Monday, August 28, 2006

Flying Under the Radar

When war broke out in Lebanon cynics on the left commented that the real winner was George Bush and his effort to hide the U.S. disaster in Iraq. The Israeli-Lebanon war took Iraq off the front page and relegated it to the back of the newspaper.

Meanwhile cynics on the right claimed that Hezbollah was nothing more than an proxy for Iran and that the entire conflict was ordered by Iran to divert attention from the impending UN sanctions on Iran's nuclear program. The more the world's spotlight was directed toward Israel, the less light was left to illuminate Iranian nuclear advancements.

Using that same logic I'm quite certain that the conspiracy theorists among us will find that either President George Bush OR President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arranged to have John Mark Karr confess to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. That story knocked everything off the front page!!

Darfur Refugee courtesty of the Associated PressBut the tragedy that really continues to fly under the radar is the on-going holocaust in the Darfur Region of Sudan.

While we are being lulled into a stupor by the continuous and detailed coverage of John Mark Karr's every champaign airline toast or jailhouse bologna sandwich, Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir slaughters a few hundred or a few thousand more refugees.

In order to do my small part to keep the spotlight firmly on Darfur, I've reorganized the Darfur Links on the right hand side my main page under the heading of Bloggers for Darfur. While the original founders of the 'Bloggers for Darfur' web based effort have been unable to stay on top of updating membership and links, the concept itself is very valid. I'm continuing to use the candle logo and I've added new links and discarded links that are no longer active. I welcome other bloggers who wish to join this effort.

I urge all readers to follow these links and read the wealth of information available. It will be a painful and humbling experience.

I especially urge readers to watch the flash movie prepared by
The Physicians for Human Rights. FOLLOW THIS LINK: Darfur: Lives Destroyed

Your continued support is needed. Here is the news you missed if you were watching Greta Van Susteren and her panel of wanna-be celebrity lawyers discussing Karr's obviously bogus claims for days on end. This synopsis is courtesy of The Physicians for Human Rights and reprinted here with their permission.

    "The Government of Sudan has announced plans to send 10,500 of its own troops to quell continuing violence in the country's western-most region, Darfur. This is the very government, along with its proxy forces, the Janjaweed rebels, that has been implicated in the violence that has wracked the westernmost region of Darfur since early 2003--resulting in the death of 200,000-400,000 people and displacement of nearly three million."

    "There are currently approximately 7,000 African Union (AMIS) troops enforcing the fragile ceasefire in Darfur, an area the size of France. The force is undermanned and under-equipped, and violence has continued, despite the signing of a peace agreement in May 2006. AMIS's mandate ends at the end of September 2006."

    "The United Nations Security Council has been deliberating about whether to send a peacekeeping force to the region, but has not yet stood up to Sudan's President, LT. Gen. Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, who is opposed to such a mission."
The Physicians for Human Rights request that you take a moment to write to the current President of the UN Security Council (Ghana in August, Greece in September) and tell him to reject Sudan's plan, and to push forward with a peacekeeping force of at least 17,000 troops for Darfur as soon as possible.

I've sent my letter. Here's an easy way to send your's.

Before September 1, 2006, write to:
H.E. Nana Effah-Apenteng Permanent Mission of Ghana To The United Nations
19 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212)832-1300
Email: or

Between September 1-30, 2006, write to:
Ambassador Adamantios VassilakisPermanent Mission of Greece to the UN
866 Second Avenue, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10017-2905,
Tel: (212) 888 6900
Fax: (212) 888 4440

Here is a sample letter for your consideration:

Your Excellency:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the Sudanese Government's proposal to send 10,500 of its own troops in to "end the violence" in Darfur. The Sudanese government, along with its proxy force, the Janjaweed militia, has been systematically destroying villages and killing people in Sudan's Darfur region for the past three and a half years. We cannot trust them to protect the lives of the people there.

Your Excellency, as President of the Security Council, I ask that you urge the members of that body to:

Say NO to President Bashir's plan to "protect" Darfur with Sudanese troops and

Move ahead on the resolution put forward last week by the UK and the US for a UN peacekeeping force of 17,000 troops to be deployed no later than October 1, 2006.

A strong, robust UN force is the only hope we have to stop the violence. Time is running out for the people of Darfur.

[Your name]




Friday, August 25, 2006


As we bloggers get more serious about our websites there is a tendency to attempt to turn them into mini-MSNBC's or Yahoo News sites.

We start a commentary on a subject and we want to follow-up as if our readers only read our one little blog and were blissfully unaware of events in the real world unless we "educate" them through our brilliant blog entries.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth. Most Interent readers are extremely well informed.

For example I only have about 30 to 45 minutes to follow the news and read my favorite bloggers each morning. And, like most of you, I have a routine that takes my to almost a dozen sites. I read the morning Internet with my coffee just like I used to read the morning paper. Yet I get a wealth of news and information.

Can I digress just a moment? I live is a very tiny town of only about 9,000 people. Yet we have not one, but two excellent Local Internet News Sites. I want to give them their props here and even suggest you check them out to see just how robust LOCAL NEWS can be with the advent of the Internet.

For literally "up-to-the-second" news we go to Breezy News, a website developed by the very visionary Boswell Media who own our local radio station. This web site is updated several times a day and is, frankly, a lot better than many big city newspaper and radio sites. They have up to the minute weather, too, a must have in tornado prone central Mississippi.

New to the Internet is our local weekly newspaper, but the website is more polished and covers stories in greater depth. Check out
The Star-Herald. As part of the very large Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., their offering is considerably more polished and uses a pre-packaged professional journalism template. The advent of the Internet allows the newspaper to escape the bonds of weekly publishing and update it's site daily if necessary.

Back to my Ketchup Report. So even though it is completely unnecessary I do want to revisit and update a couple of stories and commentaries I've recently posted. Ketchup (catsup for you purists) is just my cute way of saying I want to "catch up" or just to add a little tangy condiment to the meat of previous blog entries.

France to Send 2,000 Troops to Lebanon

Reuters reports this morning (along with every cable news channel) that France has belatedly agreed to send 2,000 troops to Lebanon as they had originally proposed. I want to applaud this decision. I'm very hopeful this will help.

National Public Radio had a really superb report this morning that details the reasons that Lebanon has such a weak government and the reasons Hezbollah is able to make such strong inroads. The report is "must listening." CLICK HERE:
Divided Lebanon Wary of Hezbollah 'Victory'

It seems that many in Lebanon actually lay the blame for the current situation on the French and their design of the weak central government put in place when France granted the country independence in 1948.

My comments are not more "dump on France" and neither is the NPR report. But it is great background necessary to understand the situation in the middle east.

Islamic Religious Persecution, Freedom of Religion and Women's Rights

We need to look deep into our souls and decide exactly when and where we are willing to take a stand. I wrote about this back on May 4, 2006 in
Where is Our Holy War? and several times since as the news continues to bring these issues to the forefront.

The news yesterday about Lina Joy's very dangerous effort to convert to Christianity in Malaysia is the latest example. Here's a snippet of a report from The
Wall Street Journal. Registration is required to view entire story (in fact you need a paid on-line subscription).

"In 1998, Azlina binti Jailani changed her name to Lina Joy and was baptized a Catholic in a church in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Joy now wants the government to stop classifying her as a Muslim."

"Although Malaysia's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, civil courts now routinely refer any cases involving Islamic matters for adjudication in shariah courts. And the shariah courts almost never grant Muslims the right to leave the religion."

Lina Joy's life is very much in danger. Her lawyer's like has also been threatened.

These stories are repeated day after day in most Islamic countries. Shariah law absolutely forbids leaving Islam. The penalty is usually death (or conversion back to Islam).

As a religious liberal and a social liberal I am appalled by this denial of basic human rights.

It reminds me again how very badly we need both Lebanon and Iraq to succeed as a multi-ethnic democracies.




Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The ABC's of Kidnapping

I continue to be very concerned about the kidnapping of the FOX NEWS team of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig in Palestine last Monday, August 14, 2006. There has been precious little news and it seems like even less outrage.

Kidnapping. The Pajamahadeen Rejoice I wrote about the bizarre and terribly disappointing outburst from the left that seemed to revel in the kidnapping of "FOX NEWS" reporters. Many left bloggers and blog commentators actually encouraged the murder of these two journalists and even went so far as to suggest other FOX employees be harmed as well!

In posts yesterday and today
Michelle Malkin points out the virtual news blackout of this horrific event. Malkin wonders why. So do I.

FOX themselves are being very quiet. Perhaps it's because of "behind the scenes negotiations."

But perhaps there is a bigger issue. Perhaps the boiling hatred of "FAUX NEWS" among the left wing pajamahadeen is merely the vocal and visible part of a much larger sentiment on the part of liberals and even other journalists.

There sure was a ton of coverage when Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll was kidnapped. And FOX NEWS led the way in covering that story.

But the MSM is MIA on FOX.

The journalist teaching forum,
Poynter Online, has a letter supposedly written by television critic Bob Laurence of the San Diego Union Tribune. I hate unverifiable sources and normally wouldn't use one. I'm hoping Laurence didn't actually write this, but I fear that it might actually reflect the sentiment of the larger journalistic community:

    I'd like to offer a couple of possible reasons for the lack of attention given to the kidnapping of the two guys from Fox:

    One is that, sadly, they are far from the first to be kidnapped, injured or killed. They are, alas, only the most recent two of many. The kidnapping or targeting of journalists in Iraq isn't the story it once was.

    Second, Fox has deliberately set itself apart from other news media. Starting at the top with Roger Ailes, the Fox sales pitch has been to deride other media, to declare itself the one source of the real truth, the sole source of 'fair and accurate' news reporting. As a result, there's not a reservoir of kinship or good will with Fox on the part of the rest of the news media. You can't keep insulting people and then expect friendship when you need it.

    They've made it a policy to keep a distance between themselves and the rest of the media, far beyond the usual competitive spirit, so that's where they are: at a distance.
Can you possibly imaging the outrage if a similar comment was made about a "race" such as blacks or latinos? Can you imagine the protest if a similar comment was made about women, or gays, or Muslims?

A reporter that dared write "We don't need to cover a kidnapping of a gay person because they set themselves apart from the rest of society," would never find employment again.

Michelle has asked the blogosphere to take a few minutes today and add posts that might bring more attention to the kidnapping. I think it's a good idea.

Centanni and Wiig deserve this and much more. For they are victims of two hate crimes. They are victims of the Palestinians that kidnapped them and they are victims of the far left fanatics who seem to think their lives, liberty and freedom are worth a whole lot less than those of "real journalists."




Betrayed by France, again (part 2)

I couldn't have possibly said it better myself. Read today's editorial in the New York Times (8/21/2006) titled Waiting for Jacques (registration required):

    "It would be tempting to laugh about France’s paltry commitment of 200 additional peacekeepers for Lebanon, if it weren’t so dangerous. After insisting for years that they be treated like a superpower, the French are behaving as if they have no responsibility for helping dig out of the Lebanon mess."

    "When the Security Council agreed earlier this month on a cease-fire resolution, scripted by the French and the Americans, it was with the clear understanding that Paris would head the 15,000-member international force and contribute a large number of troops. Now President Jacques Chirac’s generals have cold feet. Such a condition is highly contagious. And there are serious concerns about whether the United Nations can field enough well-trained troops without the French to ensure that Israeli troops withdraw completely and Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel do not start again."

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Betrayed by France, again (as usual)

    "French logic" is one of the world's great oxymorons.

    It's always hard to read the French, they are a complex country and a complex people.

    In the recent UN negotiations attempted to stop the violence in Lebanon and end the Israeli Hezbollah conflict, the French were not once, but twice leaders in bringing consensus to a fractious group of interests.

    First the French helped craft and then strongly support a U.S. plan for a stong peacekeeping force that would actually undertake the fighting to remove armaments from Hezbollah as required by the old U.N. Resolution 1559.

    But once in front of the Security Council and facing strong opposition from Iran, Syria and Lebanon itself, the French withdrew their support and crafted a new, much weaker, resolution that took the teeth out of the enforcement and basically settled for a patrolling/monitoring force to separate Israel from the Hezbollah militants.

    France did a magnificent job of getting the United States and Israel to support a resolution they both knew was weak and dangerous. But gather the support they did and the French resolution became U.N Resolution 1701.

    A major reason France won the reluctant support of both Israel and the United States was their commitment to lead the U.N. force and commit a large number of troops, at least 1,500 and promises of more. France already had 200 troops in the old ineffective UNIFIL force.

    But, once it became time to actually commit troops, France was only willing to add 200 more troops. And the new "troops" would be a building and construction crew, at that.

      Question: How many men does it take to defend Paris?
      Answer: They do not know. It has never been done before.

    Are the French cowards as this worn out joke suggests? Of course not, it's much more complicated than that.

    But the turnabout by France left Israel devastated. The United States was shocked.

    From the Haaretz News Service story,
    Israel says France not keeping promise on troop commitment:

      Foreign Ministry sources said Jerusalem expects France to "come to its senses and abide by its word," adding that the UN force should be a robust one which would be authorized to act in order to enforce the terms of the cease-fire.
      President George W. Bush said on Friday he hopes France will send more troops to a UN peacekeeping force for Lebanon after it said it would deploy only 200 soldiers.

      "France has said they'd send some troops. We hope they send more. There's been different signals coming out of France. Yesterday they had a statement, today they had a statement," Bush told reporters at the presidential retreat of Camp David.

    Curiously, one of France's main reasons in not sending the expected robust force was the toothless U.N Resolution they themselves had crafted. France rightfully feared that under the resolution as written, the U.N force might not even be able to fire weapons in self defense, let alone to disarm the Hezbollah militia.

    France so much wanted to be the "honest broker," the "peace maker" in the middle east they lied to virtually everyone about their role and their commitment to the actual peacekeeping mission.

    France is a bit of an enigma. The very liberal, often socialist, French intellectuals and illuminati want world peace and individual freedom. They are quick to criticize the naive, young United States government for gunslinger diplomacy and the perceived curtailment of rights, freedoms and liberty.

    Yet French business often dictates every French international move. France sells military equipment to virtually every country on earth, regardless of that country's human rights record.

    And France itself lacks many of the protections of individual rights and liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Most notable is France's record of holding detainees for years without bringing them to trial. This problem is so severe it even is noted in the

    The recent riots in France focused on France's inherent racism and xenophobia. France has enacted laws demanding immigrants learn and conform to "traditional French behaviors" that would never be tolerated in the United States. The curtailment of religious expression and the prohibition of traditional religious garments in schools is just one example.

    Amnesty International reports that "French police are using excessive and sometimes lethal force against suspects of Arab and African origin without fear of serious repercussions. It concludes that there is a pattern of effective impunity with regard to the misconduct of police officers in France."

    To be certain there are other issues at work in the French decision. The huge influx of Muslim people into France has affected the electorate. These new immigrants, not withstanding French laws designed to force integration into French society, are solidly behind Hezbollah. And they will vote in the next elections.

    "French logic" is only and oxymoron because France is a complex country buffeted by many competing philosophies, business interests and political forces. Still, the United States and the world must learn that they are not a reliable partner.

    You would think we would have already learned that.

    It just goes to prove that "American intelligence" is another, equally famous, oxymoron.




    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Civil War in Iraq

    The various talking heads are making much of the fact that Iraqi citizen (not necessarily civilian) deaths have reached recent highs. According to reports in the New York Times, 3,438 Iraqi's died in July, or over 110 each day.

      "The rising numbers suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior Iraqi officials and American military analysts have made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught between Sunni Arab guerrillas and Shiite militias."

    Unfortunately, these cold hard numbers are easy for pundants to toss out and 'analyze' in dispassionate debates, but they hide the real tragedy behind the statistics.

    Fortunately National Public Radio's (NPR) Morning Edition has once again filled in the human tragedy behind the numbers: CLICK HERE: Iraqi Refugees Point to Conflict as Civil War The report is by Tom Bullock.

    Iraq is facing a crisis of internal refugees, estimated now at over one hundred thousand and growing rapidly. Both Sunnis and Shiites have registered as refugees and both flee sectarian violence that affects both sides of the religious divide.

    The refuges seek refuge in mosques and tent camps communities protected by armed militias. It is believed these militias protect their followers one moment then attack their opponents the next.

    Listening to the testimonials and stories is heartbreaking.

      "We fled after they burned my husband's shop. Then they started killing his relatives and killing our neighbors. They broke into their houses and slaughtered them."
    After you listen to the report, listen to a commentary by Saad Qasim CLICK HERE: Sectarian Violence Breaks Apart Iraqi Family

    Many bloggers and many politicians simply want to turn this into political fodder. Statistics are their friends. But this attitude is morally wrong and politically simple minded. It doesn't matter if the invasion of Iraq was ill advised or done for the wrong reasons. It doesn't matter that the invasion was launched under a cloud of suspicious intelligence.

    It doesn't matter today if this is George Bush's fault or Tony Blair's fault or Saddam Hussen's fault or Al-Queda's fault.

    The real issue is how do we best solve the problem the war and invasion have created. Abandoning Iraq just because it was "George Bush's War" is as reprehensible as the original invasion itself, and perhaps much worse.

    If you don't want to be accused of "cutting and running...," then stop advocating "cutting and running."

    Propose logical solutions that might save the lives and liberty and dignity of the Iraqi people. Propose solutions that won't leave the Iraqi nation a puppet of the Iranian theocracy. Propose solutions that won't leave the United States and the entire world more vulnerable to future expansion of Islamic fundamentalism.

    Vigilante, blogging over on The Vigil, calls the Iraq conflict "UULUIUOI," which stands for un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI). I think it's a very fair and accurate assessment of the history that leads us to the point in which we find ourselves today.

    Indeed, the problem may be all George Bush's fault.

    But who is going to have the courage to actually provide a solution? Bringing home the troops might be part of the solution, but it's no solution by itself.

    Leaving and hiding our head in the sand (pun definitely intended) is no solution at all.




      Tuesday, August 15, 2006

      Kidnapping. The Pajamahadeen Rejoice.

      The news is tragic and frightening. It's a war story repeated all too often in the middle east and it's one destined to be repeated again and again.... From the San Francisco Chronicle

        2 journalists kidnapped in Gaza City

        Steve Centanni, 60, a national correspondent with Fox News who grew up in the Bay Area, was one of two journalists kidnapped Monday when masked Palestinian gunmen ambushed a news crew in Gaza City, according to a Fox employee. Also abducted was Olaf Wiig, 36, a freelance cameraman from New Zealand.

        The men and their bodyguard were parked near the headquarters of the Palestinian security service when two trucks boxed them in and gunmen took the reporters from their vehicle, which was marked "TV," the Fox spokesman said.

      But what was even more disheartening was the massive outpouring of hatred against the two journalists, simply because they are employed by FOX NEWS.

      However, Centanni was well regarded among his peers. Again quoting from the San Francisco Chronicle linked above:

        "KCBS radio news anchor Rebecca Corral, who was a producer for KRON in the early 1980s, described Centanni as the consummate professional."

      Sadly, at least the fringe Pajamahadeen of the Left have made one thing clear: They rejoice in the kidnapping. And many actually want these two reporters dead. They want other FOX Reporters to join them and the list doesn't particularly stop there.

      What makes these fringe pajamahadeen, be they on the left or on the right, any different from the others who chose to hate, harm or even kill others because of religion, skin color, nationality, sexual orientation or political affiliation?

      A few, embarrassed posters tried to apologize, calling the posts "black humor."

      Read it and weep. From the LINK: CLICK HERE




      Sunday, August 13, 2006

      The Pajamahadeen

      Pajamahadeen! I love it! I first read the term in a blog by Marty Kaplan over on The Huffington Post in his essay Pajamahadeen = Chattering Class + Broadband. I recommend you follow that link and read his essay, it's excellent and insightful.

      It seems that Chris Matthews may have actually coined the term Pajamahadeen. Matthews is quoted by Kaplan as defining the pajamahadeen as

      "The bloggers. They roll out of bed in the morning, they read something in the paper, they blog about it, they talk to each other about it, people blog back, and pretty soon it becomes the buzz."

      The pajamahadeen are given credit they well deserve for orchestrating Ned Lamont's victory in the Connecticut primary. Bloggers are an increasingly informed, articulate and influential.

      In many ways the pajamahadeen have improved and increased the dialog in this country (and the world). But, in some ways, we may have actually increased the polarization in the world.

      Are we talking a lot more, but listening a lot less?

      We are all familiar with the hate speech of the right. Ann Coulter is famous for her turn of a phrase.

      But especially revealing this past week was an essay written by Lanny J. Davis, advisor and Special Counsel to President Clinton, in the Wall Street Journal titled "Liberal McCarthyism." Davis writes,

      "My brief and unhappy experience with the hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle comes from the last several months I spent campaigning for a longtime friend, Joe Lieberman."

      "This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing--in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against "communists and their fellow travelers." "

      "I came to believe that we liberals couldn't possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us."

      "Now, in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony."

      Lanny goes on to reprint a number of hate filled comments laced with ethnic slurs and bigoted remarks, mostly aimed at Jews. He gathered these from liberal blogs like The Daily Kos and The Huffington Post. Most were from "commentators" and not the actual blog writers. I won't bother to reprint them here, but you can read Mr. Davis' article or you can find them yourself. There are hundreds (thousands?) of them scattered all over the Blogosphere every day.

      Lanny goes on to relate a more personal experience,

      "One Sunday morning on C-Span I debated Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel on the Lieberman versus Lamont race. Afterwards I received a series of emails--many of them in ALL CAPS (which often suggests the hyper-frenetic state of these extremist haters)--that were of the same stripe as the blog posts, and filled with the same level of personal hate."
      How short is the step from writing this kind of hate mail or posting this type of hate blog to actually causing physical violence?

      Here are more personal observations from Mr. Davis,

      "But the issue is not just emotional outbursts by these usually anonymous bloggers. A friend of mine just returned from Connecticut, where he had spoken on several occasions on behalf of Joe Lieberman. He happens to be a liberal antiwar Democrat, just as I am. He is also a lawyer. He told me that within a day of a Lamont event--where he asked the candidate some critical questions--some of his clients were blitzed with emails attacking him and threatening boycotts of their products if they did not drop him as their attorney. He has actually decided not to return to Connecticut for the primary today; he is fearful for his physical safety."

      All too often we don't listen. It's easy to dismiss an opponent as "brainwashed."

      It's equally easy to label an opponent rather than to attempt to understand him (or her). "He's part of the Hate America crowd" or "She's a moonbat."

      We don't try to engage in dialog. We don't even try to understand the 'other side's opinion.'

      Are we simply here to blog ourselves to victory by bludgeoning our opponents (to death, if necessary)?

      Pajamahadeen indeed.




      Thursday, August 10, 2006

      Photo(shop) Finish

      UPDATED 8/12/2006 Midnight

      Civilian casualties? Not in this war. Civilians are the target. Civilian murders are the means to an end. Terror is the goal.

      The weapons of war now include not only bombs and missiles, rape and torture, but also all the tricks perfected by the public relations agencies and advertising geniuses on Madison Avenue. If we can't kill enough civilians, just photoshop some more into the rubble.

      Frankly the truth is frightening enough. We woke Thursday morning to the news that a major terrorist attack had been narrowly averted. The attack by yet another group of Islamic terrorists, again using commercial aircraft, was just days away. REUTERS NEWS STORY: CLICK HERE
      The main stream news media devoted nearly 100% of their reporting efforts all day long to uncovering the story. Reporters used their blogs to get out news even more quickly! Here's a recent 'scoop.'

      Richard Esposito Reports:

        The suspected terror plotters arrested in Britain had planned to conceal their liquid or gel explosives inside a modified sports beverage drink container and trigger the device with the flash from a disposable camera.

        ABC News has learned exclusively that the plotters planned to leave the top of the bottle sealed and filled with the original beverage but add a false bottom, filled with a liquid or gel explosive. The terrorists planned to dye the explosive mixture red to match the sports drink sealed in the top half of the container.

        This, they thought, would ensure that they would be able to pass through security -- even if they were asked to unseal and drink the beverage.


      While the main stream media was consumed with the terrorist story, blogger activity seemed to depend on the political leanings of the bog.

      Virtually all conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin were all over the terrorist story.

      Liberal blogs like The Huffington Post were still savoring their sweet victory in nominating Ned Lamont over 'War Hawk Joe Lieberman.'

      I really need to devote an entire column to Joe Lieberman. But every time I start, events postpone Joe to another day. Ponder this thought: 99.9999% of all liberals wish were Joe Lieberman were Vice President today. Yet they couldn't wait to throw Joe on the trash heap of history once he crossed the liberal Maginot Line.

      Vice President Dick Cheney is in hot water in liberal corners for implying Ned Lamont's victory is being cheered on by the terrorists. I don't think it's true. I don't think the terrorists give a rat's ass who becomes the senator from Connecticut.


      Still, if you know terrorists are targeting your wife, your husband, your son or your daughter, do you want Ned Lamont or Joe Lieberman standing guard? Don't answer. I don't care any more than the terrorists.

      Before Thursday's horrific news from Great Britain, conservative bloggers were all over the main stream media's failure to catch certain photographer's photoshopping war photos to make Hezbollah appear more heroic and Israel more vile. Michelle Malkin led the assault and her evidence is overwhelming. Her post, "Fauxtography" alert: NYTimes and USNews;plus Time and Reuters' Issam Kobeisi" is compelling and well documented.

      I've written before, in my post
      "The Value of Human Life" that the Islamic Terrorists have learned the value of human life..... as a weapon of public relations. And what a great weapon it is! It's the ultimate double edged sword.

      Hezbollah has the entire world condemning Israel for harming innocent civilians. This now thoroughly discredited photo from the New York Times does bring forth a well spring of emotions even though it was probably staged.

      Adding more bodies, more fire and flames, more smoke and destruction to news photographs that will be displayed without questions on all middle-eastern news media will gain emotional and financial support, not to mention volunteers for the next suicide bomber attack.

      Under a withering PR assault, the United Nations and many of the world's governments are ready to condemn Israel.

      But watch out! The great double edged sword of civilian deaths is ready to swing the other direction. Its the carrot and the stick. One minute sympathy for civilian casualties. The next minute absolute terror at the carnage of thousands of civilian deaths in flying execution chambers!

      Had the Islamic Terrorists been able to implement their plot to blow up a dozen trans-Atlantic aircraft, they would have purposely targeted innocent civilians, many women, many, many children and many Muslims.

      Over 3,000 innocents would have been targeted and murdered by the same group that adds bodies to their photographs of 'innocent civilians slaughtered by the vile Zionist pigs.'

      Hezbollah and other Islamic Terrorist groups are using innocents as shields, as weapons and, ultimately, as public relations images. There is rarely an effort to save the lives of innocents. Their value is in their sacrifice. Innocents have value as martyrs, as victims or as infidels slaughtered in a just and holy war.

      Now that I think about it, I really do want to know just how Ned Lamont intends to handle this type of enemy.




        Sunday, August 06, 2006

        A Blast from the Past

        It was a truly delightful week in small town America. My wife and I joined our grandsons at the County Fair! Actually it's called the Central Mississippi Fair as it covers several rural counties.

        My two grandsons are two and five years old respectively, the perfect ages to visit the county fair. It's exciting to view the exhibits, the rides, the lights, the food and the carnival games through their young eyes. Everything is a delight! There is no cynicism, no negativism, just pure joy.

        As an "old timer" who grew up in the 1950's when fairs were bigger, brighter, and substantially better attended, I can look back and see tremendous differences between then and now. But, in those days county fairs had virtually no competition. In the 1950's there were no video games, no arcades, almost no television, no computers, virtually no fast food (no McDonald's???), and no distractions.

        When the traveling carnival with its fast moving metal machines, bright lights, loud music, big tents, plush teddy bears and food stands set up in the vacant field, it was a wonder to the senses.

        In the 1950's carnivals brought things to town that you could literally see and do only once a year! Today, the carnival seems tame, dirty and old. A pale imitation of the worlds you can visit on your video game, local mall, arcade, Chuckie Cheese, Dave & Busters, or the nearby Six Flags or Disney World.

        The traveling carnivals have fallen on hard times. The carnival visiting our little town had old, well worn rides with most of the lights missing. Some had 50 coats of paint and might well be the same machines I had ridden when I was five. But none of the mattered to my grandsons. It was all new, bright and shiny to them.

        Thinking of the 1950's let's remember that it was only a few years earlier, August 6, 1945 that President Harry Truman effectively ended World War Two by ordering the use of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. A few thousand people around the world will note the tragedy today in prayer and moments of silence. LINK: CLICK HERE

        While we're remembering all the joys of the 1950's, we need to remember the school air raid drills and the "duck and cover" maneuvers under our little school desks. For the last 60 years we have lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation.

        At this point we're nearing 3,000 tragic deaths of American Soldiers in Iraq. And let's not forget that thousands of Iraqis have also died. But 220,000 died in Hiroshima. 220,000 in one day, one moment.

        It is also important to note that on this day, exactly 61 years from the moment the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima (and don't think for a second that this timing was accidental), the Iranian President Ahmadinejad rejected all demands that Iran cease it's rapid development of atomic weapons. LINK: CLICK HERE

        In fact Terhan announced that Iran will expand, not suspend, uranium enrichment, in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution.

        It's also no coincidence that that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also proposed his solution for ending violence in the middle east: the destruction and removal of Israel from the planet.

        I'm so pleased we could share a tiny part of the past with our grandchildren this past week. I'm glad they could experience the fun of an old fashioned county fair.

        It's tragic that I am forced to share another legacy of the 1950's with my grandchildren, the constant fear of nuclear war and destruction. The fear that a dictator will use nuclear weapons to further his own ambitions or his own warped view of the world order.

        We had all hoped the end of the cold war had brought that era to a close.

        I guess we all better practice to duck and cover.


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