“Pelosi and Democratic Leaders Condemn Omar Statements as Anti-Semitic”: How Criticism is Quashed

nyti.ms/2E4hBlN

Any time someone expresses any criticism of Israel’s criminal actions towards the Palestinians, they are labeled as anti-Semite.

This is how AIPAC wants to keep it, too.

Stopping Terror At The Source

terrorism12115On this past Tuesday the Los Angeles Times published a letter by Pres. Obama on countering terror recruitment here in the U. S. and around the world. He stated we cannot defeat terrorists with military actions alone, but we have to go after their cadre of recruiters who draw them in so effectively and other measures. The President also stated that,

More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

The following day Pres. Obama held a press conference on the same subject I read about in the NYT also. The article stated that,

Mr. Obama said undercutting the Sunni militant group’s message and blunting its dark appeal was a “generational challenge” that would require cooperation from mainstream Muslims as well as governments, communities, religious leaders and educators.

So here we finally have a leader who understands that it is impossible to kill-off every terrorist and terrorist-sympathizer around the globe. And what you have to do is to take the wind out of their sails, if I can put it so lightly. We have to affect the reasons why people become terrorists.

With that stated I can already hear grumbling from those in the back thinking, “He’s gonna blame America, isn’t he?” No, I’m not going to blame the U.S. on the West at all. How can anyone be to “blame” for such brutality? These are atavistic medieval fighters awaiting the apocalypse who do the most heinous things to try and recruit more zealots to join a malformed ideology I can hardly even believe exists. And no one is to blame other than the terrorists themselves.

But we can take some of the wind out of their sails with a few things we should do,

1) Reduce our political/military footprint in Palestine. Nothing does more to recruit terrorists than America’s perceived indifference to what Israel does to the Palestinians. We support them both politically and materially with great amounts of military aid and do nothing about how it is used. The “50-day” war over the summer has to be one of the biggest recruiting tools in Mid-East terror history for ISIS.

2) We must all work together to affect real social change in the region. I was watching “The Five” on FOX News yesterday and they were arguing that poverty and oppression had nothing to do with terrorist recruitment. They stated that bin-Laden came from a royal family and that Zawahiri was an eye-doctor. But they are not the rank and file! The rank and file live in poor social conditions with oppressive governments and no jobs to keep them economically stable and occupied. They even run to terror for a good salary. We all know how ISIS is building an economy within itself by illegally exporting oil to Turkey. This is an essential point.

3) Disavowal the recruiters. At the Pres. Obama’s press conference he stated that, “We need to find new ways to amplify the voices of peace and tolerance and inclusion, and we especially need to do it online.” And White House official Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, stated to the NYT correspondent, “You could hypothetically eliminate the entire ISIL safe haven, but still face a threat from the kind of propaganda they disseminate over social media….It’s an undervalued part of how you prevent terror attacks in the United States.”

This phenomenon is a serious, serious concern for anyone who desires both freedom and safety alike. I do not support in any form or fashion censorship or online monitoring, but we need to get more active as a people to counter these recruiters.

4) Stop thinking they hate us for our freedom. I used to read Osama bin-Laden’s statements before he was killed and he refuted this misnomer directly in one of them. He stated that al-Qaeda disagrees with us but does not care about our society as long as sharia law is followed in the Arab world. He even went as far as stating that if he hated our freedom, why not attack some nation such as Sweden? If politicians and laymen keep espousing this fallacy it keeps our eyes blinded from the real reasons they hate us.

5) Read this cover article in The Atalantic entitled “What ISIS Really Wants.” It is the first truly analytical report on the nature of ISIS. Essential read.

Florida Teen Suicide Bomber

31bomber_inline-blog427Linked here is an edited version of a 31 min. video message from Mohammad Abusalha, a 22-year-old suicide bomber from Florida who attacked in Syria, who was raised in a gated community, and was once described as a “basketball-obsessed teen.” Abusalha used this testimonial to explain why he left home to live as a Mujahedin in the civil war against Bashaar Al-Assad.

I got this video from an NYT article focused on the fact that after Abusalha initially trained in Syria as a Mujahedin, he came home undetected by the authorities for several months before leaving again for the last time. But that is not the point here.

What I took away from this piece is the contents of the video and the troubled young man it portrayed. He expresses rage against the West and it even includes a teary-eyed expression of love for his mother. It made me just want to scream aloud, “What happened here?!”

I almost did not post this video here and have been saving it since July 30, 2014, gripped by indecision. I was afraid of seeming too sensationalist, or even being perceived as pro-terror. Yet I am posting it now for I believe that it needs to be seen for it shows how an American kid can end up a suicide bomber manipulated by the Islamist fighters who found him.

I leave it to your interpretation. Find it here.

 

 

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Afghanistan and The Gordian Knot

Alexander_cuts_the_Gordian_KnotThe top story on the NYT website today is how Afghanistan’s Attorney General released 65 prisoners from the Bagram Airport Prison facility today for lack of evidence against them…and these are 65 detainees who the U.S. military deems terrorists and do not want released.

This article today reminded me of a myth today then regarding Alexander the Great and the “Gordian Knot.” Let me tell it to you and show you how they relate.

As Alexander’s Macedonian army entered the Phrygia at Gordium city-state, a myth resided their where to become the next ruler of the ruler-less city, one would have to untie the “Gordian Knot”: an enormous knot on an oxcart tied in a fashion wherein the ends of the rope were not visible, and therefore enabled to be untied.

(The myth is very similar to the one about Arthur and The Sword In The Stone in English Mythology, if that reference helps.)

So Alexander looked about the knot and found no way to untie it in a traditional sense and then, with suddenness and guile, draws his sword and hacks away at the knotted rope until it becomes “untied.”

Now the most popular interpretation of this mythical metaphor is that it should teach one to think “outside the box” as Alexander did even though he somewhat slighted the rules. In other words, Alexander got the job done in the usually glorious Alexander way and know one was about to argue.

Back to Afghanistan and the Gordian Knot mythology.

In 2001, when the U.S. Army invaded Afghanistan, we metaphorically looked at the Taliban-ruled Nation as a “knot”: It was very complex and seemed to remain tied despite thousands of years of attempted conquest by those characters such as the Russians and Alexander The Great…and they both failed.

But without thinking about it too hard and with extreme hubris we cut and hacked, and hacked and cut at the Afghanistan knot until it was left in pieces. But unlike the myth, those pieces that we hacked apart are now growing back together.

As we move to withdrawal from Afghanistan in late this year, we can metaphorically see the “knot” reassemble and reform. And one of these pieces mending back together is through the release of supposed terrorists right back into society.

So the lesson of Afghanistan know is we should have observed our knot much more than we did.

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Guantanamo Review Board

Guantanamo Prisoner ReviewsA good article in The Guardian on the press’s chance to witness the “president’s inmate review board” being held at Guantanamo Bay aiming to free certain prisoners seen as fit to release. But, as the article explains, the process remains cloudy when witness’s were led to see more revealed.

Read Here.

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Biased Palestinian School Curriculums by Hamas

TEXTBOOKS-1-articleLarge-v2Read this great story in the NYT.

As STL followers know, I am very critical of Israel and their occupation of the Palestinian territories, their inhumane war of terror on the peoples of the occupied territories, and the arguments regarding which territories (mainly, the Golan Heights and issues with Jerusalem) belong to whom.

But the politicized teaching of curriculums has no place in Palestinian or, more specifically, Hamas ran schools.

Yet, on the other hand, this is what happens after decades of occupation and Israeli military violent actions.

But finally, I do not sponsor any form of violence by the Palestinian peoples against the Israelis or anyone else, but I understand how the results of Israel’s actions can lead to these results.

 

 

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Al Shabaab: On The Rise

al shabaab somaliaA very good article in The Guardian on Al Shabaab, the Al Quaida affiliated group who has claimed to have been behind to recent attack on civilians in a Kenyan mall.

The article provides a good bio for the group and points to the fact that once thought to be in it’s last days, the terrorist organization seems to be alive not just in Somalia but across the Eastern African region.

Read Here.

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The Rise of Hezbollah

hezbollah_flag-1200px-001A good piece in The Atlantic on the history of Hezbollah in Lebanon. It begins with the attacks on international peace-keepers (including the U.S. and French troops) trying to slow civil war violence there and ends with the prosecution of, or lack thereof, leaders who are seen as behind those attacks. Also, it goes in-depth with a discussion regarding those who support and fund the Shiite terrorist group.

Read Here.

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“The chickens have come home to roost”

AP_kenya_mall_attack_jt_130922_16x9_992I was watching CNN today and was lucky enough to catch an interview with a couple, with the wife carrying their baby daughter, who were trapped in a mall store in Nairobi, Kenya, when the Al Shabaab terrorist forces broke in. They stated that the gunmen were shooting indiscriminately. But after both of the interviewed couple were injured (the woman was shot and the husband had shards of glass in his left eye) they tried to reason with the gunman who had shot them, standing outside of the mall store entrance.

The husband/father began to relate to the terrorist through the teachings of the Koran, for he was a Muslim also, through it’s preachings of peace and love for one another, Muslim or not. But it was a failed attempt. What the gunman replied to the husband/father was, “We don’t usually try to kill women in children, but they kill our women and children.” The talk then broke off. The couple was then able to escape with both their daughter and a good lesson for the citizens of the United States.

The lesson for the U.S. is that, and I hate vaunting cliches but, violence breeds violence. For years now the “drone war” has been operating in the Horn of Africa. And when you send a Hellfire missile into the town square of a small village at a just “suspected” terrorists, there are going to be many civilian deaths. That was what the Al Shabaab gunman was trying to explain to the injured couple.

It was true in Vietnam, Chechnya, and now in all corners of the Middle East: The “collateral damage” of the War on Terror just creates so bitterly consumed people that they see terrorism as the only way to express their anger and feelings of injustice.

Now I do not support violence in this fashion, which is so random and pointless, but I think I understand a little bit more after hearing from that couple on CNN.

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Speech By Chomsky

noam_chomsky2-620x412Here is a transcript of a recent speech delivered by Noam Chomsky in Bonn, Germany, at DW Global Media Forum, Bonn, Germany.

He covers many topics, as usual, but most orbit around the difference between real democracy and RECD: Really existing capitalist democracy. A must read.

Read Here.