Archive for Iraq

Kuala Lampur War Crimes Tribunal: George W. Bush and Co. Guilty of ‘War Crimes’

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and their legal advisers have been convicted of war crimes by a tribunal in Malaysia. (h/t: Al)

(via. Information Clearing House):

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were today (Friday) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is also asking that the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Addington and Haynes be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals for public record.

This verdict does not currently have any sort of enforcement power behind it but the hope is that it will be taken up by the International Court,

War crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in America, was part of the prosecution team.

After the case he said: “This is the first conviction of these people anywhere in the world.”

While the hearing is regarded by some as being purely symbolic, human rights activist Boyle said he was hopeful that Bush and Co could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world.

“We tried three times to get Bush in Canada but were thwarted by the Canadian Government, then we scared Bush out of going to Switzerland. The Spanish attempt failed because of the government there and the same happened in Germany.”

Boyle then referenced the Nuremberg Charter which was used as the format for the tribunal when asked about the credibility of the initiative in Malaysia. He quoted: “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such a plan.”

The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle who also believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials.

Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said: “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.

He added that he was optimistic the tribunal would be followed up elsewhere in the world where “countries have a duty to try war criminals” and he cited the case of the former Chilean dictator Augustine Pinochet who was arrested in Britain to be extradited to Spain on charges of war crimes.

“Pinochet was only eight years out of his presidency when that happened.”

The Pinochet case was the first time that several European judges applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, declaring themselves competent to judge crimes committed by former heads of state, despite local amnesty laws.

Throughout the week the tribunal was packed with legal experts and law students as witnesses gave testimony and then cross examination by the defence led by lawyer Jason Kay Kit Leon.

The court heard how
· Abbas Abid, a 48-year-old engineer from Fallujah in Iraq had his fingernails removed by pliers.
· Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from a wall.
· Moazzam Begg was beaten, hooded and put in solitary confinement.
· Jameelah was stripped and humiliated, and was used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter.

The witnesses also detailed how they have residual injuries till today.

Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.

“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”

In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”

The prosecution case rested on proving how the decision-makers at the highest level President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by the lawyers and the other commanders and CIA officials – all acted in concert. Torture was systematically applied and became an accepted norm.

According to the prosecution, the testimony of all the witnesses exposed a sustained perpetration of brutal, barbaric, cruel and dehumanising course of conduct against them.
These acts of crimes were applied cumulatively to inflict the worst possible pain and suffering, said lawyers.

The president of the tribunal Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, found that the prosecution had established beyond a “reasonable doubt that the accused persons, former President George Bush and his co-conspirators engaged in a web of instructions, memos, directives, legal advice and action that established a common plan and purpose, joint enterprise and/or conspiracy to commit the crimes of Torture and War Crimes, including and not limited to a common plan and purpose to commit the following crimes in relation to the “War on Terror” and the wars launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the Tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the Tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

“The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.

“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions”.

Declaring War on ‘Political Islamism’

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by loonwatch
William KristolWilliam Kristol

The neocons have been around for decades, first to mobilize support against Soviet-led communism, and then, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to wage a so-called “Global War on Terrorism.”

As the architects of the spectacularly disastrous Iraq War, the necons should have been thoroughly discredited and relegated to the political fringe. Yet it seems these foreign policy hawks have simply retooled their message, founded a new think tank, and are poised to wreak havoc once again.

By Robert Parry

Like George W. Bush, Mitt Romney has responded to his lack of foreign policy experience by surrounding himself with clever neoconservatives who are now looking forward to expanding Bush’s “global war on terror” into what neocon ideologue William Kristol calls a U.S. “war with political Islamism.”

In a Washington Post op-ed on Thursday, Kristol dismissed President Barack Obama’s phased military withdrawal from Afghanistan – and his statement that “this time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end” – as foolish wishful thinking.

“It would be wonderful if Obama’s view of 9/11 and its implications were correct,” Kristol wrote. “But if it’s not going to be true that Afghanistan is where ‘this time of war … will end’ — even if Afghanistan is pacified and we’re no longer fighting there — then the American people should know that.”

What the American people should know, in Kristol’s view, is that a post-Obama administration – presumably headed by Republican Mitt Romney and staffed by neocon hawks – will undertake a grander “war with political Islamism,” a conflict whose full dimensions even “war president” George W. Bush shrank from.

“This isn’t a pleasant reality, and even the Bush administration wasn’t quite ready to confront it,” Kristol wrote. “But President George W. Bush did capture the truth that we are engaged in — and had no choice but to engage in — a bigger war, a ‘global war on terror,’ of which Afghanistan was only one front.

“There are, of course, problems with ‘global war on terror’ as a phrase and an organizing principle. But it does capture what we might call the ‘big’ view of 9/11 and its implications.”

As part of an even “bigger” view of 9/11, Kristol called for engaging in a broader conflict, ranging “from Pakistan in the east to Tunisia in the west, and most visibly now in places such as Iran and Yemen and Somalia.”

In other words, Kristol and the neocons expect a President Romney to let them refocus the United States onto a “war” not simply against al-Qaeda and its affiliates but against nations where “political Islamism” gains power, which could include Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim countries.

One might as well say the United States will be at war with the Muslim world, though Kristol hastily added that this “war with political Islamism” does not always have to involve open warfare.

He wrote: “This doesn’t mean we need to be deploying troops and fighting ground wars all around the globe. [But] unfortunately, the war in which we are engaged won’t end with peace in, or withdrawal from, Afghanistan.”

A Romney Presidency?

Most political analysts say the November elections will turn on the economy with foreign policy a second-tier issue. In addition, many progressives have denounced Obama and his more targeted approach of relying on drone strikes to kill alleged terrorists as unacceptable, with some on the Left vowing not to support his reelection.

But it shouldn’t be missed that a President Romney would reinstall the neocons, including many who worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, at the levers of American power. Indeed, Romney’s foreign policy “white paper” was largely drafted by neocons. Even the name, “An American Century,” was an homage to the neocon manifesto of the 1990s, “Project for a New American Century.”

Romney’s foreign policy advisers include:

Cofer Black, a key Bush counterterrorism official; Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security; Eliot Cohen, a neocon intellectual; Paula Dobriansky, a former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; Eric Edelman, a national security aide to Vice President Cheney; Michael Hayden, the ex-director of CIA and the National Security Agency who defended Bush’s warrantless spying program; Robert Kagan, a Washington Post columnist; former Navy Secretary John Lehmanand Daniel Senor, spokesman for Bush’s Iraq occupation.

Romney’s foreign policy also would restore George W. Bush’s “with us or against us” approach to the world – except that Romney, like Kristol, advocates even a more confrontational style, essentially a new Cold War against “rogue nations,” a revised “axis of evil.”

“A special problem is posed by the rogue nations of the world: Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba,” Romney’s white paper declares. “Their interests and values are diametrically opposed to our own and they threaten international peace and security in numerous ways, including, as in the case of North Korea and Iran, by seeking nuclear weapons, or by harboring criminal networks, exporting weapons, and sponsoring terrorists. …

“Mitt Romney would work to protect and advance America’s interests by employing all the instruments of national power at the president’s disposal. He will defend our country, defend our allies, and restore American leadership around the world. It is only American power — conceived in the broadest terms — that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies. …

“A Romney foreign policy will proceed with clarity and resolve. The United States will clearly enunciate its interests and values. Our friends and allies will not have doubts about where we stand and what we will do to safeguard our interests and theirs; neither will our rivals, competitors, and adversaries. …

“The United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. In defending America’s national interest in a world of danger, the United States should always retain a powerful military capacity to defend itself and its allies.”

No Apologies

The Romney “white paper” also treats any recognition of past American errors as unacceptable “apologizing” and calls any notion of seeking multilateral consensus on a problem as an admission of weakness.

“A perspective has been gaining currency, including within high councils of the Obama administration, that regards that United States as a power in decline. And not only is the United States regarded as in decline, but that decline is seen as both inexorable and a condition that can and should be managed for the global good rather than reversed.

“Adherents of this view argue that America no longer possesses the resources or the moral authority to play a leadership role in the world. They contend that the United States should not try to lead because we will only succeed in exhausting ourselves and spreading thin our limited resources.

“They counsel America to step aside, allow other powers to rise, and pursue policies that will ‘manage’ the relative change in our national fortunes. They recoil from the idea of American Exceptionalism, the idea that an America founded on the universal principles of human liberty and human dignity has a unique history and a special role to play in world affairs.

“They do not see an international system undergirded by American values of economic and political freedom as necessarily superior to a world system organized by multilateral organizations like the United Nations. Indeed, they see the United Nations as an instrument that can rein in and temper what they regard as the ill-considered overreaching of the United States.

“This view of America in decline, and America as a potentially malign force, has percolated far and wide. It is intimately related to the torrent of criticism, unprecedented for an American president, that Barack Obama has directed at his own country. …

“Among the ‘sins’ for which he has repented in our collective name are American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision; for dictating solutions, for acting unilaterally, for acting without regard for others; for treating other countries as mere proxies, for unjustly interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, for committing torture, for fueling anti-Islamic sentiments, for dragging our feet in combating global warming, and for selectively promoting democracy.

“The sum total of President Obama’s rhetorical efforts has been a form of unilateral disarmament in the diplomatic and moral sphere. A President who is so troubled by America’s past cannot lead us into the future. … Mitt Romney believes in restoring the sinews of American power.”

Hawks in the Middle East

As for the Middle East, Romney’s team advocates unquestioned support for Israel both regarding its treatment of the Palestinians and toward Iran:

“Israel is the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East and a beacon of democracy and freedom in the region. The tumult in the Middle East has heightened Israel’s security problems. Indeed, this is an especially dangerous moment for the Jewish state. …

“To ensure Israel’s security, Mitt Romney will work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge. … The United States must forcefully resist the emergence of anti-Israel policies in Turkey and Egypt, and work to make clear that their interests are not served by isolating Israel.

“With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Romney’s policy will differ sharply from President Obama’s. President Obama and his administration have badly misunderstood the dynamics of the region. Instead of fostering stability and security, they have diminished U.S. authority and painted both Israel and ourselves into a corner.

“President Obama for too long has been in the grip of several illusions. One is that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the central problem in the region. This has been disproved repeatedly by events, most recently and most dramatically by the eruption of the Arab Spring.

“But it nonetheless led the administration to believe that distancing the United States from Israel was a smart move that would earn us credits in the Arab world and somehow bring peace closer. The record proves otherwise. The key to negotiating a lasting peace is an Israel that knows it will be secure. …

“[Under President Romney] the United States will reduce assistance to the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

“The United States needs a president who will not be a fair-weather friend of Israel. The United States must work as a country to resist the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. We must fight against that campaign in every forum and label it the anti-Semitic poison that it is. Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is not up for debate.”

Regarding Iran, the Romney “white paper” repeats many of the canards about Iranian intentions that have been debunked even by Israelis, such as the mistranslation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement regarding “wiping Israel off the map.” But Romney’s neocon foreign policy team even suggests using that mistranslation to indict Ahmadinejad for war crimes:

“Romney will also push for greater diplomatic isolation of Iran. The United States should make it plain that it is a disgrace to provide Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the trappings and respect offered to responsible heads of state. He should not be invited to foreign capitals or feted by foreign leaders.

“Quite the opposite. Given his calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, Ahmadinejad should be indicted for incitement to genocide under Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

So, even Americans disappointed in Obama’s foreign policy should recognize what the stakes are in November. They include whether to put hard-line neocons back in charge of U.S. foreign policy and the American military.

[To read more of Robert Parry’s writings, you can now order his last two books, Secrecy & Privilege andNeck Deep, at the discount price of only $16 for both. For details on the special offer, click here.]  

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

Now We All Agree the Afghan War Was Not Worth Fighting

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by loonwatch

Afghan Graves

“Speak good words to an enemy very softly; gradually destroy him root and branch.” ~ Pashtun Proverb

For many, it seemed as if the 9/11 terrorist attacks instantly indicted the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, and transformed many Muslim-majority countries into potential bomb targets.

No Afghans were identified among the hijackers involved in the attacks, but US-ally-turned-Prime Suspect, Osama Bin Laden, had taken refuge in Afghanistan’s forbidding lands. After then-President George Bush rejected repeated offers by Taliban leaders to turn over the Saudi-born suspect, the US  invaded the already war-torn and impoverished country in October, 2001.

No Iraqis were identified among the hijackers involved in the attacks, and though the public was initially led to believe otherwise, Bush later acknowledged that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Soon a new excuse was proffered: US-ally-turned-Scary Global Menace, Saddam Hussein, supposedly had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Fear peddling administration officials repeatedly warned that we must not let the “smoking gun be a mushroom cloud,” but the Downing Street Memo proved to be the real smoking gun, later revealing they knew all along the WMDs threat was a blatant lie.  The final pretext was “spreading freedom and democracy” at gunpoint, and the US-led invasion of the already war-torn and beleaguered nation of Iraq began March, 2003.

America was dragged into war under false pretenses, yet it seems no one has been held accountable. While President Obama at least acknowledged the war in Iraq was “the wrong one,” he also claimed the war in Afghanistan was “the right one.” But was it?

Shock, anger, and the thirst for vengeance certainly played a role in the decision to go to war with Afghanistan in 2001, and the Afghan people have paid a heavy price. Yet in 2010, nearly a decade after the invasion, a report revealed that 92% of Afghans were unaware of the 9/11 attacks. The finding was confirmed last fall when Afghans were asked what they thought of the war and they simply said: “Why are you here?”

A growing number of Americans seem to be asking themselves the same question–even as the usual suspects gin up yet another senseless war, this time with Iran.

Now We All Agree the Afghan War Was Not Worth Fighting

by Hamilton Nolan, Gawker

For the first time since we invaded Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, a majority of Republicans say that the war was not worth fighting. Even the superpatriots, the military do-or-die-ers, the America Firsters, the my-country-right-or-wrong crowd, have come to the conclusion that this war should never have happened. They’re right.

At this point, more than a decade on from the events that inspired us to invade Afghanistan in the first place, the burning sense of rage and desire for retribution and need to just do something have all faded away. We are more clear-eyed now. For almost every American that died in the Twin Towers, another American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. Fifteen thousand more have been wounded. And tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed or wounded in the fighting as well.

And was it worth it? No. It was not worth it. It was clearly not worth it. No rational person could say it was worth it. September 11 was a horrible tragedy. Our response to it, starting with a decade-long war in a nation that Americans neither know nor care about, was a tragedy as well. We have poured our blood and treasure into a desolate, poverty-stricken and already war-torn country halfway across the world—not to improve it, but to further destroy it. For this, we have gained nothing that we could not have gained with a much more limited and rational response.

You don’t send in the U.S. Army to invade an entire nation to find one man. You don’t send in the U.S. Army to invade an entire nation to deal with one numerically small terrorist group, for the same reason that you don’t use an M1 Abrams tank to tackle your household mouse infestation. You don’t cause tens of thousands of violent deaths to poor civilians to prove some vague notion of national toughness on a world stage. It is insane. The urge to lash out in a muscular fashion after 9/11 is perfectly understandable. But it is not rational, or ethical, or even, it is now clear, to our own national benefit. Such impulses are the reason that we need strong leaders. To prevent us from doing things like invading Afghanistan.

In the end, it turns out, America’s entire post-9/11 response was exactly wrong. The much-derided idea of treating the terrorist attacks as a crime would have been the rational thing to do. Doing our best to launch a world war was not to our benefit. It was not to the benefit of geopolitical stability. It was not to the benefit of the kids who entered the military, full of patriotism and love for their country, and ended up dead halfway around the world. It was not to the benefit of Afghan civilians, people who had nothing to do with any of this, who ended up bombed, shot, maimed, driven from their homes, victims of circumstance. We can fight, if we like, another decade in Afghanistan. When we leave, Afghanistan will still belong to the people who live there, and they, not us, will determine its future. Our stated goal took far too long to accomplish. Now that it’s been accomplished, we’re still in Afghanistan. And we’ll be there for years more.

A small group of bad men attacked targets in America. For this, we invaded an entire nation. Where they weren’t. Let’s not do that again.

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Rethink AfghanistanThe war in Afghanistan is increasing the likelihood that American civilians will be killed in a future terrorist attack.

Documents Reveal FBI Spied On Peaceful Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by loonwatch

Documents Reveal FBI Spied On Peaceful Muslims

By Josh Israel Newly released FBI documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, suggest that the bureau illegally spied on the religious practices of Muslim Americans, under the guise of community outreach. An FBI spokesman defended the information gathering as “within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity, whether investigation or liaison, including activities designed to strengthen relationships in various communities.” The ACLU explains:

The FBI’s targeting of American Muslim religious organizations for secret intelligence gathering raises grave constitutional concerns because it is an affront to religious liberty and equal protection of the law. The bureau’s use of outreach meetings to gather intelligence also undermines the trust and mutual understanding necessary to effective law enforcement. Additionally, the FBI’s retention of information gathered through “mosque outreach” in its intelligence files violates federal Privacy Act prohibitions against the maintenance of records about individuals’ First Amendment-protected activity.

But this would hardly be the first time the FBI spied on peaceful Americans. Here are just a few recent examples:

  • Iraq War Opponents — A 2002 FBI memo showed the bureau investigated gatherings of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice, as the pacifist group leafleted against the Iraq War.
  • Environmentalists — The FBI improperly investigated two planned Greenpeace corporate protests, a three-year inquiry extending long after the protests were over.
  • Animal Rights Supporters — The bureau also improperly investigated People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.This intelligence, while not useful for public safety, was at least better than the virtual restaurant reviews gathered by the New York Police Department’s spying operation.A 2010 Inspector General’s report lambasted the FBI for equating nonviolent protests with terrorism and for “false and misleading statements to the public and to Congress.”Of course, these groups are in good company. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself was spied on regularly by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. The COINTELPRO investigations into whether the civil rights leader might be a Communist including tapped phone conversations, bugs at his house, and even a 1964 infamous poison-pen letter warning him he would be exposed as a fraud. But nearly 50 years later, it seems perhaps the FBI should have learned from its mistakes.

Shaima Alawadi: Iraqi Muslim Woman Severely Beaten, Note Near Her Body Read, “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by loonwatch

Shaima_AlAwadi

Shaima AlAwadi

A hijab wearing Iraqi woman has been severely beaten and is not expected to recover from a violent attack on her inside of her home near San Diego.

Apparently this was a premeditated attack. A similar note to the one found by Shaima Alawadi’s body was found by the Alawadi family earlier this month, but the family dismissed it as a “prank.”

USAToday reports:

A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told the newspaper UT San Diego that the attack apparently occurred after the father took the younger children to school.

Was someone scoping the house out before the attack, waiting for an opportune moment to strike?

A woman’s life has most likely been taken as she is not expected to survive the gruesome attack. What motivated this individual to do something so grisly? If what Alzaidy told the newspaper is true, and we see no reason why it wouldn’t be, clearly we are witnessing an attack motivated by hatred and bigotry.

Islamophobes will try and claim another Muslim did this, but how then do they explain the note?

*I want to point out that we cannot conclude anything at this point, some facts have been presented, such as the note but we will have to wait for the police investigation to relay more information on this crime.

California: Muslim woman’s attacker left note reading ‘Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist’

A 32-year-old woman was critically injured and not expected to survive after an assault in her El Cajon home on Wednesday, police said Friday, and a threatening note telling the mother of five to go back to her home country was found near her, a family friend said.

The woman’s 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious in the dining room of the house on Skyview Street off Lemon Avenue about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, said El Cajon police Lt. Steve Shakowski. Police identified her as Shaima Alawadi.

“Based on the type of injuries Alawadi sustained, and other evidence retrieved at the scene, this case is being investigated as a homicide,” Shakowski said.

Police did not disclose the contents of the note. Sura Alzaidy, a family friend, said it told the family to “go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.” The family is from Iraq, and Alawadi is a “respectful modest muhajiba,” meaning she wears the traditional hijab, a head scarf, Alzaidy said.

El Cajon police Lt. Mark Coit said the family stated they had found a similar note earlier this month, however did not report it to authorities.

The daughter who found her mother told KUSI Channel 9/51 on Friday night that her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron. She said her mother had dismissed the previous note, found outside the house, thinking it was a child’s prank.

**********************************

Update I: Shaima Alawadi has succumbed to her injuries according to this youtube user who uploaded video of Alawadi’s daughter being interviewed:

Update II:  EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — A 32-year-old woman from Iraq who was found severely beaten next to a threatening note saying “go back to your country” died on Saturday.

Hanif Mohebi, the director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he met with Shaima Alawadi’s family members in the morning and was told that she was taken off life support around 3 p.m.

“The family is in shock at the moment. They’re still trying to deal with what happened,” Mohebi said.

Alawadi, a mother of five, had been hospitalized since her 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious Wednesday in the family’s house in El Cajon, police Lt. Steve Shakowski said.

The daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, told KUSI-TV her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron, and that the note said “go back to your country, you terrorist.”

Addressing the camera, the tearful daughter asked: “You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”

Police said the family had found a similar note earlier this month but did not report it to authorities.

Al Himidi told KGTV-TV her mother dismissed the first note, found outside the home, as a child’s prank.

A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told UT San Diego (http://bit.ly/GYbfB7) that the attack apparently occurred after the father took the younger children to school. Alzaidy told the newspaper the family is from Iraq, and that Alawadi is a “respectful modest muhajiba,” meaning she wears the traditional hijab, a head scarf.

Investigators said they believe the assault is an isolated incident.

“A hate crime is one of the possibilities, and we will be looking at that,” Lt. Mark Coit said. “We don’t want to focus on only one issue and miss something else.”

The family had lived in the house in San Diego County for only a few weeks, after moving from Michigan, Alzaidy said. Alzaidy told the newspaper her father and Alawadi’s husband had previously worked together in San Diego as private contractors for the U.S. Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East.

Mohebi said the family had been in the United States since the mid-1990s.

He said it was unfortunate that the family didn’t report the initial threatening note.

“Our community does face a lot of discriminatory, hate incidents and don’t always report them,” Mohebi said. “They should take these threats seriously and definitely call local law enforcement.”

El Cajon, northeast of downtown San Diego, is home to some 40,000 Iraqi immigrants, the second largest such community in the U.S. after Detroit.

Update III:  Reporting from San Diego— El Cajon police are asking for the public’s help in its investigation into the fatal beating of an Iraqi immigrant and have not ruled out the possibility that Shaima Alawadi was the victim of a hate crime.

“We’re investigating all aspects of this crime,” Lt. Mark Coit said Sunday. “The minute you rule out a possible motive, you start to get tunnel vision. As of now, we have not ruled out any of the motives for why people kill people.”

Near the body of the 32-year-old Alawadi, police found what has been described as a threatening note. Police have declined to release the text, but relatives and friends say the handwritten note warned Alawadi to “go back to your own country” and labeled her a terrorist.

The family told police they had received a similarly threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.

Alawadi was found unconscious Wednesday morning in the dining room of the family’s home by her 17-year-old daughter. She was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed as brain-dead. Her family decided on Saturday to discontinue life support.

Police said that whatever the motive, the attack appears to be “an isolated event,” not part of an overall pattern of violence toward immigrants.

Coit said police are unsure about the murder weapon but that Alawadi was beaten with a large object.

Alawadi’s husband had reportedly left earlier to take the couple’s younger children to school.

Alawadi and her husband had moved to El Cajon from a Detroit suburb several weeks ago. The two areas are considered the most popular destinations for Iraqi immigrants to the United States.

Shepherdsville Business Said to be Target of Hate Crime Will Close

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2012 by loonwatch

(Via. Islamophobia-watch)

Shepherdsville business said to be target of hate crime will close

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) – The Iraqi-owned business that police say was the target of a hate crime will not reopen.  The business manager for Jacob’s Smoke Shop says he filed paperwork with the secretary of state to officially close the business.

Vandals broke in and ripped apart the Shepherdsville store last month, spray painting “Hate Arab” and “Go Home” on the floors and walls.  Community members have now posted words of encouragement on the front of the business.

Owner Ali Alboodi told them he feared for his life and was returning to Iraq.  The FBI is investigating.

Tucker Carlson: “Iran Deserves to be Annihilated”

Posted in Loon Media, Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by loonwatch

The war-mongering calls for the invasion and destruction of Iran are multiplying at a horrific pace.

We saw this in the lead up to the decimation of Iraq, now we have Conservative pundits such as Tucker Carlson blatantly calling for “annihilation” as well as oddly claiming that the USA is the only country that has “moral authority” to engage in “pre-emptive war.”

Eli Clifton has some excellent analysis of all this (H/T: BA):

Tucker Carlson: ‘Iran Deserves To Be Annihilated

by Eli Clifton (ThinkProgress)

As the “drumbeat to war” with Iran, as Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) warns of, grows louder, a number of journalists have begun to compare the hawkish rhetoric from pundits with the calls for military action against Iraq in 2002. Scott Shane, writing on the frontpage of today’s New York Times, observed, “Echoes of the period leading up to the Iraq war in 2003 are unmistakable, igniting a familiar debate over whether journalists are overstating Iran’s progress toward a bomb.” Indeed, the ombudsman of The Washington Post and the public editor of The New York Times criticized their own journalists for overstating the evidence of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

Over the past week, journalists have raised the alarm about the increasing carelessness of the mainstream media in hyping the calls for war with Iran. But Fox News commentator and The Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson openly called for war against Iran and argued for the full-scale annihilation of the Islamic Republic during an appearance on Fox News’s late-night show Red Eye. Carlson responded to a question about U.S. military action:

CARLSON: I think we are the only country with the moral authority […] sufficient to do that. [The U.S. is] the only country that doesn’t seek hegemony in the world. I do think, I’m sure I’m the lone voice in saying this, that Iran deserves to be annihilated. I think they’re lunatics. I think they’re evil.

Carlson, having called for the annihilation of Iran — a country with a population of over 74 million people — went on to acknowledge that “we should assess what will happen to the price of energy were we to do that.” Watch the clip:

Carlson doesn’t bother to make a case for why the U.S. should destroy Iran. But presumably he’s referring to the crisis over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. However, neither the IAEA norU.S. intelligence reports conclude that Iran has restarted its nuclear weapons program. The IAEA and U.S. intelligence have expressed concerns about possible military aspects to Iran’s nuclear program and suspicions about Iran’s program intensified after Tehran refused IAEA inspectors access to facilities thought to be used for tests on how to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran also refused to agree to a process by which it would address IAEA concerns about “possible military dimensions” to its nuclear program.

But, much as in the case of the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, many journalists and politicians areignoring the facts on the ground and pushing forward with calls for increasingly aggressive actions. Carlson, however, may stand alone in publicly calling for Iran’s outright annihilation.

Update: Tucker emails Glenn Greenwald:

It’s my fault that I got tongue tied and didn’t explain myself well last night. I’m actually on the opposite side on the Iran question from many people I otherwise agree with. I think attacking could be a disaster for the US and am worried that Obama will do it, for fear of seeming weak before an election. Of course the Iranian government is awful and deserves to be crushed. But I’m not persuaded we or Israel could do it in a way that doesn’t cause even greater problems. That’s the main lesson of Iraq it seems to me.

That’s my sincere view, but I’d rather take some lumps and be misunderstood than seem like I’m reversing myself due to pressure from Twitter.

Marine Gets Three Months in Jail for Massacring Two Dozen Civilians

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by loonwatch

This man is responsible for a war crime, and it is totally sick that he is getting away with massacring innocent civilians:

Marine gets three months in jail for massacring two dozen civilians

(RT)

More than six years after Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich led a squad of Marines into two Haditha, Iraq homes and massacred two dozen civilians, the American serviceman in charge has reached a plea deal.

For nine counts of manslaughter, Wuterich will get three months of confinement.

Wuterich is the last of eight men tied to the November 2005 killing that left 24 Iraqis dead, including women, children and the elderly. It was announced on Monday this week that he had reached a plea with prosecutors during his military tribunal and is now expected to be sentenced as early as Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, Wuterich will face a maximum of three months of confinement, the forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay and a rank demotion.

Of the other seven Marines charged with the now-notorious massacre, one was acquitted and six had their charges dismissed. Wuterich’s attorneys have been confident throughout the ordeal that he would see a similar outcome. “He’s going to be glad to have it over because he knows that he’ll be exonerated,” lawyer Neal Puckett told National Public Radio earlier this month.

On November 19, 2005, Wuterich led a squad of men into two separate homes in the town of Haditha and opened fire on everyone in sight. Prosecutors say that a roadside bomb exploded moments before the Marines stormed the home, and were brought into hysterics by seeing a fellow soldier die in the attack. In response, they went on a rampage and for 45 minutes raided the two homes and were never faced with gunfire. Wuterich later said he instructed his team to “shoot first and ask questions later.”

“My Marines responded to the threats they faced in the manner that we all had been trained,” he explained to CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2007. After the roadside bomb was detonated, Wuterich said that, “My responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys died. And at that point, we were still on the assault.”

Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, spokesman of the Camp Pendleton marine Corps base near San Diego, California, told the media on Monday that “By pleading guilty to this charge, Staff Sergeant Wuterich has accepted responsibility for his actions.”

Salon: Iraq foots the bill for its own destruction

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Some people have wondered why I focus so much on America’s many wars: isn’t this site about Islamophobia, not U.S. foreign policy? Although it is true that LoonWatch is primarily a site documenting and refuting Islamophobia, I strongly believe that there exists an intimate link between Islamophobia and America’s Endless Wars.

For one, America’s foreign policy is itself Islamophobic.  Our wars are launched thanks to Islamophobia within the most jingoist elements of American society, the neoconservatives, the Zionists (both Jewish and Christian), etc.  It finds an audience within the general public, which has a very poor opinion of Islam.  Our wars can only be sustained by ratcheting up fear-mongering and Islamophobia.  Our wars conveniently serve to complete the loop by feeding Islamophobia itself, as Muslims are Other-ized as the enemy.

Islamophobia operates under the assumption that it is Islam itself that makes Them Hate Our Freedoms.  They hate us (and some of them attack us) because we are the Infidels.  The reality, of course, is that they hate us not for our freedoms or the fact that we are infidels, but the fact that we bomb them, invade them, and occupy them.  As the article below shows, we also make them foot the bill for their own destruction:

Iraq foots the bill for its own destruction

By Murtaza Hussain

When considering the premise of reparation being paid for the Iraq War it would be natural to assume that the party to whom such payments would be made would be the Iraqi civilian population, the ordinary people who suffered the brunt of the devastation from the fighting. Fought on the false pretence of capturing Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, the war resulted in massive indiscriminate suffering for Iraqi civilians which continues to this day. Estimates of the number of dead and wounded range from the hundreds of thousands into the millions, and additional millions of refugees remain been forcibly separated from their homes, livelihoods and families. Billions of dollars in reparations are indeed being paid for the Iraq War, but not to Iraqis who lost loved ones or property as a result of the conflict, and who, despite their nation’s oil wealth, are still suffering the effects of an utterly destroyed economy. “Reparations payments” are being made by Iraq to Americans and others for the suffering which those parties experienced as a result of the past two decades of conflict with Iraq.

Iraq today is a shattered society still picking up the pieces after decades of war and crippling sanctions. Prior to its conflict with the United States, the Iraqi healthcare and education systems were the envy of the Middle East, and despite the brutalities and crimes of the Ba’ath regime there still managed to exist a thriving middle class of ordinary Iraqis, something conspicuously absent from today’s “free Iraq.” In light of the continued suffering of Iraqi civilians, the agreement by the al-Maliki government to pay enormous sums of money to the people who destroyed the country is unconscionable and further discredits the absurd claim that the invasion was fought to “liberate” the Iraqi people.

In addition to making hundreds of millions of dollars in reparation payments to the United States, Iraq has been paying similarly huge sums to corporations whose business suffered as a result of the actions of Saddam Hussein. While millions of ordinary Iraqis continue to lack even reliable access to drinking water, their free and representative government has been paying damages to corporations such as Pepsi, Philip Morris and Sheraton; ostensibly for the terrible hardships their shareholders endured due to the disruption in the business environment resulting from the Gulf War. When viewed against the backdrop ofmassive privatization of Iraqi natural resources, the image that takes shape is that of corporate pillaging of a destroyed country made possible by military force.

Despite the billions of dollars already paid in damages to foreign countries and corporations additional billions are still being sought and are directly threatening funds set aside for the rebuilding of the country; something which 8 years after the invasion has yet to occur for the vast majority of Iraqis. While politicians and media figures in the U.S. make provocative calls for Iraq to “pay back” the United States for the costs incurred in giving Iraq the beautiful gift of democracy, it is worth noting that Iraq is indeed already being pillaged of its resources to the detriment of its long suffering civilian population.

The perverse notion that an utterly destroyed country must pay reparations to the parties who maliciously planned and facilitated its destruction is the grim reality today for the people [of] Iraq. That there are those who actually bemoan the lack of Iraqi gratitude for the invasion of their country and who still cling to the pathetic notion that the unfathomable devastation they unleashed upon Iraqi civilians was some sort of “liberation” speaks powerfully to the capacity for human self-delusion. The systematic destruction and pillaging of Iraq is a war crime for which none of its perpetrators have yet been held to account (though history often takes[though history often takes time to be fully written] time to be fully written), and of which the extraction of reparation payments is but one component.

American Justice: Abu Ghraib Ringleader Released From Jail After Serving Lindsay Lohan Style Sentence

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by loonwatch

This from the New York Times:

…The so-called ringleader at Abu Ghraib, Charles A. Graner Jr., was released from a prison in Kansas.

Mr. Graner, 42, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison but was released after six and a half for good behavior.

Another example of our wonderful justice system at work: here we have the supposed ringleader of the infamous Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, released from jail after serving a measly six and a half years.

What occurred in this prison amounted to war crimes: physical, psychological, and sexual abuse took place, including torture, rape, sodomy, and even homicide.  A handful of low-level foot-soldiers took the fall, with Charles Graner charged with being the ringleader.

It seems that Graner is the “last suspect in Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal” to be released from jail.  This means that the longest prison sentence handed out to those who committed such horrific abuses against Muslims was less than seven years.  Every single one of these perpetrators of abuse walks free today.

Meanwhile, numerous Muslims were imprisoned by the United States for much longer than six and a half years in such dungeons as Guantanamo Bay, only to be found innocent and released without so much as an apology.  Many other Muslims continue to rot in these U.S. prisons for a decade, without any chance of ever seeing their day in court.

And so it is that the perpetrators of abuse were imprisoned for less time than those they abused.  What could more accurately encapsulate the Orwellian-style hypocrisy of the U.S. War on of Terror?

Army Investigation Over False Accusations Ruined Our Lives, Say Muslim Soldiers

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by loonwatch
“I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’ This is not America, that’s not why I joined the Army,” said one of the men, 34-year-old Khalid Lyaacoubi on the right walking with another Muslim recruit, 27-year-old Yassine Bahammou. (ABC News)

Even while serving in the Army, Muslims suffer harassment and suspicion.

Army Investigation Over False Accusations Ruined Our Lives, Say Muslim Soldiers

By JOSEPH RHEE AND CHRIS CUOMO

May 13, 2011

Five Muslims who joined the Army to work as military translators say their lives and careers were ruined after they were falsely accused of trying to poison their fellow soldiers. In an interview for ABC News, two of the men say an Army investigation into the matter has cast a stigma on their lives, preventing them from gaining citizenship and employment.

“I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’ This is not America, that’s not why I joined the Army,” said one of the men, 34-year-old Khalid Lyaacoubi.

The men are all citizens of Morocco who were permanent “green card” residents of the U.S. They joined the Army in 2009 as part of a special program called “09 Lima” that would train them to work as Army translators in Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous jobs in the military. In return for their service, the men would be fast tracked for U.S. citizenship.

“We want to prove to Arabic nations, ‘we are Arabic and we live here. We lived with Americans and socialized with Americans.’ We know they are good,” said Lyaacoubi.

“The United States is known for fighting for other people’s freedom, and I like it and I wanted to help doing that,” said another Muslim recruit, 27-year-old Yassine Bahammou.

Trouble at Fort Jackson

The five men successfully completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, which they say was a positive and rewarding experience. However, it was during specialized training as translators at the Advanced Individual Training school on base that they say their lives were upended. They say it all began in November of 2009 when Major Nidal Hassan opened fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 31. In the wake of the shooting, Lyaacoubi and Bahammou said some of their fellow soldiers began to turn on them, calling them “terrorists” and “Hajis” behind their backs.

Then in November of 2009, the five Muslim recruits were arrested by the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) over a tip that they were allegedly plotting to poison their fellow soldiers at Fort Jackson. The news of the investigation broke on the Christian Broadcasting Network and quickly became national news.

Without being formally charged with a crime, the men were questioned about the poisoning allegation and accused of larceny, mutiny and conspiracy. The recruits were detained in their barracks building for 45 days and were escorted by guards wherever they went, including the bathroom. They said they were prohibited from speaking Arabic to each other or to family members on the phone. All along, the men said they told investigators they had no idea where the poisoning allegation came from and they vigorously maintained their innocence.

During this time, the men also said they were subjected to anti-Muslim harassment and abuse by authorities. The recruits claim they were told they would be sent to Guantanamo and one of the men said a CID agent told him he would be sent back to Morocco “in a box”.

“They were treating us as a terrorist,” said Lyaacoubi. “I never forget what this agent, she told me. She was like, “We are at war against Islam and you are a Muslim. Well, what are you going to do about that.”

“I see that my religion is the problem, or the part of the world that I am from is the problem,” said Bahammou. “I asked them to take me to church so I can change my religion, if that’s the problem.”

Investigation Lingers On

>> Continue reading: Army Investigation Over False Accusations Ruined Our Lives, Say Muslim Soldiers

Bryan Fischer: Muslims Can Either Convert…or Die

Posted in Feature, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2011 by loonwatch

Looks like the Crusades are on again. Imagine if Fischer were some Mullah instead of a Christian?

From RightwingMediaWatch:

The only thing that will give us a shot at building a democracy in an Islamic land is a mass conversion of its people to biblical Christianity. So that means if we want to see freedom come to those darkened, benighted lands, we should be sending missionaries in right after we send in the Marines to neutralize whatever threat has been raised against the United States. So we say to them, look, if you don’t want our missionaries, fine, that’s your choice, we’ll take our missionaries and our Marines, we’ll take them home, but we’re gonna let you know we have no hesitation about returning with lethal force if the forces in your country threaten us again. This time it’s Marines and missionaries, next time it’ll be Marines and missiles.

Christopher Hitchens: No “Arab Spring” If Saddam Still Ruled Iraq

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by loonwatch

The Arab Revolutions are a unique moment in the history of the world for a number of reasons. Chief amongst these important reasons is the shattering of age old Orientalist myths that Arabs and Muslims are impervious to Democracy, the language of rights, etc. These talking points are usually further essentialized by the view that what is holding Arabs and Muslims back is the retrograde force of Islam.

Yet, there are attempts to steal these revolutions. Attempts to deny the indigenous, organic nature of the transformation happening before our eyes. “How could the natives rise against their dictatorships without our help,” the thinking goes.

Christopher Hitchens comes to mind. The militant atheist, morose humorist, man of letters, convert from the ranks of International Socialism to neo-Conservatism, who, terming the revolutions “Arab uprisings” believes they would never have happened if it weren’t for the Iraq War.

Hitchens was an early skeptic of the revolutions, he wrote that he “won’t be surprised” if the “exemplary courage and initiative of the citizens of Tahrir Square slowly ebb away.” The revolutions put him and others like him in a tough spot, he supported the Iraq War, claiming that Iraqis could only be freed from Saddam through Western intervention. He denied that the war was ever only about the threat of WMD’s, but rather about overthrowing a ruthless dictator.

He didn’t believe in the ability of Iraqi people, which is surprising considering the frequency with which Hitchens extols the founding fathers who wrote a document based on natural law that made the bold claim that liberty was an unalienable right for all mankind,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Either we believe that all mankind is equal and thirsts to realize its unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or we don’t. Either we believe that all mankind has the ability to throw off the shackles of oppression without dubious intervention, unending occupation or we don’t.

Hitchens writes,

Can anyone imagine how the Arab spring would have played out if a keystone Arab state, oil-rich and heavily armed with a track record of intervention in its neighbors’ affairs and a history of all-out mass repression against its own civilians, were still the private property of a sadistic crime family? As it is, to have had Iraq on the other scale from the outset has been an unnoticed and unacknowledged benefit whose extent is impossible to compute.

It is pitiful to see Hitchens try to cover his ass now. Such a great man of letters, reduced to writing like some glorified assistant to Donald Rumsfeld, justifying the unjustifiable.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died due to the conflict in Iraq. Many more lives have been upended, destroyed and ravaged, including the lives of many American soldiers.

Now, beaming onto our television and computer screens are the inspirational, brave, victorious people of Tunisia and Egypt, who proudly let it be known that they toppled their despots.

Instead of worrying about his legacy or what the obituary in the New York Times will read, can Hitchens overcome his hubris and polemical nature, and give credit where credit is due?

Sam Richards: A Radical Exercise in Empathy

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by loonwatch

What does it mean to put yourself in someone “else’s shoes?” What happens when we do it? Does our perspective on the world change? Does it broaden? (hat tip: SK)

Greenwald: Primitive Muslims’ unique love of violence

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2011 by loonwatch
Glenn Greenwald

Islamophobes constantly argue that bloodlust is unique to Muslim extremists. However, as Glenn Greenwald points out, there are plenty of blood thirsty American Christians and Jews out there as well. Remember people like Joe Kaufman who were shouting for American nukes to be launched against Iraq and Syria after the 9-11 attacks. This is systematic in the loonosphere.

Salon.com: Primitive Muslims’ unique love of violence by Glenn Greenwald

University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, today, echoing so many by lamenting the compulsive violence of Muslims:

It’s hard to keep track of all the barbaric behavior emanating from that part of the world.

Glenn Reynolds, November 23, 2010, on his prescription for dealing with North Korea:

If they start anything, I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs. They’ve caused enough trouble — and it would be a useful lesson for Iran, too.

Glenn Reynolds, November 4, 2006, on how to deal with the Muslim world:

It’s also true that if democracy can’t work in Iraq, then we should probably adopt a “more rubble, less trouble” approach to other countries in the region that threaten us.

Glenn Reynolds, February 13, 2007, on how to deal with Iran:

We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and iranian atomic scientists . . .

Glenn Reynolds, September 11, 2001, on responding to the 9/11 attacks:

GEORGE BUSH IS NOW THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD:. . . Now, if he wants to nuke Baghdad, there is nobody to say him nay — and damned few who would want to.

Boy, those primitive, dirty, lowly Muslims sure do have a bizarre, unique cultural compulsion toward violence and barbarism, don’t they? Reynolds is highlighted here not because he’s unique but because he’s so drearily common. Behold the spectacle of those who cheered for the attack on Iraq (resulting in the deaths of at least 100,000 innocent people), who casually call for massive first-strike nuclear attacks on other nations (certain to vaporize hundreds of thousands or millions of human), who loyally marched lockstep behind a leader who instituted a worldwide torture and disappearance regime, lamenting how those grimy, backward Muslims over there have a disturbing and incomparable affinity for violence (and for examples of religious-motivated violence among Christians and Jews, see here).

Nuke ‘em. Invade ‘em. Torture ‘em. Occupy ‘em. Murder their scientists and religious leaders.  Put ‘em in cages for life without due process.  Reduce ‘em to rubble. Why? Because Muslims are so prone to violence and barbarism! That’s a fairly succinct summary of America’s political culture for the last decade at least.

Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2011 by loonwatch

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi lied about WMD’s. After millions of deaths and injuries and a fractured country he is still proud of what he did. He shows no remorse, but the fact is that if Rafid al-Janabi didn’t exist, Cheney and gang would find another Rafid. I wonder if Lieberman is still going to claim their were WMD’s in Iraq?

Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

(Guardian)

The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” he said. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”

The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations in which the then-US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Janabi had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme.

The careers of both men were seriously damaged by their use of Janabi’s claims, which he now says could have been – and were – discredited well before Powell’s landmark speech to the UN on 5 February 2003.

The former CIA chief in Europe Tyler Drumheller describes Janabi’s admission as “fascinating”, and said the emergence of the truth “makes me feel better”. “I think there are still a number of people who still thought there was something in that. Even now,” said Drumheller.

In the only other at length interview Janabi has given he denied all knowledge of his supposed role in helping the US build a case for invading Saddam’s Iraq.

In a series of meetings with the Guardian in Germany where he has been granted asylum, he said he had told a German official, who he identified as Dr Paul, about mobile bioweapons trucks throughout 2000. He said the BND had identified him as a Baghdad-trained chemical engineer and approached him shortly after 13 March of that year, looking for inside information about Saddam’s Iraq.

“I had a problem with the Saddam regime,” he said. “I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance.”

He portrays the BND as gullible and so eager to tease details from him that they gave him a Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook to help communicate. He still has the book in his small, rented flat in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany.

“They were asking me about pumps for filtration, how to make detergent after the reaction,” he said. “Any engineer who studied in this field can explain or answer any question they asked.”

Janabi claimed he was first exposed as a liar as early as mid-2000, when the BND travelled to a Gulf city, believed to be Dubai, to speak with his former boss at the Military Industries Commission in Iraq, Dr Bassil Latif.

The Guardian has learned separately that British intelligence officials were at that meeting, investigating a claim made by Janabi that Latif’s son, who was studying in Britain, was procuring weapons for Saddam.

That claim was proven false, and Latif strongly denied Janabi’s claim of mobile bioweapons trucks and another allegation that 12 people had died during an accident at a secret bioweapons facility in south-east Baghdad.

The German officials returned to confront him with Latif’s version. “He says, ‘There are no trucks,’ and I say, ‘OK, when [Latif says] there no trucks then [there are none],’” Janabi recalled.

He said the BND did not contact him again until the end of May 2002. But he said it soon became clear that he was still being taken seriously.

He claimed the officials gave him an incentive to speak by implying that his then pregnant Moroccan-born wife may not be able to travel from Spain to join him in Germany if he did not co-operate with them. “He says, you work with us or your wife and child go to Morocco.”

The meetings continued throughout 2002 and it became apparent to Janabi that a case for war was being constructed. He said he was not asked again about the bioweapons trucks until a month before Powell’s speech.

After the speech, Janabi said he called his handler at the BND and accused the secret service of breaking an agreement that they would not share anything he had told them with another country. He said he was told not to speak and placed in confinement for around 90 days.

With the US now leaving Iraq, Janabi said he was comfortable with what he did, despite the chaos of the past eight years and the civilian death toll in Iraq, which stands at more than 100,000.

“I tell you something when I hear anybody – not just in Iraq but in any war – [is] killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution?

“Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities.”

Egypt and Tunisia have just proven you wrong Rafid, there is another way, peaceful and sustained protests that break the fear barrier and overwhelm the dictators.

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by loonwatch

via Andrew Sullivan’s blog

 

Muslims and Christians Gather together in Iraq

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by loonwatch

Muslims and Christians hold their respective holy scriptures at a gathering to support peace amongst the various confessions in Iraq.

 

Muslims and Christians Condemn Baghdad Church Massacre

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by loonwatch

United is the only way to defeat terrorism, extremism and occupation which is creating the spring well of terrorism.

Local Muslims and Christians condemn bloody Baghdad church massacre

According to media reports 58 were killed and 75 more injured after Al-Qaeda extremists in suicide vests raided Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Church in Baghdad, Iraq during evening mass on Sunday.

The deaths and injuries occurred after Iraqi Special Forces backed by U.S. troops entered the church while Al-Qaeda extremists held clerics and worshipers hostage in the central Karada neighborhood of Baghdad. Witnesses say the insurgents began killing guards outside a stock exchange in Baghdad before going to the church.  Two young priests and a deacon were killed during the raid.

“I cry for my country that was the best country in the world. They killed these people and for what? Just because they were praying at church. Who killed them? I think who killed them, doesn’t believe in God. If they believed in God they would have never killed these people,” said Pastor Hanna Sullaka of Lutheran Church in Warren and Dearborn during an interfaith gathering at the Islamic House of Wisdom (IHW) in Dearborn Heights on Monday.

According to various sources, the Christian population in Iraq was at 800,000 before the United States invaded in 2003 .  As a result of the continuous terrorist attacks against Christians from the resulting destablization of the country, that number has decreased to 550,000. Sullaka says it’s a fact that Christians are on the verge of extinction in Iraq and several have fled to Iraq’s bordering countries to avoid religious attacks.

More than half Iraq’s Christans left the country particularly after the U.S. invasion in 2003. Those who remain are less than three percent of the population which was more than seven percent in the 1980s according to various news sources.

Some Iraqis criticized their government for not having better security at the church, and believe the incident may have been prevented if there was better security available. In response to the series of attacks on Christians, the Iraqi federal police and army have guarded the fronts of churches during mass for two years.  But no security was outside the church that Sunday.

To raise awareness of the plight of Iraq’s shrinking Christian population, the St. Toma Syrian Catholic Church of Farmington Hills is holding a demonstration outside the United States Eastern District Court of Michigan,  231 Lafayette Blvd, Detroit Michigan  48226 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 8.  According to St. Toma priest Father Toma, more than 1, 000 are expected to attend the demonstration.

Father Toma said the future of Iraqi Christians is uncertain and 55 churches have been bombed and more than nine priests killed since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.  ”Christians are terrified of going to church to pray,” he said.

Syriac church official Monsignor Pius Kasha told McClatchy Newspapers the attack is the deadliest in Baghdad since before the March elections.

Other religious leaders at the interfaith event Monday which was held to honor the victims of the barbaric attack, spoke out against terrorism in Iraq.  Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, the spiritual leader of the IHW, called the church raiders people without faith, dignity or spirit.

“The innocent victims of this tragedy that happened in the church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad was an attack by a terrorist. This aggression is for people who have lost their faith, their dignity, their spirit and they choose to act as anyone but human beings.  Obviously we condemn what they did. We condemn terrorism in general. We hate terrorism,” he said. Elahi says those who practice acts of terrorism in the name of Islam in reality are the worst enemies of Islam and add fuel to the fires of Islamophobia.

Sullaka says the Christian Iraqi community in the United States has been effective in helping Iraqi Christians but can become more powerful if they join forces to create effective strategies for peace. Sullaka says to do that American Christian Iraqis must first put their differences aside.  ”We can’t say he’s orthodox, he’s Syrian, he’s Chaldean. We have to be one heart. We can become strong, we can get hold of Congress and all parts of the world,” Sullaka said.

During the interfaith event Sullaka also encouraged different faiths to come together.

“We will all pray together, please, raise your right hand all together and pray and say Lord Jesus or the Prophet Moses, Muhammad, together, come on, together, and pray to make peace,” he said.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Michigan Executive Director,  Dawud Walid encourages Iraqi Americans to continue praying for their families in Iraq.  ”CAIR-Michigan strongly condemns the terrorist attack in the Baghdad church. No faith supports such violence against civilians and we pray for the day that Iraqis can worship in peace and no church can be attacked in that historic land,” Walid, also a speaker at the interfaith event said.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Public Affair Council (MPAC) of Washington D.C., a public service agency working for the civil rights of Muslim Americans, released a statement immediately after the massacre strongly condemning the killing of hostages on Sunday.

“The Quran calls for the protection of human life, all houses of worship and religious minorities and yesterday’s attack is an affront to the teachings of Islam and the rich religious diversity if Iraq,” the statement read.

“This violence is not acceptable,” said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. “Violence is continuing to drain valuable resources from Iraq, and it is forcing its people to live in fear and with constant strife and devastation. This is one of two incidences of extremists groups attacking other houses of worship. The Qur’an clearly states that the attack on human life and houses of worship is not acceptable.”

 

Michael Moore’s Open Letter to Juan Williams

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2010 by loonwatch
Michael Moore puts Juan Williams in his place

Michael Moore does some research on the words spoken by failed terrorist Faisal Shahzad that had Juan Williams so concerned about Muslim garb. What he finds will not be surprising to LoonWatch readers – that the motivation of Muslim extremists in conducting terror operations is the occupation of Muslim lands by Western forces. Moore also reminds Williams of the hypocrisy of his viewpoint on Muslims in light of the view Williams expressed nearly twenty-five years ago on how white media personalities justified racism against African-Americans.

Juan Williams is Right: Political Correctness About Muslims Must End! (Huffington Post)

Dear Juan,

Sorry to hear you got fired by National Public Radio for saying on Fox that you get nervous when you see Muslims on a plane with you. It was dumb to say such a thing, but I don’t think saying one dumb thing should be a firing offense. (I do think an NPR journalist wanting to take money from Fox News to be a regular commentator should be a firing offense, but that’s another story).

But there’s more to this — and some important things that everyone is missing.

For instance, what you said about Faisal Shazad, the Pakistani immigrant who wanted to bomb Times Square. When he was being sentenced this month, he claimed, according to you, that his attempted attack was just “the first drop of blood.” We can’t let political correctness blind us to this, you explained.

I guess Shahzad made a big impression on you, because after being fired you went back on Fox and told them, “You can’t ignore the fact what has recently been said in court with regard to ‘this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war against America.’”

Sadly for you (and this is also why you shouldn’t be working for a real news organization like NPR), Shahzad never said that. If you were a real journalist, you would have quoted him accurately. What heactually said was that he was the “first droplet of the flood,” not blood. But I know how easy it is to mishear things when scary Muslims are talking. And I guess it’s not a huge difference anyway.

What really matters is that you’re 100% right: We shouldn’t let political correctness stop us from paying close attention to what people like Shahzad say. The problem is you just haven’t taken it far enough.

So Juan, I’m asking you to join me on a crusade — whoops! scratch that, let’s call it a “mission” — to publicize these statements by Faisal Shahzad as widely as possible. Because most of the media have not spent much time on what he had to say.

Here’s what he said at his recent sentencing (after talking about being a droplet in a flood):

[Saladin] liberated Muslim lands… And that’s what we Muslims are trying do, because you’re occupying Iraq and Afghanistan… So, the past nine years the war with Muslims has achieved nothing for the U.S., except for it has waken up the Muslims for Islam. We are only Muslims trying to defend our people, honor, and land. But if you call us terrorists for doing that, then we are proud terrorists, and we will keep on terrorizing until you leave our land and people at peace.

And this is what Shahzad said when he plead guilty back in June:

I want to plead guilty, and I’m going to plead guilty 100 times over, because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.

Then there’s email that Shahzad sent to a friend in 2006:

Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World… Friends with peaceful protest! Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? In Palestine, Afghan, Iraq, Chechnya and else where.

And then there’s what Shahzad was telling friends and relatives even before that:

Mr. Shahzad had long been critical of American foreign policy. “He was always very upset about the fabrication of the W.M.D. stunt to attack Iraq and killing non-combatants such as the sons and grandson of Saddam Hussein,” said a close relative. In 2003, Mr. Shahzad had been copied on a Google Groups e-mail message bearing photographs of Guantánamo Bay detainees, handcuffed and crouching, below the words “Shame on you, Bush. Shame on You.”

So what do you say, Juan? Now that you have a new $2 million contract with Fox, let me come on with you for some in-depth discussions about the terrorists’ real motivations. We can’t let another day go by letting the PC brigade stop us from telling the truth: Terrorists aren’t trying to kill us because they hate our freedom. They’re killing us because we’re in their countries killing them.

Yours,

Michael Moore

P.S. If you want to understand suicide bombings, be sure to read the new book that studied every instance of it for the past 30 years. It’s been used by many groups of many religions, not just Arabs and not just Muslims. And almost all such terrorism has one motivation in common: occupation by foreign militaries.

P.P.S. Here’s something else that I’d sincerely love to talk about with you: what do you think when you see rich middle-aged white men talking on TV about how they get nervous around African Americans on the street? And then they explain that we can’t let political correctness stop us from talking about black-on-white crime?

Does it drive you crazy that they say this without even being conscious of the history of far greater violence by white people toward blacks? And do you maybe understand now how those middle-aged white guys get it so wrong?

UPDATE: Juan, you probably remember in 1986 when the Washington Post Magazine ran a Richard Cohen column defending jewelry store owners who wouldn’t buzz in young black men. It caused such a big controversy that the New Republic ran a bunch of responses to it, including one by you. You might find it interesting to go back and read what you wrote then — for instance, “Racism is a lazy man’s substitute for using good judgment… Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me.”