Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Shaun Says This..."Ever Wonder"

The Shaun says this...

Ever wonder what's going on in the minds of our leaders as it relates to the IRAQ war.

Now that it has lasted over 5 years and more people have died in this war than who died in the tragedy of 9/11 (which was what was said to be the reason we started the war).

Do you think they pray for the safe return of our troops?

Is it blind patriotism that gives us the faith that this war is just?

Without the tragic events that led to the war, how does that effect the support for it?

Why has the news of coverage of the war slowly faded over the last few months?

Why, once a hot topic in the presidential race, is the war seemly an afterthought?

Never be afraid to ask yourself or your leaders the tough questions because if they're never asked, we'll never work on getting the answers to those questions.

Just because you may not want to know the answers to those questions, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be asked.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008




This Is Just One Of The Millions Of Muslims And Arab-Americans Dishonored, Disrespected And Discriminated Against By The Republican Hate-Machine Today

John Sidney McCain III and his running mate, Sarah Palin, have now entered the home stretch of a losing race for President and Vice President of the United States of America. Though their tactics are hurting them in the polls, they will desperately cling to their hateful base by attacking anyone and anything smaller, weaker, different.



This includes those human beings among our friends and neighbors, schoolmates and co-workers, families and comrades in arms who worship the same God we do, in a different language. Allah, as they call Him, is God, or Jehovah, as the Jews call him. They are one and the same, just different names for the one true God we all believe in, we three billion "People of the Book." Yes, we all three read and revere the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible. And we all try to follow its' tenets and strictures.

Our common beliefs have led us to stand up for what we believe is right, to fight when required, and to die for our causes. Kareem Khan died for our cause. He died believing in the ideals and freedoms intrinsic to the United States. Chief among them is the freedom of conscience. Unlike his ancestral home, America is dedicated to protecting the religious rights of all citizens of all creeds. At least, most of us are dedicated to that.

Today our dedication to that particular freedom is being sorely tested. Our "Christian" nation, founded by Deists, is under attack from within by forces that would have us demonize and deny full rights to American citizens based solely on their religion. The mere suggestion that a person is a Muslim can make him a target for hatred and violence in this country today. The oft-repeated lie that Presidential candidate Barack Obama is a Muslim is enough to send some people into paroxyms of hatred, fear and anger.

This is what the low-life racist, sectarian Republicans are counting on, in their last desperate attempt to claw their way back into power. That choice of tactics alone should forever disqualify them. It dishonors our fallen warriors, like Kareem Khan, and all those of other faiths who died believing that their sacrifice would lead to freedom for Muslims in Iraq and all over the Middle East. Every life we lose over there is lost for Iraqi Freedom, or so we are told. We must not sacrifice our own freedom in the process. Today, in this crisis, in this election, we are all Muslim, in honor of Kareem Khan. God bless Muslim America.

And shame on McCain and Palin for attacking our troops.

"More on the Soldier Kareem R. Khan"

' On “Meet the Press” today, Colin L. Powell concluded his endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama by referring to the death of a Muslim soldier, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan of Manahawkin, N.J., who was killed in Iraq on Aug. 6, 2007, and whose remains were buried in Arlington. He and three other soldiers, including a corporal from Washington Heights, were killed in Baquba after a bomb detonated while they were checking abandoned houses for explosives. They served in the Stryker Brigade combat team of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, based in Ft. Lewis, Washington. '

"Corp Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan"
Sounds like a terrorist to me.
' The family used to send two large bags of Starbursts in his care packages, because Kareem would pick out all the orange ones and leave the rest for his Army buddies. He was also a big fan of Disneyworld, as was the entire family. The family would take at least one trip to Disneyworld every year, and the living room and dining room of the family's split-level home is filled with souvenirs from those trips, like a wall hanging of Cinderella, figurines of Mickey Mouse and Disney-themed snow globes. Kareem was so crazy about Disneyworld that when he had a two-day leave following his graduation from Fort Benning, Ga., he had a backpack full of clothes stashed in the bush, so the family could immediately drive to Florida. '

"Local Muslim soldier killed in bombing"
Army 2nd Lt. Mohsin Naqvi, 26,
' Nazar stared at nothing in the middle of the room late Wednesday night. The news was five hours old. "He always wanted to lead his people," Nazar said. "He wanted to sacrifice for his country." His country was the United States, no matter how many drill sergeants pronounced his Arabic name and asked: "Are you sure you're in the right army?" No matter how many times commanding officers wanted to chat about loyalties. "We're a Muslim family, OK?" his sister, Tasneem, said. She wants people to know her brother was an American patriot and a Muslim, and those two things don't conflict. It burns her to even feel compelled to say this. But she says news media have skewed the image of Muslims since Sept. 11, 2001. "I think he's proven himself," she said. "He has proven he is not the type of Muslim the media says we are." Mohsin graduated from Newburgh Free Academy. He planned to join the Army right then, but Nazar persuaded him to go to college first. He had finished about two years of schooling by the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. He enlisted four days later. Mohsin was part of the invasion of Iraq as an Army reservist. When he came home in 2003, he finished his bachelor's and earned a master's in computer science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Then he re-enlisted for active duty. Tasneem says her brother knew some would be suspicious of his religion and Pakistani heritage, but he was determined to serve anyway. He planned to make a career in the Army. He spoke Urdu and was rising fast through the ranks, working as an interpreter in Afghanistan. He told Tasneem: "The only way I'm going to leave the Army is if I retire or if they make me, which I won't let them." '

"Mourners remember Muslim soldier who died in Afghanistan "
' Mohsin Naqvi, a Muslim who joined the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and then died in an Afghanistan roadside bombing last week, was mourned by more than 100 people at a Central Avenue mosque today. Male mourners left the prayer room at the al-Fatima Islamic Center about 20 minutes before the start of the 1 p.m. ceremony so that the female members of the mosque could pay respects to Naqvi, who was 26 years old. The men gathered in the hall and bowed their heads in silence as wailing could be heard through the closed doors of the prayer room. Some of the women chanted Naqvi's first name. Naqvi joined the Army shortly after the terror attacks and hoped to bridge the divide between America and the Muslim world, friends and relatives say "Our message is we have chosen this country. We are going to live here. We are going to die here. We are going to contribute in every respect," said Haider Khwaja, the mosque's vice president. "He has sacrificed his life for the country." '

"Humayun S. M. Khan"
' He was born in the United Arab Emirates, and moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, at age 2. He graduated from Kennedy High School in 1996 and the University of Virginia in 2000. He lived in Bristow, Virginia, and was an ordnance officer with the Germany-based 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. He died in a suicide car bombing at the main gates of his base. His unit was charged with the day-to-day security and maintenance of the camp. When an orange-colored taxi drove toward them, he ordered his soldiers to "hit the dirt." He walked toward the car, motioning for it to stop. A makeshift bomb inside it exploded, killing him and two Iraqi civilians in addition to the two suicide bombers. Ten soldiers and six Iraqi citizens were also wounded. During his three months in Iraq, he helped put Iraqi civilians to work for $5 an hour patrolling the streets of Baquba under the U.S. Army. The program, dubbed the United States-Iraq Sponsorship Program, was intended to help combat high unemployment and provide the local population with security and peace. He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. '

"Local Soldier Dies In Iraq"
' The family says Khan was originally scheduled to be home by now, but his stay in Iraq was extended by the military's stop loss program. He last spoke with his mother on May 10, Mother's Day. "I told him, 'Be safe, please be safe for me.' He said, 'Mother, I am safe. I just have a responsibility for my soldiers,'" said Gazala Khan, Humayun's mother. Born in the United Arab Emirates, Khan grew up in Silver Spring, Md., and graduated from Kennedy High School in 1996. His family says he joined the ROTC to pay for law school. His youngest brother describes Khan as a gregarious man who loved basketball. Being both American and Muslim, his family says Humayun was well liked in Iraq, where he was seen as a bridge between two cultures at war. '

"Serving America's 'Muslim army' "
' Jamal Baadani is a gunnery sergeant currently stationed at Quantico Marine Corp Base in Washington DC. He served in Yemen for Operation Enduring Freedom, and won three awards for his services. He is also the founder of Apaam, the Association of Patriotic Arab-Americans in the Military - prompted by the backlash of racism he and his family were subjected to after the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. "I was out with a couple of my marines, and a woman came up to say 'I want to thank you for serving our country, especially at this time.' Then she asked me where I was from. When I said, 'Egypt', she had this look on her face and she said, 'you're a terrorist.' And that was in a Marine Corp uniform." '

' We wanted to share with you the heroic life story of Michael A. Monsoor, Petty Officer, US Navy Seal. Michael lost his life in 2006 as part of combat operations. His heroic action earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor Posthumously. SEAL Team Three was sent to Ramadi, Iraq in 2006 and assigned to train and mentor Iraqi army troops. As a communicator and machine-gunner on patrols, Monsoor carried 100 pounds of gear in temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees. He took a lead position to protect the platoon from frontal assault. The team was involved in frequent engagements with insurgent fighters. Over the first five months of the deployment, the team reportedly killed 84 insurgents.[2] During an engagement on May 9, 2006, Monsoor ran into a street while under continuous insurgent gunfire to rescue an injured comrade. Monsoor was awarded the Silver Star for this action.[2][4] He was also awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.[5] Death in action: On September 29, 2006, the platoon engaged four insurgents in a firefight, killing one and injuring another. Anticipating further attacks, Monsoor and three SEAL snipers and three Iraqi soldiers took up a rooftop position. Civilians aiding the insurgents blocked off the streets, and a nearby mosque broadcast a message for people to fight against the Americans and the Iraqi soldiers. Monsoor was protecting his SEAL comrades, two of whom were 15 feet away. His position made him the only SEAL on the rooftop with quick access to an escape route.[2][6] A grenade was thrown onto the rooftop by an insurgent in the street below. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest and fell onto the floor. Immediately, Monsoor fell onto and covered the grenade with his body, saving the lives of his three comrades. Monsoor was critically wounded and, although evacuated immediately, died 30 minutes later. Two SEALs next to him were injured by the blast but lived '

"Muslims & Arabs in the U.S. Military - article collection "

[Cross-posted at blog me no blogs.]


Hate Is Dividing Us and We Must Unite Against A Common Enemy

Labels divide us and some of our fellow Americans are unknowingly using them to help bin Laden implement his plan to destroy us.

At the start of this conflict, bin Laden committed a horrendous crimial act and murdered almost 3,000 citizens of the world. He wanted to defeat us by collapsing our financial infrastructure centered around the World Trade Center. But we came together and stopped him.

But that didn't last long. A neocon agenda, that had been waiting in the background for years, was ready and available to change the world.

Our president took that agenda for his own and proceeded to lie us into a war for oil. He used various pretenses like protecting us from WMDs and later rescuing the citizens of Iraq from a cruel dictator. He played enough of us and our Congress into a first ever preemptive battle with Iraq and a follow-on occupation that is costing tens of billions a month. Add to these occupation costs the costs of bailing out our financial systems, Bush's tax cuts for the rich and families loosing their homes, and what is the result? Our nation and economy are going bankrupt.

"So we are continuing this policy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy." This statement was made in a video on October 30, 2004. The speaker was Osama bin Laden.

But that was then and, unfortunately, has mostly been forgotten. However, four years later, his wishes are unfolding before his eyes and he has done nothing.

And now, as we near the end of the 2008 election cycle, what else is happening and how does it fit into bin Laden's plans?

We have hate speech and negative labels aimed at Senator Obama and his supporters by some McCain/Palin supporters.

How does bin Laden view these attacks of one group of Americans against another? Isn't dividing your enemies forces another war tactic? Can you imagine how ecstatic bin Laden must be as he watches us fight amongst ourselves? This is all happening while the world watches and bin Laden does nothing - not even a video to tweek our collective noses. Absolutely nothing. A small group of our fellow Americans and their national candidates are doing the dividing for him.

Hate and labels divide.

We must unite or witness destruction from within while bin Laden smirks from afar.

Originally posted at The WAWG Blog

Related article: Al-Qaeda Supporters Endorse McCain

There's more: "Hate Is Dividing Us and We Must Unite Against A Common Enemy" >>

Monday, October 20, 2008




Now The Rules May Apply To All, Including The Bush Crime Family

Consigliere Cheney better get a few hits out before he leaves office. It seems the Tattaglia's, er, Iraqi's are gunning for him. This breaks all the rules established by the Five Families, er, Bush Administration and the Chalabi Mob, er, government. Bush and Company were to have complete immunity from all prosecutions and lawsuits for all the many, many, many crimes and torts they committed. The puppet government was supposed to maintain their guarantee of that. Now, all of a sudden, they act like they think they are an independent sovereign nation, possibly saddled with an unwelcome and overlong occupation that has had many ill effects. Next, they'll be wanting their country back, and their oil, those mooks! Vito, Gianni, Petraeus, take 'em out!

"Iraqi Shi'ite says Maliki wary of U.S. pact"
Hey, these guys actually think they're a legitimate government, now!

' Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has criticized the draft of a pact that would allow U.S. troops to stay in the country for three years, a senior member of Maliki's ruling Shi'ite alliance said Tuesday. The remarks are the latest sign the draft, agreed last week after months of painstaking talks between Washington and Baghdad, may not survive Iraq's political process intact. "The prime minister said: what (the Americans) have given with the right hand they have taken away with the left hand," said Humam Hamoudi, a senior parliamentarian from the Shi'ite alliance which includes Maliki's Dawa Party. "For example, they said the U.S. forces will withdraw from towns by June 2009 if the security situation permits that. But who will decide that?" Hamoudi told a news conference. "They put terms and conditions into these articles. Those terms will be subjected to veto. This means it is as if they gave nothing. We will try to lift those conditions." '



"Iraqi Public Opinion on the Presence of US Troops"
These people suddenly think they got rights!
' DR. KULL: Thank you for inviting me to speak. Today I will be addressing the question of how the Iraqi people view the presence of US troops in Iraq and, more importantly, what they want to see happen in the future. As I will demonstrate, the Iraqi people are showing signs of impatience with the pace of US withdrawal. Now one may ask why this matters. Obviously the Iraqi people will not be negotiating the agreements about US forces in Iraq. As long as the government wants US troops there, one may believe that it does not matter what the Iraqi public thinks. However, it does appear that the Iraqi government is paying attention to the Iraqi public. As you probably know, 144 of the 275 members of Parliament signed a letter calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops, citing as a key reason the attitudes of the Iraqi people. This call for a timetable was then reiterated in the June 3rd letter presented to the US Congress from representatives of the Iraqi Parliament. Just in the last few days Prime Minister Maliki has been increasingly aligning himself with this public pressure. This may well be influenced by the prospect of upcoming elections. Thus, if the US government wishes to play a constructive role in the future of Iraq it behooves us to understand better the dynamics of public opinion and thus the forces of the political universe within which Iraqi leaders are operating. Furthermore, Iraqis' attitudes about US forces are likely to affect their readiness to cooperate with coalition efforts to fight the insurgency, or even their readiness to support the insurgency. There is evidence that many Iraqis do support attacks on US troops and that this attitude is related to perceptions of US long-term intentions in Iraq. Thus dealing with these perceptions is critical to the success of the mission. '

"Iraqis Balk at a U.S. Troop Deal, but Can They Say Goodbye? "
What, they got political Parties over there, now? Madonn'!
' It would not have surprised Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, that tens of thousands of supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, the populist Shi'ite cleric and militia leader, took to the streets on Saturday to protest a provisional security accord between Iraq and the U.S. Al-Sadr, after all, is an anti-American firebrand, and the Status of Forces agreement under negotiation between Washington and Baghdad would legitimize the continued presence in Iraq of U.S. troops, who have been deployed against al-Sadr's militia. And in March, al-Maliki had ordered Iraqi government forces to drive al-Sadr's Mahdi Army out of Basra. But if Sadr could be expected to have a beef with the proposed agreement, what should be more troubling to al-Maliki is that members of his own coalition are washing their hands of the deal. Until Sunday, the American and Iraqi governments had been inching toward a deal that would create a legal basis for the U.S. military to remain in Iraq once its U.N. mandate expires on Dec. 31. The draft version of the agreement — leaked earlier this month by the American side — also lays out a time line for U.S. withdrawal: American forces would leave Iraqi cities and towns by the end of June 2009 and be stationed on large bases until they're withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011. Washington made further concessions as well, allowing American soldiers to be subject to Iraqi legal jurisdiction for crimes committed while off duty and off base. But that wasn't enough to satisfy members of al-Maliki's United Iraq Alliance coalition, who have asked that negotiations be reopened. The problem may be less any one particular provision than it is the agreement itself. Despite the security gains achieved over the past year, most Iraqis want the foreign soldiers to leave — and with provincial elections scheduled for January of 2009, Iraqi politicians don't want their fingerprints on the document. Tellingly, the only politicians at Saturday's meeting of Iraq's security council who did voice full support for the proposed agreement were from the placid Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq — where, unlike in the rest of the country, the U.S. army is much loved but little seen. '

"U.S.-Iraq Deal Could Mean Jail Time for Contractors"
Better hide out in Sicily for a while, guys. And watch ya back, hanh?
' Not too long ago, private security contractors in Iraq had a get-out-of-jail-free card; they could run around the country, without a chance in the world that they could be prosecuted for anything they did. A draft of the U.S.-Iraq security deal, now making the rounds in Washington and Baghdad, could change all that. Guns-for-hire in Iraq could suddenly find themselves facing time in an Iraqi prison, if they broke the local laws. The agreement has not been finalized, but it seems to point the way to an eventual drawdown of U.S. combat forces -- perhaps as early as 2012. One of the major sticking points for the status of forces agreement (SOFA) has been the legal status of U.S. troops -- and the contractors they bring in tow. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would reserve judgment on the deal until he could more closely review the legal safeguards for service members. "It's critical that our dedicated men and women in uniform serving in Iraq have full legal protections and are not subject to criminal prosecution in an Iraqi judicial system that does not meet due process standards," he said. '

"Oil in a Week (International Oil Companies Return to Iraq)"
No. Not the oil! That's OUR freakin' oil!
' The return of international oil companies to Iraq continues to instigate an old debate in this country. Politicians had objected to the presence of foreign firms and the rights they demand through the numerous accusations they had directed at previous governments on this matter. With time, the issue became worse and more complicated, subjecting the country's entire oil policy to accusations which have obstructed the development of this sector in comparison to what neighboring nations have accomplished. Although the issue is still limited to general principles, new developments can be cited, including the role of oil in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the possibility of adopting an independent oil policy that takes into consideration the interests of Iraq while it remains under occupation, and the issue of transparency during negotiations at a time when corruption prevails on the national level. It was remarkable that the first contract for the development of an Iraqi field since 2003 was signed with a Chinese company followed by another signed with a European party. Ultimately, American contracts with American companies are likely to follow soon, especially when the offers are made for huge fields. It is possible that the ministry of oil has not granted any contracts to American firms by successfully resisting pressures, but the truth is that the country has been under occupation since 2003. Regardless of the occupation, the fact remains that American firms are the largest and the most prominent in the global oil industry such that they are impossible to ignore. Hence, they will eventually play a role in Iraq's oil industry since Iraq has decided to open up to international firms. Once again, what matters here is the nature and conditions of contracts. '

[Cross-posted at blog me no blogs.]