Hi there, !
Today Tue 05/11/2010 Mon 05/10/2010 Sun 05/09/2010 Sat 05/08/2010 Fri 05/07/2010 Thu 05/06/2010 Wed 05/05/2010 Archives
488077 articles and 1723237 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 68 articles and 228 comments as of 22:18.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Non-WoT        Politix    Posting Order
Uighur big turban reported titzup in Pak
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 4: Opinion
1 00:00 lex [6487] 
0 [6458] 
3 00:00 Frank G [6478] 
5 00:00 Bright Pebbles [6495] 
2 00:00 Secret Master [6470] 
0 [6459] 
0 [6462] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
1 00:00 Frank G [6462]
3 00:00 gorb [6509]
7 00:00 trailing wife [6480]
5 00:00 Frank G [6489]
0 [6464]
9 00:00 phil_b [6490]
3 00:00 Shipman [6458]
2 00:00 GolfBravoUSMC [6462]
5 00:00 Willy [6459]
8 00:00 Frank G [6508]
0 [6460]
1 00:00 trailing wife [6462]
0 [6459]
0 [6462]
0 [6486]
0 [6461]
0 [6464]
7 00:00 trailing wife [6473]
0 [6466]
0 [6458]
0 [6460]
0 [6461]
0 [6460]
0 [6460]
5 00:00 Clyde Unusonter1178 [6475]
12 00:00 Rambler in Virginia [6475]
Page 2: WoT Background
0 [6462]
2 00:00 Shipman [6460]
1 00:00 JohnQC [6477]
3 00:00 trailing wife [6461]
8 00:00 trailing wife [6461]
0 [6460]
3 00:00 trailing wife [6459]
3 00:00 tu3031 [6498]
1 00:00 JohnQC [6464]
12 00:00 Frank G [6461]
3 00:00 trailing wife [6460]
1 00:00 Redneck Jim [6458]
1 00:00 Caesar Whaiting3348 [6461]
0 [6459]
0 [6458]
0 [6459]
1 00:00 DMFD [6458]
0 [6459]
Page 3: Non-WoT
2 00:00 Thing From Snowy Mountain [6476]
9 00:00 Clyde Unusonter1178 [6493]
1 00:00 3dc [6478]
6 00:00 tu3031 [6470]
6 00:00 tu3031 [6499]
7 00:00 lord garth [6496]
3 00:00 Formerly Dan [6461]
0 [6460]
0 [6459]
0 [6461]
0 [6460]
3 00:00 746 [6463]
2 00:00 Shipman [6463]
13 00:00 Frank G [6461]
Page 6: Politix
2 00:00 Besoeker [6480]
2 00:00 Mitch H. [6477]
54 00:00 remoteman [6528]
Africa North
The "Sahwa" of Awad al Qarni
If someone could translate this into prose that doesn't cause my eyes to cross, I'd be grateful.
[Asharq al-Aswat] The name Dr. Awad al Qarni, the Saudi cleric, not to be confused with Aaidh al Qarni, has featured in the headlines recently after he was accused of funding the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and money laundering. At first, the Egyptian prosecution mixed up Awad with Aaidh but there is a difference between the two men. The famous Saudi cleric and celebrated scholar Sheikh Aaidh al Qarni, who contributes to this newspaper, completely denied the allegations and explained that he had nothing to do with the entire story. The Egyptian State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawi ended the confusion over the name of the Saudi cleric who was charged with funding the Muslim Brotherhood and money laundering by announcing that the accused in this case is Saudi cleric Awad al Qarni and not Aaidh al Qarni.

We are not concerned here with the judicial and legal details. This is the concern of those involved in the case including suspects, lawyers, the prosecution and the judiciary. Sheikh Awad al Qarni refuted the accusations levelled against him, describing his name featuring on the list of those involved in funding the Muslim Brotherhood as a Zionist conspiracy and arguing that the charge was pre-planned, as quoted in his interview with Saudi Arabian daily Okaz on April 29, 2010. I sincerely hope that Sheikh Awad al Qarni is relieved of all these legal pursuits.

What matters to me here is not the Egyptian accusations made against Sheikh al Qarni, but rather his comments on the matter as printed in Okaz newspaper. To be honest, the man spoke openly and clearly about the position of the Islamic movement in Saudi Arabia in his capacity as a leading figure within it, and about the changes taking place in Saudi society and the battles that are now being fought not only between the so-called liberals and Islamists, but also between Islamists themselves over women's issues, education and intolerance towards each other. These heated arguments concern every Saudi citizen.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 05/08/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

The Further Left You Are the Less You Know About Economics:
Some of the results in this new article by Zeljka Buturovic and Dan Klein in Econ Journal Watch (a peer-reviewed journal of economics) are startling:

  • 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.

  • 51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn't increase the cost of professional services.

  • Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.

  • Continued on Page 49
    Posted by: Beavis || 05/08/2010 09:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6495 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  This can be more generalized: the further left you are the less you know about reality. Or put another way, the less you care about how things are and the more you are fixated on how you wish they were.
    Posted by: Iblis || 05/08/2010 10:54 Comments || Top||

    #2  That's all true, except it leaves out the effect of the 7 sisters on gas prices and mullet, have your noticed that gas prices are going to 3 bucks again? It's big oil slowly conditoning us to it. I been watching this shit for years. Trust me.
    Posted by: Shipman || 05/08/2010 15:10 Comments || Top||

    #3  Not really a surprise. Most liberals or "progressives" are as far removed from reality as possible. Any attempt to bring them there will result in temper tantrums and cries of "racism!"
    Posted by: DarthVader || 05/08/2010 15:51 Comments || Top||

    #4  The Further Left You Are the Less You Know About Economics

    By that logic, Obama should know NOTHNG about economics ... oh, wait ...
    Posted by: DMFD || 05/08/2010 17:15 Comments || Top||

    #5  Does The Fed understand that a Credit FreeForAll creates price rises in housing (Ricardo) and this is not good for the economy?

    They didn't seem to.
    Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 05/08/2010 23:00 Comments || Top||

    Sarkozy Will Get “Stuffed'
    Posted by: tipper || 05/08/2010 19:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6487 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  When we learn that the Fed is funding Europe with big money there will be a backlash. The Fed is already in hot water for their easy money policy. A $500b loan to Europe by the Fed will not go over too well with the folks in America. If something like this were agreed to over the weekend and we wake up on Monday with a new bailout there will be a very sharp reaction. Several in D.C. (Grayson) will attempt to stop it. Bernanke understands this, Geithner does as well (maybe). A new Marshall Plan for Europe is simply not in the cards. If that is what is attempted it will fail miserably. The most likely outcome will be that the US is rapidly sucked into the European sovereign debt crisis

    Wow. Not sure how much truth there is in this, or if the magnitude of the mooted US commitment is at all on the mark, but the author's right: there is absolutely zero appetite for yet another bailout of idiot bankers-- and these aren't even American bankers.
    Posted by: lex || 05/08/2010 23:36 Comments || Top||

    Faisal Shahzad's anti-Americanism
    By Pervez Hoodbhoy

    The man who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square was a Pakistani. Why is this unsurprising? Because when you hold a burning match to a gasoline tank, the laws of chemistry demand combustion.

    As anti-US lava spews from the fiery volcanoes of Pakistan's private television channels and newspapers, a collective psychosis grips the country's youth. Murderous intent follows with the conviction that the US is responsible for all ills, both in Pakistan and the world of Islam.

    Faisal Shahzad, with designer sunglasses and an MBA degree from the University of Bridgeport, acquired that murderous intent. Living his formative years in Pakistan, he typifies the young Pakistani who grew up in the shadow of Ziaul Haq's hate-based education curriculum. The son of a retired air vice-marshal, life was easy as was getting US citizenship subsequently. But at some point the toxic schooling and media tutoring must have kicked in.

    There was guilt as he saw pictures of Gaza's dead children and related them to US support for Israel. Internet browsing or, perhaps, the local mosque steered him towards the idea of an Islamic caliphate. This solution to the world's problems would require, of course, the US to be destroyed. Hence Shahzad's self-confessed trip to Waziristan.

    Ideas considered extreme a decade ago are now mainstream. A private survey carried out by a European embassy based in Islamabad found that only four per cent of Pakistanis polled speak well of America; 96 per cent against.

    Although Pakistan and the US are formal allies, in the public perception the US has ousted India as Pakistan's number one enemy. Remarkably, anti-US sentiment rises in proportion to aid received. Say a good word about the US, and you are labelled as its agent. From what TV anchors had to say about it, Kerry-Lugar's $7.5bn may well have been money that the US wants to steal from Pakistan rather than give to it.

    Pakistan is not the only country where America is unpopular. In pursuit of its self-interest, the US has waged illegal wars, bribed, bullied and overthrown governments, supported tyrants and undermined movements for progressive change. Paradoxically America is disliked more in Pakistan than in countries which have born the direct brunt of its attacks — Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Why?

    Drone strikes are a common but false explanation. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi implicitly justifies the Times Square bombing as retaliation but this does not bear up. Drone attacks have killed some innocents but they have devastated militant operations in Waziristan while causing far less collateral damage than Pakistan Army operations.

    On the other hand, the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong were carpet-bombed by B-52 bombers and Vietnam's jungles were defoliated with Agent Orange. Yet, Vietnam never developed visceral feelings like those in Pakistan.

    Finding truer reasons requires deeper digging. In part, Pakistan displays the resentment of a client state for its paymaster. US-Pakistan relations are transactional today but the master-client relationship is older. Indeed, Pakistan chose this path because confronting India over Kashmir demanded big defence budgets. In the 1960s, Pakistan entered into the Seato and Cento military pacts, and was proud to be called ‘America's most allied ally'. The Pakistan Army became the most powerful, well-equipped and well-organised institution in the country. This also put Pakistan on the external dole.

    The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, even as it brought in profits, deepened the dependence. Paid by the US to create the anti-Soviet jihadist apparatus, Pakistan is now being paid again to fight that war's blowback. Pakistan then entered George W. Bush's war on terror to enhance America's security — a fact that further hurt its self-esteem. It is a separate matter that Pakistan fights that very war for its own survival and must call upon its army to protect the population from throat-slitting fanatics.

    Passing the buck is equally fundamental to Pakistan's anti-Americanism. It is in human nature to blame others for one's own failures. Pakistan has long teetered between being a failed state and a failing state. The rich won't pay taxes? Little electricity? Contaminated drinking water? Kashmir unsolved? Blame it on the Americans. This phenomenon exists elsewhere too. For example, one saw Hamid Karzai threatening to join the Taliban and lashing out against Americans because they (probably correctly) suggested he committed electoral fraud.

    Tragically for Pakistan, anti-Americanism plays squarely into the hands of Islamic militants. They vigorously promote the notion of an Islam-West war when, in fact, they actually wage armed struggle to remake society. They will keep fighting this war even if America were to miraculously evaporate. Created by poverty, a war culture and the macabre manipulations of Pakistan's intelligence services, they seek a total transformation of society. This means eliminating music, art, entertainment and all manifestations of modernity. Side goals include chasing away the few surviving native Christians, Sikhs and Hindus.

    At a time when the country needs clarity of thought to successfully fight extremism, simple bipolar explanations are inadequate. The moralistic question ‘Is America good or bad?' is futile.

    There is little doubt that the US has committed acts of aggression, as in Iraq, and maintains the world's largest military machine. We know that it will make a deal with the Taliban if perceived to be in its self-interest — even if that means abandoning the Afghans to bloodthirsty fanatics. Yet, it would be wrong to scorn the humanitarian impulse behind US assistance in times of desperation. Shall we write off massive US assistance to Pakistan at the time of the earthquake of 2005? Or to tsunami-affected countries in 2004?

    In truth, the US is no more selfish or altruistic than any other country. And it treats its Muslim citizens infinitely better than we treat non-Muslims in Pakistan.

    Instead of pronouncing moral judgments on everything and anything, we Pakistanis need to reaffirm what is truly important for our people: peace, economic justice, good governance, rule of law, accountability of rulers, women's rights and rationality in human affairs. Washington must be resisted, but only when it seeks to drag Pakistan away from these goals. More frenzied anti-Americanism will produce more Faisal Shahzads.

    The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
    Posted by: john frum || 05/08/2010 13:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

    There smells a Pak-bashing rat
    The arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a US citizen of Pakistan origin in connection with Saturday's failed New York Times Square car bombing might well be a conspiracy hatched by India to tarnish image of Pakistan and force the US to put more pressure on it in the fight against terrorists. According to leading analysts, Faisal Shahzad's prompt confession shows that the failed plot was certainly part of a wider conspiracy. Faisal Shahzad seems to have been lured by Indian and Zionist agents to achieve their nefarious designs. Pakistan, the only nuclear power in the world, is an eye-sore for both Israel and India whose animosity towards the Islamic countries is well known to every one. But, what they overlook is the fact that Pakistan's nuclear assets are much more safer than twenty years ago and the designs of countries inimical to Pakistan to deprive of its nuclear assets cannot succeed through conspiracies like the radicalisation of Faisal Shahzad who seems to have fallen prey to a wider international conspiracy against Pakistan.

    The handling of the case by India-born US Federal Attorney Preet Bharara, who was also spearheading the prosecution of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed leaves no doubt about the outcome of the trial as he would be guided more by allegiance to his country whose bellicosity towards Pakistan is well known.

    As stated by the Foreign Office, Pakistan has condemned the attempt at New York Times Square but did not make public the kind of information that was being exchanged between Pakistan and the United States. It is pertinent to note that Faisal Shahzad is of Kashmiri descent, but it is not known if he was affiliated with any terrorist group. A source, who asked not to be named because the issue was sensitive, said the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, was born in 1979 and was from the disputed Kashmir region. He had been in the United States for some time. “Which group he may have belonged to and how he got radicalised, we don't know yet,' the source said. “He is Kashmiri by ethnicity.' Bharara,a naturalised American of Indian origin heads the US Attorney's office for the southern district in New York, which covers Manhattan, where the botched bombing took place, and John F Kennedy International Airport, where Shahzad was arrested at the last minute as he was boarding the plane for Dubai.

    Handling of the case by an Indian-born Hindu establishes the conspiracy theory against Pakistan. On the one hand it might be aimed at tarnishing Pakistan's image as a front line state against terrorism and on the other an attempt to dub the Kashmiris, struggling for their right to self-determination as terrorists. It is no more a secret that in view of its sinister designs against Pakistan, India is fully siding with the terrorists. It has established a chain of consulates in Afghanistan close to Pakistan border. From these consulates, which have no justification to be set up in large number and that too near Pak-Afghan border, India is supplying heavy arms and ammunition and funding them. This is amply proved by the recovery of huge cache of Indian made heavy weapons and foreign currency notes. Pakistan has repeatedly asked the United States to use its influence with India and desist her from indulging in such activities which would certainly not be in the world interest as it will embolden the terrorists to carry on their terrorist activities.

    Now as part of its nefarious agenda against Pakistan, India has got the opportunity to use Faisal Shahzad's case to defame Pakistan. India has linked him to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) alleging that it was behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. But despite repeated requests by Pakistan India refuses to provide any evidence against the organisation and its leadership which has been cleared by the Pakistani court during trial of alleged suspects in Mumbai terror attacks. There is no proof in the allegation that Faisal Shahzad besides Lashkar-e-Taiba had links with militants in Waziristan. It is yet to establish a link between him and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) based in Waziristan.

    The Pakistan army is taking the report about the charges against Faisal Shahzad with a pinch of salt. Army spokesman Athar Abbas when approached by the media said that a link between Faisal Shahzad and Waziristan had “yet to be established. “Until and unless the link is established, it will be premature to say that he had gone there,' he said. “As for the TTP claim, anybody can get up and claim anything. We have to see the capability and reach of the organisation... so that is questionable,' said Abbas.
    Posted by: john frum || 05/08/2010 12:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

    Posted by: john frum || 05/08/2010 13:01 Comments || Top||

    #2  Hmm, the crowd seems to be having touble working up the rage today. The guy in front is having a good time, and the ones in back are bored. Their righteous fists of rage are all kind of flaccid. They had to import the fellow on the far end of the sign from Vietnam, looks like.

    Tough to get a good rent-a-crowd these days.
    Posted by: Angie Schultz || 05/08/2010 19:10 Comments || Top||

    #3  they're just happy to have got a pay day
    Posted by: Frank G || 05/08/2010 19:13 Comments || Top||

    Terror Networks
    Fizzle Bomber connected to al-Qaeda in Yemen's Awlaki
    That's three plots in a row with this degenerate's fingerprints on them. He was Nidal Hasan's terrorist sherpa and, according to some reports, actively recruited Abdulmutallab for the Flight 253 attack. Now this.

    As a friend said on Twitter, he's like the Tony Robbins of jihad.

    Accused Times Square Bomber Faisal Shahzad linked up with the Pakistani Taliban through the internet, ABC News has been told by law enforcement and intelligence sources close to the investigation. Once the Taliban identified him as more valuable in the U.S. than in Pakistan, they trained him to return to execute his bomb attack.

    But according to these sources, Shahzad also had a web of jihadist contacts that included big names tied to terror attacks in the U.S. and abroad, including the figure who has emerged as a central figure in many recent domestic terror attempts -- radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar Awlaki...

    According to a person briefed on the FBI interrogation, Shahzad has told federal agents that he was angry at the CIA missile strikes carried out in Pakistan and suffered a personal crisis in his life. He has reportedly said he carried out the attempted bombing because he was under duress and that he feared for his family's safety if he didn't fulfill the mission.

    That's the best explanation I've heard yet for why the bomb was such a dud. Maybe he had misgivings about going through with it but felt obliged to do something lest his wife and daughter back in Pakistan suffer the consequences of him chickening out. So he compromised, driving the bomb into NYC but using bum fertilizer and rigging it so that it wouldn't go off. (Apparently, the wires on his time bomb weren't connected to anything.) That way, he could come back to the Taliban and say, "Hey, I tried," and hopefully that would be good enough. Another possibility: Shahzad really is some kind of mouth-breathing imbecile. Seems far-fetched, I know, but read this CNN story about him setting up a getaway car in advance ... and then leaving the keys to it in the car-bomb SUV. Dude. Maybe that's why the Taliban is claiming today that he's not one of their guys? Just sheer embarrassment?
    Posted by: || 05/08/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

    Home Front: Culture Wars
    Iowahawk: "I Need Some Me Time"
    Iowahawk Special Guest Opinion
    by the three-week old Newsweek magazine
    From the pile at your dentist's office

    A gem
    Posted by: Frank G || 05/08/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:


    a. Do you live in coastal metropolitan area? Y N
    b. Have you completed post-graduate studies in political science, journalism, art, design, semiotics, or coffee preparation? Y N
    c. Do you have a preset for NPR on the stereo in your Prius? Y N
    d. Are you currently wearing little tiny glasses, an ironic t-shirt, a scruffy beard, or a keffiya? Y N
    e. In the past week have you attended an awareness colloquium, action seminar, issue concern workshop, or pride festival? Y N
    f. Are you white? Y N

    If you circled "N" to two or more of these questions, I'm afraid it's probably best for us to just part ways.

    Says it ALL!
    Posted by: Besoeker || 05/08/2010 8:13 Comments || Top||

    #2  Buahahah! Funniest thing I've read all day!
    Posted by: Secret Master || 05/08/2010 21:04 Comments || Top||

    Who's in the News
    1al-Qaeda in North Africa
    1Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
    1Govt of Pakistan
    1al-Qaeda in Europe
    1al-Qaeda in Pakistan
    1Hizbul Mujaheddin
    1Govt of Iran

    E-Mail Me

    The Classics
    The O Club
    Rantburg Store
    The Bloids
    The Never-ending Story
    Gulf War I
    The Way We Were


    On Sale now!

    A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

    Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

    Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
    Click here for more information

    Meet the Mods
    In no particular order...
    Steve White
    Scooter McGruder
    john frum
    Bright Pebbles
    trailing wife
    Frank G
    Alaska Paul

    Two weeks of WOT
    Sat 2010-05-08
      Uighur big turban reported titzup in Pak
    Fri 2010-05-07
      Mullah Atiqullah captured in Afghanistan
    Thu 2010-05-06
      Death sentence for Kasab
    Wed 2010-05-05
      Iraqi Troops Arrest Head of Qaeda-Linked Ansar al-Islam
    Tue 2010-05-04
      Pakistani-American Arrested in Times Square Plot
    Mon 2010-05-03
      Somali rebels seize pirate haven of Haradhere
    Sun 2010-05-02
      Pakistani Taliban claim credit for failed NYC Times Square car bombing
    Sat 2010-05-01
      Explosions inside a Somali mosque kill at least 30
    Fri 2010-04-30
      Two New York men charged with trying to help al Qaeda
    Thu 2010-04-29
      Hakimullah Mehsud no longer dead
    Wed 2010-04-28
      Egypt court convicts 26 men of links to Hezbollah
    Tue 2010-04-27
      French cops seize five jihad suspects
    Mon 2010-04-26
      Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri Nabbed?
    Sun 2010-04-25
      AQI confirms death of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri
    Sat 2010-04-24
      DR Congo: Lord's Resistance Army Rampage Kills 321

    Better than the average link...

    Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
    Help keep the Burg running! Paypal:
    WoT Operations (26)    WoT Background (18)    Non-WoT (14)    (0)    Politix (3)