Alert: “Someone” Says Bomb Is On Northwest Plane

Alert: “Someone” Says Bomb Is On Northwest Plane


“Someone” said a bomb was on a Northwest Airlines plane in flight, #980 departing from Memphis, and it has returned to the airport. All passengers are still on board. Developing…

Posted by Pat Dollard 3 Comments



Murtha Pushes New Troop Withdrawal Plan

Murtha Pushes New Troop Withdrawal Plan


WASHINGTON- A leading Democratic House Iraq war critic said Wednesday he’ll soon push legislation that would order U.S. troop withdrawals to begin in two months and predicted Republicans will swing behind it this time.

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Arab League Visit to Israel Reflects Fear of Iran

Arab League Visit to Israel Reflects Fear of Iran

There is no denying that Wednesday’s frst-ever visit to Israel by Arab League representatives was symbolically significant. The newsmaking trip may have also been politically significant, even though (a) it was only a one-day visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; (b) the two envoys, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Jordanian FM Abdelelah al-Khatib, hail from countries that have already signed peace pacts with Israel; (c) the diplomats avoided making their dramatic, pro-peace statement on behalf of the Arab League; and (d) the head of the League, Secretary-General Amr Moussa, immediately dampened hopes for peace by saying the men had no mandate to speak on behalf of the 22-member group.

But the envoys did speak; and their message clearly reflected a growing fear among many Arab leaders that the Iranian-backed Islamizing of the Middle East threatens themselves as well as Israel. Secular Syria’s alliance with non-Arab, Islamist Iran and its Shiite Lebanese Arab proxy, Hezbollah, is regarded as a dangerous deviation, caused partly by America’s failure to lure Damascus away from Tehran and partly by the failed policies of a weak but cunning ruler, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In sharp contrast with his late father, Hafez, who ruthlessly crushed the Muslim Brotherhood when it threatened his regime, the present president has unsuccessfully sought to appease Syrian Islamists, who have risen in strength and influence to an alarming degree. (The younger Assad actually accelerated a budding Islamist alliance that his father began in a cynical attempt to counter American influence and plans for a so-called New Middle East. After years of battling and suppressing rightwing political Islam, the pseudo-socialist Baath Party surprisingly succumbed to the temptation of trying to use and manipulate its ideological foe.)

The survival of many Arab governments–and Arab identity itself–is increasingly called into question in ways never before seen. Hence, the historic visit to Israel.

“We are extending a hand of peace on behalf of the whole region to you, and we hope that we’ll be able to create the momentum needed to resume fruitful and productive negotiations” between Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states, al-Khatib said in Jerusalem.

The envoys urged Israel to consider the Saudi-sponsored Arab League peace plan, which calls for Jerusalem to cede all land captured during the Six-Day War of 1967 in exchange for full Arab recognition of the Jewish state. Israel would also have to agree to creation of a Palestinian state and a “just solution” for the Palestinian refugee problem.

“Time is of the essence,” Gheit told Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Gheit and al-Khatib also met Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni ahead of talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The delegation also met today with Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud opposition. Israeli news reports quoted Netanyahu as saying he rejected the Arab initiative and told the envoys that he does not believe withdrawals are a basis for peace, instead emphasizing closer economic cooperation.

China Confidential has learned that the envoys hinted that Israel could also be granted Arab League observer status as part of a land-for-peace accord, joining Eritrea and India as the organization’s observers.

Why the European Union Must Go

Why the European Union Must Go

At the EU Observer, Anthony Coughlan, a senior lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, notes that in every EU member state at present the majority of laws come from Brussels. Why do national politicians and representatives accept this situation? He suggests a plausible explanation:

“At national level when a minister wants to get something done, he or she must have the backing of the prime minister, must have the agreement of the minister for finance if it means spending money, and above all must have majority support in the national parliament, and implicitly amongst voters in the country. Shift the policy area in question to the supranational level of Brussels however, where laws are made primarily by the 27-member Council of Ministers, and the minister in question becomes a member of an oligarchy, a committee of lawmakers, the most powerful in history, making laws for 500 million Europeans, and irremovable as a group regardless of what it does.

“National parliaments and citizens lose power with every EU treaty, for they no longer have the final say in the policy areas concerned. Individual ministers on the other hand obtain an intoxicating increase in personal power, as they are transformed from members of the executive arm of government at national level, subordinate to a national legislature, into EU-wide legislators at the supranational.”

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Say Cheeeeeese….”dry runs” of hijacking operations,

Say Cheeeeeese….

Rick Moran
Just what will those terrorists think of next? After downplaying the idea for years that terrorists in America were practicing “dry runs” of hijacking operations, the feds have just issued a warning to airports to be on the lookout for terrorists practicing to carry explosives on to airplanes:

The unclassified alert was distributed on July 20 by the Transportation Security Administration to federal air marshals, its own transportation security officers and other law enforcement agencies.

The seizures at airports in San Diego, Milwaukee, Houston and Baltimore included “wires, switches, pipes or tubes, cell phone components and dense clay-like substances,” including block cheese, the bulletin said. “The unusual nature and increase in number of these improvised items raise concern.”

Security officers were urged to keep an eye out for “ordinary items that look like improvised explosive device components.”

Block cheese? It appears that cheese has the exact same weight and consistency of some types of plastic explosives. The feds found the cheese attached to cell phone charger as well as another package taped tightly together with other innocuous items with wires sticking out of it.

There is little doubt that terrorists are ever probing our air transport system looking for weaknesses as well as trying to ascertain our reactions to threats. I can’t help but think about the plan hatched by Kahlid Sheik Mohammad in the mid 1990’s to hijack a couple of dozen airplanes and crash them into the Pacific Ocean. Osama himself dismissed the plan as too ambitious.

Might al-Qaeda have reconsidered?

A plot like that would be years in the making with many “dry runs” made to test our defenses as well as gather intelligence in order to train the actual hijackers.

Just a bad dream? Or a nightmare waiting to happen? I wish I had more confidence in the people responsible for airport security. But when they spend as much time frisking a 70 year old woman for explosives as they do a Muslim male, I can’t help but wonder how really safe it is to fly.

Saudis in the Classroom

Saudis in the Classroom

Here’s a little something to get you to reach for you blood pressure meds this morning.

The Saudis have stealthily introduced their ideas of Middle Eastern history and events into American K-12 classrooms. Just how have they managed such a feat?

The United States government gives money — and a federal seal of approval — to a university Middle East Studies center. That center offers a government-approved K-12 Middle East studies curriculum to America’s teachers. But in fact, that curriculum has been bought and paid for by the Saudis, who may even have trained the personnel who operate the university’s outreach program. Meanwhile, the American government is asleep at the wheel — paying scant attention to how its federally mandated public outreach programs actually work. So without ever realizing it, America’s taxpayers end up subsidizing — and providing official federal approval for — K-12 educational materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices. Game, set, match: Saudis.

But couldn’t all this just be an innocent attempt at promoting goodwill toward Muslims? Try again:

Harvard’s outreach training prompted K-12 teachers to design celebratory treatments of the life and teachings of Mohammad and the “revelation” and spread of Islam, with exercises calling on students to “appoint imams,” memorize Islamic principles, and act out prayer at a Mosque. According to Stotsky, if Harvard’s outreach personnel had designed similar classroom exercises based on Christian or Jewish models, “People for the American Way, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the A.C.L.U. would descend upon them like furies.”

Instead of training teachers in the history and contemporary challenges of the Muslim world, Stotsky concluded that Harvard’s outreach program was “manipulating” apolitical teachers with a “barely disguised” attempt to “shape…attitudes on specific political issues.” The lesson plans designed by K-12 teachers who participated in these Harvard-run seminars included exercises in which students were asked to watch newscasts and spot out instances in which Muslims were stereotyped as violent or barbaric. Lesson plans proposed discussion questions like, “Why have so many groups wanted to control the Middle East?” and “How might the history of repeated invasions influence the history of people in this area?”

If this information wasn’t verified by the Massachusetts Department of Education, you could dismiss the idea as simply the rantings of some conspiracy nut. Who could ever believe that a foreign country would be able to influence the curricula of American schools in such a way? And do it without any oversight by the federal government?

Maybe the feds could start a program “No Slanted View Of Middle Eastern History Left Behind.”

A Decline in Public Support For Suicide Bombing

A Decline in Public Support For Suicide Bombing

Ed Lasky
This is welcome news:

According to a Pew Global Attitude survey based on polling date from 47 countries reported by Reuters, Muslim support for suicide bombings has fallen sharply. In Pakistan, it has dropped from 33 percent to 9 percent. In Lebanon, it has dropped from 74 percent to 34 percent. It is down from 2002 in Bangladesh and Indonesia by at least half. But, reports Reuters, “support for suicide attacks remained at a high 70 percent among Palestinians.” This is their suicide, too.

Yet…this poll (the headlines which feature prominently in today’s media), without the qualifier, prompts the LA Times to publish an editorial advocating outreach and seemingly justifying (and certainly not criticizing the apporval rates for bombings against Americans and Israelis):

Can Western leaders drive a deeper wedge between extremist groups like Al Qaeda and Muslims around the world? One person who has clearly decided to try is British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He has forbidden his ministers to use the inflammatory phrase “war on terror” and pointedly avoided calling the Glasgow airport attack “Muslim” or “Islamist.” Instead, he simply branded it “criminal.”

British Muslims were overjoyed. Critics mocked Brown’s political correctness, rightly noting that linguistic self-censorship will not inspire similar self-restraint by the terrorists setting off the bombs. The question, however, is whether British police will now receive more cooperation from Muslim citizens on whom they depend for information to thwart the next bombers.

That’s right, Gordo. Stick you head in the sand. After all, the absolute last thing we want to do is offend anyone by hiding the nature of the enemy in the War on – well, as soon as the left in Europe and here tell us what the politically correct term for what to call the conflict against those who wish to destroy us actually is, I’ll let you know.