And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posts Tagged ‘Muslims

U.S. Enriches Companies Defying Its Policy on Iran – NYTimes.com

American tax payers have dished out over $107 Billion  in contracts to  who are violating our own government’s sanctions against Iran over the last decade. If more proof is needed that our government is corrupted and care nothing for the  safety of the American citizens then this is surely it.   Of course the President is always blamed because it is on his watch.   This attitude is both right and wrong.  The President is in charge and must therefore accept and be responsible for what goes on during his term in office.  At the same time the entrenched bureaucrats in Washington do what they damned well please as has been seen again and again. The bureaucrats also do as Congressmen getting “campaign contributions”  tell them to do in order to keep their jobs or be promoted. So making much noise and hullabaloo  Congress passes laws, some time goes by,  then the real powers go back to doing business as usual.  Corruption in the government is so very wide spread and no one is ever punished when the rules are found to have been broken!  Congress needs to be held accountable for much of this because it is Congress that is closer to these matters and are being paid off by these companies to continue to receive these lucrative contracts.

For years, the United States has been pressing other nations to join its efforts to squeeze the Iranian economy, in hopes of reining in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Now, with the nuclear standoff hardening and Iran rebuffing American diplomatic outreach, the Obama administration is trying to win a tough new round of United Nations sanctions.

But a New York Times analysis of federal records, company reports and other documents shows that both the Obama and Bush administrations have sent mixed messages to the corporate world when it comes to doing business in Iran, rewarding companies whose commercial interests conflict with American security goals.

What upsets me the most is that $15 billion of this has gone to Iran’s oil industry instead of developing our own oil  fields.   It is the oil that is Iran’s chief, in fact only,  revenue.  Revenue that is being used to create a nuclear arsenal  that all know will certainly threaten world peace.  And the other beef I have is that most of the companies are based in foreign countries (multi-national companies) instead of companies based in the United States.  Taxes and jobs therefore are being paid for with our dollars and going to foreign  countries!  And yet our government  is spending the nation into unsustainable debt with Stimulus and Jobs Bills when all that would have to be done is to give these lucrative contracts only to companies that have remained in the United States.   One little change in our laws and then a stiff penalty  like firing any bureaucrat that gives a contract to any but an American company (strict enforcement of the law)  would go a long way, perhaps all the way, to giving employment to the 4 million currently unemployed.  It would also end our dependence on foreign oil. Go to :The  records show for a list of these companies and the contracts they have currently.

Besides the $102 Billion  in contracts  these companies have been given almost $5 billion in grants and other bennies.

Beyond $102 billion in United States government contract payments since 2000 — to do everything from building military housing to providing platinum to the United States Mint — the companies and their subsidiaries have reaped a variety of benefits. They include nearly $4.5 billion in loans and loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that underwrites the export of American goods and services, and more than $500 million in grants for work that includes cancer research and the turning of agricultural byproducts into fuel.

In addition, oil and gas companies that have done business in Iran have over the years won lucrative drilling leases for close to 14 million acres of offshore and onshore federal land.  (I wonder how many of these companies are exclusively American companies?  We Americans need to put a stop to padding the profits of multi-nationals.  BB)

This is a long article but well worth reading  to give you an idea of just how duplicitous our government has been and is continuing to be.  BB

Military Analysis – Marines Do Heavy Lifting as Afghan Army Lags in Battle – NYTimes.com

The United States has discovered when they have tried to help develop any of the Muslim countries armies that it was just not possible.  It didn’t happen in Iraq.  Remember the “Mother of all Armies”  and how they threw down their weapons and ran at the first site of  an American?   Remember our on going efforts to develop an Iraqi army and police force?  It is failing and the country will fall into chaos as soon as we leave.  This chaos will  end only when one strong man emerges who is a bigger thug than the rest.  The so called “legitimate government” will fall.  Our officials know this, our army commanders know this and actually the world knows this.   These Muslim armies simply can not operate as a unit and in a stand up army to army battle.   There are too many factions  to ever get a combined loyal force willing to trust each other soldier to soldier, or the brotherhood of warriors which is an essential component in any army.

We are finding this again in trying to form an army in Afghanistan.  These men simply will not  or can not fight as a united force.  So, again the United States will find itself bogged down and with our troops dying in a lost cause with our troops leading and fighting the battle having the burden of trying to “pretend” that the Afghan troops are really in charge and leading.  Also having the worry of having these Afghan troops at their backs so our troops are caught between two enemies: the Taliban in front and the unknown in back.

The solution is for the United States to get out of Iraq and the Afghanistan/Pakistan areas altogether and let the chips fall.  Nothing dire will happen and the world will continue to turn on its axis and in a decade or so the situation will normalize, or “fall out” with the strongest thugs on top.  Vietnam is the past we keep forgetting!

Scenes from this corner of the battlefield, observed over eight days by two New York Times journalists, suggest that the day when the Afghan Army will be well led and able to perform complex operations independently, rather than merely assist American missions, remains far off.

The effort to train the Afghan Army has long been troubled, with soldiers and officers repeatedly falling short. And yet after nearly a decade of American and European mentorship and many billions of dollars of American taxpayer investment, American and Afghan officials have portrayed the Afghan Army as the force out front in this important offensive against the Taliban.

In every engagement between the Taliban and one front-line American Marine unit, the operation has been led in almost every significant sense by American officers and troops. They organized the forces for battle, transported them in American vehicles and helicopters from Western-run bases into Taliban-held ground, and have been the primary fighting force each day.The Afghan National Army, or A.N.A., has participated. At the squad level it has been a source of effective, if modestly skilled, manpower. Its soldiers have shown courage and a willingness to fight. Afghan soldiers have also proved, as they have for years, to be more proficient than Americans at searching Afghan homes and identifying potential Taliban members — two tasks difficult for outsiders to perform.

By all other important measures, though — from transporting troops, directing them in battle and coordinating fire support to arranging modern communications, logistics, aviation and medical support — the mission in Marja has been a Marine operation conducted in the presence of fledgling Afghan Army units, whose officers and soldiers follow behind the Americans and do what they are told.

There have been ample examples in the offensive of weak Afghan leadership and poor discipline to boot.

In northern Marja, a platoon of Afghan soldiers landed with a reinforced Marine rifle company, Company K, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, which was inserted by American Army helicopters. The Marine officers and noncommissioned officers here quickly developed a mixed impression of the Afghan platoon, whose soldiers were distributed through their ranks.

After several days, no Marine officer had seen an Afghan use a map or plan a complicated patrol. In another indicator of marginal military readiness, the Afghan platoon had no weapons heavier than a machine gun or a rocket-propelled grenade.

Afghan officers organized no indirect fire support whatsoever in the week of fighting. All supporting fire for Company K — airstrikes, rockets, artillery and mortars — was coordinated by Marines. The Afghans also relied entirely on the American military for battlefield resupply.

Moreover, in multiple firefights in which Times journalists were present, many Afghan soldiers did not aim — they pointed their American-issued M-16 rifles in the rough direction of the incoming small-arms fire and pulled their triggers without putting rifle sights to their eyes. Their rifle muzzles were often elevated several degrees high.

Shouts from the Marines were common. “What you shooting at, Hoss?” one yelled during a long battle on the second day, as an Afghan pulled the trigger repeatedly and nonchalantly at nothing that was visible to anyone else.

I recall seeing a TV interview of one American soldier in Iraq and during the interview an Iranian soldier aimed his rifle at the sky and started shooting.  The American soldier  looked at the Iraqi soldier in disgust and made the statement,”I wish they would stop doing that.  Those shells are going to come down somewhere.”

Shortfalls in the Afghan junior officer corps were starkly visible at times. On the third day of fighting, when Company K was short of water and food, the company command group walked to the eastern limit of its operations area to supervise two Marine platoons as they seized a bridge, and to arrange fire support. The group was ambushed twice en route, coming under small-arms fire from Taliban fighters hiding on the far side of a canal.

After the bridge was seized, Captain Biggers prepared his group for the walk back. Helicopters had dropped food and water near the bridge. He ordered his Marines and the Afghans to fill their packs with it and carry it to another platoon to the west that was nearly out of supplies.

The Marines loaded up. They would walk across the danger area again, this time laden with all the water and food they could carry. Captain Biggers asked the Afghan platoon commander, Capt. Amanullah, to have his men pack their share. He refused, though his own soldiers to the west were out of food, too.

Captain Biggers told the interpreter to put his position in more clear terms. “Tell him that if he doesn’t carry water and chow, he and his soldiers can’t have any of ours,” he said, his voice rising.

Captain Amanullah at last directed one or two of his soldiers to carry a sleeve of bottled water or a carton of rations — a small concession. The next day, the Afghan soldiers to the west complained that they had no more food and were hungry.

It was not the first time that Captain Amanullah’s sense of entitlement, and indifference toward his troops’ well-being, had manifested itself. The day before the helicopter assault, at Camp Leatherneck, the largest Marine base in Helmand Province, a Marine offered a can of Red Bull energy drink to an Afghan soldier in exchange for one of the patches on the soldier’s uniform.

Captain Amanullah, reclining on his cot, saw the deal struck. After the Afghan soldier had taken possession of his Red Bull, the captain ordered him to hand him the can. The captain opened it and took a long drink, then gave what was left to his lieutenant and sergeants, who each had a sip. The last sergeant handed the empty can back to the soldier, and ordered him to throw it away.

The Marines watched with mixed amusement and disgust. In their culture, the officers and senior enlisted Marines eat last. “So much for troop welfare,” one of them said.

Lackluster leadership took other forms. On Friday night, a week into the operation, Captain Biggers told the Afghan soldiers that they would accompany him the next day to a large meeting with local elders. In the morning, the Afghans were not ready.

The Marines stood impatiently, waiting while the forces that were said by the officials in Kabul to be leading the operation slowly mustered. Captain Biggers, by now used to the delays, muttered an acronym that might sum up a war now deep into its ninth year.

“W.O.A.,” he said. “Waiting on the A.N.A.”

This is life for American soldiers in Muslim countries.  Our troops are dying for this!  Our government and State Department don’t want the American people to know about these failures and cultural deficiencies.  Our government panders to the false and disgusting  “pride” of these so-called leaders.

It’s way past time to bring our soldiers home and let these people continue rotting in their part of the world.  Our army should be used to secure our own borders and protect our own people.  BB

Thanks to my friend Fred for this referral.  :)  BB

Islam envoy retreats on terror talk – Josh Gerstein – POLITICO.com

For those of you who have forgotten Rashad Hussein is  President Barack Obama’s new Islamic envoy.  Be sure to read the entire article and do listen to the video.  And please read the entire article even tho it is long because it quotes Hussein a lot.  First, I wonder why an Islamic envoy is needed and second I really am concerned about this particular person being in our White House and privy to so much information.   You will be too when you read what he has to say.

More and more i Am coming to believe like so many who are now cropping up:  Barack Obama  and his cohorts are dangerous to the American people, he is a traitor surrounded by traitors.  He should be impeached along with Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and  a whole new batch of people put in their place.  Then like any good clean sweep we should change all the locks and codes.

admitting that he made sharply critical statements about a U.S. terror prosecution against a Muslim professor after initially saying he had no recollection of making such comments.

“I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated,” Hussain said, referring to a 2004 conference at which he discussed the case.

Hussain’s reversal came after POLITICO obtained a recording of his presentation to a Muslim students’ conference in Chicago during which he can be heard portraying the government’s cases towards professor Sami Al-Arian, as well as other Muslim terrorism suspects, as “politically motivated persecutions.” Al-Arian later pled guilty to aiding terrorists.

In the current version of the story on the Washington Report’s website, there is no reference to Hussain’s comments, or even that he appeared at the 2004 conference. But earlier, cached versions of the same story do include the comments — initially adding to the mystery of why they were taken out and at whose request. The discrepancy was first noted in a story last Sunday in the Web-based Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report.

A Washington Report editor initially said the author of its article requested the change because Laila Al-Arian’s comments had been misattributed to Hussain. However, in an e-mail to POLITICO, the author, Shereen Kandil, stood by her reporting and denied she ever made such a request.

In addition, both Laila Al-Arian and Kandil, who now works in the Obama administration at the Environmental Protection Agency, said they were never consulted before the passages referring to Hussain were deleted. The deletion took place sometime between October 2007 and this year, according to the Internet Archive, though the version available in Nexis was never modified.

The changes made some three years or more after his speech have led to speculation that Hussain was sanitizing his record to smooth his path to a White House legal post. However, the strident criticism he offered of the Justice Department’s handling of various alleged terrorism cases raises the possibility that his remarks could have posed a problem when he was applying for work at Justice in 2008. He joined the agency in the last year of the Bush administration as a trial attorney handling civil cases against the government, a Justice spokeswoman said.

While the audio shows that Hussain did utter the phrase “politically motivated persecutions” in the midst of his discussion about Sami Al-Arian, another comment Kandil attributed to Hussain, describing Al-Arian as being “used politically to squash dissent,” is not audible in the recording POLITICO obtained, which cuts off before any question-and-answer period.

Hussain’s remarks about Al-Arian appear to have been extemporaneous, but he seemed to have prepared in advance his denunciation of the Bush administration’s handling of other terrorism-related detentions and prosecutions.

Feb 18, 2010 10:12 pm | Robert

They were arrested just before Christmas, but we are only learning about it now, almost two months later. Why the long delay? Was this yet another coverup? Who ordered it, and why? “CBN Exclusive: Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested at Fort Jackson in South Carolina,” from CBN News, February 18 (thanks…

Feb 18, 2010 07:17 pm | Marisol

This could be the start of a refreshing change at the IAEA, but much remains to be seen. “IAEA Fears Iran Working Now on Nuclear Warhead,” by Mark Heinrich for Reuters, February 18: VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog fears Iran may be working now to develop a nuclear-armed…

Feb 18, 2010 05:07 am | Marisol

The intrepid mujahedin, hiding behind women and children in hopes of buying time on the battlefield and scoring propaganda points in the eagerly credulous global press. “Embattled Afghan Taliban rely on human shields,” by Alfred de Montesquiou and Rahim Faiez for the Associated Press, February 17: MARJAH, Afghanistan – Taliban…

Feb 19, 2010 07:09 pm | Robert

Journalistic irresponsibility and bias example #281,328,616, from “Know Your Conspiracies” in Newsweek, February 12 (thanks to Daniel). Number Nine on this list of crackpot conspiracy theories comes this gem: 9. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and spread jihad. Author Dave Gaubatz alleges that the…

An important post from American Daughter Blog   American Daughter .  But remember our President and his cohorts assure us these are just ordinary civilian criminal actions taken by individuals and not a War with Islam or terrorist.  BB

By Jerry A. Kane |  Friday, February 19th, 2010 at 11:35 am

Yet another teachable moment from the “religion of peace.”

The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that five Muslim soldiers attempted to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The five, whose first language is Arabic, were reportedly part of the “09 Lima” Arabic Translation program at the base.

Unnamed sources close to the investigation say that the five soldiers, who were arrested just before Christmas, may have been in contact with the five Muslims from the Washington, DC, area who traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. soldiers and were arrested by Pakistani authorities, also just before Christmas.

Chris Grey, a spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, said that the ongoing investigation, which began two months ago, is being taken “extremely seriously” by the Army. However, “there is no credible information to support the allegations,” he added.’

Grey would not discuss whether the men remain in custody or have been released.

//

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Jerry A. Kane works part-time as a technical writer and editor. He has spent almost two decades as an adjunct English professor and over a decade as journalist. His commentaries have appeared on WorldNetDaily, the American Thinker, Canada Free Press, and in daily and weekly newspapers in western Pennsylvania. Visit his blog, The Millstone Diaries, for more commentaries and musings.

Lisbon Treaty Already Undermining U.S. National Security | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

I blogged awhile back about the European Unions Parliament adopting The Lisbon Treaty that is very blatantly anti-American in content.  In fact the Lisbon Treaty is a threat to both the European nations and  the United States.  The European Union Parliament are people whom no one elects and yet their decisions override those of the individual countries government.  You might want to refresh your memory by reading the first post:  >>November 3, 2009 The Day Europe died. Where is this century’s Paul Revere to give the warning? Will we heed the cry?

Well the EU Parliament has struck it’s first blow against the United States and the world actually:  Parliamentarians voted down an EU-US agreement on tracking terrorist financing which was agreed in November 2009, before the passage of the Lisbon Treaty.   So they are reaching back to rescind agreements and actions they disagree with.

The European Parliament is an endemically anti-American institution which has relentlessly prosecuted the American-led war on terrorism. In 2006, it formed a temporary committee to investigate America’s extraordinary rendition program, with some MEP’s comparing U.S. detention sites with the Soviet gulags.

There is intense dissatisfaction and disillusionment among Europeans with the Parliament, resulting in the lowest turnout for Europe-wide elections last June. That dissatisfaction is clearly spreading to the U.S. now, despite President Obama’s massive commitment to improving America’s image in Europe. The Administration should rue the day that it congratulated the EU on the passage of the Lisbon Treaty.

See also:

Our President and congress seem not to be aware of the fact that Islam is at war with us!  When a people are at war against another people it certainly behooves the other people to acknowledge the fact and protect themselves.  After Fort Hood Massacre and the more recent Underwear Bomber  I simply do not understand President Obama or his Attorney General Eric Holder.  Are they insane?  Are they traitors?  Do they hate America and Americans so much? BB

On Saturday, February 13,  the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia – about 20 minutes from the White House –  held a fundraiser dinner to raise money for Sabri Benkhala’s various legal appeals.  (They’re holding an even bigger fundraiser in April, which may be attended by some well-known elected officials – more on that later….)  Benkhala is serving a 10-year term in a federal prison for perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI.

Feb 13, 2010 12:54 pm | Robert

Of course, Obama has already shown that the OIC’s war against free speech doesn’t particularly bother him. “Obama Names Envoy to Islamic Group,” from Reuters, February 13: DOHA, Feb 13 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday he was naming a special envoy to a top Islamic body…

Feb 13, 2010 09:14 am | Robert

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a premier stealth jihad group in the United States today. Federal prosecutors in 2008 rejected claims that ISNA was unfairly named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror funding case. ISNA has admitted ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and…

Feb 14, 2010 02:22 am | Robert

In “A sure-fire legal recipe for airport insecurity” in the San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, Debra J. Saunders offers some common sense on the Nicholas George case: Last August, Nicholas George, 22, was getting ready to fly from Pennsylvania to Pomona College in Claremont (Los Angeles County) when TSA agents…

Feb 14, 2010 02:51 am | Robert

Over at Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller has an illuminating report on how Brian Williams, who helped Rifqa Bary when she fled from her Muslim parents in fear for her life after converting to Christianity, now faces arrest. [...] According to Jamal Jivanjee, Rifqa Bary’s friend and pastor, the authorities are…

Feb 12, 2010 06:53 pm | Robert

This is not just a question of which side is he on. This is a question of which planet is he on. “Obama’s National Defence Review ignores Iran and Islam in favour of… climate change!,” by James Corum in the Telegraph, February 11 (thanks to Pamela): Under American law, every…

Feb 11, 2010 03:54 pm | Robert

The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is affiliated with ISNA, which is a Muslim Brotherhood group. The Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” The FCNA issued a flimsy, loophole-ridden condemnation of terrorism several years ago. And CAIR, of course, is…

Feb 11, 2010 03:33 pm | Robert

The jihad against the United States picked up steam in 2009: over one-third of the attempted and successful jihad attacks on American soil since 9/11 took place in the last year. Muslim Brotherhood organizations have infiltrated our government at the highest levels. Still, the mainstream media won’t tell you about…

American Thinker: The Anachronism of Apostasy

This is a good article on just what Islam is all about.  The article is short yet summarizes  well and in plain language just what it means to be a Muslim and what to expect if one should leave that particular religion.

Islam is extremely possessive of its subjects. It is a religion that admits anyone into its fold by the person simply uttering a one-sentence statement of faith, shahada: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.” By so saying, one becomes Muslim for life and surrenders the right to ever leave it. Anyone who leaves the Islamic fold is murtad (revert), or an apostate.

You may want to check out two more interesting article on Islam in todays American Thinker Blog.  The first has to do with the Fort Hood Massecre   Is It Possible for a Practicing Muslim Soldier to Swear Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution?
The second article shows the contempt Islam shows for other faiths. Ezekiel’s Tomb on the Edge of Destruction


Jihad Watch
Feb 03, 2010 05:56 pm | Robert

Will the Islamophobia never end? “Prosecutor: German Islamists planned mass murder,” from DPA, February 3 (thanks to Twostellas): Dusseldorf – The chief prosecutor in the German trial of four alleged Islamists said on Wednesday that they had planned ‘mass murder’ on a scale unknown in Germany. State prosecutor Volker Brinkmann…

Feb 03, 2010 05:50 pm | Hugh

At Jihad Watch, less than a week ago, on January 28, a YouTube video of Awadh A. Binhazim, Ph.D., was put up. The tape shows one Awadh A. Binhazim being subject to questioning by a persistent questioner. The tape received a good deal of comment (a heinzian 57, at last…

Feb 03, 2010 03:39 pm | Robert

“This is a verdict coming from Israel and not from America,” said this vicious Muslim antisemite after she heard the verdict. Aafia Siddiqui Update. “Pakistani Scientist Convicted of Attempted Murder,” by C.J. Hughes for the New York Times, February 3: A Pakistani neuroscientist was convicted on Wednesday of attempted…

Feb 03, 2010 03:23 pm | Robert

Just so that you don’t get the idea that the Post is “Islamophobic” for reporting on this story, Reuven Blau and Dan Mangan include a completely gratuitous reference to an illegal bar mitzvah party organized by a Jewish chaplain for an inmate’s son. Box cutters = bar mitzvah. Check. “Muslim…

Feb 03, 2010 02:37 pm | Robert

Bat Ye’or spoke at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at an international conference on Antisemitism, multiculturalism, and ethnic identity. Her talk was entitled “From Europe to Eurabia,” and it takes on a special urgency today in light of the Wilders trial. Pamela has the full transcript here. Here are…

Feb 03, 2010 01:29 pm | Robert

Geert Wilders reacts to the Amsterdam’s District Court’s disallowing of all but three of his witnesses. “Reaction to the decision in the pre-trial review,” from his new Geert Wilders Trial website, February 3: Geert Wilders: No fair trial The Amsterdam District Court apparently doesn’t want to hear the truth about…

Feb 03, 2010 12:53 pm | Robert

“An FSB spokesman said Shaaban, who went by the name of Seif Islam (the sword of Islam), had seen action in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and ‘was also in Sudan, Somali, Libya and Georgia.'” Indicating once again the international and unitary character of the global jihad. “Russian police kill al-Qaeda’s…

Feb 03, 2010 08:52 am | Robert

The utterly wrongheaded policy that has American troops in Afghanistan devoting the bulk of their time to hearts-and-minds initiatives and to behaving like social workers is…killing American troops. When America pretends to have no enemies, its enemies do not fall into line and behave accordingly. And yet Americans are not…

Feb 03, 2010 08:36 am | Robert

This just in from my friend Paul Belien: Short session. The court ruled that it is competent to deal with the case. It restricted the list of 18 witnesses which Wilders had asked to be heard to only three people: the Dutch Arabists Jansen and Admiraal, plus Wafa Sultan. Hans…

Feb 03, 2010 08:26 am | Robert

“Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence. And yet England allows it.” Yes, and that is suicidal. “England ‘Is Cesspit For Breeding Islamic Terror,'” by Martyn Brown for the Express, February 3 (thanks…

Feb 03, 2010 08:07 am | Robert

This is a canny move, since Mohammed Bouyeri cited the Qur’an to justify his murder of Theo Van Gogh. How, then, can Geert Wilders be guilty of “hate speech” simply for pointing out that the words of the Qur’an have incited Muslims to commit acts of violence against unbelievers? “Dutch…

Feb 03, 2010 06:49 am | Robert

Freedom fighter Freedom fighter Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last night, and Rashid Dar, the head of the campus chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Students Association, in this article affects a posture of wounded victimhood, claiming that Hirsi Ali — who was raised a Muslim…

Feb 03, 2010 06:38 am | Robert

“When worship continued unabated, a mob took matters into its own hands.” Islamic Tolerance Alert from modern, moderate Indonesia: “Muslim Mob Burns Pastor’s Home, 2 Churches,” from International Christian Concern via AINA, February 3: Washington — International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Muslim mob set fire to a…

Feb 03, 2010 05:38 am | Robert

An announcement from the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV): Dutch politician Geert Wilders launches websites on political trial Wednesday February 3rd 2010 Dutch politician Geert Wilders launches two websites on the political trial against him and the freedom of speech. From now on both the Dutch (www.wildersproces.nl) and the…

Feb 03, 2010 08:52 am | Robert

The utterly wrongheaded policy that has American troops in Afghanistan devoting the bulk of their time to hearts-and-minds initiatives and to behaving like social workers is…killing American troops. When America pretends to have no enemies, its enemies do not fall into line and behave accordingly. And yet Americans are not…

US casualties in Afghanistan provoke rage and frustration

A hunger for revenge is palpable among US Marines as casualties grow on the frontline of the battle against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. ‘My men want revenge – that is only natural,’ says First Lieutenant Aaron MacLean.

By Jason Gutierrez, south-east of Marjah for AFP
Published: 11:40AM GMT 01 Feb 2010

Comments 10 | Comment on this article

An Afghan farmer watches as US Marines from 1st Battalion, 6th regiment, Charlie company patrol around Huskers camp on the outskirts of Marjah in central Helmand

An Afghan farmer watches as US Marines from 1st Battalion, 6th regiment, Charlie company patrol around Huskers camp on the outskirts of Marjah in central Helmand Photo: AFP/Getty Images

On a base near Marjah, a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, Marines are grieving the deaths of a sergeant and corporal killed by the remote-controlled bombs that have become the scourge of the long-running conflict.

Commanders try to keep the men’s rage in check, aware that winning over an Afghan public wary of the foreign military presence and furious about civilian casualties is as important as battlefield success.

“It causes a lot of frustration. My men want revenge – that is only natural,” says First Lieutenant Aaron MacLean, 2nd Platoon commander of the 1st Battalion, 6th Regiment Charlie company.

“But I keep telling them that the rules are the rules for a reason. If we simply go crazy and start shooting at everything, in the long run we will lose this war because we will lose the support of the population.”

He too is frustrated, accusing the Taliban of manipulating the rules of engagement by using women and children as shields and shooting from hidden positions before dropping their weapons and standing out in the open.

“They know we can’t shoot them if they don’t carry guns or without positive identification. They are fighting us at another level now,” MacLean said.

MacLean recently led his unit on a routine foot patrol near Marjah, which is expected to be the scene of a major offensive this month.

What the Marines encountered was a likely precursor of the battle to come.

They were met by fierce gunfire from Taliban gunmen who pinned them down for three hours at the expense of two of their men.

One corporal stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). Military intelligence officials say that it is possible that 90 per cent of foreign soldiers’ lives are currently being lost in this way.

The corporal’s legs were blown off and he was thrown metres into the air.

A second IED killed a sergeant who rushed to the corporal’s aid as bullets flew everywhere, MacLean said.

Three others were wounded in the clash, making it one of the bloodiest days for US Marines since President Barack Obama’s announcement in December of a fresh troop surge in the war to eradicate the Taliban.

The death toll of foreign soldiers fighting in Afghanistan under US and Nato command reached 44 in January – the most in a month since the war began more than eight years ago.In January 2009 the figure was 25.

The number of Americans who died last month in the conflict now in its ninth year was almost double the number for January last year, at 29 compared with 15, according to the icasualties.org website, which keeps a running tally.

The US and Nato currently deploy 113,000 troops in Afghanistan, with another 40,000 due this year as part of a renewed strategy that emphasises development and the “reconciliation” of Taliban fighters.

Most of the incoming troops will be deployed in Helmand, which along with neighbouring Kandahar province has been the hub of the insurgency since the Taliban regime was removed from power in late 2001.

MacLean’s unit contains some of the first Marinesto be sent into Helmand since the surge was announced.

On the day of the ambush, Marines hunkered down in tents inside the camp as information about the encounter came in.

Some had tears in their eyes as the names of casualties were made known. Others held tightly to their weapons and yelled at their enemy on the horizon.

“We were attacked treacherously. We came under fire from everywhere, but the rules of engagement prevent me from doing my job,” said Lance Corporal Mark Duzick, who was in the unit that was ambushed.

Outside a tent housing the Marines’ unit responsible for firing mortars stands an improvised cross bearing the inscription: “Here lies the 81st, death by stand down.”

Last year was the worst yet for foreign troops fighting in Afghanistan, with 520 soldiers dead, up from 295 in 2008. More troops will mean more casualties, military experts say.

For the Afghans too 2009 was the deadliest, with the UN putting civilian deaths at 2,412 for the year, compared to 2,118 in 2008.

While most are caused by the Taliban, the insurgents exploit civilian casualties to spread distrust among the public for foreign and Afghan troops.

As the nature of the fight has changed, with the Taliban increasingly using suicide attacks and IEDs, there had been no traditional winter hiatus and General Zahir Azimi, a defence ministry spokesman, said that spring is likely to be ferocious.

“We will have the most intense clashes come the spring, and will shed the most blood this year,” he said.


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