government is the issuance of identity cards that requires listing of one’s religion. In order to be issued an ID card which is essential for just about any and all exercises of the rights of citizenship, the individual must list his religion as one of the three sanctioned faiths: Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. No one is allowed to leave the religious affiliation blank or list any other religion. Buddhists, Hindus, Baha’is or agnostics and atheists have either to lie and fake a religious affiliation or run the serious risk of having to survive as non-entities in the “crown jewel” of modern and moderate Islamic society.

These are the conditions on the ground wherever Islam rules. Violence of all forms is endemic to Islam and is not confined to any fringes that are oppressive, hateful of others and violent to the core.

The world must confront Islam and demand that it mends its ways in conformity with the Bill of Rights, where every man, woman, and child is fully entitled to equal treatment under the law, irrespective of any and all considerations.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. He maintains a website at http://amilimani.com

Against half-measures

Against half-measures
By Rich Lowry
Monday, November 6, 2006The recriminations over the Iraq War have long been raging, but now some of the war’s staunchest supporters have joined the blamefest. The list of what has gone wrong is long and varied, with liberal opponents of the war and conservative supporters all having their own ideologically congenial items. But if there’s one consistent lesson from our experience in Iraq, it is to avoid half-measures — go to war with more troops, more deadly force and more vigor rather than less. Muddling through and hoping to succeed with just barely enough resources, is a fool’s policy. As Napoleon said, “When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.” We took Baghdad, but never with the level of commitment to ensure it would stay taken in any form worth having. With apologies to Napoleon, if you are going to invade a country, invade a country. The Powell Doctrine calling for overwhelming force might not be applicable in all situations, but it is a reasonable rule when undertaking a major ground invasion of a country with a 400,000-man army. Instead, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld constantly bid down the U.S. invasion force. There were sound reasons for wanting to go in relatively light, but clearly more troops were necessary for the postwar occupation. Here is where liberal hero Gen. Eric Shinseki proved right in his prewar analysis when he told a congressional committee that “several hundred thousand soldiers” would be necessary to secure Iraq: “We’re talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that’s fairly significant, with the kind of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems.” If you are going to fight an enemy army, fight an enemy army. We let Iraqi fighters escape our initial invasion out of a misplaced humanitarianism and a belief that Iraqi soldiers were the innocent victims of Saddam Hussein. Many of the Sunni fighters that we spared formed the nucleus of the insurgency. If you are going to occupy a country, occupy it. When we arrived in Baghdad, we watched the place get looted. Once we toppled Saddam, we owned Iraq, and letting disorder spread unchecked undermined our authority and set back the already-difficult task of reconstruction. If you are going to make Iraq your highest diplomatic priority in the Middle East, make it your highest diplomatic priority. Soon after Paul Bremer left as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, John Negroponte took over as U.S. ambassador in Iraq and was notable only for his passivity. After he left, a period of three months passed when we didn’t even bother to have an ambassador on the ground. If you are going to secure Baghdad, secure Baghdad. We announced over the summer with great fanfare a plan to secure Baghdad, but never devoted enough troops to make it remotely plausible. In August 2003 there were 140,000 troops in Iraq, as there were in August 2004, August 2005 and August 2006. Whatever the question is in Iraq, the administration’s answer is always 140,000 troops. Some say that’s because we have no more troops, which raises the final lesson. If you are going to say our country is at war, act like our country is at war. On Sept. 10, 2001, when we still thought we were living in a blissful period of peace, we had a 1.4 million person military. Incredibly, after it has become clear that we are facing a generational war with Islamic radicalism, with two hot fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq and perhaps more to come, we still have a 1.4 million person military. If President Bush is to attempt to save the Iraq War after the election, he has to really attempt to save the Iraq War. This might be his last chance. There can be no skimping, no wishful thinking, no operating on a razor-thin margin of error. As military expert Frederick Kagan recommends, he has to send 50,000 more troops to Baghdad, in what would be a long overdue end to half-measures. 

Your world 11/07/06

Sparing Saddam: Why Europe is Morally Unserious

Sparing Saddam: Why Europe is Morally Unserious
November 7th, 2006

A general estimate is that Saddam Hussein killed 300,000 people, started two major wars (the first against Iran, costing a million lives, and the second against Kuwait, with perhaps 100,000 dead); according to the New York Times’ latest zig-zag, he came within a year of producing a nuclear bomb that could have been used to kill additional millions, and ensured the survival of his tyranny for the foreseeable future.  For sheer sadistic mayhem, like routine rape and murder, there has been no worse regime than Saddam. 

For the first time in human history, a mass-murdering tyrant on this scale has been caught, tried, and convicted in an open court of law. The people of Iraq and surrounding countries have been able to see him tried on television. Saddam has been sentenced to hang, according to Iraqi law, legitimized by the only elected government in the Arab Middle East.

By any decent human standard this is an extraordinary victory for civilization over barbarism. But rather than applaud a heroic achievement of Iraqi justice right in the middle of a war, Europe now noisily parades its opposition to capital punishment for Saddam.

Forget the usual pros and cons of capital punishment. Just ask yourself: Is Europe a morally serious place?

We know that its politicians constantly preach to the rest of the world. No doubt dinner conversations around the European continent echo the politicians. Tens of millions of Europeans obviously believe they are more moral than thou. But is there any truth to that?

Remember, for the first time in human history a major mass-murdering tyrant has been caught and brought to justice.

Hitler was never caught. Stalin and Mao died in their beds, and Jean-Paul Sartre, Europe’s most famous philosopher of the 20th century, passionately supported them at the height of their reigns of terror. The entire French intellectual elite worships Sartre as well as Nazis like Paul de Man and Martin Heidegger. The whole gang of bloody-minded European professors either sided with the Nazis or the worst Leftist tyrants, just as today they are passionately attracted to Hamas and Hezbollah.

None of the tyrants who were glorified and rationalized by millions of Europeans were ever caught. Europe’s ideological collusion was active and necessary for all those crimes to take place. Europe’s scribbling classes created the propaganda and the diversions necessary for mass murder, not once, but over and over again over the last century.

But now Saddam Hussein has been caught, tried, and convicted, and will be hanged if his conviction is approved on appeal.

And Europe wants to spare Saddam’s life.

Ten years ago Europeans looked on passively while genocide took place in the Balkans; finally they talked the United States into acting. The Europeans and their hero diplomat Kofi Annan, looked on and did nothing while genocide took place in Rwanda. Today a credible court case in France alleges that the French colluded and stirred up the genocidal parties for its own benefit. Today, Europe supports the Sudan being a member of the UN Human Rights Commission, and fails to do anything about yet another African genocide carried on by the Sudanese regime over a period of decades.

Yet Europe wants to spare Saddam’s life.

The dirty little secret is that every mass-murdering ideology in the last two centuries had its origins and supporters in Europe. Pol Pot was Cambodian by birth but learned his revolutionary ideology in Paris. He was trained by the French Communist Party and the Russian KGB, went home, and massacred two or three million of his countrymen. Even Saddam’s Baathist Party was modeled on the European fascist parties of the 1930s.

Yet Europe wants to spare Saddam’s life.

The most infamous massacres of the 20th century, the Nazi genocide of some six million Jews, was inspired by a European nativist ideology.

Yet Europe wants to spare Saddam’s life.

Belgium conducted mass murders in the Congo. France fought a vicious imperial war in Algeria. Russia, under the guise of the vaunted Soviet Union, the hope of mankind, created forced starvation in the Ukraine. And today, North Korea is still, responsible for systematically starving hundreds of thousands of its own people. Kim’s regime is a stereotypical Stalinist regime —a European ideology passionately supported by millions and millions of people on that dark and cruel continent. (I do not refer to Africa.)

Today, Europeans politicians are again in the world news, very proudly calling to spare Saddam’s life. It shows their sweet and moral nature.

Now we have new tyrants and terrorist at the gates. Three thousand innocent Americans were murdered five years ago, but Europe is urging us to forget all about it; and above all, not to take 9/11 as a warning of what is to come if we don’t fight now. It’s because they are so peaceful.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised to “wipe Israel off the map.” The Europeans have nominally taken the lead in negotiating with Ahmadinejad, to keep him from getting nukes. They have failed, because they are wishful weaklings, who rationalize any danger. The mullahs just laugh at them.

When sane nations take actions to stop Ahmadinejad, they will be viciously criticized by Europeans for doing so. We know that.

Europe is morally superior because it wants to spare Saddam.

If the whole world adopted Europe’s “higher morality” we would all be dead. Because their moralizing isn’t moral, it is merely flabby and self-indulgent.

We have protected Europe for a century with our blood and treasure. Under our protection they have constructed a Disneyland for adults, one that is utterly unable to defend itself. Instead, they have imported tens of millions of ideologues who want nothing more than to take over Europe.

Yet Europe is obnoxiously ready to preach morality to the decent nations of the world who are not as deluded as they are. True to their endless imperialistic arrogance, they are now exporting yet another world-conquering ideology, a fuzzier version of communism, aiming to actively hog-tie the United States through a hundred international treaties.

But this time they assure us that European-style world government will be paradise on earth. Trust us.

I’m curious – how is it that these people even dare to raise their heads when Iraq tries to punish Saddam?

James Lewis is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.

Human Rights Watch: Palestinian women victims of systemic violence, authorities fail to protect them

Human Rights Watch: Palestinian women victims of systemic violence, authorities fail to protect them

A Stop-The-Presses Alert, and a Sharia Alert from AP:

RAMALLAH, West Bank – A new report paints an alarming picture of the abuse of women in the Palestinian territories, with police, courts and government agencies failing to treat violence such as rape and beatings as a crime.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch cited practices such as rape victims being forced to marry assailants and light sentences for men who kill female relatives suspected of adultery. It said families, tribal leaders and authorities, backed by tradition and discriminatory laws, often sacrifice victims’ interests for family honor.’

Tradition, indeed. But one will see the most meaningful progress against such conduct only after confronting how deep and sacrosanct that “tradition” is in Islamic societies.

The problem is only getting worse with growing poverty and lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza, the report said.

According to a survey by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics of more than 4,000 households in December 2005 and January 2006, 23 percent of the women said they had experienced domestic violence, but just over 1 percent filed a complaint. Two-thirds said they were subjected to psychological abuse at home.

The gap between incidents and complaints filed is undoubtedly affected by Qur’an 4:34, which sanctions beating one’s wife.

[…]

Mair said Human Rights Watch singled out the Palestinian territories — as opposed to investigating abuses in another traditional societies — because of concern that the abuse will increase and because some Palestinian government officials have signaled they are ready for change. This made us optimistic we have something to work with,’ she said.

[…]

The report, based on dozens of interviews with victims, social workers, lawyers and police chiefs in the West Bank and Gaza, found that abusers are granted virtual immunity.

Rapists who marry their victims are not prosecuted, and such deals are often arranged by the families, tribal leaders and local police chiefs.

Even those assigned to protect the victims often push for such an outcome. The director of the West Bank’s only shelter for teenage girls is quoted as saying she arranged five such marriages in her six-year tenure.

The law is lenient with men who kill female relatives because of adultery. Yet it bars rape and incest victims from having abortions. Rape within marriage is not considered a crime, the report said.

Arguments for a change in the law would likely be countered with Bukhari 4:54:560, where Muhammad himself states: “”If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning””

Police and hospital doctors are not trained to handle abuse cases and often further humiliate victims, the report said. In one hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus, a doctor announced to a crowded waiting room that his unmarried 16-year-old patient was pregnant. The girl’s mother later cited that incident as the main reason for her decision to kill her daughter, according to a case documented in the report.

A premium is placed on female virginity, with rapists facing a lesser punishment if the victim is not a virgin. Virginity tests are imposed on sexual abuse victims against their will.

The women’s fate is increasingly determined by tribal leaders or Palestinian Authority-appointed governors, rather than overloaded courts. The informal justice system is often arbitrary and biased against the victims, the group found.

Victims are often afraid to come forward because of social stigma, the perceived futility of complaining and fear of inviting retribution by relatives, the report said.

However, Manal Kleibo, a lawyer at the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in the West Bank town of Ramallah, told The Associated Press that she has detected a change in recent years, and that the authorities are increasingly willing to work with her group.

For example, she said, growing numbers of police officers are attending workshops on how to handle sexual abuse cases. Some families no longer force their daughters to marry rapists, she said, citing the case of a 14-year-old girl who instead was taken to a secret shelter in the West Bank with her family’s support.

Human Rights Watch made a series of recommendations.

It said Abbas should launch a public awareness campaign and make it clear he does not tolerate violence against women. He should also demand that those currently settling abuse cases informally, including tribal leaders and Palestinian Authority-appointed district governors, refer all cases to the proper authorities.

Police should establish special units to deal with victims of abuse, and the legislature should repeal the most discriminatory provisions, the report said.