Archive for US Government

More ‘Anti-Islam’ Courses at US Military, AlJazeera Reveals

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2012 by loonwatch

AlJazeera uncovered another “anti-Islam” class in the US military. The class seems to have been lifted directly from the talking points of extremists such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer:

US Military Under Fire for ‘Anti-Islam Class’

(AlJazeera)

The United States military has called for a review of all its training classes after receiving criticism for a course taught to senior officers that allegedly encouraged war against Islam.

The controversial class presented slides that accused dozens of Islamic groups, many widely recognised as mainstream advocacy groups, of infiltrating the US media, education system, government and military.

One slide titled “The Muslim Brotherhood and Violence” showed a photo of an al-Qaeda beheading, erroneously conflating the two groups.

Through the slides and other presentations, the course created a picture of a US government co-opted by subversive Muslim elements.

Al Jazeera’s Josh Rushing reports from Washington.

Gingrich Says Islam is Incompatible with Freedom, Claims US Government is ‘Lying to us and Censoring us as we try to Understand those who would Kill us’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by loonwatch

For Newt Gingrich, in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Shariah is a concern akin to terrorism.

via. Bob Pitt at Islamophobia-Watch.

Gingrich says Islam is incompatible with freedom, claims US government is ‘lying to us and censoring us as we try to understand those who would kill us’

CUMMING, Ga. — Newt Gingrich turned the church pulpit into a history class when he addressed the congregation at First Redeemer Church, comparing the struggle of American colonies under British rule to what he sees as the modern day assault of religious freedom in America.

Gingrich said that the religious foundation of America is being attacked on two fronts: “We have a secular elitist wing that deeply, deeply disbelieves in America, that wants to create a different country based on a different set of principles,” he said. “And we have a radical Islamist one which legitimately and authentically hates us and should.”

He drew a standing ovation for slamming a State Department meeting with the Organization of Islamic countries, which Gingrich said had “the purpose of talking about how to protect Islam from being described inappropriately. I have passionate opposition to the government of the United States lying to us and censoring us as we try to understand those who would kill us.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after the July 2011 OIC meeting “combating religious intolerance” that the United States remains “focused on interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing anti-discrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

By contrast, Gingrich drew a stark picture of radical Islamists, saying, “Those people who want to kill us want to kill us because from their world view, we are the greatest threat they’ve ever faced because we represent freedom and freedom is the end of their religion.”

Loonwatch Stands with Protests for Freedom in Egypt

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by loonwatch

Loonwatch, like many around the world has been glued to events in Egypt. Will it go the way of Tunisia, full blown revolution, or will brutal repression quell the revolt as happened in Iran?

Only time will tell. You can follow the live stream of what is happening in Egypt at AlJazeera’s Live Stream.

The governments of the West in general and the US in particular have given luke warm platitudes about their support for peace, rights etc. Hillary Clinton in the beginning stages of the protests this week left a sour taste in the mouths of the protestors when she essentially extended her support for the Mubarak regime,

I urge all people to exercise restraint. I support the fundamental right of expression, but our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people

This is realpolitik speak that translates to “we want the status quo” and the Egyptian people know it and they resent it because it exposes the hypocrisy of the so-called beacon of “democracy and freedom.”

Vice President Joe Biden blurted out some hours ago what perhaps may be the true sentiments/wishes of the US government:

Mubarak is no dictator, he shouldn’t step down…

How out of touch is Biden? Is he blind? Does he think we are children?

Today Hillary Clinton came out with a statement that on its surface seems to contradict Biden’s revelatory position,

“People in the Middle East, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and have a role in decisions that will shape their lives…The Egyptian government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away”

While these statements indicate an improvement in rhetoric they fall far short of a condemnation of the violence and repression perpetuated by the Mubarak regime.

The events in Tunisia and Egypt have all but thrown a wrench in the stereoptypes perpetuated by anti-Arab/anti-Muslim racists and Islamophobes.

It proves that regime change need not come at the point of a gun, and that Democracy can be born in the Middle East through organic change from the grass roots as opposed to the Bush Doctrine.

It proves that the stereotype that Arabs and Muslims are incapable of change unless it be either theocratic or despotic is a racist lie. These protests are for better living conditions, jobs and DEMOCRACY!

It also proves that despite attempts at enflaming sectarian division between Muslim and Christian Egyptians by extremists in both the extremist Muslim and anti-Muslim camps they are more united than ever. During protests Egyptian Copts protected their Muslim brethren as they prayed and vice versa!

It exposes quite clearly the hypocrisy and double standards of many in the West who give zero credit to the Arab and Muslim peoples, it also exposes their close link and dealings with decadent despotic regimes. We can’t help but notice the difference between the reaction to protests in Iran and these protests, can it be that denunciations are affected by how friendly or adverse one is to the regime in question?

The Egyptian people have tasted liberation, have tasted the idea that they can take destiny into their own hands and bring about –real change– that can lead to a brighter future, may they succeed in transitioning to Democracy.

Update #1: Tear gas canisters are…drum roll…MADE IN THE USA:

Update #2: From mp11,

“Spencer is having a hard time turning the protests in Tunisia and Egypt into a Jihad.

In his latest offering he tells his stupid readers that when Muslims call for democracy and freedom they are in fact calling for Shariah.

“Calls for democracy effectively amount to calls for Islamic rule.”

Update #3: Some 2,000-3,000 people thronged around a military vehicle near Cairo’s Tahrir square, a Reuters witness said. They climbed on it, shaking hands with the soldiers, and chanted: “The army and the people are united” and “The revolution has come”. (AlJazeera English)

Update #4: Mubarak breaks his silence, attempts to look defiant. Is he adding fuel to the fire?

Update #5: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia speaks, “No Arab and Muslim human being can bear that some infiltrators, in the name of freedom of expression, have infiltrated into the brotherly people of Egypt, to destabilize its security and stability and they have been exploited to spew out their hatred in destruction, intimidation, burning, looting and inciting a malicious sedition,’” the news agency said.

Some autocratic ally of ours is scared isn’t he?

Update #6: “‘Democracy is something beautiful,’ said Eli Shaked, who was Israel’s ambassador to Cairo from 2003 to 2005, in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. Nevertheless, it is very much in the interests of Israel, the United States and Europe that Mubarak remains in power.‘”

Update #7: “Which would I rather have, the autocrat or the Islamic radical Democracy,? I don’t know, that’s a question that’ll keep me up at night” –Geraldo Rivera

Rivera should keep looking for Al Capone’s secret safe and not talk about things he has no knowledge of makes him sound really stupid.

 

Billions Being Spent to Spy on Americans

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by loonwatch

Our tax payer money hard at work against us.

Top secret America: Billions used to spy on Americans

(The Arab American)

A large network of military and intelligence agencies working with large corporations. The government spending billions of dollars undermining citizens’ privacy. A major database filled with names of everyday people. Self-described experts on terrorists.  Battlefield technologies being used in neighborhoods.

Though it sounds like something out of a futuristic film, it isn’t. These points describe the current post 9/11 homeland security measures, which the government says is intended to protect citizens from terror threats, according to a recent ongoing series of investigative reports by The Washington Post.

The Post released the report on the extensive security measures entitled “Top Secret America.”  The investigation was first released in July of 2010, and is a series that is being updated, with its latest installment “Monitoring America” released on December 20.

Dana Priest, one of the lead reporters on “Top Secret America,” won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for her investigation into the Walter Reed hospital debacle, and a 2006 Pulitzer for her beat reporting on CIA secret prisons.

The investigation goes into what the Washington Post calls the “fourth branch” of government, private intelligence communities that have the goal of defeating “violent extremists” according to the report.  The organizations, 263 of which have been created or reorganized in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, receive billions of dollars from the government, and do not adhere to the usual standards of personal privacy, the report said.

Ronald Stockton, professor of Political Science at University of Michigan Dearborn who authored the book “Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit After 9/11, spoke about the system that has taken shape following the attacks and since the institution of the PATRIOT Act.

“After September 11, Americans were so afraid that we threw billions of dollars at the FBI and Homeland Security and other agencies, not really knowing what needed to be done,” he said . “We created a bureaucratic monster that is so large that it cannot possibly analyze and absorb its own data or even read its own reports. The system is so big that even those who lead it cannot understand it.”

Critics of the security measures find flaws, not only in the billions used to fund the operation, but the possibility of profiling innocent individuals.

“The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously,”  the latest report said.

This database is updated by “experts” who receive their  expert status from themselves, not previous studies in institutions. They train FBI members in the understanding Islam, Muslims, and American Muslims.”

They use specialists to provide training for FBI and analysts who are supposedly specialists on Islam. People who have no PhD , and who have animosity towards Islam,” said Sally Howell, PhD, a professor of history and Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn who also contributed to Stockton’s book. “It’s distressing to see these people are empowered in America.”

Local community leaders and scholars are concerned about this intelligence apparatus leading to a McCarthyism practices of conducting “witch hunts” against American Muslims. The report indicates that Michigan has been a target of the intelligence community.

“The current surveillance being conducted by the FBI, Homeland Security and the Defense Department on American citizens and residents invites abuses,” said Dawud Walid. “It is disturbing that the intelligence community equates Michigan as a location for potential terrorists simply because of our large Muslim population.”

Howell agreed with Walid’s assertions about Michigan.

“There were multiple references on Michigan. Michigan being focused on for techniques and staffing because we have a large publicly visible Muslim population in the area. There is no precedent in history where (the government) targets an area because a religious minority is there,” said Howell.

When suspicious activity is reported, often by neighbors or co-workers for reasons that are not always clear, the accused individual is not informed, and the file remains open for five years. This could lead to profiling and abuse.

“We should remember the Law of the Hammer: A little boy given a hammer for his birthday will discover that there are many things that need to be pounded,” said Stockton. “A bureaucratic system this large, with this much money to spend, will inevitably discover threats that do not exist and will do great harm to innocent individuals.”