Saturday, September 16, 2006

Notable Quotes

But when the Pope suggests Islam is violent, Islam becomes...violent. Here a question for you Moral Equivalence fans: Have you noticed that "radical Christians," although just insulted by Rosie O'Donnell, are not rioting or threatening anyone's life?

Robert Spencer

Insulted by the suggestion that their religion was violent, thousands of young men took to the streets to threaten violence. - The UK Telegraph

What is also undeniable is that whereas the claims of Islam to be a religion of peace have been unceasingly made, almost all the Islamists have justified their terrorism in terms of religious obligation. - Swapan Dasgupta, The Pioneer

Should the Pope apologize for saying that Islam isn't a Religion of Peace, or should Muslims apologize for having let their religion become what it is? Let's look at the numbers:

Since we've been keeping track, at least six priests, 14 pastors and thousands of Christians have been murdered in the name of Islam in the last five years. This even includes 382 who were slain by Muslims in or on the grounds of a church in countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Turkey and Bangladesh.

By contrast, we can't find a single incident since 9/11 when a mosque leader or ordinary Muslim was murdered in the name of Catholicism. - TROP

"Honestly, the thin-skinnedness of many Muslims is getting awfully tiresome. How on earth are we ever supposed to be able to have a dialogue if the non-Muslim side has to walk on eggshells to avoid offending the wounded sensibilities of Muslim leaders, who seem very eager to take gross offense at anything critical?" Rod Dreher, Beliefnet

Dark Ironies

A HARDLINE cleric linked to Somalia's powerful Islamist movement has called for Muslims to "hunt down" and kill Pope Benedict XVI for his controversial comments about Islam.

Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin urged Muslims to find the pontiff and punish him for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and Allah in a speech that he said was as offensive as author Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses.

"We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion," he said in Friday evening prayers.

"Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim," Malin, a prominent cleric in the Somali capital, told worshippers at a mosque in southern Mogadishu. (source)

(In other words, the cleric is calling for the Pope's death, because he quoted someone who said Islam was vile because it used violence instead of persuasion, and so the cleric calls for violence because the old Emperor pointed out something that Islam does and called it bad. It's not a matter if Islam IS vile in its willingness to use violence, but that once upon a time someone said that Islam was bad. And so, for the perceived sins of a long dead Greek emperor, the Pope should die for mentioning it in passing.)

Muhammad Abdul Bari, general-secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the pontiff needed to repudiate the emperor's views he quoted to restore relations between Muslims and the Roman Catholic Church.

(In other words, the pope should lie about thinking violence in the name of God is bad?)

I truly suspect these people will not be satisfied with anything less than the pope saying Islam is superior to Christianity, and the Prophet is wonderous. And then they are acting out the emperor's behavior for all to see.

Reading the Tea Leaves

I ran accross this passage that was a comment on an Al-Jazeera talk show July 10, 2001.

Amid a talk show only a few months before 9/11 that mostly was filled with how wicked America was, how corrupt Arab governments were, how wonderful Bin Laden was, everybody was sure that America would do nothing much of substance, that Bin Laden could destroy the American control in the Middle East, and maybe even the American regime, one man’s voice stood out amazingly foresighted.

“I think,” said ‘Adlan, “that the chances of Osama bin Laden’s toppling the American regime don’t even approach one in a million. These are extremely marginal matters. It’s a very serious issue, because it will make America treat bin Laden and groups like him as if they had declared war [on America], and handle them not through legal investigation inquiry, but with the American armed forces…”

Al-Hatem ‘Adlan, leader of the Al-Haq Democratic Forces Movement, knew how to read the tea leaves.

There have been miscalculations, and all of our efforts may be for naught, because the man on the street in the Middle East frequently really does believe America is bad, that Israel is evil, and that together we are the sources of all the woes in the Islamic world. Many of them don’t believe the evidence of other truth. And encouraging democracy on one hand is setting the region up to let those man on the street opinions bear fruit. And we may not like it. And even being there also reinforces that pov.

But what are our alternatives? To sit at home and wait for the next bomb to fall? Or to try to effect enough positive change (from their POV) that the opinion begins to shift?

It is a hard corner that the history leading up to this point painted us into.

Vatican Statement on the Pope's Comments

Given the reaction in Muslim quarters to certain passages of the Holy Father's address at the University of Regensburg, and the clarifications and explanations already presented through the Director of the Holy See Press Office, I would like to add the following:

- The position of the Pope concerning Islam is unequivocally that expressed by the conciliar document Nostra Aetate: "The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting" (no. 3).

- The Pope's option in favor of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is equally unequivocal. In his meeting with representatives of Muslim communities in Cologne, Germany, on 20 August 2005, he said that such dialogue between Christians and Muslims "cannot be reduced to an optional extra," adding: "The lessons of the past must help us to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other's identity".

- As for the opinion of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus which he quoted during his Regensburg talk, the Holy Father did not mean, nor does he mean, to make that opinion his own in any way. He simply used it as a means to undertake - in an academic context, and as is evident from a complete and attentive reading of the text - certain reflections on the theme of the relationship between religion and violence in general, and to conclude with a clear and radical rejection of the religious motivation for violence, from whatever side it may come. On this point, it is worth recalling what Benedict XVI himself recently affirmed in his commemorative Message for the 20th anniversary of the Inter-religious Meeting of Prayer for Peace, initiated by his predecessor John Paul II at Assisi in October 1986: " ... demonstrations of violence cannot be attributed to religion as such but to the cultural limitations with which it is lived and develops in time. ... In fact, attestations of the close bond that exists between the relationship with God and the ethics of love are recorded in all great religious traditions".

- The Holy Father thus sincerely regrets that certain passages of his address could have sounded offensive to the sensitivities of the Muslim faithful, and should have been interpreted in a manner that in no way corresponds to his intentions. Indeed it was he who, before the religious fervor of Muslim believers, warned secularized Western culture to guard against "the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom".

- In reiterating his respect and esteem for those who profess Islam, he hopes they will be helped to understand the correct meaning of his words so that, quickly surmounting this present uneasy moment, witness to the "Creator of heaven and earth, Who has spoken to men" may be reinforced, and collaboration may intensify "to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom" (Nostra Aetate no. 3).


Pretty much what I expected. Violence in the name of God is bad (a point Islam will probably take as an insult against Islam, anyway, IMHO), we respect you as people and as persons who love God, and did not mean to hurt your feelings - and, in a soft, polite way, "Can't you read? I was quoting someone!"

Nightmares in the West and Reality in the East

Once upon a time, Margaret Atwood wrote a book called the Handmaid's Tale, about a nightmarish vision of America taken over by an extremist Christian group who denied women all rights, and in fact, refused to even let them learn to read, and kept them pretty much under thumb at home. The society described was horribly restrictive, with men and women being punished in public ways for infractions that would be considered trivial by the people of our culture.

It is interesting that she projected her fear about this on the American Christian right. In reality, this type of society has been created, and it's not by Christians of any flavor, but by people in the Islamic sphere. In the puritanical, purist movements within Islam, which tend to interpret the Islamic sacred writings through a world view that is strongly colored by tribal notions of what is proper, the followers are striving for what they see as a return to the ways of the first three generations of Islam. Yet in their strivings for righteousness as they see it, nightmare societies have been created, with huge amounts of repression, threat, and misery.

The Taliban experience in Afghanistan is an example of that, where women were beaten for walking too noisily and were forbidden learning, where men who wore soccer shorts were punished, where punishments of amputation and blinding were not uncommon, and the religious police made sure no one listened to music and that men had proper beards.

In many, many ways, the Taliban regime fulfills Margaret Atwood's nightmare world.

And now, in Somalia, that world is threatening to reform. Sharia courts are now ruling in areas controlled by the Islamist groups, radio stations are being forbidden to play music, and all the normal restrictions are women are now falling into place. It often works in small ways that seem trivial, but when added together paint a picture of life without freedom, morality of a type not native by force. Besides radio stations being forbidden to play music and movie houses being closed, recently, a woman's school for cooking had a graduation ceremony, but the photographers who covered the story were forbidden to take pictures of the women involved.

As they consolidate, the Islamist leaders are promising a Taliban type state, and some of the activists from Pakistan have come over to help.

This reality is creating a growing refugee crisis. "An average of 300 Somali refugees have arrived in Kenya daily over the past three days amid reports of an advance on the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo by fighters allied to the Islamic Courts Union," UNHCR said in a statement. "Most of the refugees now arriving in Kenya are women and children and many are in poor condition. They are tired and markedly emaciated after travelling on foot and aboard trucks over long distances and for many days." (source)

The numbers have gone up from about 100 a day a month ago to 300 now, and more are feared if violence takes over Kismayo.

Why are women and children fleeing? Because they know the consequences of staying behind will be worse. There are times the perils of the unknown are better than the certainties that await for those staying behind.

And someone tries to prove Emperor Manuel II Paleologus right.

It was, according to the Pope's remark, the Emperor Manuel II Paleologus who made the statements about Islam being violent: ""Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached"."

In the dark irony of our day, beyond all the protests to say, "No, Islam isn't violent, " we are now seeing the Emperor's points being demonstrated by those who are mad that the Pope said that the emperor said that Islam does evil things:

"NABLUS, West Bank - Two churches in the West Bank were hit by firebombs early Saturday, witnesses and clergy said, and a group claiming responsiblity said the attacks were meant as a protest against comments by Pope Benedict XVI about Islam....In a phone call to The Associated Press, a group calling itself the "Lions of Monotheism" claimed responsibility. The caller said the attacks were carried out to protest the pope's remarks about Islam." (source)

Amazing. In the name of saying that the Pope was wrong, they go and do just the type of behavior that was being pointed out, and they can't even see how they are proving the point.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Voices of Al Jihadiya: They Declared War First

World Islamic Front Statement

23 February 1998

Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin
Ayman al-Zawahiri, amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt
Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Egyptian Islamic Group
Shaykh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan
Fazlur Rahman, amir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh

Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)"; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders.

The Arabian Peninsula has never -- since Allah made it flat, created its desert, and encircled it with seas -- been stormed by any forces like the crusader armies spreading in it like locusts, eating its riches and wiping out its plantations. All this is happening at a time in which nations are attacking Muslims like people fighting over a plate of food. In the light of the grave situation and the lack of support, we and you are obliged to discuss current events, and we should all agree on how to settle the matter.

No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone; we will list them, in order to remind everyone:

First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.

If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in "Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life."

On that basis, and in compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah."

This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah: "And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? -- women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'"

We -- with Allah's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.

Almighty Allah said: "O ye who believe, give your response to Allah and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that Allah cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered."

Almighty Allah also says: "O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things."

Almighty Allah also says: "So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith.".



US Marine Barracks in Beruit

Somalia - next stop on the Jihadiya trail?

"The Warlords Used Brute Force to Coerce People and the Islamists Use Religion to Dehumanize People"

"The warlords used brute force to coerce people and the Islamists use brute religion to dehumanize people. They ban music not because it is against religion but because it is beyond their realm of control. They close cinema houses and theatre not because they spread vice but because they want to keep the people in the dark. They hide women not because Islam orders their mummification but because Islamists suffer from a masculinity problem. They think he who is not a master of his wife cannot be a master of others. Power and tyranny is their ultimate goal and tyranny should first crush and subdue the weak so the strong could tremble. Anyone who wants to see where the Islamists would like to lead Somalia should only see how they treat women, music and ideas. These three elements constitute the beauty, spirit and future of any nation. In a story published by the Islamist Qaadisiya website on the graduation of 140 women who completed a course on cooking and handicrafts at a center called Asma Bint Omair Center, reflects a glimpse of what is in store for women. Only pictures of the Islamist officials who attended the ceremony and row after row of food was shown. It seems as if the photographer tried to accentuate his frustration by showing many food items, as he was not allowed to show the faces of women for whom the ceremony was held."

Bashir Goth, August 26, 2006 in Awdalnews. Via MEMRI

Islamist authorities detained a journalist for two days and shut an independent radio station for a similar period in separate incidents this weekend, according to news reports and the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

In Beledweyne, a western town controlled by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), authorities jailed journalist Osman Adan Areys of the private station Radio Simba on Friday, according to NUSOJ. He was released without charge on Sunday. Local journalists said they believed Areys' arrest was linked to interviews broadcast on Thursday, in which local residents criticized ICU-imposed restrictions, NUSOJ reported. A CPJ source said the restrictions include a curfew in Beledweyne, which lies near the border with Ethiopia.

ICU-backed authorities in Jowhar, some 56 miles (90 kilometers) north of the capital, Mogadishu, shut Radio Jowhar on Saturday and ordered that its electricity be cut, according to NUSOJ and international news reports. The Associated Press quoted an Islamic official, Sheik Mohamed Mohamoud Abdirahman, as saying that the station's programs were "un-Islamic" and that it was "useless to air music and love songs for the people."

The shutdown, though aimed at musical content, also silenced news programming on Radio Jowhar for two days. The station went back on the air today after agreeing to tight restrictions on musical content. (source)

More and more people are being smuggled across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia to Yemen, the United Nations refugee agency, which has repeatedly been warning of the dangers involved, said today.

"If the present trend continues, this month could set a new record for the number of arrivals," Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a press briefing in Geneva. Source

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- About 50 jihadist leaders have left Pakistan for Somalia since a pro-al-Qaida militia movement took control of the capital there, say Pakistani officials.

Alexis Debat, a terrorism analyst and former adviser on counter-terrorism to the French prime minister, told a Washington briefing Tuesday that the assessment came from a senior official in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

In June the Union of Islamic Courts, an Islamic extremist coalition which U.S. officials say supports al-Qaida, won control of the Somali capital Mogadishu after a four-month-long armed struggle with the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. The organization is an umbrella group for several warlords supported, according to media reports, by CIA funding. (source)

How to Obstruct Justice and Win a Pulitzer While You're At It

After parsing out national secrets in a way that if they were not journalists, might be considered espionage, the NY Times has decided that maybe they need to find ways to protect themselves and their sources from criminal investigation.

In the New York Observer, they have run a story documenting a series of legal seminars that the Times runs for its reporters.

“The main worry these days is not libel, or proving that you actually quoted something accurately,” said Craig Whitney, the paper’s standards editor. “It is being subpoenaed.”

In what one of my friends calls the "cold civil war," the NY Times has become the vangard of those who look like they are at war with the administration. When the newspaper seems to think that national security in a time of war doesn't matter, as long as they can run the story being ready to deal with supoenas might be a good call.

But being ready to defend oneself is not the end of the story here. They have been discussing ways to play cloak and daggar games with their sources, how to minimize their paper trail, destroy their notes and wipe out their electronic communication, just in case. Better to obstruct justice than to blow a chance at the Pulitzer...or let a critical national secret that they happen not to like remain unpublished, even if it means critical damage in our struggle against the people who would happily kill them as neatly as Daniel Pearl was killed.

Just another day in the "cold civil war."

Source here.

The Conservative Voice is covering this story.

Ironic Quote of the Day:

Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence” -- Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam

The Scholarly Discussion Heard Round the World

This is what Pope Benedict actually said:

In the seventh conversation ( controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry. (complete transcript)

It's hard to believe that one statement saying that once upon a time a Greek Byzantine emperor said something mean about Islam, and that that emperor believed that conversion by force was wrong could cause such an uproar.

There is more to it than that, of course. He might as well have stood on the mountain and said, " Islam, your understanding of the nature of God is flawed. "

Benedict is saying God IS reasonable, and Islam is wrong; violence in the name of God is something that God doesn't want, and Islam is wrong; and the hyperrationality of the West, with its denial of the metaphysical, the miraculous is also wrong

In the guise of talking about modern theological studies, which often want to focus on the provable certainties and deny the unexplainable, he manages to draw a line in the sand.

And the Islamic world, picking up on the nuance, is at arms, and is acting pretty much in character, with loud protests and potential violence around the globe, demonstrating what the Emperor described: violence in the name of God.

Of course, Islam believes it its the purest, most correct form of worshipping God, and is not afraid to tell everybody in the world about it. But, because of their worldview, it doesn't allow the tolerance of other faiths who disagree. There is no two way dialogue here. In their condemnation of the Pope, they are condemning him for doing pretty much what they do, which is to say "Christianity, your understanding of the nature of God is flawed."

And Islam has learned over the last number of years that if they scream loudly, people will often back off in fear of their indignation. If the Pope does much more than say, "I am sorry you took this as an attack, but I still believe violence in the name of God is wrong, and that God is reasonable," I will be very, very surprised. He has a long track record of actually believing what he says about Christ.

Of course, by drawing the line in the sand, it might turn the Jihadiya to look more closely at Christian targets. But it's a struggle that was due to come anyway. You either believe, or you don't. The age of cultural Christianity is dead, and the Pope, by this statement, may have just given it its eulogy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Ironic Hammer When What You Believe Conflicts with What Is

Victor Davis Hanson noted this horridly sad piece of irony:

Saudi nationals Hamza al-Ghamdi (who helped crash Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center) and Wail al-Shehri (who joined Mohammed Atta on Flight 11 to topple the North Tower) mostly voiced anger over Western violence against Muslims in Chechnya and Bosnia (as well as citing furor about Kashmir and the Philippines).

Never mind that the U.S., almost alone among Western countries, criticized Russian tactics in Grozny, and bombed a European Christian country for several weeks to save Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.

...There is no doubt who al-Ghamdi and al-Shehri were — or what they were planning to do. Yet polls since 9/11 consistently reveal that most Muslims in the Middle East do not believe that al-Qaida, much less any Arab Muslims at all, carried out the attacks. Instead, Israel or the CIA is blamed.

Like the young men who flew the planes, it's not the reality of the situation that matters. It's what they believed. Just like Americans who pass on untruths about 9/11, even when they saw all the evidence, because they believe the current adminstration, any minute now, is going to throw off its veneer of being good and civilized and speaking for the virtue of democratic freedom, and declare a dictatorship that would make Stalin look like Gandhi, and so would have been ruthless enough to do just that nightmare thing, sacrifice innocent people to be able to start a war of conquest.

Even with a very clear level of documentation available, with lots and lots of evidence, some realities are just too distant for some people's belief systems.

So 2000+ people die in America because some young man was mad at Russian policy in Chechnya?

So people are fighting at home tooth and nail in a way that will hurt the country's ability to keep secure?

Reality bites, no matter what one believes. 9/11 didn't do a thing to help the people of Chechnya's struggle.

Fighting in a way that emboldens one's enemies won't help on the home front either. IMHO.

Voices from the Resistance

I sometimes wonder whether the West at the beginning of the 21st century is mired in an ideological civil war between Westerners and post-Westerners.

Fjordman, from What Is the Nature of Multiculturalism? the Gates of Vienna, 9/13/06

For the bottom line is simple: if we don’t cherish our liberties with the fervor that the jihadists treasure their faith, we’ll lose.

Bruce Bawer, from 9/11, Five Years Later: a View from Europe, Front Page magazine, 9/14/06

Because of the religious derivation of the ideology that confronts us, analysts are generally reluctant to identify it properly or fully. They think that to speak of its roots would be bigotry or racism. But the jihadists themselves are doing their best to make sure we don’t forget the religious roots of their actions.

Robert Spenser, quoted in Jihad Watch, 9/11/06

Beauty Contests

In the striving for attention since the Lebanese-Israeli conflict, one thing is clear: Hizbullah's star has risen, and people from many Sunni areas are looking at these Shia warriors with admiration. There is a ""rising popularity of the Shiites as almost the only power standing in the face of US and Israeli threats in Lebanon, Iran, and even Iraq," according to columnist Salama Ahmed Salama. Between the propaganda stand of Hizbullah talking defiantly until the end of hostilities, and the leadership role of Ahmedinejad charismatic and willing to take on the West, it is not surprising that there are rumblings coming out of Al Qaeda.

Zawahiri has been very busy the last two weeks issuing warnings to the US, Israel, and the countries of the Persian gulf. Conflicts between Sunni and Shia extremists is in high pitch in Iraq. Fatwas are flying. Clerics are warning their followers about the threat of Shia theology sneaking in under various guises. Adam Gadahn has been paraded out once again to preach to the infidel Americans. France, who has been strongly against the Iraq war and worked hard to broker a cease fire in Lebanon has been threatened by Zawahiri, who called upon Algerian extremists to punish France.

If any of this is more than talk, once again, we will see the West be scapegoated and used as a proxy in their own wars...If the Shia star is shining, the Sunni cannot be far behind to prove its worth.

A step beyond the David vs. Goliath syndrome, which is as it should be


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hizbullah Attacks on Israeli Civilians Amount to War Crimes
Amnesty International Releases New Report Charging Hizbullah Deliberately Targeted Israeli Civilians

(Washington, DC) -- Amnesty International (AI) today charged in a new report that Hizbullah committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes, in its deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians during the recent conflict.

During the month-long conflict, Hizbullah fired nearly 4,000 rockets into northern Israel, killing 43 civilians, seriously injuring 33 others and forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to take refuge in shelters or flee. Around a quarter of all rockets were fired directly into urban areas, including rockets packed with thousands of metal ball bearings. An estimated ten percent of the rockets carried war heads, packed with thousands of ball bearings. Once these indiscriminate rockets struck, the ball bearings sprayed out, inflicting death and injury for 300 meters or more.

"Actions speak louder than words," said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's Executive Director. "Though Hizbullah denies any policy of endangering and targeting Israeli civilians, it used Katyusha rockets packed with thousands of metal ball bearings to maximize harm to innocent civilians. Targeting civilians is a war crime -- there's no gray area."

In meetings with Amnesty International, Hizbullah argued that its rocket attacks on northern Israel were a reprisal for Israeli attacks on civilians in Lebanon and were aimed at stopping such attacks.

Amnesty International's briefing includes evidence of:

  • Hizbullah's firing of some 900 inherently inaccurate Katyusha rockets into urban areas in northern Israel in clear violation of the principle of distinction between civilian and military targets under international law;

  • Hizbullah's use of modified Katyusha rockets packed with metal ball bearings, designed to inflict maximum death and injury, with one such rocket killing eight railway workers;

  • Statements from Hasan Nasrallah and other senior Hizbullah leaders that the group intended to target civilians as a form of reprisal, violating the prohibition on direct attacks on civilians as well as the prohibition on reprisals against the civilian population;

  • The flight of civilians from northern Israel and the existence of shelters preventing a higher death toll than the 43 civilian fatalities recorded.

"These findings show that Hizbullah clearly committed war crimes and the perpetuators must be brought to justice," said Marty Rosenbluth, Amnesty International USA's Country Specialist for Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Rosenbluth recently returned from the region on an Amnesty International fact-finding mission. (Read his diaries from the mission.)

Amnesty International is calling for a comprehensive, independent and impartial inquiry to be urgently established by the United Nations into violations of international humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict. It should examine, in particular, the impact of this conflict on the civilian population and should be undertaken with a view to holding individuals responsible for crimes under international law and ensuring that full reparation is provided to the victims.

Further aspects of the war, including charges that Hizbullah used Lebanese civilians as a cover and attacks by Israeli forces that resulted in heavy civilian casualties, will be addressed in future publications.

Read the report, Under Fire -- Hizbullah's Attacks on Northern Israel.

Curt Goering, AIUSA's Senior Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programs, who led an AI mission to Lebanon, and Rosenbluth are available for comments and interviews.

Contact: AIUSA Media Office, 202.544.0200 x302

A Pox on Both Their Heads

Although Hizbullah's popularity in lands ourside of Lebanon is currently shining, capturing the imaginations of those who see them as the little David who stood up to the heavy handed Goliath of Israel, in southern Lebanon people are facing the reality of war's aftermath: homes that have been damaged beyond use, fields littered with unexploded munitions, and winter coming on.

And, as to be expected, there is a lot of unrest. "Hizbullah has given me nothing but grief," said one elderly man. "I've lost everything I own and my dignity because of this war." Another man echoed his feeling, saying: "May God rid us of the Jews and the enemies of the Jews.""Agriculture is our livelihood and we can't even work the fields any more because we risk being blown up," complained Abu Qasim, 37, a resident of Zawtar al-Gharbiyeh, where 70 percent of the 300 homes were destroyed or damaged. (source)

And there is cynicism about the aid coming in, that it will be used to further various politicians and political parties, either by making them the purveyors of goods, or by their profiteering on it, even as Hizbullah works on its public image by generous social aid ( Daily Star is carrying a story about this).

And political groups are beginning to voice their opinions. The March 14th Forces, an alliance of anti-Syrian political leaders has come out and criticized the inability of Hizbullah as a military force to protect Lebanon from Israel, which is a major part of Hizbullah's official reason for being. In their statement, the group said, "The first condition for any country to be able to perform its duties is to have complete and exclusive authority over national security and be the sole defender of its sovereignty," a clear slap at Hizbullah's militia status outside of the government. (source). The Maronite Bishops Council has released a statement highly critical of Hizbullah's role in things: "There are 18 sects in Lebanon with equal rights and duties," the statement said. "But in reality, we see that some groups are monopolizing the decision-making process and leading the country to unwanted situations." They criticize the president for his weakness, yet reiterate the need for national government and consensus. (source)

Sayeed Ali al-Amin, a Shiite moderate and mufti of the Tyre and Jabal 'Amel district, said this about Hizbullah and the people of South Lebanon:

"I don't think Hizbullah asked the Shi'ite community about the war. Perhaps the great emigration from the south is the best proof that the people of the south were against the war. The Shi'ite community authorized no one to declare war in its name or to drag it into a war that was far from its wishes and from the wishes of the other ethnic communities in Lebanon. What happened in the south does not represent the will of the Shi'ite community, and is not its responsibility, but was caused by the vacuum that the Lebanese state left for years in this region... What happened is the natural result of a state relinquishing its duty to defend a region and its citizens." (source)

Onis al-Haj in Al-Akhbar wrote "One month after the Israeli war, the onus is now on Hizbullah. The party has one of two options: either it turns its achievement into a source of threat and intimidation for the rest of Lebanese society, or utilises it to rebuild national unity." If they do not, then more may say, "a pox on both your (Hezbollah's and Israel's) heads." And that way, fraught with the possibility of civil war and foreign intervention, might be trickier yet.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Pan Am Flight 103

Forget about the Illuminati - to many, America is the Dark Master

David Musa Pidcock, leader of the Islamic Party of Britain: "Pearl Harbor was similar to 9/11 in that they were both planned in advance. Twelve days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, [U.S. Secretary of War] Stimson, one of America's lords of war, went to the White House with several navy commanders, and talked about the war against Japan. The question was how they could trick the Japanese into firing the first shot, without any great danger being directed against the Americans. Therefore, the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was similar to what happened on 9/11. We know very well that it was planned with precision."

Retired Lebanese general and public relations expert Dr. Hisham Jaber

"I have some doubts about the September [2001] events – and some articles and books share my opinion. I believe the events of 9/11 were not planned, prepared, or perpetrated by Al-Qaeda alone. Absolutely not. A force greater than Al-Qaeda was behind these events. Whenever an ordinary crime takes place, the question is 'who benefits?' – let alone when the crime is of such huge proportions. What happened in Britain, and why Britain, of all places?

"The perpetrator [of these acts] believes that he carried out an operation in retaliation for the oppression afflicted upon the world's wretched people by Western policies, and especially by the U.S. and Britain. This is what he believes. In addition, I say that the actual perpetrator – the person who actually commits a suicide operation – is not a mercenary, but may have been tricked into it.

"So who is the planner? The planner who is behind him is the one who benefits from what happens. We all know that after 9/11 the persecution of Muslims began in the U.S. and Europe, but later subsided, to a certain extent. For three or four years, we have been concerned – in the wake of these painful events – about the possibility of some sort of annihilation, or perhaps an unbalanced civil war in Europe and the U.S. between Muslims and non-Muslims, or let's say, the Westerners.

In Egypt, Former Dean of Humanities at 'Ein Shams University, Mustafa Shak'a, was interviewed by Iqra TV on June 16, 2004. Shak'a attributed the September 11 attacks to the U.S. and the Jews: "To this day, we don't know who attacked the U.S. on September 11. Why is the attack attributed to bin Laden although it has not been proven that he was involved in the operation? It is way above his capabilities. Those who created him have made him a legend. The operation was 100% American, and this is not the place to elaborate, but what proves the operation was a Jewish one is that five Jews climbed up a high building and filmed the first attack of the first plane…"

Saudi Cleric Dr. Sa'd bin 'Abdallah Al-Breik spoke about Al-Qa'ida's role on Saudi Arabia's Channel 1 on August 16, 2004: " We must not inflate [the importance] of Al-Qa'ida, to the point of claiming that it is the main and only perpetrator of this large operation [September 11]. I'm not here to defend [Al-Qa'ida], but we must not overstate this matter… It is a mistake to ignore the possibility that the Zionist hands used some people who were planted into one of the stages of this plan, from this issue. I have read some books that were translated from English into Arabic in which the Americans themselves call 9/11 'The Great Deception' or the 'The Great Game,' so why do we use all sort of names to avoid this subject. No, we must be clear and not censor ourselves. These false accusations and the rush to accuse Saudi Arabia, the judging of others according to the guidance of the Zionists via the media which is owned by the Zionist... "


The End of the Turkish Caliphate: Crusader created, or given up by the Turks?

Bin Ladin, on July 2, 2006 said: ""I say to the Islamic nation: we lost the Caliphate and it was dismantled. It fell under Crusader occupation approximately a century ago, and since that time the Crusaders have stood between us and the reconstitution of the Caliphate, or even the establishment of any Islamic nation. An example of this was their recent invasion of Afghanistan and the pressures they put on Sudan to make it give up on establishing an Islamic state."

Yet the truth is not exactly as he would have people believe.

The Turks turned out not to be good custodians of the Caliphate. Turkey basically decided, after the losses it suffered after WWI and its alliance to with Germany, to form a republic, and with the formation of this republic, willingly gave up the Caliphate. Wikipedia describes it this way:

The Turkish national movement, as the details explained in Turkish War of Independence forms a Turkish Grand National Assembly, secured formal recognition of the nation’s independence and new borders on July 23, 1923 through the Treaty of Lausanne, which revised the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres in Turkey’s favor. The National Assembly declared Turkey a republic on October 29 and proclaimed Ankara its new capital. After nearly 700 years, the Ottoman Empire had officially ceased to exist. However, under Allied direction, the Sultan pledged to suppress such movements and secured an official fatwa from the Sheikh ul-Islam declaring them to be un-Islamic. But the nationalists steadily gained momentum and began to enjoy widespread support. Many sensed that the nation was ripe for revolution. In an effort to neutralize this threat, the Sultan agreed to hold elections, with the hope of placating and co-opting the nationalists. To his dismay, nationalist groups swept the polls, prompting him to again dissolve parliament in April 1920.

Initially, the National Assembly seemed willing to allow a place for the Caliphate in the new regime, agreeing to the appointment of Mehmed’s cousin Abdul Mejid II as Caliph upon Mehmed’s departure. But the position had been stripped of any authority, and Abdul Mejid’s purely ceremonial reign would be short lived. Mustafa Kemal had been a vocal critic of the Ottoman House and its Islamic orientation. Now that he controlled Turkey and had the people’s overwhelming support, he could run the nation as he pleased. When Abdul Mejid was declared Caliph, Kemal refused to allow the traditional Ottoman ceremony to take place, bluntly declaring, "The Khalifa has no power or position except as a nominal figurehead." In response to Abdul Mejid's petition for an increase in his allowance, Kemal wrote, "Your office, the Khalifate, is no more than an historic relic. It has no justification for existence. It is a piece of impertinence that you should dare write to any of my secretaries!" Still, for all the power he had already wielded in Turkey, Kemal did not dare to abolish the Caliphate outright, as it still commanded a considerable degree of support from the common people.

Then an event happened which was to deal a fatal blow to the Caliphate. Two Indian brothers, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Shawkat, leaders of the Indian-based Khilafat Movement, distributed pamphlets calling upon the Turkish people to preserve the Ottoman Caliphate for the sake of Islam. Under Turkey's new nationalist government, however, this was construed as foreign intervention, and any form of foreign intervention was labelled an insult to Turkish sovereignty, and worse, a threat to State security. Kemal promptly seized his chance. On his initiative, the National Assembly abolished the Caliphate on March 3, 1924. Abdul Mejid was sent into exile along with the remaining members of the Ottoman House, marking the official end of the Ottoman Dynasty.

So in part because of outside interference, the caliphate ended. A long period of bad rule, bad foreign policy, intereference not by "crusaders," but by Muslims, signed its death warrant.

As for the West never allowing for the estabilishment of an Islamic country, that's not totally true, either...for instance, the UK played a role in the establishment of Saudi Arabia as it now exists, backing Ibn Saud over Ibn Rashid.

It is true that history become the thing people using it want to believe it is, but sometimes, the truth of what happened is far from what the heart would like it to be.


Are you a tenner or a twelver?

Do you cling to the world of 9/10?

Or do you accept the change that took place on 9/11, and know we live in different world, the world of 9/12?

Your answer will determine a lot.

Will the Real America Please Stand Up?

"How can the U.S. claim itself to be the defender of justice, democracy and freedom and the staunch protector of human rights when it continues to mastermind hegemony, to perpetuate the law of the jungle, to back the forces of terrorism, occupation and aggressors and to validate Sharon's genocide against the Palestinians. Under current tragic and fatal circumstances as well as the flagrant and racist lexicon of Washington, no sane person is able to describe America's new democracy as human, passionate, good and progressive.

R. Zain, Syrian daily Teshreen October 28, 2003

America has never been an empire. We may be the only great power in history that had the chance, and refused – preferring greatness to power and justice to glory.
George W. Bush, 1999.

Right now in my Queens NY neighborhood there is what amounts to a Bund Rally going on ie: A 911 Memorial.Complete with marching band, Kate Smith's song you know the one and the whole damn obnoxious panoply of jingoistic uber shit. So no I have very little hope that its going to get any better anytime soon.

unnamed poster on a liberal forum quoted here.

America is the foremost enemy of the Palestinian people, the Islamic and Arab nations. America is the foremost enemy of this people. America is the foremost enemy of the Muslim nation, because it wages war against the Arab, Islamic nation. Iraq possesses far more oil than the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, and [America] wants to control [the oil] so it created various methods, fabricated lies in order to wage war against Iraq. America is now behaving like Pharaoh. I see in America what we saw and heard from Pharaoh, the curse of Allah upon him. America is now behaving like Pharaoh. It is telling the whole world: “There is no God besides me.” [Koran]

Ibrahim Mudiras, Palestinian preacher , 2003

It's the great strength of America. It's an unbelievably great country we have, because the people are so strong, so resilient, so compassionate, and so decent. We believe values in our heart that we just won't change. We believe everybody has dignity, everybody has worth. We believe in freedom. We believe people yearn for freedom. We have an obligation to unleash freedom in the world. And we're not afraid to lead. This country stands strongly on the values that make us great. And we're not the least bit afraid of sharing those values in a world that needs peace and freedom.

George W. Bush, January 22, 2004

"In 50 years, the U.S. consumed the energy consumed by humanity in 150 years. Now, they are working to take control of the petroleum of the peoples, in order to consume it, just like Dracula. They are like Count Dracula - always in search of petrol and blood. Why? Because they want to preserve something transient - the American imperialistic way of life

Hugo Chavez, August 4, 2006

"America has always been the promised land for Muslims and non-Muslims," said Behzad Yaghmaian, an Iranian exile and author of "Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West." "Despite Muslims' opposition to America's foreign policy, they still come here because the United States offers what they're missing at home." Andrea Elliot

What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them.

Henry Ford II

"If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, then every Post-War American president would have to be hanged."

-- Noam Chomsky

America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.

Dinesh D'Souza

In 21st century America the current government (the presidency and Congress of one party) has taken control not only of defense and military policy, but also military operations. No other administration, including that of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War or Franklin Roosevelt in World War II, has ever done that. The unprecedented imposition of neoconservative ideology on military operations has led directly and inevitably to the debacle in Iraq.

Gary Hart

There's the country of America, which you have to defend, but there's also the idea of America. America is more than just a country, it's an idea. An idea that's supposed to be contagious.

Bono, 2002

America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true.

James T. Farrell

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The assasination of Bobby Kennedy, the first major anti-US blow in the Long War, IMHO

Words to ponder

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

Reporter: "The martyrdom-seeking campaign by Hamas and Islamic Jihad may have come as a response to the Hebron massacre, but the ideological basis of this campaign is deeply rooted in Hamas' declaration of Jihad against Israel.

"These films were not intended to be broadcast. Hamas made them for internal use, and they provide a rare perspective on the movement's efforts to teach its principles to new recruits."

Children singing: "Rejoice, oh Bitah, cheer in merriment, oh Nujud, our occupied homeland will be restored through Jihad."

Crowd: "Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar."

Male voice on loudspeaker: "What is your goal?"

Crowd: "Allah."

Male voice on loudspeaker: "What is your constitution?"

Crowd: "The Koran."

Male voice on loudspeaker: "Who is your leader?"

Crowd: "The Prophet Muhammad."

Male voice on loudspeaker: "What is your path?"

Crowd: "Jihad."

Male voice on loudspeaker: "What is your greatest desire?"

Crowd: "Death for the sake of Allah."

Reporter: "If Jihad is the goal, the self-sacrifice operations against the Israelis were the weapon chosen in the mid-nineties. In a series of operations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad hit the major Israeli cities and caused the deaths of dozens. This was part of the strategy."

An excerpt from a show about the culture of martyrdom, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on July 22, 2005. Via Memri

Hard (and sad) evidence on Flight 77 and Soul Sickness in the Body Politic

P200029 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200030 Photograph of airplane parts in the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed
into the building
P200031 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200032 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200033 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200034 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200035 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200036 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200037 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200038 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200039 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200040 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200041 Photograph of the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
P200042 Photograph of a body part found inside the Pentagon after Flight 77
crashed into the building [Viewer discretion is advised]
P200045 Photograph of a body found inside the Pentagon after Flight 77
crashed into the building [Viewer discretion is advised]
P200047 Photograph of bodies found inside the Pentagon after Flight 77
crashed into the building [Viewer discretion is advised]
P200048 Photograph of a body found inside the Pentagon after Flight 77
crashed into the building [Viewer discretion is advised]

More info here

I ran across a comment by someone who claimed there were no airplane parts or bodies in the Pentagon attack. I am always amazed when I run across people willing to believe the most awful atrocities by the people they hate, instead of actually acknowledging the reality of what the people who hate them will do. These are trial evidence photos, and they do include photos in situ of people who had been horridly burned during the attack, and pictures of smashed airplane parts. Some of those pictures I saw in news reports at the very beginning of the story.

Some people like Dylan Avery, who is very young and very impassioned, would rather believe that the US government managed to do something with the people on Flight 93, and then used the flight as an excuse to do dastardly deeds.

Mary Katherine Hamm notes: "Among Avery’s tributes to those victims is the part of the film where he alleges that Mark Bingham, a Flight 93 passenger, never talked to his mother from the plane that day, despite the fact that there’s a recording of the call. He alleges that the phone calls that came from the plane that day were somehow created by voice simulators, possibly with the collusion of the Flight 93 passengers.

"He alleges that Flight 93 never crashed in Pennsylvania, but landed in Ohio. We are left to wonder just what the dastardly government did with the passengers on that plane if they were on the ground safely in Ohio on the morning of Sept. 11."

For some reason, for some people, it is easy to build on the fertile ground of previous anti-war and anti-government feeling and believe a huge conspiracy was made so we could get into Iraq, than believe the people who actually claimed they did it, to believe the clear and easy to follow paper trail of their actions. This fits in nicely with comments from people like Mubarak who also doubt that the young men actually could mastermind and do this thing on their own. In his case, it's a situation of not wanting to believe people would do such high level evil in the name of his religion. In the American case, it shows a great sickness of of the national soul to even begin to beleive Americans would do things like this to Americans, especially people who, although not perfect, and although might not do things the way others want them to, believe in goodness and act on it as they see fit.

There is so much demonization out there that many of us have trouble seeing through the smokescreens we find ourselves behind. If it fits our worldview, we believe it without examining it. And the fact that this fits some of our citizens' world views is a sad commentary on where the US is right now. And it is a sadder commentary on the soul sickness and anger and hate of those who keep feeding it.

Paradigms and Points of View

Today the Western powers and media want to domesticate us like sheep, to keep us tame and domesticated. But why are animals domesticated? So that they can be slaughtered in the end!

Abu Bakar Bashir, August 21, 2006

"What we say is terrorists, terrorism, is evil, and America doesn't engage in it, and these guys do, yet, suddenly, our competition has discovered `fair and balanced,' but only when it's radical terrorism versus the United States. "

Roger Ailes, Fox News chairman

What do the people who call for coexistence with the West say? They call for the abolishment of the so-called 'clash of civilizations.' How can you call upon us to abolish the clash of civilizations, while America violently attacks Muslims in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in all corners of the world?

Saudi Cleric Nasser bin Suleiman Al-'Omar, April 19, 2006

"Maybe the purpose of all this is to find out if America today is as strong as when we fought for our independence or when we fought for ourselves as a Union to end slavery or as strong as our fathers and grandfathers who fought to rid the world of Nazism and communism. The terrorists were counting on our cowardice. They've learned a lot about us since then. And so have we. "

Rudolph Giuliani, at a funeral for a friend

From a Muslim Brotherhood's website for children: Afghanistan is "currently under the oppressive American occupation that is now aspiring to control the Muslim world. [This occupation] began with Afghanistan, and then [moved on] to our beloved land Iraq; and lo, it now threatens Syria and so on. [U.S. President Bush] has declared a Crusade against the Muslim world, and our role is to prepare ourselves for jihad against the enemies of Allah."

"We're a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror. In the face of today's new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it."

President George W. Bush

"The spread of democracy is just an excuse. The same with the hunt for Osama bin Laden - it's just an excuse. It is Islam that the West can't stand... The attack on Islam is like a hand. One finger is the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another finger is the imprisonment of Muslims at Guantanamo Bay. The third finger is the publishing of the pictures of the Prophet Muhammad. We must see things as they are, and those pictures [of Muhammad] are one part of the military fight that the West is conducting against Islam..."

Mullah Krekar, Dagbladet (Norway), March 13, 2006.

"All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail. It must be business as usual."

Margaret Thatcher

Translations via MEMRI,
Other quotes from BellaOnline,

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!
--Rudyard Kipling

A very clear component in the Long War is a strong clash between points of view, references by which each group judges the actions of another. Lately, there has been a rising tide of voices crying out how the West is growing in Islamophobia. In the east, there is much anti-West racism, that seems to brand everybody not of them as wicked and evil because they are not either Arab or Islamic. The impression that gets sent west is one that seems to say, "If a Muslim is attacked, it is an attack on all Islam. If the West is attacked, it is the holy Resistance, and therefore good."

It is easy to see how this is developing. A Saudi writer commented, "We kill in the name of Allah, blow up cars in the name of Allah, and slit throats in the name of Allah and Islam, and then we protest when others depict the Muslims as terrorists." But currently most of the world's publicized acts of terrorism, that is, attacking indiscrimantly in a way that is not aimed particuarly at military targets, has been done by Muslims.

Well, duh!

In the east, instead of pointing out a causal relationship, " The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was attacked because they supported people who had been attacking the West and would not extradite them because they were protecting them," they see the multinational attack against the regime as proof that the West is trying to put down Islam. It is conveniently forgotten that the Taliban was doing things to its populace that they don't even do in Saudi Arabia in harshness and cruelty, and that a large number of Afghanis were fighting them in a civil war, and that the assembled troops were in part welcomed as help by those people. No, it was a West vs. East attack, the evil, Satanic forces of the non-Islamic world attacking the righteous.

One group sees the other as evil and unrighteous, and the other returns the favor. One group kills in a terrorist mode, indiscriminately killing non-combatants, because it's hard to attack military targets and they want to generate fear, because that is one of their weapons. They feel like David attacking the evil and unrighteous Goliath who is keeping them suppressed. In retaliation, the other group goes after those who want to kill it, using more sophisticated weapons, trying to operate in a world where the rules of war were designed to fight against nation-states, not pan-national religiously inspired movements. Others, seeing the hand of an oppressor at work, fall in line in solidarity with the first group, insuring more of the behavior, and the other side closes ranks and goes after those who want to kill it. And the spiral continues.

The West scratches it's head, looking for a way out and says, "You say we are bad when you attack us for saying members of your group are bad, because they attacked us earlier and we struck back to protect ourselves. Even though we do not condemn your faith but the actions of your people, you wonder why we have the attitude we do, " and in the east, they say, "The fact that your governments retaliate when our people attack you shows your black heart.
An attack on one of us acting in the name of God is an attack on both our faith and our righteousness, and this proves that your way of life and all of you are bad. We will keep fighting until you convert and become one of the righteous, or die."

A perfect formula for a long, long war.

The only ways out are either victory by one side or the other, or a shifting of the paradigm. And that will be the hardest war of all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Drinking from the same well? Or just convergent hates?

US Source

"Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It is infuriated by thoughtful hesitation, constructive criticism of our leaders and pleas for peace. It despises people of foreign birth. It has specifically blamed homosexuals, feminists and the American Civil Liberties Union. In other words, the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder. Whom are we calling terrorists here?" -- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 27 [2001?]

Syrian Source

"How can the U.S. claim itself to be the defender of justice, democracy and freedom and the staunch protector of human rights when it continues to mastermind hegemony, to perpetuate the law of the jungle, to back the forces of terrorism, occupation and aggressors and to validate Sharon's genocide against the Palestinians. Under current tragic and fatal circumstances as well as the flagrant and racist lexicon of Washington, no sane person is able to describe America's new democracy as human, passionate, good and progressive." -- R. Zain, Syrian daily Teshreen October 28, 2003 via MEMRI

US Source

"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people … support your revolution," Harry Belafonte to Hugo Chavez, January 8, 2006

Iranian Source

History abounds with examples of the unprincipled and the godless infidels and how they shed rivers of human blood in the insatiable greed to dominate other cultures and their rich natural resources.

It was only in the last Christian century that the world saw such blood-sucking megalomaniacs as Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin.

Obviously Bush Jr. would outdo all those villains of yesteryears.

Kayhan International (Iran), in IRNA, April 5, 2003 via MEMRI.

Which one is the enemy?

One of the interesting ironies of the current era is that even as the hatefilled self-loathing of the angry left speaks out and piles levels of rhetoric higher and higher, the values they believe in and represent are some of those which the people whose rhetoric they echo are some of the most reprehensible to those very same people. Sexism, homophobia, curtailment of personal freedom are some of the very things that Moslem conservatives are determined ought to be the standard of the day, and the West is a unmoral hedonistic wasteland. Ironically, the people who have moral values closest to the Jihadis are the ones most opposed to them for other reasons, while the ones most strident in their public echo of Muslim criticism of the US foreign policy and its relationship with Israel have a set of values most likely to be punished under Muslim legal codes.

The strange bedfellows of politics. If the Jihadis won, they would kick the American Left out of it's bed immediately, and after the words of divorce, would offer it the classic choice - convert or die...It really has no tolerance for political correctness, diversity as a moral virtue, freedom of choice on issues like moral behaviors, easy acceptance of other spiritualities, or the rights of women to be the unbridled people they are in America today.

Life can be stranger than fiction.

Hard Evidence

Andrew Cochrane at Counterterrorism Blog has linked to exhibits submitted from the Moussaoui trial and now made public.

As he says, "The exhibits enable us to remember, for all time, the scale of the horror perpetrated upon us by Islamic terrorists under direct orders from Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. On this fifth anniversary of the attacks, we should confront the reality of that horror. " See his piece, with a selection of links to the evidence, here.

Another piece of evidence is a forensic animated film showing the flight path and evidence behind how Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Very clearly and carefully done, and worth a watch. At Youtube.

One of the most comprehensive sites I've found is at September All sorts of graphics, timelines, pictures, covers of newspapers and more.

Words from Zawahiri and some unusual echos

Words of Ayman al-Zawahiri to the western peoples:

I tell them your leaders are hiding from you the true extent of the disaster which will shock you. And the days are pregnant and giving birth to new events with Allah's permission and guidance. And I tell them, you have provided us with all the legal and rational reasons to fight you and reataliate from you, you have committed ugly crimes and broaken the treaties which you used to impose on others. And for our part, we have repeatedly warned you and repeatedly offered a truce with you, and so we now have all legal and rational justifications to continue to fight you until your power is desroyed or you give in and surrender.

And I tell them you shouldn't bother yourselves with defending your forces in Iraq and Afghanistan because they are doomed ot defeat and are all but defeated fighting their last battles. Rather, you should reinforce your defenses in two regions. The first is the Gulf, from where you will be expelled, Allah willing, after your defeat in Iraq, at which point your economic ruin will be achieved. And the second is Israel because of the Jihadi reinforcements are getting closer to it, with Allah's help and power, and your defeat there will put an end to contemporary Zionist/Crusader superiority."

Sept. 11, 2006

"We will also aim to continue, by the permission of Allah, the destruction of the American economy."

Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sept 02

"With the grace of Allah, the clear declaration of their failure came one day after the blessed raid on London, when the American and English declared they were preparing to leave Iraq. Every day they leak to the press another item about leaving Iraq, in order to calm the terror that has taken hold of their peoples."

Ayman al-Zawahiri, December 7, 2005

"What happened to America is something natural, an expected event for a country that uses terror, arrogant policy, and suppression against the nations and the peoples, and imposes a single method, thought, and way of life, as if the people of the entire world are clerks in its government offices and employed by its commercial companies and institutions."

Ayman al-Zawahiri, 2002

"America is the reason for all oppression, injustice, licentiousness, or suppression that is the Muslims' lot. It stands behind all the disasters that were caused and are still being caused to the Muslims; it is immersed in the blood of Muslims and cannot hide this."

Ayman al-Zawahiri, 2002

And some echos:

"Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It is infuriated by thoughtful hesitation, constructive criticism of our leaders and pleas for peace. It despises people of foreign birth. It has specifically blamed homosexuals, feminists and the American Civil Liberties Union. In other words, the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder. Whom are we calling terrorists here?" -- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 27

"My daughter, who goes to Stuyvesant High School only blocks from the World Trade Center, thinks we should fly an American flag out our window. Definitely not, I say: The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war." -- Katha Pollitt, The Nation, October 8

"We've been treated to some astonishingly vile images over the last two weeks: Office workers hurling themselves into a 100-floor-high abyss. A gaping, smoldering hole in the financial center of our greatest city. George W. Bush passing himself off as a patriot, even as he disassembles the Constitution with the voracious glee of piranha skeletonizing a cow. ... It may have seemed meaningless at the time, but now we know why 7,000 people sacrificed their lives: So that we'd all forget how Bush stole a presidential election." -- Cartoonist Ted Rall, Philadelphia City Paper, September 27

"If the word 'cowardly' is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others." -- Susan Sontag in New Yorker magazine

"When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke." -- Robert Altman

The Birth of a Changed World - timeline

8:45 a.m American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Both buildings are burning.

9:17 a.m. The FAA shuts down all New York City area airports.

9:21 a.m. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey orders all bridges and tunnels in the New York area closed.

9:30 a.m. President Bush, speaking in Sarasota, Florida, says the country has suffered an "apparent terrorist attack."

9:40 a.m. The FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports..

9:43 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke.

9:45 a.m.: The White House evacuates.

9:57 a.m.: Bush departs from Florida.

10:05 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

10:10 a.m. A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:10 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

10:13 a.m. The United Nations building evacuates.

10:22 a.m.: In Washington, the State and Justice departments are evacuated, along with the World Bank.

10:24 a.m.: The FAA reports that all inbound transatlantic aircraft flying into the United States are being diverted to Canada.

10:28 a.m.: The World Trade Center's north tower collapses.

10:45 a.m.: All federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated.

10.48 a.m.: Police confirm the plane crash in Pennsylvania.

10:54 a.m.: Israel evacuates all diplomatic missions.

10:57 a.m.: New York Gov. George Pataki closes all state government buildings.

11:02 a.m.: New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.

11:18 a.m.: American Airlines reports it has lost two aircraft.

11:26 a.m.: United Airlines reports that United Flight 93, has crashed in Pennsylvania. The airline also says that it is "deeply concerned" about United Flight 175.

11:59 a.m.: United Airlines confirms that Flight 175, from Boston to Los Angeles, has crashed. It hit the World Trade Center's south tower.

12:04 p.m.: Los Angeles International Airport is evacuated.

12:15 p.m: San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut down.

12:15 p.m.: The Immigration and Naturalization Service says U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are on the highest state of alert, but no decision has been made about closing borders.

12:30 p.m.: The FAA says 50 flights are in U.S. airspace, but none are reporting any problems.

1:04 p.m.: Bush speaks from Barksdale AFB:

THE PRESIDENT: I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.

I've been in regular contact with the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the national security team and my Cabinet. We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people. Our military at home and around the world is on high alert status, and we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government.

We have been in touch with the leaders of Congress and with world leaders to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.

I ask the American people to join me in saying a thanks for all the folks who have been fighting hard to rescue our fellow citizens and to join me in saying a prayer for the victims and their families.

The resolve of our great nation is being tested. But make no mistake: We will show the world that we will pass this test. God bless.

1:27 p.m.: A state of emergency is declared by the city of Washington.

1:44 p.m.: The Pentagon says five warships and two aircraft carriers will leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, to protect the East Coast from further attack and to reduce the number of ships in port. The two carriers, the USS George Washington and the USS John F. Kennedy, are headed for the New York coast. The other ships headed to sea are frigates and guided missile destroyers capable of shooting down aircraft.

1:48 p.m.: Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base aboard Air Force One and flies to an Air Force base in Nebraska.

2:30 p.m.: The FAA announces there will be no U.S. commercial air traffic until noon EDT Wednesday at the earliest.

2:49 p.m.: At a news conference, Giuliani says that subway and bus service are partially restored in New York City. Asked about the number of people killed, Giuliani says, "I don't think we want to speculate about that -- more than any of us can bear."

3:55 p.m.: Karen Hughes, a White House counselor makes a statement:

MS. HUGHES: Counselor to President Bush. And I'm here to update you all on the activities of the federal government in response to this morning's attacks on our country.

As you heard from President Bush a short time ago, the federal government is acting to help local communities with search and rescue and emergency management operations, to take all appropriate precautions to protect our citizens and to identify those responsible for these despicable attacks on the American people.

While some federal buildings have been evacuated for security reasons and to protect our workers, your federal government continues to function effectively. We have a federal emergency response plan, and at President Bush's direction, we are implementing it. We began to implement it immediately after the first attack in New York this morning.

We contacted American forces and embassies throughout the world and placed them on high alert. The United States Secret Service immediately secured the President, the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, and they are all safe. They have also secured members of the national security team, the President's Cabinet and senior staff.

As you know, President Bush was in Sarasota, Florida when the first attack occurred this morning. Air Force One has now landed at Offitt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, and the President is in a secure location. He is in continuous communication with the Vice President and key members of his Cabinet and national security team.

Vice President Cheney and our National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, are in a secure facility at the White House. I have just come from there. The Secretary of Transportation and other members of our White House senior staff are gathered at a command center there, and we are coordinating with other branches of our federal government.

The Secretary of Defense remains at the Pentagon, and the Secretary of State is en route back to Washington from his trip to South America.

President Bush is conducting a meeting of the National Security Council as we speak. They are meeting President Bush from his location and other members from different locations in Washington and other locations.

As many of you have been reporting, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered all airports closed, and all planes which were in the air were directed to land at the nearest airport. International flights were diverted to alternate locations outside of the United States.

Transportation Secretary Mineta has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend operations until at least 12:00 noon tomorrow. So, no airline flights will operate until at least then, and until the FAA announces that operations will be resumed.

Secretary Mineta has also issued orders controlling the movement of all vessels in United States navigable waters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has activated eight urban search and rescue task forces in New York and four of these highly-trained teams are at work here in Washington at the Pentagon.

Every federal agency has implemented continuity of operations

and four of these highly trained teams are at work in Washington at the Pentagon. Every federal agency has implemented continuity of operations plans to make sure the government continues to function effectively.

While the market is closed today because of the situation in Manhattan, the United States financial system has continued to operate. Banks have been open all day. The Federal Reserve has operated regularly and continuously.

The Department of Health and Human Services has mobilized medical personnel and supplies to provide help to local authorities who are working so diligently to respond and try to help the victims of these terrible attacks.

President Bush has committed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to identify and bring to swift justice those responsible for these despicable attacks. The Department of Justice is setting up a hotline for families who fear that their relatives may have been victims of one of these attacks, and we will be announcing that telephone number shortly.

Our fellow citizens and our freedom came under attack today. And no one should doubt America's resolve. President Bush and all our country's leaders thank the many Americans who are helping with rescue and relief efforts. We ask our fellow Americans for your prayers for the victims, for their families, for the rescue workers, and for our country.

Thank you all very much. And we will continue to update you as information is available and confirmed.

3:55 p.m.: Giuliani now says the number of critically injured in New York City is up to 200 with 2,100 total injuries reported.

4 p.m: U.S. officials say there are "good indications" that Saudi militant Osama bin Laden, suspected of coordinating the bombings of two U.S. embassies in 1998, is involved in the attacks, based on "new and specific" information developed since the attacks.

4:06 p.m.: California Gov. Gray Davis dispatches urban search-and-rescue teams to New York.

4:10 p.m.: Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex is reported on fire.

4:20 p.m.: U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he was "not surprised there was an attack (but) was surprised at the specificity." He says he was "shocked at what actually happened -- the extent of it."

4:25 p.m.: The American Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange say they will remain closed Wednesday.

4:30 p.m.: The president leaves Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska aboard Air Force One to return to Washington.

5:20 p.m.: The 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex collapses.

6:10 p.m. Giuliani urges New Yorkers to stay home Wednesday if they can.

6:42 p.m.: Rumsfeld, the U.S. defense secretary, holds a news conference in the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld: This is a -- first of all, good evening. This is a tragic day for our country. Our hearts and prayers go to the injured, their families and friends.

We have taken a series of measures to prevent further attacks and to determine who is responsible. We're making every effort to take care of the injured and the casualties in the building. I'm deeply grateful for the many volunteers from the defense establishment and from the excellent units from all throughout this region. They have our deep appreciation.

We have been working closely throughout the day with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, CIA Director George Tenet, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dick Myers, who is currently participating in a meeting elsewhere in the building, and a great many other officials from throughout the government.

I should say we've received calls from across the world offering their sympathy and indeed their assistance in various ways.

I'm very pleased to be joined here by Chairman Carl Levin and Senator John Warner. Senator Warner called earlier today and offered his support and was kind enough to come down and has been with us. We've very recently had a discussion with the president of the United States. Chairman Hugh Shelton has just landed from Europe. Secretary of the Army Tom White, who has a responsibility for incidents like this as executive agent for the Department of Defense, is also joining me.

It's an indication that the United States government is functioning in the face of this terrible act against our country. I should add that the briefing here is taking place in the Pentagon. The Pentagon's functioning. It will be in business tomorrow.

6:54 p.m.: Bush arrives back at the White House aboard Marine One. The president earlier landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland with a three-fighter jet escort.

7:17 p.m.: U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says the FBI is setting up a Web site for tips on the attacks: He also says family and friends of possible victims can leave contact information at 800-331-0075.

7:45 p.m.: The New York Police Department says that at least 78 officers are missing. The city also says that as many as half of the first 400 firefighters on the scene were killed.

8:30 p.m.: President Bush addresses the nation.

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

END 8:35 P.M. EDT