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AMERICA TANGLED UP, RUSSIA ADVANCES

While America's attention is on the danger of Iran and the other threats emanating from the Islamic world as well as the battle to protect the Constitution from the attacks of the Obama administration, Russia is climbing back to a position of great power. A pivotal election in Ukraine on February 7th will signal that Russia is back.


Ukraine's Election and the Russian Resurgence
January 26, 2010

By Peter Zeihan

Ukrainians go to the polls Feb. 7 to choose their next president. The last time they did this, in November 2004, the result was the prolonged international incident that became known as the Orange Revolution. That event saw Ukraine cleaved off from the Russian sphere of influence, triggering a chain of events that rekindled the Russian-Western Cold War. Next week's runoff election seals the Orange Revolution's reversal. Russia owns the first candidate, Viktor Yanukovich, outright and has a workable agreement with the other, Yulia Timoshenko. The next few months will therefore see the de facto folding of Ukraine back into the Russian sphere of influence; discussion in Ukraine now consists of debate over the speed and depth of that reintegration.

The Centrality of Ukraine
Russia has been working to arrest its slide for several years. Next week's election in Ukraine marks not so much the end of the post-Cold War period of Russian retreat as the beginning of a new era of Russian aggressiveness. To understand why, one must first absorb the Russian view of Ukraine.

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, most of the former Soviet republics and satellites found themselves cast adrift, not part of the Russian orbit and not really part of any other grouping. Moscow still held links to all of them, but it exercised few of its levers of control over them during Russia's internal meltdown during the 1990s. During that period, a number of these states -- Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the former Czechoslovakia to be exact -- managed to spin themselves out of the Russian orbit and attach themselves to the European Union and NATO. Others -- Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine -- attempted to follow the path Westward, but have not succeeded at this point. Of these six, Ukraine is by far the most critical. It is not simply the most populous of Russia's former possessions or the birthplace of the Russian ethnicity, it is the most important province of the former Russian Empire and holds the key to the future of Eurasia.
First, the incidental reasons. Ukraine is the Russian Empire's breadbasket. It is also the location of nearly all of Russia's infrastructure links not only to Europe, but also to the Caucasus, making it critical for both trade and internal coherence; it is central to the existence of a state as multiethnic and chronically poor as Russia. The Ukrainian port of Sevastopol is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet, and Ukrainian ports are the only well-developed warm-water ports Russia has ever had. Belarus' only waterborne exports traverse the Dnieper River, which empties into the Black Sea via Ukraine. Therefore, as goes Ukraine, so goes Belarus. Not only is Ukraine home to some 15 million ethnic Russians -- the largest concentration of Russians outside Russia proper -- they reside in a zone geographically identical and contiguous to Russia itself. That zone is also the Ukrainian agricultural and industrial heartland, which again is integrated tightly into the Russian core.
These are all important factors for Moscow, but ultimately they pale before the only rationale that really matters: Ukraine is the only former Russian imperial territory that is both useful and has a natural barrier protecting it. Belarus is on the Northern European Plain, aka the invasion highway of Europe. The Baltics are all easily accessible by sea. The Caucasian states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are on the wrong side of the Caucasus Mountains (and Russia's northern Caucasus republics -- remember Chechnya? -- aren't exactly the cream of the crop of Russian possessions). It is true that Central Asia is anchored in mountains to the south, but the region is so large and boasts so few Slavs that it cannot be controlled reliably or cheaply. And Siberia is too huge to be useful.
Without Ukraine, Russia is a desperately defensive power, lacking any natural defenses aside from sheer distance. Moscow and Volgograd, two of Russia's critically strategic cities, are within 300 miles of Ukraine's eastern border. Russia lacks any natural internal transport options -- its rivers neither interconnect nor flow anywhere useful, and are frozen much of the year -- so it must preposition defensive forces everywhere, a burden that has been beyond Russia's capacity to sustain even in the best of times. The (quite realistic) Russian fear is that without Ukraine, the Europeans will pressure Russia along its entire western periphery, the Islamic world will pressure Russia along its entire southern periphery, the Chinese will pressure Russia along its southeastern periphery, and the Americans will pressure Russia wherever opportunity presents itself.
Ukraine by contrast has the Carpathians to its west, a handy little barrier that has deflected invaders of all stripes for millennia. These mountains defend Ukraine against tanks coming from the west as effectively as they protected the Balkans against Mongols attacking from the east. Having the Carpathians as a western border reduces Russia's massive defensive burden. Most important, if Russia can redirect the resources it would have used for defensive purposes on the Ukrainian frontier -- whether those resources be economic, intelligence, industrial, diplomatic or military -- then Russia retains at least a modicum of offensive capability. And that modicum of offensive ability is more than enough to overmatch any of Russia's neighbors (with the exception of China).

When Retreat Ends, the Neighbors Get Nervous
This view of Ukraine is not alien to countries in Russia's neighborhood. They fully understand the difference between a Russia with Ukraine and a Russia without Ukraine, and understand that so long as Ukraine remains independent they have a great deal of maneuvering room. Now that all that remains is the result of an election with no strategic choice at stake, the former Soviet states and satellites realize that their world has just changed.
Georgia traditionally has been the most resistant to Russian influence regardless of its leadership, so defiant that Moscow felt it necessary to trounce Georgia in a brief war in August 2008. Georgia's poor strategic position is nothing new, but a Russia that can redirect efforts from Ukraine is one that can crush Georgia as an afterthought. That is turning the normally rambunctious Georgians pensive, and nudging them toward pragmatism. An opposition group, the Conservative Party, is launching a movement to moderate policy toward Russia, which among other things would mean abandoning Georgia's bid for NATO membership and re-establishing formal political ties with Moscow.
A recent Lithuanian power struggle has resulted in the forced resignation of Foreign Minister Minister Vygaudas. The main public point of contention was the foreign minister's previous participation in facilitating U.S. renditions. Vygaudas, like most in the Lithuanian leadership, saw such participation as critical to maintaining the tiny country's alliance with the United States. President Dalia Grybauskaite, however, saw the writing on the wall in Ukraine, and feels the need to foster a more conciliatory view of Russia. Part of that meant offering up a sacrificial lamb in the form of the foreign minister.
Poland is in a unique position. It knows that should the Russians turn seriously aggressive, its position on the Northern European Plain makes it the focal point of Russian attention. Its location and vulnerability makes Warsaw very sensitive to Russian moves, so it has been watching Ukraine with alarm for several months.
As a result, the Poles have come up with some (admittedly small) olive branches, including an offer for Putin to visit Gdansk last September in an attempt to foster warmer (read: slightly less overtly hostile) relations. Putin not only seized upon the offer, but issued a public letter denouncing the World War II-era Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty, long considered by Poles as the most outrageous Russian offense to Poland. Warsaw has since replied with invitations for future visits. As with Georgia, Poland will never be pro-Russian -- Poland is not only a NATO member but also hopes to host an American Patriot battery and participate in Washington's developing ballistic missile defense program. But if Warsaw cannot hold Washington's attention -- and it has pulled out all the stops in trying to -- it fears the writing might already be on the wall, and it must plan accordingly.
Azerbaijan has always attempted to walk a fine line between Russia and the West, knowing that any serious bid for membership in something like the European Union or NATO was contingent upon Georgia's first succeeding in joining up. Baku would prefer a more independent arrangement, but it knows that it is too far from Russia's western frontier to achieve such unless the stars are somewhat aligned. As Georgia's plans have met with what can best be described as abject failure, and with Ukraine now appearing headed toward Russian suzerainty, Azerbaijan has in essence resigned itself to the inevitable. Baku is well into negotiations that would redirect much of its natural gas output north to Russia rather than west to Turkey and Europe. And Azerbaijan simply has little else to bargain with.
Other states that have long been closer to Russia, but have attempted to balance Russia against other powers in hopes of preserving some measure of sovereignty, are giving up. Of the remaining former Soviet republics Belarus has the most educated workforce and even a functioning information technology industry, while Kazakhstan has a booming energy industry; both are reasonable candidates for integration into Western systems. But both have this month agreed instead to throw their lots in with Russia. The specific method is an economic agreement that is more akin to shackles than a customs union. The deal effectively will gut both countries' industries in favor of Russian producers. Moscow hopes the union in time will form the foundation of a true successor to the Soviet Union.
Other places continue to show resistance. The new Moldovan prime minister, Vlad Filat, is speaking with the Americans about energy security and is even flirting with the Romanians about reunification. The Latvians are as defiant as ever. The Estonians, too, are holding fast, although they are quietly polling regional powers to at least assess where the next Russian hammer might fall. But for every state that decides it had best accede to Russia's wishes, Russia has that much more bandwidth to dedicate to the poorly positioned holdouts.
Russia also has the opportunity. The United States is bogged down in its economic and health care debates, two wars and the Iran question -- all of which mean Washington's attention is occupied well away from the former Soviet sphere. With the United States distracted, Russia has a freer hand in re-establishing control over states that would like to be under the American security umbrella.
There is one final factor that is pushing Russia to resurge: It feels the pressure of time. The post-Cold War collapse may well have mortally wounded the Russian nation. The collapse in Russian births has halved the size of the 0-20 age group in comparison to their predecessors born in the 1970s and 1980s. Consequently, Russian demographics are among the worst in the world.
Even if Russia manages an economic renaissance, in a decade its population will have aged and shrunk to the point that the Russians will find holding together Russia proper a huge challenge. Moscow's plan, therefore, is simple: entrench its influence while it is in a position of relative strength in preparation for when it must trade that influence for additional time. Ultimately, Russia is indeed going into that good night. But not gently. And not today.


"This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR"

THE 100 DAYS

Ralph Peter focuses on Obama's foreign policy. He finds it terrifying. The level of naivete and ignorance demonstrated is breathtaking.

We now have a president who doesn't know that Pakistan was founded as a democracy, a secretary of state who thinks we created the Taliban, a head of the Department of Homeland Security who doesn't believe Islamist terrorists exist and a vice president who claims FDR gave televised speeches during the Depression.

Read it all.


THE OBAMA DOCTRINE
By RALPH PETERS
April 29, 2009 -- New York Post

AFTER a mere 100 days, the "Obama Doctrine" for our foreign and security poli cies has emerged. And it's terrifying.

The combination of dizzying naivete, dislike of our allies, disdain for our military, distrust of our intelligence services and distaste for our own country promises the worst foreign policy of our lifetimes.

That includes President Jimmy Carter's abysmal record of failure.

The core tenets of the Obama Doctrine to date would make a charter member of the Weather Underground cheer:

We're to blame. If there are problems anywhere, they're America's fault. This central conviction of leftist ideology appears to have soaked so thoroughly into our president's consciousness during his lengthy friendships with extremists that it's now second nature to him.

Problems can be negotiated away. From Somali pirates to Moscow's belligerency, Obama and his Cabinet see a good chat as the best response to a challenge. Our president got to the Oval Office by talking, not doing, and his faith in his powers of persuasion is unlimited.

An acquaintance who may have our government's best grasp of the Russians shakes his head at the tone in Washington. The current mantra: "We have to get over our Cold War thinking." Great -- except that it's the Russians who've revived Cold War hostility.
The Taliban devours Pakistan, and we want to talk. President Hugo Chavez destroys Venezuela's democracy, and we want to talk. Iran pursues nuclear weapons with refreshed enthusiasm . . . and we want to talk.

Problems that can't be talked out can be bought off. Pakistan, a nuke-armed state of 170 million Muslims seething with anti-Americanism stirred up by our "friends," faces a crack-up as its once-monolithic military splinters. Obama's answer? Send billions of dollars that will disappear and weapons that may soon be used against our troops.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks the solution to piracy is a generous program to rebuild Somalia. (Been there, done that.) She'd also like to hand Hamas a billion bucks.
The "Las Vegas law" applies: You can buy sex but not enduring love. We can't defeat terror with welfare checks.

Islamist terrorism doesn't exist. The term's even been banned from government departments. As Muslim extremists slaughter innocent victims by the thousands, we're assured Islam's a "religion of peace" that contributed profoundly to our country's development. (Huh?)

It's as if 9/11 never happened. The "nonterrorists" drenching the greater Middle East in blood and threatening us as loudly as they can are just victims of our aggression. It's all our fault.

Terrorists do exist, though -- among our returning veterans and amid those Americans who don't subscribe to MoveOn.org's revulsion at our country.

Israel's the obstacle to Middle East peace. Palestinians are all victims. Hamas consists of struggling community activists. The terrorists are in the Israeli military.

Our nukes threaten world peace and we need to get rid of them. Other states only maintain or seek nuclear arsenals because we worry them. If we can get down to zero nukes, peace will reign on earth.

Forget that only our nuclear weapons prevented World War III and that they still deter potential enemies. Just get rid of them, OK?

Our military is dangerous. Beyond Obama's cynically choreographed appearances with our troops, he and his coterie clearly disdain military advice and uniformed service. The administration views our troops as primitive creatures who must be collared and leashed, not as part of any solutions.

Our intelligence services are even more dangerous than our military. The administration's already begun to gut our intelligence capabilities. Carter at least pretended to study the problem. Obama's plunging straight in with the demoralization of our shadow warriors.

It's only torture if we do it.

Blame President George W. Bush. Should the Obama Doctrine lead to new terror attacks (sorry, Janet: I meant "man-caused disasters") or to foreign-policy humiliations, it won't be Obama's fault, but Bush's.

We're becoming a third-world country, succumbing to a sickening (in both senses of the word) culture of blame. And that culture is fostered by breathtaking ignorance.

We now have a president who doesn't know that Pakistan was founded as a democracy, a secretary of state who thinks we created the Taliban, a head of the Department of Homeland Security who doesn't believe Islamist terrorists exist and a vice president who claims FDR gave televised speeches during the Depression.

If Bush had made such gaffes, the media would've mocked him. But Obama and his entourage excite orgasmic forgiveness among journalists. Which brings us to the Obama Doctrine's final tenet:

Our media sluts will portray defeat as victory
.

Ralph Peters is Fox News' strategic analyst.

Occasionally, a good idea surfaces in the press. Today Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal -- and former editor of the Jerusalem Post -- suggests how we can help Pakistan, which is in desperate need of $100 billion. Europeans have come up with $15 billion and the only place to turn for the $85 billion is the U.S. (The Saudis don't help anybody, even fellow Muslims, unless it involves spreading Mohammad-era Koranic training on how to take over the world through jihad.)

The quid pro quo for the money would be Pakistan's elimination of its nuclear weapons and its weapons infrastructure. The U.S. would provide safeguards for Pakistan's security against nuclear attack in return. One can be sure that Pakistan's home-grown terrorists would dearly love to get their hands on those weapons. Using conventional weapons, Pakistani terrorists killed 1500 of their felllow civilians in 2007. With nuclear weapons and the opportunity to take over the country, who's to say they would hesitate to use them against the capital city Islamabad? And the U.S. should insist that the Saudi-funded madrassas teaching jihad be shut down as well.

Pakistan is the world's largest exporter of terrorists in the world today and many of them do their work without leaving home. Getting rid of the principal Pakistani threat to the rest of the world -- and Pakistan itself -- would be an excellent accomplishment for the Obama administration.

THE ISLAMIC TERROR ATTACK ON MUMBAI

Just ten Islamic terrorists did it all.

Just ten men paralyzed Mumbai for three days, killing at least 174. Only one survived and he's from Pakistan.

This gripping account by the Wall Street Journal is a tale of horror and sheer incompetence on the part of the Indian police and much of the military.

DECEMBER 1, 2008

India Under Fire for Security in Wake of Attacks

At Tourist Haunts and Train Station, Swiftly Launched Assault Overwhelmed Police; Home Affairs Minister Steps Down

By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV, GEETA ANAND, PETER WONACOTT and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

MUMBAI -- As waiters started setting dinner buffets in Mumbai's luxurious hotels, the killings that would ravage this Indian metropolis began out of sight, in the muddy waters of the Arabian Sea.

In the dusk hours of Wednesday, fisherman Chandrakant Tare was sailing his boat about 100 yards from a fishing trawler when he spotted young men killing a sailor on board. He says he saw them toss the body into the engine room. Assuming he had stumbled upon pirates, Mr. Tare says, he sped away.

Hours later, at least 10 terrorists, having arrived by small craft on the shores of Mumbai, began to sow death and destruction at will across India's financial capital.

Pieced together from interviews with dozens of witnesses and officials, this account of the three days of the battle for Mumbai shows just how a small but ruthless group of skilled militants, attacking multiple targets in quick succession, managed to bring one of the world's largest cities to its knees. The human toll -- currently at 174 fatalities, including nine terrorists -- was exacerbated by the Indian authorities' lack of preparedness for such a major attack. But the chain of events also points to just how vulnerable any major city can be to this type of urban warfare.

MumbaiRamirez120108.gif

ADVICE: STOP MUSLIM IMMIGRATION

Geert Wilders, the outspoken Dutch parliamentarian, sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the invasion of Europe by Muslims and the danger presented by European multiculturists who claim all cultures are equal and denigrate their own civilization. We posted Wilders' plea to the Dutch parliament to act and his must-see short film Fitna earlier.

As he sees it, the West suffers from an excess of toleration for those who do not share its tradition of tolerance. "We believe that -- 'we' means the political elite -- that all cultures are equal," he says. "I believe this is the biggest disease today facing Europe. . . . We should wake up and tell ourselves: You're not a xenophobe, you're not a racist, you're not a crazy guy if you say, 'My culture is better than yours.' A culture based on Christianity, Judaism, humanism is better. Look at how we treat women, look at how we treat apostates, look at how we go with the separation of church and state. I can give you 500 examples why our culture is better."

Already Muslims in the Netherlands are 6% of the population and a tipping point is close,he believes.

He acknowledges that "the majority of Muslims in Europe and America are not terrorists or violent people." But he says "it really doesn't matter that much, because if you don't define your own culture as the best, dominant one, and you allow through immigration people from those countries to come in, at the end of the day you will lose your own identity and your own culture, and your society will change. And our freedom will change -- all the freedoms we have will change

We have just seen what ten determined Islamic terrorists can do to a city of 15 million in India.

Wilders says all the circumlocution about the Global War on Terror is missing the point.

Since 9/11, American political leaders have struggled with the question of how to describe the ideology of the enemy without making enemies of the world's billion or so Muslims. The various terms they have tried -- "Islamic extremism," "Islamism," "Islamofascism" -- have fallen short of both clarity and melioration. Melioration is not Mr. Wilders's highest priority, and to him the truth couldn't be clearer: The problem is Islam itself. "I see Islam more as an ideology than as a religion," he explains.(emphasis added)

What would he do?

He says he would end Muslim immigration to the Netherlands but work to assimilate those already there.

A key requirement of Wilders' would be to give up the Koran, from which the problem that is Islam springs. Islam, he believes, is an ideology, much as HItler's National Socialism was..Since the Koran is the ideology's handbook inciting hatred and violence it should be outlawed.

A proposal to halt Muslim immigration into the United States and to work to assimilate those already here has been made as well by an American scholar of Islam Hugh Fitzgerald.

Read all of the Wilders interview.

CALL IT WHAT IT IS: ISLAMIC GLOBAL JIHAD

From NRO's The Corner yesterday, November 28th:

Both of the above [Mark Steyn]

Andy [McCarty] wrote yesterday about our confused thinking re events in Bombay:

The obsession over whether al Qaeda or its endless jumble of affiliates pulled off the operation is a misguided attempt to mimimize the challenge. The bin Laden network is not unimportant, but it is tapping into something that is much bigger than itself.

We're reluctant to address that "bigger than itself" elephant. All jihad is local: If rockets are fired at Israel, it's a failure to settle the Palestinian question. If an NHS doctor drives a flaming Cherokee into the check-in desk at Glasgow Airport, it must be Tony Blair's foreign policy. The Jerusalem Post's headline writer poses the question:

Homegrown Terror Or International Jihad?

False choice. The answer is: Homegrown terror in the service of international jihad. Clearly, India has had a Muslim problem to one degree or another in the 60 years since partition, but increasingly those locally driven grievances have been absorbed within the global pan-Islamic ideology. What strikes you, as the dust clears in Bombay, is that one assault provided an umbrella for manifestations of almost every strain of Muslim grievance.

There's the local element - the fatal shooting of the city's anti-terror squad, and other prominent officials. There's the crusader element - the targeting of British and American passport holders. There's the Jew-hating element - the Munich massacre nesting within the more general carnage.

And there are the more ironic nuances of jihad: British subjects were to be found not just among the victims but among the perpetrators.

To pose the question as that Jerusalem Post headline is to miss the point. Moreover, the global ideologues correctly see our determination to attribute every attack to purely local phenomena unconnected to any bigger picture as a sign of weakness.

This can't be said often enough:

In so many of the reports about Islamic terrorist attacks the media wonders what the connection to Osama Bin Laden might be. The answer is simple: In all cases the connection is the Koran. All Islamic true believers are doing what the Koran says and Mohammad commanded: Wage unrelenting war against the infidels untiil Islam rules supreme over the world.

Islamic supremacism is mandated by the Koran and Mohammad, the "perfect man" as Muslims call him, whose example provides all the latitude for violence one can imagine. As Muslims learn more about their core ideology, more true believers who become a danger to the world are born. At heart, Islam is a political ideology carrying a religious banner to justify its expansionism by whatever means work, including murder. Conquering the world today requires such things as instilling fear to force submission, damaging if not destroying economies, assassinating leaders and undermining the values of targeted civilizations, be it Europe's or that of the United States.

Among the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are many good people who simply believe in one god and live good lives. They probably have never read the Koran or the Hadith (the sayings and doings of Mohammad). It's when they do that problems can arise. Saudi Arabia has spent and is spending tens of billions around the world to "educate" those who are in ignorance.

For some reason the Minneapolis-St.Paul area has become the number one gathering point for legal and illegal Somalis to settle in the United States. Virtually all are Muslims. Somali taxi drivers have been in the news recently for refusing to pick up passengers at the international airport who were carrying alcoholic beverages. They also wanted to refuse passengers with dogs (even seeing-eye dogs). Such actions are part of the Stealth Jihad underway in this country to gradually change our culture to an Islamic one. Such a transformation is quite far advanced in Europe. Other examples in the U.S. are Wal-Mart cashiers not being required to ring up sales of pork products and Harvard having women-only gym hours for Muslim students. There are many more.

Now there is a report of a Minneapolis Somali, a naturalized American, who returned to Somali to join with the Islamist forces at war to install Islamic law throughout the country, who has killed himself in a suicide attack. Where did he become infused with Islamic supremacist zeal? At a mosque in Minneapolis? Here's the report:


11/25/2008 10:25:29 PM
KSTP Channel 5
By: Sam Zeff, Assistant News Director; Bob McNaney, Investigative Reporter; Nicole Muehlhausen, Web Producer

FEDS: Twin Cities man behind Somalia bombing


5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned that federal law enforcement sources believe that a Twin Cities man blew himself up in a suicide bombing in Northern Somalia last month.
The FBI and Homeland Security are investigating whether Shirwa Ahmed had developed a terrorist recruiting network in the area.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned that Ahmed came to the Twin Cities in 1996 and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen.

More than a dozen young men of Somali descent, mostly in their 20s, from the Minneapolis area have recently disappeared, U.S. law enforcement officials tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. All are thought to be associates of Ahmed. U.S. officials suspect most of the young men have departed for Somalia to fight in ongoing violence there or to train in terrorist camps. Family members of the young men are said to be distraught, trying to figure to out what happened to them, sources say.

So far, the investigation has not uncovered credible evidence of a plot targeting the U.S. but American officials want to track down all these young men before they can say for certain what this is or is not, according to ABC News. Sources say the situation is being closely monitored by senior law enforcement and intelligence officials in Washington.

CIA Director Michael Hayden recently voiced his concern about increased fighting in Somalia and the Horn of Africa and the desire of Al Qaeda to strengthen it's ties in Somalia.

"In East Africa, Al Qaeda's engaging Somali extremists to revitalize operations," said Hayden. "And while there clearly has not yet been an official merger, the leader of the al-Shabaab terrorist group is closely tied to al-Qa’ida. And the recent bombings in Somalia may have meant, at least in part, to strengthen the bona fides of this group with al-Qaeda's senior leaders. A merger between al-Shabaab and al-Qa’ida could give Somali extremists much needed funding while al-Qaeda could then claim to be re-establishing its operations based in East Africa. That's a base that was severely disrupted about two years ago when Ethiopia moved into Somalia."


Hugh Fitzgerald, the Vice President of the website Jihad Watch, had this to say:

What does it cost the FBI, the local police, the judicial system, to monitor sometimes around the clock, to hold enless meetings about, to investigate an actual plot or a completed crime, to prepare a criminal case, to hold a trial, to prosecute, to hold another trial if, given the ignorance and idiocy of so many juries, the first one goes awry, to defend an appeal, to lock someone up and support him for ten or twenty or fifty years, or life, to do all of these things, and many more, including fighting off every kind of lawsuit based on demands by Muslims for every kind of yielding and accommodation by non-Muslims whose political and legal institutions, whose way of life, those Muslims have nothing but contempt, and who do not share, who cannot possibly share, any sense of loyalty for the history of this nation, created as it was entirely by non-Muslims, and until the last few decades peopled entirely by non-Muslims, and based on principles and an idea of individual autonomy that are not merely foreign to Islam, but flatly contradicted by the principles of the Shari'a, the Holy Law of Islam which, Muslims are taught, should ultimately be imposed everywhere, for all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam -- which means the Shari'a -- must be removed, everywhere.

Why do we ask for more and more trouble? Can't we in the United States see what Muslims have done in Great Britain, in Germany, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, all over Western Europe? Is there a sane person in Western Europe who would not wish to turn the clock back, wish that the Pakistanis had never been allowed into Great Britain, the Moroccans and Turks into the Netherlands, the Algerians (and Moroccans and Tunisians) into France, the Somalis and Egyptians and Libyans into Italy, the Turks (and Moroccans) into Germany, and so on? Is there an honest Infidel who would dare to disagree with the statement that "the large-scale presence of Muslims in the countries of Western Europe has led to a situation, for both the indigenous non-Muslims, and for other, but non-Muslim, immigrants, that is much more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for them, than would be the case without that large-scale Muslim presence."

Will the Qu'ran change? Will the Hadith change? Will the facts of Muhammad's life, as recounted in the Muslim biographies, the Sira, change? If they cannot, because the Qur'an is the immutable word of God, and the Hadith were winnowed and assigned ranks of "authenticity" more than a thousand years ago by the most respected muhaddithin, then why should one entertain the wan hope that somehow, in some way, simply because it has just got to be, doesn't it, that Islam will change, or as Tariq Ramadan, that snake, likes to put it, without ever explaining what he means, a "European Islam" can be created, without of course telling us what texts, what tenets, what attitudes, what atmospherics in this "European Islam" would differ from the Islam of North Africa, or the Middle East, or of Muslims in Pakistan or Bangladesh or Indonesia.

Are we not entitled to ask that those in the government take notice of reality, and cease to allow Muslims into our country, where they can only increase that unpleasantness, that skyrocketing expense, that ominous threat of physical insecurity? What does it take to get the government to respond to our most essential needs and desires? What?

The infiltration of an alien ideology incompatible with the U.S. Constituion is a serious and growing problem almost universally ignored by the federal government and the media. In some countries of Europe, such as the Netherlands and perhaps France, it may already too late. Popular resistance is growing in Europe, but it has not been joined by officialdom in any country as yet and certainly not by the bureaucrats in Brussels who run the European Union. In the U.S., the debate must begin. It is a matter of national security.

As we have reported again and again, the Islamic war of conquest is global and aimed at all non-Muslims. India has suffered from Islamic warfare for centuries; it is estimated that some 80 million Hindus were killed by Muslim invaders and occupiers before they were driven out.

Today's attacks in Mumbai (Bombay) are intended to bring down the government, deliver a body body to tourism and the economy, sow fear, discord, anger and chaos.

Muslims constitute 10 to 15% of India's population, which translates into some 110 to 160 million. How many of those are active terrorists or supportive of such terrorists is unknown.

n addition, suspicions about recent murderous Islamic attacks inside India have centered on Muslims from Pakistan. Pakistan itself has become a target of homegrown Islamic supremacists as well as of terrorists leaving Iraq. To this point, the Indian government has, incredibly from an American point of view, treated these attacks as business as usual, sort of a nuisance, a large nuisance to be sure, but a nuisance nonetheless.

The decades-long insurrection by Muslims in Indian-controlled Kashmir has resulted in thousands of deaths. Kashmiri terrorists have been arrested staging terrorist attacks outside Kashmir elsewhere in India.

What's difference about today's attacks is the level of sophistication and its magnitude. Will this shake the Indian government out of its torpor?

Will it also have the effect of making the U.S. government finally acknowledge that the terrorism and other attacks being fought worldwide are Islamic in nature, flowing from the core documents of Islam?

Rumors are surfacing that similar attacks are in preparation for New York City's subway system during the holidays. Hugh Hewitt reminds us:


When highly coordinated attacks like those in India unfold, the families of victims have to wonder whether the attacks might have been prevented but for the blows to surveillance of terrorism suspects brought about by leaks such as those involving the Swift program that tracked terrorist financing. The New York Times defended its actions and those of the Los Angeles Times at the time, but it is in the aftermath of deadly attacks that we should all revisit the recklessness of MSM in dealing with such matters.

No one will ever be able to prove whether an uncompromised Swift program might have penetrated such a big ring of terrorists, but at the time of the controversy, I did interview the Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus, who admitted that the story might have helped terrorists elude capture. When hell breaks loose, we ought to remind ourselves that the media has in the past decided for itself when security could be breached.

The villains are the terrorists, of course, but their lives are made easier by every leak of a national security secret.

Citizen of the world Obama, not putting the needs of the United States first, could take some very damaging steps early in his Administration that will punch holes in our national security and endanger our troops (HT:Power Line).

[By] 63 percent to 16 percent Americans said they see the U.S. Constitution, not international law, as the highest legal authority for Americans. 83 percent think of themselves as U.S. citizens, rather than citizens of the world.

Obama doesn't think so.

The Wall Street Journal notes some questions are being asked about why a Belgian beer company was able to buy Anheuser-Busch and not the other way around.

Taxes were a big part of the reason. The Bud boys were paying almost twice as much in taxes as the Begian company InBev. U.S. corporate taxes are now among the highest in the world. John McCain wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 25%, which is about the world average (Ireland's is 12.5%, for example.) Obama has only been talking about raising taxes. John McCain understands the economy, Obama doesn't. Another reason to vote for John McCain.

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