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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. Hey Lester, I'd be willing to go on and mop the floor with them. Greg can vouch that I'll probably do more than a half-decent job. What's the procedure?
  2. Wasn't Saddam on the US's payroll for at least a decade until he started stepping on the toes of his imperial masters? And now he's supposed to be some sort of noble Arab nationalist hero? You gotta be [edited] kidding me.
  3. just a little something I wrote yesterday.... Putting the Spotlight on Friedman Putting the Spotlight on Friedman By Mohamed A. Faraj July22, 2005 In today’s New York Times article “Giving the Hatemongers No Place to Hide” (July 22, 2005), Thomas L Friedman simply continues on his long path of doing what he does best, i.e. acting as self-declared and passionate mouthpiece of the U.S. government. It is nothing new in the recent history of mainstream news reporting, with journalists and reporters competing with each other to score bonus points with the powers-that-be. It seems to be the great journalistic fad of our times that has journalists in bed with politicians and military authorities and academics all in one. In this arena, Friedman simply leads the way by leaps and bounds. Take for example his recent article on the aftermath of the second wave of London bombings. His concern is that in addition to fighting the “war on terror” on the military, political, and economic playing fields, a thorough effort has to be made to deal with them on ideological grounds as well. The same line of thinking occupied the Cold War debate, where the argument was made that communism had to be discredited ideologically and the benefits of capitalism demonstrated intellectually in order to win over the hearts and minds of poor peoples throughout the Third World. Thus Friedman argues that a “war of ideas” must be vigilantly fought against the type of radical Islamist thought that promotes and feeds off hate and ignorance. His suggestion reads as follows: “We need to shine a spotlight on hate speech wherever it appears. The State Department produces an annual human rights report. Henceforth, it should also produce a quarterly War of Ideas Report, which would focus on those religious leaders and writers who are inciting violence against others.”[1] As an example of this problem of hatemongering, Friedman uses the bookstore (called “Iqra Learning Center”) frequented by some of the London bombers. To be more specific, Friedman quotes the Wall Street Journal to reveal how this bookstore happened to be “the sole distributor of Islamgames, a U.S.-based company that makes video games. The video games feature apocalyptic battles between defenders of Islam and opponents. One game, Ummah Defense I, has the world 'finally united under the Banner of Islam' in 2114, until a revolt by disbelievers. The player's goal is to seek out and destroy the disbelievers.”[2] Now this is where most mainstream academics and journalists in the West get all tangled up and a bit hazy. This is precisely where they began to lose their consistency and fall into that shady world of hypocrisy and double standards. For unless Friedman himself is childless and therefore hasn’t ventured much into the world of video games, one cannot understand exactly how he overlooks the virulent video game culture in the West that promotes and incites hatred against Arabs and/or Muslims. This, too, is nothing particularly new. Any twelve-year old with an X-Box or PS2 or computer with a competent video card and a fast processor must have been exposed to the likes of these games at some point or other. The shooting and killing of rag-headed Afghans or Iraqis (especially after the first Gulf War) in video games ideally should fall under the umbrella of “inciting violence against others”. According to David Leonard of Washington State University, who critically analyzes video games as part of “an important pedagogical project of U.S. war practices”; “Virtual war games elicit support for the War on Terror and United States imperialism, providing space where Americans are able to play through their anxiety, anger, and racialized hatred.”[4] By pointing this out, we do not contend that two wrongs make a right, nor is this a diversionary tactic used to deflect attention away from the very real and serious problems in the Muslim world. Yet it is worth noting that Friedman chooses to simply ignore the flip side of the coin, as all well-trained hypocrites are apt to do. Inciting hatred only bears value when it is “them” inciting hatred against “us”. Their video games and literature must thus be analyzed thoroughly, “exposed” and “spotlighted”, according to Friedman, so that they know that the world is listening to and watching them vigilantly. In doing so, we may conveniently ignore our own forms of inciting hatred and our own crimes. We have the magnifying glass directed towards those “others” and stubbornly refuse to use it against ourselves, presumably out of fear of what this would reveal, though this thought is rarely ever spoken. Friedman is most probably the leading liberal U.S. mouthpiece writing in arguably the world’s most influential and far-reaching newspaper. It is therefore no exaggeration to state that his views and ideas are to be taken seriously, especially as he gives advice to the powers-that-be. Thus when someone like Thomas L. Friedman suggests that “excuse-makers” for terrorism “are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and also deserve to be exposed”, it is safe to assume that such advice will seriously be taken into consideration. It is nothing less than advice to stifle and muffle dissent, to purge by exposition those who disagree with the views of Friedman and his official buddies. According to this logic, there is absolutely no correlation between worldwide grievances and terrorism. Actions that happen in one part of the world have no effect on what may happen some other place across the globe. There is no cause and effect relationship here, only the fluke and random acts committed by crazed fanatics. This type of deductive reasoning is quite convenient because it consciously refuses to engage the question of what conditions and circumstances breed criminality and/or terrorism. Friedman maintains that terrorists do what they do because they are terrorists, clear and simple. He quotes Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen as saying that “These terrorists are what they do", then slyly adds “And what they do is murder”. As if it takes a genius to figure that one out. Terrorists by nature commit terrorist acts, which by definition include murder. In any case, the logic is quite reductive. This type of reasoning is akin to the type of grade-school clichés that claim that “You Are What You Eat”. It bears no substance or clearly thought-out argument. Why is a terrorist a terrorist? What makes people engage in terrorist acts? Is it simply ideological leanings? Are there absolutely no other legitimate motives that can be included within the equation of terrorism? These clichés simply reaffirm standard and conventional thinking because they are convenient, uncomplicated, and because everyone seems to regurgitate them ceaselessly so that in the end they become self-evident truths. To argue that terrorists are criminals and mass-murderers who deserve to be brought to justice, but at the same time to argue that perhaps some of their motivations do come from legitimate grievances, is taboo and unacceptable. Friedman, like many of his colleagues, has trouble making the distinction between “justifying” terrorism and “explaining” it. The same diligence that social scientists apply to problems such as crime and poverty, for example, and the links and correlations between the two, would not apply when it comes to terrorism. Those who engage in terrorism do so because they are inherently evil and because it’s in their nature to do so, according to the likes of Friedman. No other rationale is acceptable or tolerated, and if it is considered at all it is lumped under some derogatory category such as “excuse-making” or “justifying terrorism”. Again, the great guru of the liberal mainstream media has thereby effectively marginalized and quarantined dissent by portraying those who try to explain the motivations or reasons of terrorism (so as to better deal with it) as not much better than the terrorists themselves. Presumably, by the standards set out by Thomas L. Friedman, the Mayor of London himself, among other respectable figures, would also fit nicely into this subhuman camp, being “just one notch less despicable than the terrorists” themselves.[5] Sources: [1] Thomas L. Friedman, “Giving the Hatemongers No Place to Hide”, The New York Times Op-Ed, July 22, 2005. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/22/opinion/22friedman.html [2] Ibid. [3] Nick Lewis, “How the Seductive Power of Video Games is Being Harnessed to Push Deadly Agendas”, Calgary Herald, July 9, 2005. http://www.canada.com/technology/story.htm...9d-5edc40967b03 [4] David Leonard, “Unsettling the Military Entertainment Complex: Video Games and a Pedagogy of peace”, Studies in Media & Information Literacy Education, Volume 4, Issue 4 (November 2004). http://www.utpjournals.com/jour.ihtml?lp=s...rdfulltext.html [5] Andrew Sparrow, “Western policies are to blame, says Livingstone”, The Daily Telegraph, June 20, 2005. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml.../ixnewstop.html
  4. U.S. Confirms Gitmo Soldier Kicked Quran By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer 1 minute ago WASHINGTON - U.S. military officials say no guard at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects flushed a detainee's Quran down the toilet, but they disclosed that a Muslim holy book was splashed with urine. In other newly disclosed incidents, a detainee's Quran was deliberately kicked and another's was stepped on. On March 25, a detainee complained to guards that "urine came through an air vent" and splashed on him and his Quran. A guard admitted he was at fault, but a report released Friday evening offering new details about Quran mishandling incidents did not make clear whether the guard intended the result. In another confirmed incident, water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet, and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran. The findings, released after normal business hours Friday evening and after the major TV networks had aired their evening news programs, are among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the commander of the detention center in Cuba. A Newsweek magazine report — later retracted — that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee's Quran down a toilet triggered the investigation. The story stirred worldwide controversy, and the Bush administration blamed it for deadly demonstrations in Afghanistan. Hood said in a written statement released with the new details that his investigation "revealed a consistent, documented policy of respectful handling of the Quran dating back almost 2 1/2 years." Lawrence Di Rita, chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, did not address the confirmed incidents of mishandling the Muslim holy book. Reached while traveling with Rumsfeld in Asia, he said U.S. Southern Command policy calls for "serious, respectful and appropriate" handling of the Quran. "The Hood inquiry would appear to affirm that policy," Di Rita said. Hood said that of nine mishandling cases that were studied in detail by reviewing thousands of pages of written records, five were confirmed. He could not determine conclusively whether the other four took place. In one of the unconfirmed cases, a detainee in April 2003 complained to FBI and other interrogators that guards "constantly defile the Quran." The detainee alleged that in one instance a female military guard threw a Quran into a bag of wet towels to anger another detainee, and he also alleged that another guard said the Quran belonged in the toilet and that guards were ordered to do these things. Hood said he found no other record of this detainee mentioning any Quran mishandling. The detainee has since been released. In the March incident, as described in the report, the guard had left his observation post to go outside to urinate. The wind blew his urine through an air vent into the cell block. The guard's supervisor reprimanded him and assigned him to gate guard duty, where he had no contact with detainees, for the rest of his assignment at Guantanamo Bay. In another of the confirmed cases, a contract interrogator stepped on a detainee's Quran in July 2003 and then apologized. "The interrogator was later terminated for a pattern of unacceptable behavior, an inability to follow direct guidance and poor leadership," the Hood report said. Hood also said his investigation found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans. "These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran," Hood's report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees' motives. In the most recent of those 15 cases, a detainee on Feb. 18 allegedly ripped up his Quran and handed it to a guard, stating that he had given up on being a Muslim. Several guards witnessed this, Hood reported. Last week, Hood disclosed he had confirmed five cases of mishandling of the Quran, but he refused to provide details. Allegations of Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay have led to anti-American passions in many Muslim nations, although Pentagon officials have insisted that the problems were relatively minor and that U.S. commanders have gone to great lengths to enable detainees to practice their religion in captivity. Hood said last week he found no credible evidence that a Quran was ever flushed down a toilet. He said a prisoner who was reported to have complained to an FBI agent in 2002 that a military guard threw a Quran in the toilet has since told Hood's investigators that he never witnessed any form of Quran desecration. Other prisoners who were returned to their home countries after serving time at Guantanamo Bay as terror suspects have alleged Quran desecration by U.S. guards, and some have said a Quran was placed in a toilet. There are about 540 detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Some have been there more than three years without being charged with a crime. Most were captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002 and were sent to Guantanamo Bay in hope of extracting useful intelligence about the al-Qaida terrorist network.
  5. Actually it was aerial bombardment and according to the military these are always "collateral damage". Precision-guided missiles that arent really all that precise. That's if we can convince ourselves into buying into the military establishment's point of view, which I doubt you'll have trouble doing. Historically though, these kind of targets were conventionally referred to as "soft targets" which were necessary in destroying in order to demoralize the enemy and minimize resistance. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book.
  6. no i'm talking about an actual uncle of his he mentioned once who had some extremely bigotted views towards Islam and Muslims. and it's nice to see that your cousin builds soccer fields while his comrades blow up hospitals and mosques and other civilian infrastructure. how convenient to bomb the country to smithereens and then "rebuild" what you've already destroyed. that way you can say your doing "humanitarian" work, right? in the end you can have your cake and eat it too, i guess.
  7. let's hope that this uncle of yours is not like that other war-veteran uncle in the US who has such splendid views about Islam and Muslims.
  8. are you trying to tell me that Americans dont kille their fellow Americans, or that more broadly Christians dont kill fellow Christians? you make it seem peculiar to Muslims, which is a bunch of BS. unfortunately that's the best we've come to expect from your ilk.
  9. what a goof. are you denying that you indulged in exactly what you accused DigitalMo of doing? it's pretty obvious that contradicting yourself is something you do quite often. i only feel sorry for those relations of yours who have to bear it day in and day out.
  10. LOL in heaven I dont think it would matter much if a language is easier to translate in or what not, would it?
  11. Killing Their Own Poster Boy Why Pat Tillman's Parents Are No Longer Silent by Dave Zirin May 29, 2005 Edge of Sports When former Arizona Cardinals football player turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman died in Afghanistan, sonorous bugles moaned from coast to coast. We were told he died a 'warrior's death' charging up a hill and urging on his fellow Rangers. His funeral was a nationally televised political extravaganza with Senator John McCain among others delivering eulogies over his open grave. Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth was one of many singing Tillman's praises. 'He chose action rather than words. He lived the American dream, and he fought to preserve the American dream and our way of life.' His Commander in Chief George W. Bush even took time during last fall's Presidential campaign to address Cardinals fans on the Jumbotron at Sun Devil Stadium. At the time, I wrote a small column stating that Tillman - who refused 'hundreds if not thousands' of offers by the Pentagon to shill publicly for the 'War on Terror'- would be repulsed by all the attention. I wrote that to Bush, McCain, and their pro-war ilk, Tillman was proving far more useful dead than alive. He had joined the Rangers for ideals like freedom and justice, but fought in a war for oil and empire. I wrote that the final injustice was that in death, even more than in life, he was little more than a 'pawn in their game.' This observation didn't click with the pro- war/occupation camp, as hate mail and death threats flooded my inbox. People claimed that the Masters of War were celebrating his heroism, not exploiting his death - and by not simply standing and saluting, I deserved a similar fate. I want to know how the hate mongers and internet thugs feel now, knowing that they were duped about the real circumstances of Tillman's death. Yes, once again the American people discover they have been lied to. Lied to by the same people who told us that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11, and that the US occupation was 'liberating" the people of Iraq by bombing their country to pieces and stealing their oil. I can also only wonder if those so protective of Pat Tillman's memory will exhibit a fraction of the bravery being shown by Pat's parents Patrick and Mary. The divorced couple has decided to go public with their fury at a government that profaned the body of their dead son Patrick and Mary now know that Pat did not die at the hands of the Taliban while charging up a hill, but was shot by his own troops in an instance of what they call 'fratricide.' Patrick and Mary now know that Tillman's men realized they had gunned him down 'within moments.' They know that the soldiers - in an effort to cover up the killing of the All American 'poster boy' - burned Tillman's uniform and body armor. They know that over the next 10 days, top-ranking Army officials, including the all too appropriately titled 'theater commander,' Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, hid the truth of Tillman's death, while Pentagon script writers conjured a Hollywood ending. They know that the army waited until weeks after the nationally televised memorial service to even clue them in about 'irregularities' surrounding their son's death. They know that the concurrent eruption of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal may have played a role in the cover-up, as the army attempted to avoid a double public relations disaster. 'After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this,' Patrick Tillman said earlier this week to the Washington Post. 'They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. [T]hey realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy.' Mary Tillman, like her ex-husband and son, a fiercely private person, spoke with a frankness that should put dissembling military planners to shame. 'It makes you feel like you're losing your mind in a way,' she said. 'You imagine things. When you don't know the truth, certain details can be blown out of proportion. The truth may be painful, but it's the truth. You start to contrive all these scenarios that could have taken place because they just kept lying. If you feel you're being lied to, you can never put it to rest.' Now the Tillmans, consciously or not, are lending their voice to a growing chorus of military family members determined to speak out against this war. New organizations, like Gold Star Mothers for Peace and Military Families Speak Out, are made up of people handling their grief by refusing to be political props and instead making a country bear witness to their pain. 'Every day is sort of emotional,' Mary Tillman said. 'It just keeps slapping me in the face. To find that he was killed in this debacle -- everything that could have gone wrong did -- it's so much harder to take. We should not have been subjected to all of this. This lie was to cover their image. I think there's a lot more yet that we don't even know, or they wouldn't still be covering their tails. If this is what happens when someone high profile dies, I can only imagine what happens with everyone else.' It is exactly for 'everyone else' dying throughout the Middle East, that we must follow the Tillmans example and regard silence as a luxury we can no longer afford. Dave Zirin's new book 'What's My Name Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States' will be in stores in June 2005. Check out his revamped website www.edgeofsports.com . You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by e-mailing edgeofsports- subscribe@zirin.com . Contact him at whatsmynamefool2005@yahoo.com
  12. Your beloved North America is composed, from bottom to top, of "immigrants" who traveled from Europe, wipped out the existing indigenous peoples, robbed them of their land, and declared it their "new world". This rant about immigrant-this or immigrant-that is all a bunch of baloney, for all here are immigrants or sons of immigrants except the native peoples.
  13. Savages? Excuse me buddy, but you support a country who has launched an illegal war based on phony lies and deceit against another sovereign nation and arguably directly killed tens of thousands of Iraqis thus far and many tens of thousands more indirectly, and we're the savages? Iraqis are getting killed by American forces who have invaded their country and they're savages? Are you a complete retard? Why dont you go stick that "hornets nest" and all your racist ranting along with it up your pathetic arse?
  14. If you noticed the actual content of what I wrote, I suggested that once your benevolent Western nations chose to stop "meddling" in the affairs of my country (i'm from Iraq, by the way), as it has been doing for almost the past hundred years, and let my country run its natural course, then I'll gladly go back home. My father is there now, teaching Poli Sci at Baghdad University, living in a war-zone which is the direct consequence of your noble USA. I'll go back when that situation changes. Until then, I'll stay here, thank you. And those rights and freedoms that you claim are given to me here are not yours or anyone else's to give to me. You have no monopoly over my "rights". So why dont you go choke on a c*ck and drop dead, eh?
  15. Sketchy Details by Dahr Jamail May 28, 2005 Yesterday Iraq’s Minister of Defense, Sadoun al-Dulaimi, announced that starting Saturday 40,000 Iraqi troops will seal Baghdad and begin to "hunt down insurgents and their weapons." Baghdad will be divided into two main sections, east and west, and within each section there will be smaller areas of control. There will be at least 675 checkpoints and al-Dulaimi said this is the first phase of a security crackdown that will eventually cover all of Iraq. Keep in mind that most of Iraq has remained in a "state of emergency" since the beginning of the siege of Fallujah, on November 8th. "We will also impose a concrete blockade around Baghdad, like a bracelet around an arm, God willing, and God be with us in our crackdown on the terrorists’ infrastructure." Also at the press conference was Bayan Jabor, the Minister of Interior who added, "These operations will aim at turning the government's role from defensive to offensive." This is really, really bad news. The Iraqi security forces already have an extremely bad name throughout much of Baghdad. I’ve had three Iraqi doctors tell me, in different hospitals at different times, that they call the Iraqi National Guard the "dogs of the Americans." Another close friend of mine in Baghdad, also a doctor, wrote me recently to say; "Iraqi forces now have what they call "liwaa al deeb," which means the Wolf Brigade. This is a very American name, and is an ugly name which gives the impression of violence. In the past the Iraqi troops held names of some famous Muslim and Arabic symbols which were more accepted. Anyway, the name wouldn’t matter if their behavior was straight….they now practice a kind of state sponsored terrorism." He went on to give an example of their not-so-straight behavior… "Eyewitnesses in Al-Saydia area to the south of Baghdad told me that recently when a car bomb detonated and destroyed the area nearby, people were astonished to see the so-called police looting a destroyed mobile phone store that was nearby! The police now are a bunch of thieves. Many of then are already criminals who were released from Abu Ghraib prison before the war." When I was in Baghdad in January, I was shot at by Iraqi Police on two different occasions simply because our car drove too close to them. Hence, out of concern for his family, Abu Talat has returned to Baghdad. He fears that his two youngest sons will be detained simply because they are of "military age," according to the US military. Even now in Haditha, where the US military is engaged in an operation called "Operation New Market," (where do they get these names?) somewhat similar to the recent attack on Al-Qa’im, where around 1,000 troops are raiding homes. They have set up sniper positions, and according to an Iraqi doctor I spoke with today that has colleagues in Haditha, "The Americans are detaining so many people there, any man between the ages of 16 and 25 years is being immediately detained without question." So Abu Talat is back into the fire…needless to say, I support his decision to go back to look after his family, but not without deep concern and sadness. "What else can I do, habibi," he asks me while holding up his hands today. So we say goodbye yet again, which in this situation is always a difficult thing to do. Will I see him again? Will his family be alright? What if…? Life in occupied Iraq. On any given day, anything can happen. It’s a numbers game. He or any of my other friends there could end up like the three civilians who were shot dead by US soldiers yesterday while they were traveling in a minibus in al-Dora, Baghdad. Lieutenant Jamie Davis, a spokesman for the US military, said of the slaughter, "The details are sketchy and we don’t know who was involved." According to AFP, the bus driver who survived the incident said US troops opened fire after he pulled over to get out of their way. Now with over 675 checkpoints to be manned by the "dogs of the Americans," we’ll all have to get used to countless more civilian deaths where "the details are sketchy." More writing, photos and commentary at http://dahrjamailiraq.com
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