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March 2006

CAIR Calls for Release of Abdul Rahman

I do not know why I had to look so hard to find this. I think sometimes we do not want to confront things which go against our preconceived notions.

It disturbs me very much that in a country with a free press, this should be so:

“Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion. Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Quran, Islam's revealed text, such as:

1) ‘If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?’ (10:99)

2) ‘(O Prophet) proclaim: 'This is the Truth from your Lord. Now let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.'’ (18:29)

3) ‘If they turn away from thee (O Muhammad) they should know that We have not sent you to be their keeper. Your only duty is to convey My message.’ (42:48)

4) ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion.’ (2:256)

“Religious decisions should be matters of personal choice, not a cause for state intervention. Faith imposed by force is not true belief, but coercion. Islam has no need to compel belief in its divine truth. As the Quran states: ‘Truth stands out clear from error. Therefore, whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.’ (2:256)

“We urge the government of Afghanistan to order the immediate release of Mr. Abdul Rahman.”

Sometimes, when we speak with a soft voice,  others voices can finally be heard. And the truth shall make us all free.

Pass it on.

Foreign Policy after Iraq

I thank Blackfive for his invitation to return to speak with you today. The last time I appeared on this page was during the 2004 election, when I wrote Red State, Blue Collar, which some of you may remember.

Today another debate from the 2004 elections has returned to us, not about domestic but about foreign policy. It is good that this debate has returned to us, because it is an important one, and we were not able to have it fully during the late election. The debate is over whether America should use its military and other powers to develop democracies worldwide, or whether it should restrict its military action to strike those who have chosen to be our enemies.

No question could be more critical. We were unable to give this question the debate it deserved in 2004, because the advocate of the punitive-strike position was John Kerry -- or rather, his advisor on military affairs, General "Tony" McPeak, USAF. General McPeak is an honorable man, but he had the misfortune of serving under a flag-carrier who didn't believe in the principles of his arguments, or apparently on the value of holding principles at all. As a result, the debate was not only unfinished, but barely begun; no sooner would Kerry advocate the principles, he would abandon them to advocate different ones instead.

Yet it is a principled position, and one that deserves close attention because it is one of only two realistic options -- and so, if we are not to do things the current way, we must do them this other way. We are fortunate that the cause has been taken up by National Review's John Derbyshire, without question or near comparison the most thoughtful writer at that magazine, and indeed one of the most honest and thoughtful writers operating in America today. Mr. Derbyshire is an honest and devoted advocate of these principles, and I would like to examine his argument.

It happens I disagree -- on most cases -- with what he proposes. The reasons will wait in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Foreign Policy after Iraq" »

The delusions of a tenured whiner at Berkeley

How come when I'm nice to the progressives they counter with crap like this:

Whiny kids become conservatives, self-reliant little artistes become liberals, ....REALLY? If there is a better example of projecting your biases on to a study I haven't seen it. A clown from UC Berkeley running this study (ding) looks at the development of only 100 kids (ding) who are all in day care (ding) in Berkeley (ding) and asks subjective questions about them to care givers and others (ding) and this results in a correlation of .27 (ding) when .6 should be the minimum correlation to be considered more than clutter in a good sample, which this certainly wasn't. My BS-ometer is pinging off the chart. I guess since academia is the only "serious" area where liberals dominate, they feel obligated to prove their worth and lack of self-image with pitiful crap like this. I won't link to it, as they don't merit my consideration. The best quote I heard about this, was " I guess conservatives get their whining done as children, while liberals spend their entire adult lives doing so."

Matty started a brou ha about saluting the flag or hand on heart when not in uniform somehow, while actively engaged in test-firing new Corona commercials, amazing guy eh?

I see it very simply. When I joined the Army I swore an oath to play by the rules. So I saluted when and how I was told, except when it involved new Lieutenants. There is a proper place for all of the traditions and decorum surrounding the rendering of respect to officers and the colors. There is also an inherent requirement to continue to render respect in proper ways once out of the service, BUT there is no longer anyone, outside my head, who can tell me how that should be done. The salute began as a gesture of respect between comrades or contestants at arms. It could be required, while I served, that I salute all officers I encountered, it could be required that I respect their rank, it could not be required that I respect them. Now I choose who and what merits a hand salute and feel comfortable making those calls. I mean no disrespect whatsoever to those who I know are simply asking that customs and courtesies be maintained. I simply feel that the gesture matters less than the respect with which it is rendered, and I agree completely with Buzz Patterson who commented "And with history's lowest percentage of military vs. civilian population it becomes vitally important. This country's non-military need to see it!"

So however you choose to honor the flag, our troops or your comrades, just do it proudly and remind the folks that while everyone has the right to salute the flag, some earned it.

                             - Uncle J

What I read before heading to the beach...

Lorie Byrd has an article at Townhall about the media and polling the military.

Tony, the Oriental Redneck, sends this link to the SF Chronicle's John Koopman who is blogging from Iraq.

Josh Manchester at the Adventures of Chester thinks the President needs his very own Sergeant Major.  I agree.

And Tony in Boulder sends the link to a member of Hannity Forums (online) that was wounded in Iraq (101st combatmedic)...

Veterans - Saluting the flag or Hand over Heart?

Via Seamus, there's a movement brewing for Veterans to be able to salute during the National Anthem or when passing the colors.

Retired Major General Vernon B. Lewis:

I gathered some 16 of my old     military friends who agreed to sponsor a     movement for Veterans     to salute rather than place their hands over their heart     when honoring the flag, fallen     comrades, and/or the country. I have some from each of the     four principal services. Three of them were former Vice Chiefs or Assistant     Commandants of their services, and several were former     CINC's.

We refer     to saluting when we do the pledge to the flag, when the National Colors pass     or are presented, when the National Anthem or honors are played, or when     taps are played and firing squads or guns render     honors.

We got MOAA magazine to ask     veterans what they preferred, hand over the heart or saluting. When last I     looked, some 583 veteran respondents had voted 81% in favor of the salute.     In addition, my email address was in the questionairre and I've had about     150 responses, with all but a dozen or so in favor of the salute. Obviously     an overwhelming majority of the veterans want to     salute.

There are no regulations telling     us veterans what we can and can't do in this matter. If we decide we want to     salute, who will dare to tell us "no"?

It is a matter of personal     choice. We've earned the right to render a salute. Now the challange is to     get the word out. I believe the unit and branch associations are the best     way. The commanders of the American Legion and VFW never answered my emails,     presuming they even got them. If we can get this started it will take on a     life of its own. Those who object can continue the hand over the heart     thing. Gradually the custom will change, as well it     should.

Just imagine thousands of fans     salutiing at NFL, MBA, and Major League Baseball games when the National     Anthem is plalyed. It will telegraph a message to all others of how many     have served this country in the Armed Forces---it will be a positive and     patroitic message.

You can help by putting the word     out in your organizations, which are made up of patriots like you and me.     Thanks, my friend.

Vernon     B.

Now, I'm not so sure how I feel about this.  Before I read this email, I would have said it's a privilege ONLY for those who wear the uniform.  What do you think?

Update 3-23-06:  Russ Vaughn, Viet Nam vet and MilBlog Poet Laureate, sends along his thoughts in poetic form.

My Salute


Who’ll tell this vet he can’t salute?

Whoever does may feel my boot.

I took the oath, I fought the fight,

So who’s to question my earned right?

It’s my decision when and where;

What other’s think I couldn’t care.

I don’t salute for mere effect;

I salute to show my deep respect,

For my fellow warriors and Old Glory;

End of argument, end of story.


Russ Vaughn

Short, Sharp Shots- Crazy old bat edition

Update: An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday...

A Western diplomat in Kabul and a human rights advocate - both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter - said the government was desperately searching for a way to drop the case because of the reaction it has caused.

If this is true then it marks a milestone and we may be able to remind extremists everywhere that we all are watching and you can no longer act like jagoffs and be left alone. Good news.

Helen Thomas is bats**t crazy, and I giggled while W used her to make the left and the WH media look silly. Nice jui-jitsu Sir.

Is it even possible that anyone takes the WH press seriously, I mean the braying of the jackals when denied news of Cheney's attempted massacre for 18 hours, and the subsequent David Gregory tantrum was not enough I guess.

The Afghan government is trying a convert to Christianity and may kill him. I realize that the whole democracy thing means the Afghans can do what they want, except NO! We most certainly ought to intervene at whatever level necessary and offer asylum to Mr. Rahman if needed. Yeah the whole blowing up the Twin Towers was a major reason for hitting Afghanistan to start with, but I don't recall leaving the same hateful barbarians in charge as one of the goals.

Sixty gunmen, firing rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles, attacked the Madain police station before dawn, police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammadawi said. U.S. troops and a special Iraqi police unit responded, capturing 50 of the insurgents, including a Syrian, al-Mohammadawi said.

Right On! I hope the bad guys try more of this, 'cuz the game ain't stacked in their favor. Better stick to blowing up schoolkids.

Looks like Tony Blair reached deep and seems to have found his huevos:

"This terrorism will not be defeated until its ideas, the poison that warps the minds of its adherents, are confronted, head-on, in their essence, at their core. By this I don't mean telling them terrorism is wrong. I mean telling them their attitude to America is absurd; their concept of governance pre-feudal; their positions on women and other faiths, reactionary and regressive; and then since only by Muslims can this be done: standing up for and supporting those within Islam who will tell them all of this but more, namely that the extremist view of Islam is not just theologically backward but completely contrary to the spirit and teaching of the Koran.

I wish I believed this won't lead to a wicked pander tomorrow, but it is refreshing to hear evil named, Pre-feudal heh.

OK there is a start, I had to purge all that tolerance I was displaying at the peace rally.

                                - Uncle J

Peace Rally video

As promised here are the clips from the march here in the Mad City. My son ,who is ten, shot the video using a tripod and they came out fairly well. He thinks he's a laugh riot for sure.

Peace Rally video from intrepid cameraman Spud

OK that completes this episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom as we examined the free-range, progressive, moonbat population of Madison, WI. Your regularly scheduled vitriolic rants from Uncle J will resume shortly.

ACLU Defends Fred Phelps and Military Funeral Protestors

Stop the ACLU has the story along with information about Federal legislation barring protests at military funerals (within 300 feet).

[More Counter Phelps posts - His Intent (MUST read before considering action, please), Patriot Guards (help shield the families), American Legion Riders (help drown out Phelps' hateful protests)...]

The IAVA - Not Partisan?


Been getting a ton of email about the Political Action Committee titled Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans  of America.

I'm on their mailing list and get all of the their press releases.

Three things about the IAVA - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

1.  They used to be called Operation Truth.  I think it was Uncle Jimbo who wisely said that any organization claiming to corner the market on "truth" is usually full of @#$%.

2.  IAVA claims to be non-partisan.  You can take a look at what they claim to do and the candidates that they support.  Quite frankly, I'm sure that some of their Democratic candidates are excellent choices for Congress, but let's not call ourselves non-partisan if we're pushing Democratic slates and helping the Democrats find disgruntled military members to push in front of cameras to take on the Bush Administration.  There's nothing like a quote on an IAVA flyer from Gen. Wesley Clark supporting a candidate to make me think "non-partisan".../end sarcasm.

Here's an email from a student that witnessed a recent "Meet the Heroes" talk sponsored by the IAVA on a campus in Pennsylvania:

...Jonathan Morgenstein went second, and his discussion was very negative, though he admitted up front that he did not think that OIF was a good idea to begin with (with a nice note that soldiers have their own opinions, but will do their job as ordered even if they disagree). His biggest complaint was that the US did not use enough troops, and that something like 500,000ish soldiers were needed to fight a “real” counterinsurgency campaign. He spent his time with a Civil Affairs unit, and had nothing positive to say about what he witnessed. While he admitted to seeing a few schools raised and some good things done, he constantly went back to US troops creating more terrorists by breaking down doors in the middle of the night. I got the feeling that because he got sandbagged trying to do his CA job (one example was not getting permission to bring an NGO group into the city (Ramadi?) to do rebuilding work), he didn’t see any value with anyone else’s.  Morgenstein also had nothing nice to say about the Iraqi police/military, bringing up a picture of an Iraqi Col who he said told him that “the American’s can (should? – didn’t catch it) leave because he could work with the insurgents.” He then used this Col as an illustration as to why the whole Iraqi police and army were useless. He covered a few more points, then ended by saying that he belonged to the United States Institute of Peace…which struck me as very odd for a Marine, but probably helps explains his slant on the war.

Craig Smith drove trucks during OIF, and mentioned the fact that his Humvee/Fuel truck was not armored – in fact (and he had pictures to go with it) his Humvee didn’t have doors, and a pole in the back with a machine gun strapped to it provided for defense. Craig supported the war initially, but has changed his mind since. He was in a convoy that lost a truck to an RPG attack, and later on he was in an accident where he seriously burned/cut up his left arm. However, other than the RPG attack on his convoy (fairly early on in the war if I understood him correctly) his unit was not attacked often. After his injury and the difficulties in getting it treated in Iraq (he had to argue to get medivaced to a hospital), Craig ran into problems with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and dealing with the Army and the VA to get help. This is where most of his critiques were – the inability for him to get help when he needed it most. I had a major issue with Craig’s handling of a question at the end of the over all meeting, where a girl asked about how to approach a family member that had returned from the war recently...he warned about PTSD, and said (as close as I can recall): “it’s the honeymoon. He’s feeling good now but in a few months he’ll blow his brains out” …Which floored me that he would say that. PTSD is a problem, and people with it need help, but to diagnose a man with it without ever talking to him, and then to tell a family member that they will commit suicide? Very very bad form. (Ironically, the girl said that her family member was going into OCS to do more time in the Army.)...

3.  I'll be the first to admit that there were things that were handled badly in the invasion of Iraq.  I'd ask you to show me an invasion executed flawlessly - any one during any period in the history of humanity.  I'd also be the first to admit that we did better at reducing civilian casualties (at the expense of our own men and women), than any other army in history.

I'll be the first to admit that there are problems with getting up-armored humvees to troops, although now it's mostly unit-based rather than DoD based.  I'll also be the first to admit that many of these problems are military and not civilian in nature (ie. the administration). 

I'll be one of the first to say that the VA needs to change drastically - and I have said that here before.  And there will be many, many PTSD affected veterans returning from war.  Unfortunately, it's a normal reaction to the high stress of combat.  We need to do everything within our power to take care of them.  They took care of us.  We need to return the favor.

The IAVA has a few good points to make, but most of their intent is purely partisan politics.  Let's hope that their pro-military/pro-veteran stances aren't drowned out by opportunists like Gen. Clark and partisan political bull$#*!.