The Christian Threat

Jay over at Wizbang was challenged by a reader who asserted that he couldn’t condemn the links between Islam and terrorism because Christians are pretty hideous, too.

Aside from the fact that even if Christianity was bad, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t condemn terrorist links anyway, Jay challenged him to find some examples of Christian terrorism.

I challenged him to cite ten incidents of Christian-inspired terrorism from the last twenty years. To be more precise, “Unless you’d care to cite say, ten incidents of Christian-inspired terrorism in the last twenty years. Terrorist incidents where the terrorists proclaimed that they were doing it for Jesus, and significant numbers of Christians either refused to denounce it, or said it was “provoked.”

He had to go back a long, long way and dredge up some obscure groups, and it was questionable that they were actually doing it in the name of Christ. I don’t deny that people have done evil things in the name of Christianity, but they are denounced and shunned instantly by other Christian groups.

The post was good, the comments are good, too, so it’s a worthwhile read over at Wizbang.

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No Longer Giving Bush the Benefit of the Doubt

I have to admit that after nearly 5 years of being a Bush supporter, I’m having trouble recently continuing to support him.

Until 9/11, I though Bush was mostly ineffectual, stymied by the Democrats whenever he tried to accomplish anything. Bush was still a far better choice than Al “Mr. Internet” Gore, though.

9/11 changed the political landscape, and with the war in Afghanistan, I rallied behind Bush to give my full support to Bush. Afghanistan was handled very well, I thought.

And then onto Iraq. While I had some questions – I believed (in fact, I still do believe) that Iraq had WMD’s, I didn’t believe Iraq was an imminent threat to the US. Still, Saddam Hussein was a problem that had to be taken care of eventually. He was working on nukes, killing hundreds of thousands of his own people, and supporting terrorism with a whole lot of oil money. After the President gained the approval of Congress, I threw my support behind Bush again. I held nothing but disdain for those Democrats in Congress that voted for the war and then criticized the President about it.

I’m still a supporter of Bush on the war in Iraq. As bad as the suicide bombers are, they haven’t killed a fraction of the people Saddam killed, and a working Muslim democracy can only be good for the region and the US. And so in 2004 I voted happily for Bush over John “What’s My Position Today” Kerry.

But along the way, Bush took advantage of my support. I agreed with the tax cuts to stimulate the economy, and even reluctantly supported some spending increases in war time to keep the economy moving. But the prescription drug benefit went way overboard, adding a new entitlement on the way to a socialized healthcare system (and if you like the way the government handled the Katrina aftermath, you’ll love national healthcare). Before that, I was disappointed he didn’t veto McCain-Feingold that I thought was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. Bush apparently wanted to rely on the Supreme Court to strike it down, which to my surprise upheld it.

But I was still a supporter, and though John Roberts for Supreme Court was an excellent choice. But while he was gaining my approval there, he lost it in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What are we up to, $200 billion promised in relief? That’s $400,000 per family. We’d be better off just giving each family $400,000 and leaving New Orleans underwater. And this on the heels of a massive transportation bill with a new record for pork projects.

And now Harriet Miers for Supreme Court – what was Bush thinking? Better yet, what is Miers thinking? Conservatives have been focused for decades trying to return the Supreme Court to a strict constructionist court, and finally with two openings on the court, our time had arrived. When it comes to Miers’ views though, nobody seems to know a thing about her, and Bush just tells us to trust him.

After Bush has spent federal money like a drunken sailor, I don’t trust him to do what’s best. Does Harriet Miers even have a basic grasp of Constitutional Law 101? We don’t know.

Bush has counted on right wing conservatives for two long, and disappointed us too many times in the last year for us to trust him on this important point. I urge Senate Republicans to vote down Meirs and insist Bush nominate a true, proven conservative for the position.

This will, of course, prompt a fight with liberals, but that’s not a bad thing. Can conservatives hold their own in an ideological battle against liberals? I think recent elections show that the vast majority of the country supports conservative ideals and will turn out and vote for conservative candidates. Better to defend ourselves against liberals than capitulate and alienate the conservative base.

Terrorists Still Hate Us

Even though the title of this article says, “Muslim world rejecting violence, says poll,” that’s not the conclusion I get from reading the results.

The survey found that in Turkey, Morocco and Indonesia 15% or fewer said that suicide bombings and other acts of violence against civilian targets in defence of Islam could be justified; the figure in Morocco last year was 40%.

In Pakistan, only one in four – 25% – took the view that suicide bombings could be justified, a sharp drop from 41% last year. In Lebanon, which has been the victim of several recent bombing attacks, 39% now regard acts of terrorism as often or sometimes justified compared to 73% in 2002.

The one notable exception to the trend was Jordan, where a majority – 57% – said suicide bombings and violence were justifiable in defence of Islam.

Muslims in the surveyed countries were divided on suicide bombings in Iraq. Nearly half in Lebanon and Jordan, and 56% in Morocco, said suicide bombings against westerners in Iraq were justifiable, but substantial majorities in Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia took the opposite view.

Those figures concern me. A lot. While the mainstream media spins this as “Muslim World rejecting violence,” I’m reading that anywhere from 15% to 55% of Muslims, depending on the part of the world, feel that Al Qaeda is justified in bombing civilians. That’s a lot of Muslims that want to kill westerners. When I see a new, huge mosque being built on a plot of land on my way to work, am I supposed to feel comforted that only 15% of them think I should be dead?

Mohamed el-Amir, the father of 9/11 suicide pilot Mohammed Atta, thinks 9/11 was a good thing and would like to see more attacks like the 7/7 London bombings. Then he offered to let CNN videotape an interview with him for $5000. He planned on using that money to finance another terror attack.

This time, CNN declined, probably thinking they’ve financed enough terrorism. Back in 2002, CNN paid $30,000 for Al Qaeda videos of poison gas experiments.

Baggage Screener By Day, Rapper Terrorist By Night

Who screens the screeners?

HOUSTON — When Bassam Khalaf raps, he’s the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, “Terror Alert,” includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a “crazy, suicidal Arabic … equipped with bombs.”

Until last week, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

It’s difficult to lead two separate lives. He can’t celebrate terrorism with one personality and protect against terrorism with another.

Khalaf, 21, was hired on Jan. 16 and fired July 7, according to a TSA termination letter that cited his “authorship of songs which applaud the efforts of the terrorists on September 11th, encourage and warn of future acts of terrorism by you, discuss at length and in grave and alarming detail various criminal acts you intend to commit, state your belief that the U.S. government should be overthrown, and finally warn that others will die on September 11, 2005.”

Khalaf, who was born in Houston and is of Palestinian descent, said working as a baggage screener was the best paying job he’s ever had. He said he hoped to use any extra money he earned to produce his CD.

“Controversy sells,” Khalaf said. “It brings a lot of attention. Everybody wants to label all Arabics terrorists just because a couple of people messed up. Well, I’m going to play along with that character. I’m going to let you think I’m one.”

Well, ok, if you insist. I think you’re a terrorist.

Al Qaeda Attacks

A flash presentation of all the attacks by Al Qaeda on westerners since they declared war.

The facts presented speak for themselves.

There have been 30 major mass casualty attacks directed against the United States, Britain, France, Spain, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and North Osetia. 14 of the 30 attacks were conducted prior to the invasion of Iraq, making claims of the occupation of Iraq as a casus belli for al Qaeda’s terrorism to be disingenuous at best. 4,895 people have been killed in these attacks, and 12,345 plus have been wounded. The majority of the countries attacked are Muslim countries. And although not stated, the vast majority of the victims of al Qaeda’s violence are Muslims.

The ideologues, leaders and foot soldiers of al Qaeda have no reservations about slaughtering the innocent. The majority of their attacks have been directed against civilian infrastructure such as embassies, consulates, shipping, transportation, hotels, resorts, nightclubs, bars, synagogues, churches, temples, mosques, markets, housing complexes, office buildings and schools. Each of al Qaeda’s targets were purposefully selected and carefully timed to inflict mass casualties as well as to provide the maximum media exposure. The radical Islamists embrace Muslim casualties, as many are considered infidel for embracing Western culture and rejecting the “pure” Islam espoused by al Qaeda. This is an enemy that deserves no quarter.

Sobering.

What Would Kerry Do?

Seeing as how the Democrats are currently hoping the Iraq War fails:

For a while last week, the Democrats were doing better at framing the issues. The poll numbers showed that Bush’s approval rating was down, that around 60% of the voters had turned against the Iraq War, that support for Bush on his handling of 911 and terrorism was lower, but still pretty high.

* George Lackoff, Berkeley advisor to Democrat Leadership, Huffington Post, June 29, 2005

It’s no surprise that the Democrats are still campaigning against Bush, 7 months after Bush won the 2004 election. After Bush’s rousing speech Tuesday night, instant-poll numbers showed that Americans thought highly of Bush and supportive of the war. So for 3 days the media has been interviewing Democrats in order to depress people about the war. Immediately after George Bush’s speech, John Kerry said this on Larry King Live:

Costas: If you had been elected president last November, by this point what would President John Kerry have done in Iraq?

Kerry: Well, I laid out–you know, I don’t want to get in–I mean, I think that’s not quite the way to go at it.

Well said.

Kofi Annan Gets Tough

Kofi Annan wants to make the following changes at the United Nations:

UNITED NATIONS, March 19 — Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday will propose establishing new rules for the use of military force, adopting a tough anti-terrorism treaty that would punish suicide bombers, and overhauling the United Nation’s discredited human rights commission, according to a confidential draft of a report on U.N. reform.

I think that’s an excellent idea. I’d like to hear your ideas for suitable punishments for suicide bombers.

Not the death penalty, though. That would be redundant.