Al Qaeda Sends a Message to Democrats

Al Qaeda Sends a Message to Democrats

December 22, 2006 2:28 PM

Brian Ross and Hoda Osman Report:

New_tape_nr_1Al Qaeda has sent a message to leaders of the Democratic party that credit for the defeat of congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists.

In a portion of the tape from al Qaeda No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, made available only today, Zawahri says he has two messages for American Democrats.

“The first is that you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen — the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq — are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost,” Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News.

THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS

Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help.

“And if you don’t refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate,” he said.

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A Christmas Day of Peace

A Christmas Day of Peace
By Ben Stein
Published 12/21/2006 12:09:09 AM
Times are hard in Iraq and Afghanistan. The terrorists are seemingly unstoppable. They are killing our soldiers and their own people at a startling clip. Their cruelty and cunning are boundless. Even our soldiers, the best of the best, are deeply dismayed. Our President, who got us into this mess, well, I can just say I saw him a few days ago, and I can see the deep concern and sorrow on his face.In this Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year’s season, in this season in which believer and atheist hope for the best for the New Year, I would like to offer a new and old suggestion.

Let’s take a day, possibly this Monday itself, the day of the Prince of Peace, to stop criticism, to stop torment of one another, and have a day of prayer that the Almighty send wisdom to George W. Bush and to Condoleezza Rice and to Nancy Pelosi and to Harry Reid and to Robert Gates and to the generals and leaders who guide the destinies of the men and women who offer up their lives for us.

For the non-believers among us, perhaps they can just meditate on the ways of peace. There is power there, too.

When I was lad, in the 1950s, postage stamps used to be canceled with the simple inscription, “Pray for Peace.” It is time for that thought again. We are a nation undoubtedly blessed by Providence. Now it is time to beseech Providence to find a way back to peace in such a manner that we do not leave rivers of blood in our wake.

There is no position of power as mighty as on our knees before our maker, or for the atheist, in moments of deep contemplation of calm.

The darkest hours are just before dawn, and that dawn will come sooner if we put aside anger for a day and ask for what we Jews humbly call the greatest of all gifts, the gift of peace. Just for me, I know we cannot do it without help from our higher power, and I hope we’ll all ask that power to show us the way to carve out a tunnel of hope from the mountain of despair. We have a whole year ahead of us to fight. Let’s have one day for peace and maybe that day will lead to other, better days.

Iranians Are Defiant

Iranians Are Defiant

By Amil Imani

Nearly complete results from two important elections of 16 December 2006 in Iran reflect the defiant mood of the Iranians and their determination to work toward “regime change.”

Ahamadinejad and his camp suffered a decisive setback. Candidates of a clerical coalition of conservatives and reformers are poised to trounce those of Ahmadinejad’s in both the Municipal Councils as well the Assembly of Experts in charge of selecting the country’s supreme guide.
The great majority of the people of Iran are disillusioned and even disgusted by the incompetent, oppressive, and corrupt rule of the mullahs, irrespective of which gang is in power. The votes, more than anything else are protests ballots cast against the entire system, rather than indications of support for the so-called conservative-moderate coalition.
It is critical that freedom-loving people and governments rally behind the Iranian opposition to the tyrannical mullahcracy that is a scourge to Iran as well as the world. The Iranian people themselves are fully capable and are determined to remove the cancer of Islamism from their country. The United States and Israel and other democracies have a huge stake in the success of the Iranian people to rid themselves of the Islamic tyranny.
During the previous “election” only a small percentage of the voters bothered to vote, since voting under the pre-screening system of the mullahs is more like selection than election. The result of staying away from the polls materialized in the person of the fascist Ahmadinejad.
It took less than two years for Iranians to realize that boycotting the so-called elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran can only bring to power even a worse bunch of Islamofascists. This time around, the people turned out to vote for the lesser of two camps of evil-the mullahs dominated gang of conservatives and “moderates.” It is as if running away from the devil, Ahmadinejad, to the deep sea, Rafsanjani-Khatami cabals of turbaned thieves and murderers.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, with its policy of leading a new Islamic conquest by any and all means, including by the aid of the bomb, poses a great danger to the region and beyond. To deal with this imminent threat, some in the United States advocate pre-emptive military action. Others propose negotiation as the best way to work out an accommodation with the seriously troublesome and troublemaking mullahs.
Neither the military option, nor the appeasement of the present regime is the way to defeat the Islamofascists. The mullahs are highly vulnerable, given the ruin they have visited upon Iran and their stone-age discriminatory practices. A comprehensive political, moral and economic measure by the United States and others offers the best chance of ending the mullah’s reign of terror and re-enlisting Iran in the rank of free democratic nations.
There is no question that a small faction of Iranians supports Ahmadinejad, his gang and their policies. These supporters are primarily from the poorest segment of the population that has been traditionally the most ignorant and religiously fanatical. Ahamadinejad has appealed to this group by portraying himself as a religious populist. To them, he has promised significant financial assistance. To a limited extent, he has been able to divert some funds to his constituents. He has, for instance, doubled the salaries of some school teachers and has indeed purchased their loyalty.
Ahamadinejad has also craftily capitalized on the Iranians’ strong sense of national pride. He has presented himself as a proud Iranian Muslim who is going to make Iran the leading force for Islam. His adamant stance on the nuclear issue is also intended to bolster Iranian nationalism and retain their loyalty.
Yet, all is not well with the mullahcracy, no matter which gang is in power. The people are pushed to the brinks of ruin by these self-serving oppressive Islamofascists. Signs of ever-growing widespread opposition to the mullahs are seen among every segment of the society. The limited functioning allowed to labor unions, student unions, and the press no longer keeps the people mollified. The vicious attacks on people by the hired thugs of the regime are failing more and more as the mullah’s instrument of rule by terror. The police and official security apparatus are less and less willing to exercise brute force to suppress the people.
A recent speech by Ahmadinejad at Tehran Polytechnic University saw the President booed, his pictures burned and his talk interrupted by firecrackers set out by student protesters. Protest posters greeted him. A huge placard was hoisted, “Dictator Fascist, University is Not Your Place.” All these valiant acts of defiance by the students were performed in the face of great risks that include expulsion from the university, imprisonment and torture.
In short, Iran is in a state of serious upheaval. Replacing Ahmadinejad with the already tried and proven wanting gang of Rafsanjani-Khatami is not going to change matters much. As for the West, it is prudent that it does not embark on a trigger-happy policy. The mullahs’ lease on life is just about over. A concerted political, economic and moral support for the long-suffering valiant secular opposition can put an end to the shameful and hate-driven Islamofascist of any and all stripes.

Downhill Slide for Hillary?

Downhill Slide for Hillary?
By Donald Lambro
The Washington Times | December 22, 2006

Some Democrats are beginning to doubt Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s electability in 2008 and are saying so publicly for the first time.

The New York liberal, who is far ahead of her rivals for the Democratic nomination in all the polls, is the most polarizing figure in American politics. Half the voters polled say they would support her if, as expected, she becomes a candidate, but the other half says they couldn’t vote for her under any circumstances.

Her inability to reach out to more moderate voters worries Democrats who think ’08 is their year to win back the White House if their party picks a candidate who can appeal to a broader electorate. Some think she has already “peaked too soon” and will gradually see her support erode. “Hillary Clinton is going to be a formidable opponent because she is able to raise more money. But does that make you a winner? Ask Howard Dean. He was raising more money than you can imagine but ended up doing poorly in ’04,” said former Iowa Democratic chairman Rob Tully.

“In the early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Democrats really look at electability and quite frankly she is running against herself,” said Mr. Tully, a veteran party operative who has just stepped down from the chairmanship. “She’s got name recognition, popularity among Democrats, but the test will be whether she can beat the image problem, the perception out there that she is not electable among the general electorate,” he told me.

Electability, he said, “is the big issue out here” among Iowa Democrats who will hold the nation’s first candidate caucuses in January of ’08. “Quite frankly, the Democrats, as we saw in Bill Clinton’s nomination in ’92, they do not want to let this chance slip by in 2008 when we think we have a great opportunity to win back the presidency. Iowa Democrats are going to concentrate on getting the best candidate we can get elected.”

Mr. Tully’s concerns have been raised by Democrats for months in private discussions, but this is the first time a prominent official is willing to address it publicly and that could be Hillary’s undoing.

Mrs. Clinton’s electability was one of the key weaknesses in a national WNBC/Marist poll released Dec. 7 that found she “has much more convincing to do among a general electorate that is divided over whether they want to see her in the race,” said survey director Lee M. Miringoff.

“Most voters feel her electability is not an issue in deciding their vote, although a significant proportion of Democrats voice at least some concern,” Mr. Miringoff said in an analysis of his findings.

Other Democrats question whether she has “growing room” as a candidate, both in the primaries and the general election. “I think the question is, as Clinton continues to grow her support, has she already topped off? Has she already reached her maximum level of support in the Democratic primaries?” asked Bud Jackson, a Democratic media consultant.

Mr. Jackson, who produced a TV video touting Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s possible candidacy for the “Draft Obama” committee, says that although he “is far less known than Hillary, he still has room to grow his support.

“All these candidates who are not Hillary, if some of them drop out, as they will, many Democrats conclude their support will go to someone other than Hillary,” he said.

The national polls all show Hillary with a significant lead (39 percent in the Washington Post poll) over a large field of challengers, with Mr. Obama in second place at 17 percent, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards at 12 percent and Al Gore at 10 percent.

But many Democrats dismiss her current lead as “mostly name recognition” and note how then-front-runner Mr. Dean’s ’04 candidacy imploded in Iowa. “Any Democrat who perceives themselves as the front-runner is vulnerable because in a primary anything can happen and oftentimes does,” said Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern.

The early lineup in Iowa gives us an advance peek at what can happen to Hillary’s front-runner status when Democrats prepare to caucus a year from now. Mr. Edwards, not Hillary, leads the pack, followed by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in fourth place, Mr. Tully told me.

Mr. Edwards, who sees Iowa as Hillary’s undoing, has been building his campaign organization there ever since he came in second to Sen. John Kerry in 2004. A win there would give him momentum going into the Nevada caucuses on Jan. 19, 2008, where he has strong labor backing, and in New Hampshire three days later.

But if Mr. Obama gets into the race, “it’s going to make it more difficult for Clinton because to be successful, she needs a large percentage of the African-American vote and I’m not sure that would happen with Barack in the race,” Mr. Tully said.

You can’t count Hillary out, of course, but the word among Democrats here is she has a lot of obstacles to overcome before she can become her party’s nominee

Happy Hajj! You’re Not Invited!

Happy Hajj! You’re Not Invited!
By Patrick Poole
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 22, 2006

As Jews began their Hanukkah celebrations this week, commemorating the recovery of the Holy Land and the Temple from foreign invaders by Judas Maccabeus, and more than a billion Christians prepare for one of the holiest days of the church year, where the doors of Christian churches will be thrown open to anyone willing to hear the good news of Christ’s coming to earth as a human to redeem humanity, millions of Muslims are preparing for their own spiritual journey next week in the annual trek to Mecca to perform the Hajj.

But quite unlike the Jewish and Christian religious celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas, if you are a non-Muslim, don’t plan on investigating the mysteries of Islam by joining your Muslim friends on their trip to
Saudi Arabia for the Hajj – you’re not invited.

 

Perhaps no better contrast between Judaism, Christianity and Islam exists than the treatment of non-believers on the respective holy days of each religion. I recall fondly the many times that I have participated in the Passover seder at the invitation of Jewish friends and have each time been awed at the profound meaning attached to every element of the seder which is designed to illustrate the fascinating historical narrative of the Jewish people over the millennia that is the foundation of both the Christian and Islamic faiths. 

 

I also remember the occasion several years ago when a Chinese friend of mine who was finishing his PhD at

Ohio
State joined my family and I for our Christmas Eve celebrations. After joining us for worship, he told us with tears in his eyes how that was the first time that he had ever heard the gospel message that Jesus Christ had come into the world to save sinners – a message that had been branded as counter-revolutionary and been outlawed in his own country. Needless to say, we were delighted when he joined us again the following year for Christmas Eve, where he was anxious to tell anyone at church who would listen how he had embraced the free offer of the gospel and become a Christian the previous year. Having returned home to
China, my friend is now a leader in the underground Church there.

 

But if I wanted to join my Muslim friends next week on the Hajj, I would have to bear in mind that my reception would not be as friendly. I would be forbidden to bring my Bible or any Christian literature with me on my trip to
Saudi Arabia, and be required to remove anything identifiably Christian from my person (crosses, etc.). There are no Christian churches allowed in the “Land of the Two Mosques”, so there would be no opportunity for me to join with fellow Christians there in our weekly celebration of the Lord’s Day, and I would constantly be under watch by the Wahhabi Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice police to ensure that I didn’t share my Christian faith with anyone else.

 

Even having arrived in
Saudi Arabia and complying with the absolute ban of any expression of my faith, as I approached the holy city of
Mecca, I would be denied entry. Despite all of the supposed Quranic endorsements of the “People of the Book” (i.e. Jews and Christians), as a kafir, my presence is not welcome at the Hajj. We should remember that the cardinal offense that prompted Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda lackeys to declare war on the “Crusaders and Zionists” in 1996 was the presence of American troops in the
Arabian Peninsula, though nowhere near the sacred cities of
Mecca or
Medina.

 

For Muslims in the West, they have as much freedom as any other to practice their faith openly and freely without any fear of being molested. The number of mosques popping up all over
America is a testament to that freedom.

 

Such is not the case for Jews and Christians in Islamic lands, however, where people of those faiths are subject to countless acts of intimidation and violence on a daily basis. Even in their synagogues and sanctuaries, believers are not immune from attack. In fact, many are prevented from approaching their own holy sites. In the
Holy Land, Muslims occupy the

Temple
Mount – the historic location of the ancient Jewish Temple – and Jewish worshippers are subject to regular assaults by
stone-throwing Muslim crowds at the nearby Wailing Wall and other sacred sites. And it was the mere presence of a Jew – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – near the

Temple
Mount in September 2000 that
sparked the second intifada that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Jews, Christians and Muslims in recent years. Jews have also been forbidden from visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs in
Hebron – Judaism’s second-most holy site – since it was converted to a mosque in 1266.

 

And earlier this month Turkish authorities feared that Pope Benedict might take the opportunity while touring the Hagia Sophia in
Istanbul – one of the greatest churches in the world that was seized by Muslims after 1,000 years of constant use by Christians – that he might actually
try to pray there.

 

It isn’t just the Hagia Sophia that has suffered the inglorious fate of being converted from its original use as a Christian church to be taken over by invading Islamic forces and made into a mosque. In her book, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam. From Jihad to Dhimmitude, Bat Ye’or chronicles how innumerable Christian and Jewish holy sites, such as the
Church of St. John in Damascus that was demolished by the Islamic Caliph Abd al-Malik in 705 and had the Umayyad Mosque built over it, were taken over for the exclusive use for Islamic worship during the constant waves of Islamic conquest. It is worth noting that even the Kabaa, the central location of worship in
Mecca, was seized by Mohammad from non-Muslims.
 

Getting back to my original point – one of the constant complaints of Muslim apologists is that Westerners just don’t understand Islam. Fair enough; but is that entirely the fault of non-Muslims who are shut out of Islam’s most important rituals? And might it be the case that those of us, Christians and Jews alike, who are angered at the treatment of our brethren in Islamic lands do so not because of our alleged “Islamophobia”, but rather on the basis of real grievances?

 

As former President Jimmy Carter travels the country promoting his book identifying
Israel as an apartheid state because they refuse to capitulate to Palestinian terrorism, perhaps he might take some time and try to join
his Wahhabi patrons during the Hajj this year and see what religious apartheid is really all about. While believers and non-believers alike will enjoy the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays, the invitation for Jews and Christians to join their Muslim friends and neighbors for the Hajj this year didn’t get lost in the holiday mail. It was never sent.

 

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Carter’s Arab financiers

Carter’s Arab financiers

Rachel Ehrenfeld explores what may be behind Dhimmi Carter’s latest bout of lunacy in the Washington Times (thanks to Kemaste):

To understand what feeds former president Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israeli frenzy, look at his early links to Arab business. Between 1976-1977, the Carter family peanut business received a bailout in the form of a $4.6 million, “poorly managed” and highly irregular loan from the National Bank of Georgia (NBG). According to a July 29, 1980 Jack Anderson expose in The Washington Post, the bank’s biggest borrower was Mr. Carter, and its chairman at that time was Mr. Carter’s confidant, and later his director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bert Lance.At that time, Mr. Lance’s mismanagement of the NBG got him and the bank into trouble. Agha Hasan Abedi, the Pakistani founder of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), known as the bank “which would bribe God,” came to Mr. Lance’s rescue making him a $100,000-a-year consultant. Abedi then declared: “we would never talk about exploiting his relationship with the president.” Next, he introduced Mr. Lance to Saudi billionaire Gaith Pharaon, who fronted for BCCI and the Saudi royal family. In January 1978, Abedi paid off Mr. Lance’s $3.5 million debt to the NBG, and Pharaon secretly gained control over the bank.

Mr. Anderson wrote: “Of course, the Saudis remained discretely silent… kept quiet about Carter’s irregularities… [and] renegotiated the loan to Carter’s advantage.”

There is no evidence that the former president received direct payment from the Saudis. But “according to… the bank files, [it] renegotiated the repayment terms… savings… $60,000 for the Carter family… The President owned 62% of the business and therefore was the largest beneficiary.” Pharaon later contributed generously to the former president’s library and center.

Judge Orders Saudi Princess Deported

Judge Orders Saudi Princess Deported

Anti-dhimmitude in Boston. Update on this story from AP, with thanks to Kemaste:

BOSTON (Dec. 22) – A Saudi Arabian princess accused of breaking U.S. immigration laws by locking up her domestics’ passports and forcing them to work for low pay was ordered to be deported, prosecutors said Thursday.Hana F. Al Jader of Winchester was sentenced to two years of probation, the first six months of which must be served in home confinement, after which she’ll be deported to Saudi Arabia, prosecutors said.

An after hours call to Samantha Martin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, was not returned. It was unclear if the six months’ home confinement Al Jader received included time she has already served while on bail in home confinement.

U.S. District Judge Reginald J. Lindsay also sentenced Al Jader, 40, to pay $206,000 in restitution to three of her former domestic servants, pay a $40,000 fine, and perform 100 hours of community service.

In September, Al Jader pleaded guilty to two counts of visa fraud for lying on immigration forms, and two counts of harboring an alien for keeping the two women at her house though she knew their visas had expired.

In a deal with prosecutors, six counts of forced labor were dropped in exchange for guilty pleas on the other charges.

Prosecutors alleged that Al Jader forced two domestic servants from Indonesia to work long hours, while holding their passports in a safe.

Al Jader submitted fraudulent forms to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia guaranteeing the women would work eight hours daily for $1,500 a month, they charged.

The women were actually paid just $300 per month after arriving in February 2003 to cook, clean and care for Al Jader’s disabled husband and their children.