.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} ~ elderflower ~ : July 2004 <$BlogRSDURL$>

~ elderflower ~

One Late Bloomer Point of View - Un Bricolage

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

By Way of Contrast: GeorgeWBush.com :: The Official Re-election Site for President George W. Bush 

GeorgeWBush.com :: The Official Re-election Site for President George W.

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In a Nutshell... 

While having his weekly visit by telephone from somewhere in the world on the radio with Hugh Hewitt, Mark Steyn, speaking of the "Democratic Party", concluded, " ... this party is just not serious about defending the American way of life."

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

When Ya Gotta Soft Pedal the Truth... 

... In a visit to Camp Pendleton, California today, the Vice President of the United States, Mister Dick Cheney said that 'Our enemies have an agenda to end religious and political pluralism in the world'.

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Saturday, July 24, 2004

'Like Winter Snow on Summer Lawn - Time Past is Time Gone' 

Absence is to love what wind is to fire. It extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.

Love is the only game that is not cancelled on account of darkness. - M. Hirschfield

Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. - Attributed to Chief Seattle 1854

Not many men have both good fortune and good sense. - Titus Livy

Sittin' in the morning sun,
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come.
Watchin' the ships roll in,
Then I watch 'em roll away again.

Yeah, I'm sittin on the dock of the bay,
Watchin' the tide roll away.
Ooh, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the day,
Wastin' time.

I left my home in Georgia,
Headed for the Frisco bay.
I have nothin' to live for,
Look like nothin's gonna come my way.

So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay,
Watchin' the tide roll away.
Ooh, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the day,
Wastin' time.

Looks like nothin's gonna change;
Everything still remains the same.
I can't do what ten people tell me to do,
So I guess I'll remain the same.

Sittin' here restin' my bones,
And this loneliness won't leave me alone.
Two housand miles I roam,
Just to make this dock my home.

Now I'm just gonna sit at the dock of the bay,
Watchin' the tide roll away.
Ooh, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay,
Wastin' time.

Song Lyrics & Chords - (Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay:
by Steve Cropper and Otis Redding

The Chords:

4/4 Moderate beat =144

||: G | G :||

s/s | G | B | C B Bb | A | G | B | C B Bb | A |

| G | E(9) E | G | A | G | To Coda ()

1. | E || D. S. s/s

2. | E || G D C | C | G D C | C | G D C | C | F | D || D. S. s/s al Coda

() Coda: | E ||: G | G | G | E :||
Repeat ad lib and fade

A careless word may kindle strife.
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A timely word may quell stress.
A loving word may heal and bless.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle - Plato

"If it is not truthful and not helpful, don't say it.
If it is truthful and not helpful, don't say it.
If it is not truthful and helpful, don't say it.
If it is truthful and helpful, wait for the right time." - Buddha

'Horror gripped the heart of a World War I soldier, as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. The soldier asked his Lieutenant if he could go out to bring his fallen comrade back. "You can go," said the Lieutenant, "but don't think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your life away." The Lieutenant's words didn't matter, and the soldier went anyway. Miraculously, it seemed, he managed to reach his friend, hoisted him onto his shoulder and brought him back to their company's trench. The officer checked the wounded soldier, then looked kindly at his friend. "I told you it wouldn't be worth it," he said. "Your friend is dead and you are mortally wounded." "It was worth it, Sir," said the soldier. "What do you mean by worth it?" responded the Lieutenant. "Your friend is dead." "Yes, Sir," the soldier answered, "but it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive and I had the satisfaction of hearing him say, "Jim... I knew you'd come." ... ... Many times in life, as to whether a thing is worth doing or not, really depends on how one looks at it. Take up all your courage and do something your heart tells you to do so that you may not regret not doing it later in your life.'... A true story, according to one M Gurunath.

To see a world in a grain of sand, / And a heaven in a wild flower, / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, / And eternity in an hour. - William Blake, poet, engraver, and painter (1757-1827)

And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "aye."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. - Kahlil Gibran

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter. - John Keats, poet (1795-1821)

Absence is to love what wind is to fire. It extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet. - Anonymous

Caring is a reflex. Someone slips, your arm goes out. A car is in the ditch, you join the others and push. You live, you help. - Hindu Proverb

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. - Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet and artist (1883-1931)

Youth would be an ideal state - if it came a little later in life. ~ Herbert Henry Asquith

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance. - Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BC)

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. ~ Oprah Winfrey

There's a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - VS Rawat

Knowing all truth is less than doing a little bit of good. - Dr Albert Schweitzer

Beware the fury of the patient man. - John Dryden, poet and dramatist (1631-1700)

Maybe this world is another planet's Hell. - Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it - Omar Khayyam

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Friday, July 23, 2004

Sleep Tight - Dead or Alive is the Question 

This morning I searched my wallet, It was empty, then I checked my pockets, I found a few coins. I then searched my heart and found you guys, then I realised how rich I really am... - "Gireesh Dixit"




















Also, keep this in mind as the elitist political pundits spew their anti-Bush propaganda ... There are airing about several claims that our servicemen are deployed for too long, and serving longer tours. This kind of talk is sure to continue as the election looms closer. To the extent these rumors have even a smattering of truth, which they very well may, it behooves us to remember that, if we still had all those military personnel and resources that were axed by the Clinton Administration, it would be likely our troops could be rotated more frequently - and perhaps, too, Iraq would be quiet and Iran would be just a tad bit more forthcoming and North Korea more careful.

Hat Tip: Friend Justus

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody." - Bob Dylan

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Fair Tax Act - Strategy for Success for All Americans - Open Letter to President George W Bush 

Mr President - This is an open letter to you, Sir. Please consider for your campaign for re-election and or for your administration once re-elected the Fair Tax Act.

Americans for Fair Taxation http://fairtax.org/ is a 501c(4) non-profit, non-partisan organization, headquartered in Houston, Texas with an office in Washington, D.C. Since it was founded in 1995, Americans for Fair Taxation has grown to become the largest tax reform organization in the United States with over 400,000 supporters and members. Americans for Fair Taxation advocates the elimination of the current income tax code and proposes to replace it with the FairTax, a single-rate, federal consumption tax collected only once, at the final point of purchase for personal consumption.

The FairTax Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by John Linder (R GA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) would remove the burden of the income tax and other federal income-based taxes.

The FairTax Act would replace the current tax system with a national consumption tax that will:

Allow Americans to keep 100% of their paychecks, pensions, and Social Security payments.

Dramatically reduce the cost of goods and services by 20% to 30%.

Allow families to save more for homeownership, education, and retirement.

Raise the same amount of money for the federal government... But with enormous savings in collection costs and prosecution expenses for tax evasion - actually realize a net growth in revenue.

Make American products more competitive overseas.

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:  If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it."  - Ronald Reagan (1986)

"I've been told that some members of Congress disagree with my tax-cut proposal... Well, you know, it's been said that taxation is the art of plucking the feathers without killing the bird. It's time they realized the bird doesn't have any feathers left." - Ronald Reagan (1981)

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other." - Ronald Wilson Reagan

I urge you, Mister President George W Bush to heed the vast majority of voters who will surely support you when you display such leadership of the American people as you are seen making a stand for passage of this historic Fair Tax reform measure. Thank you, sir.


"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship." - Patrick Henry

"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." - James Madison, "The Father of Our Constitution", and the fourth President of the united States of America

"I have long believed that the guiding hand of Providence did not create this new nation of America for ourselves alone, but for a higher cause: the preservation and extension of the sacred fire of human liberty. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of these United States are covenants we have made not only with ourselves, but with all of mankind. Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, they are the universal right of all God's children." - Ronald Reagan (1991)

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It is Mister President George W Bush, to you; the president of these united States of America, then, thank you very much. 

'GO FIGURE' how that similar facts can have puzzling opposite conclusions. Here is a set of statements of fact - comparing situations that occurred within the past decade or so - and placing them in a somewhat clearer light. Let us see, once: Have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good...

Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good...

Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...

Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists - good...

Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good...

Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad...

Clinton commits felonies while in office - good...

Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad...

Clinton says mass graves in Serbia - good...

Entire world says WMD in Iraq - bad...

No mass graves found in Serbia - good...

Not many (12) WMD found in Iraq - bad...

Stock market goes into recession under Clinton - good...

Slow, Steady and Strong Recovery under Bush - bad...

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good...

Bush goes after Bin Laden - bad...

Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good...

Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad...

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good...

Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good...

Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad...

Milosevic not yet convicted - good...

Saddam in custody - bad...

Ah, such a puzzle!

[Hat Tip: Hi, Dad!]

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody." - Bob Dylan

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It 

If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It


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"War Against The Infidels - The message behind the beheadings" 

War Against the Infidels
The message behind the beheadings.
by Paul Marshall
Weekly Standard, 07/05/2004, Volume 009, Issue 41

'THE BEHEADING of American Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia was terrible enough in itself, but for me it struck strangely close to home.

'Johnson's full name was Paul Marshall Johnson. When he was kidnapped, some media outlets, and the terrorists, referred to him as "Paul Marshall (Johnson)," with the surname in parentheses. The first I knew of the abduction was a phone call to my office from a network evening news reporter who thought that, since I have written on the Saudis and terrorism and was planning to return to the Middle East, I must be the one who had been kidnapped.

'Then on Friday, June 18, al Qaeda announced Johnson's death with the words, "In answer to what we promised . . . to kill the hostage Paul Marshall (Johnson) . . . the infidel got his fair treatment," prompting more calls from friends and reporters.

'Happily, of course, I could reassure them. But the episode underlined the fact that all of us are potential targets - and not just as Americans. Certainly, al Qaeda wants to kill Americans and drive them from the Arabian Peninsula, not least to cripple Saudi oil production. But the extremists, who beheaded a South Korean last week, have many more enemies than this and much larger goals.

'The statement announcing Johnson's death referred to him as an "infidel" - in Arabic kufr, unbeliever - rather than as an American. This is entirely consistent with al Qaeda's religiously based worldview and its recent actions.

'A few weeks before Johnson's death, the man believed to be his murderer, al Qaeda operative Abdelaziz al-Muqrin (himself reportedly killed on June 18 by Saudi security forces), had claimed credit for the May 29 massacre of 22 people at Khobar, Saudi Arabia. His statement on that occasion vowed, "We renew our determination to repel the crusader forces and their arrogance, to liberate the land of Muslims, to apply sharia [Islamic law] and cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of infidels." The Khobar attacks, too, were directed at "infidels" in general rather than just Americans.

'But to understand indelibly who al Qaeda thinks its enemies are, it is advisable to read an even more chilling document. It is a long interview with another Saudi terrorist, one of al-Muqrin's followers, published on the al Qaeda-linked website Sawt Al-Jihad and translated from Arabic by the Middle East Media Research Institute. Although only brief excerpts can be given here, lengthy excerpts are available on MEMRI's website. The speaker, Fawwaz bin Muhammad Al-Nashami, commanded the Al-Quds [Jerusalem] Brigade, which took responsibility for the Khobar killings. In the interview he describes the murderous rampage (except where indicated, bracketed inserts are the translator's):

'"We tied the infidel [a Briton] by one leg [behind the car]. . . . Everyone watched the infidel being dragged. . . . The infidel's clothing was torn to shreds, and he was naked in the street. The street was full of people, as this was during work hours, and everyone watched the infidel being dragged, praise and gratitude be to Allah. . . .

'"We entered one of the companies' [offices], and found there an American infidel who looked like a director of one of the companies. I went into his office and called him. When he turned to me, I shot him in the head, and his head exploded. We entered another office and found one infidel from South Africa, and our brother Hussein slit his throat. We asked Allah to accept [these acts of devotion] from us, and from him. This was the South African infidel.

'"We went out from the company [offices] and found our brother, Nimr the hero, standing at the entrance to the company and guarding us, drinking a little water as though he were on a hike. [He acted this way] because of his great courage - may Allah have mercy on him. . . .

'"At the same time, we found a Swedish infidel. Brother Nimr cut off his head, and put it at the gate so that it would be seen by all those entering and exiting. We continued in the search for the infidels, and we slit the throats of those we found among them. . . .

'"We found Filipino Christians. We cut their throats and dedicated them to our brothers the Mujahideen in the Philippines. [Likewise], we found Hindu engineers and we cut their throats too, Allah be praised. That same day, we purged Muhammad's land of many Christians and polytheists. . . .

'"Afterwards, we turned to the hotel. We entered and found a restaurant, where we ate breakfast and rested a while. Then we went up to the next floor, found several Hindu dogs, and cut their throats. . . .

'"The Indian Muslims told us that their manager was a vile Hindu who did not permit them to pray, and that he would arrive shortly. When [the manager] arrived, we verified his religion by means of his identifying documents, and we kept him with us for a short time [before killing him - PM].

'". . . brother Hussein was on the stairs and noticed an Italian infidel. He aimed his gun at him and told him to come closer. The infidel came closer. We saw his identifying documents . . . afterwards we would cut his throat and dedicate him to the Italians who were fighting our brothers in Iraq and to the idiotic Italian president who wants to confront the lions of Islam."

'Consistently, these Wahhabis describe their enemies, whatever their country or race or politics, as "infidels" or "polytheists." They are particularly joyful at the killing of an Italian, a Briton, and, on June 22, the South Korean Kim Sun-il, whose countries are participants in the coalition in Iraq. But they also kill a Swede and a South African, whose countries took no part in the invasion, and their greatest frisson seems to come from killing Hindus, who, as purported polytheists, are even further down al Qaeda's religious scale than "people of the book" such as Christians and Jews.

'The pattern is consistent. It was discernible in the Riyadh massacres of November 8, 2003, when the target was Lebanese Christians. It's why, when BBC correspondent Frank Gardner lay bleeding in the street after being shot by terrorists in Riyadh earlier this month, he could buttress his claim for help by calling out in Arabic, "I'm a Muslim, help me, I'm a Muslim, help me."

'Americans, to be sure, are perceived to be the greatest power among the infidels. But at Khobar, after debating the matter, the terrorists spared one American because he was a Muslim, and even apologized to him for getting blood on his carpet. Meanwhile, they happily killed Filipino, Swedish, British, Italian, and South African Christians and Indian Hindus - just as their allies in Thailand are killing Buddhists like the 63-year-old rubber-tapper Sieng Patkaoe, beheaded in late May. Muslims who do not share the extremists' vision are not spared. Al Qaeda's Algerian ally, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, has for several years been beheading Muslims it regards as apostates. Meanwhile Sudan's National Islamic Front, formerly called the Muslim Brotherhood and, like Hamas, an offshoot of the Egyptian group of the same name, is attempting to starve to death hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Darfur who do not share its vision.

'These killings are not about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal or American actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, though those are grievances. They are not about Israel, though that is another grievance. In fact, most of the Islamist terrorists' victims worldwide are not Americans or even Westerners, but Asian and Middle Eastern Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. For the extremists, the justification for the slaughter is not current foreign policy but rather - as the religious exaltation, even ecstasy, in Al-Nashami's interview shows - an apocalyptic war to purge the world of all but their version of Islam.

'Spaniards will not be spared because Spanish troops are gone from Iraq. Europe cannot make its way into the terrorists' good graces by distancing itself from America, any more than the United States can mollify the Islamists by acting through the United Nations or wooing "world opinion." These are fantasies.

'Al Qaeda's enemy is anyone who opposes its program for the restoration of a unified Muslim ummah, ruled by a new Caliphate, governed by reactionary Islamic sharia law, and organized to wage jihad on the rest of the world. The lesson of Riyadh, Khobar, and Paul Marshall Johnson is that we can resist this program, in which case, tragically, we may well see more videos of beheadings. Or we can acquiesce to this program and see a great many more beheadings. These are the choices. We are in a war we must win. Everything else is wishful thinking'. [Emphasis mine - JP]

Paul Marshall is a senior fellow at Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom and the author of Islam at the Crossroads.

War Against the Infidels
The message behind the beheadings.
by Paul Marshall
Weekly Standard, 07/05/2004, Volume 009, Issue 41

© Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

[Hat Tip: "Gireesh Dixit"]

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it - Omar Khayyam

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. - Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

"This is what the Muslims did when they took over Spain, removed every sign of the cross,"... "I always say, Israel's safety belt is America's Bible Belt. As long as Americans respect the cross, Jews and other minorities are safe. In post-Christian Europe, anti-Semitism is rife." - Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of the National Jewish Christian Alliance Toward Tradition

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship." - Patrick Henry

"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." - James Madison, "The Father of Our Constitution", and the fourth President of the united States of America

"I have long believed that the guiding hand of Providence did not create this new nation of America for ourselves alone, but for a higher cause: the preservation and extension of the sacred fire of human liberty. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of these United States are covenants we have made not only with ourselves, but with all of mankind. Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, they are the universal right of all God's children." - Ronald Reagan (1991)

Of all nature's gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man
than his children? - Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator (106-43 BC)

Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even. - Horace, poet and satirist (65-8 BC)

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody." - Bob Dylan

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

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Monday, July 12, 2004

"Who Is Abu Zarqawi? - What we know about the terrorist leader who murdered Nicholas Berg" 

Who Is Abu Zarqawi?
What we know about the terrorist leader who murdered Nicholas Berg.
From the May 24, 2004 issue
by Robert S. Leiken & Steven Brooke
Weekly Standard, 05/24/2004, Volume 009, Issue 35

'WHO KILLED NICHOLAS BERG? His grief-stricken family blames the U.S. government for the appalling videotaped beheading of their son in Iraq. A more fitting object of outrage is the executioner. For the terrorist who claims credit for the killing of the Jewish-American civilian is no walk-on, no lackey or even lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. Instead, he is an independent operator with a long history in global jihad - sometimes coordinated with al Qaeda, sometimes not - who may be challenging bin Laden for the leadership of global Sunni terrorism.

'Abu Musab al Zarqawi is hot right now. He masterminded not only Berg's murder but also the Madrid carnage on March 11, the bombardment of Shia worshippers in Iraq the same month, and the April 24 suicide attack on the port of Basra. But he is far from a newcomer to slaughter. Well before 9/11, he had already concocted a plot to kill Israeli and American tourists in Jordan. His label is on terrorist groups and attacks on four continents.

'Zarqawi was first thrust into the global media spotlight in February 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when Secretary of State Colin Powell at the U.N. called him an "associate and collaborator" of bin Laden and part of a "sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network." Zarqawi, however, is not Osama's man, and still less was he Saddam's.

Zarqawi was born Ahmed al-Khalayleh to a Palestinian-Jordanian family in 1966 and grew up in a shabby two-story dwelling in a dusty mining town 17 miles north of Amman. The town was called Zarqa - hence the nom de guerre. But while we know the details of bin Laden's privileged youth, we know next to nothing about Zarqawi's impoverished early years. His parents are dead, and few near relatives have been uncovered by the press. His passport picture is on a U.S. poster offering a $10 million reward for him, but his height and weight are listed as "unknown." Nor do we know what he studied in school; only that he dropped out of high school and locals say he was "pious." Until recently, the mystery man rarely claimed credit for his terrorist exploits. U.S. intelligence once thought he'd been injured in the American assault on Afghanistan and had taken refuge in northern Iraq, later traveling to Saddam's Baghdad to have his leg amputated; now they're not so sure.

'We do know that like thousands of Muslim youths he rallied to the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan and gained renown as a fighter. Returning to Jordan after the Soviet withdrawal, he may have joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with al Qaeda in 1998. While in Jordan he also associated with Hizb ut Tahrir, an angry, anti-Semitic conclave devoted to the restoration of Islamic rule. Released in 1997 after five years in a Jordanian prison for plotting to replace the monarchy with an Islamic state, Zarqawi fled to Europe. He returned to Afghanistan in 2000 and built his own network of training camps near Herat, seizing control of the clandestine routes between Iran and Afghanistan.

'In his camps, Zarqawi dispensed his specialized knowledge of chemical weapons and poisons to loyal followers, who then dispersed to the Middle East and Europe. The week of April 19, Jordanian police broke up a Zarqawi-financed and orchestrated plot they estimate would have detonated 20 tons of chemicals and released a cloud of poisonous gas into central Amman. The blast could have killed some 80,000 civilians and destroyed the U.S. embassy and Jordanian intelligence headquarters. In a videotaped confession shown on Jordanian TV, the head of the cell admitted, "I took explosives courses, poisons high level, then I pledged allegiance to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, to obey him without any questioning."

'ABU ZARQAWI knows no limits and many continents. Investigating the Hamburg cell after September 11, German authorities came across another terrorist group called al-Tawhid (unity), made up mainly of Palestinian militants trained in Zarqawi's Afghan camps. Tawhid operatives told investigators they got their start in Europe selling stolen and forged documents to militants traveling between the Middle East and Western Europe.

'With the outbreak of war in Iraq, Tawhid converted its alien-smuggling and document-forgery ring into a two-way underground railroad between Western Europe and the Middle East. According to European press reports, networks in Spain, Italy, and Germany send recruits into Iraq via Syria. U.S. military officials in Iraq now blame the most heinous terrorist attacks on "the Zarqawi network." But Zarqawi's alien-smuggling system also dispatches Middle Eastern jihadis into Europe via Spain, Turkey, Italy, and Greece. In November 2003, Italian wiretaps recorded two Tawhid operatives speaking of "the jihad part" and its "battalion of 25-26 units" of suicide bombers.

'If Zarqawi's underground railroad demonstrates the terrorist uses of illegal immigration, the investigation into the Madrid bombings reveals new connections to Zarqawi every week. Zarqawi's lieutenant, a 36-year-old Moroccan named Amer el Azizi, planned the Madrid terror and is the living link between al Qaeda, the Zarqawi network, and the Moroccan immigrant cell that set the Madrid bombs. Azizi also organized and presided over the 2001 meeting in Spain where Mohammed Atta and al Qaeda leaders put the finishing touches on the September 11 plan.

'Azizi fled Spain in November 2001 as Spanish authorities dismantled the al Qaeda logistics cell. He jetted to Afghanistan via Iran, where Zarqawi's cross-border networks helped him elude the coalition. While falling in with Zarqawi, Azizi kept an eye on Spain and his Moroccan colleagues, who managed to set off bombs in Casablanca in May 2003. Shortly before the Madrid 3/11 train bombings, Azizi left Iran via Turkey and slipped into Spain to witness the carnage firsthand. He is still at large.

'PROBABLY THE MURKIEST and most intriguing feature of this man of many mysteries is the question of Zarqawi's relations with Osama bin Laden. Though he met with bin Laden in Afghanistan several times, the Jordanian never joined al Qaeda. Militants have explained that Tawhid was "especially for Jordanians who did not want to join al Qaeda." A confessed Tawhid member even told his interrogators that Zarqawi was "against al Qaeda." Shortly after 9/11, a fleeing Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the main plotters of the attacks, appealed to Tawhid operatives for a forged visa. He could not come up with ready cash. Told that he did not belong to Tawhid, he was sent packing and eventually into the arms of the Americans.

'Zarqawi and bin Laden also disagree over strategy. Zarqawi allegedly constructed his Tawhid network primarily to target Jews and Jordan. This choice reflected both Zarqawi's Palestinian heritage and his dissent from bin Laden's strategy of focusing on the "far enemy" - the United States. In an audiotape released after the recent foiled gas attack in Amman, an individual claiming to be Zarqawi argued that the Jordanian Intelligence Services building was indeed the target, although no chemical attack was planned. Rather, he stated menacingly, "God knows, if we did possess [a chemical bomb], we wouldn't hesitate one second to use it to hit Israeli cities such as Eilat and Tel Aviv."

'The Tawhid cell uncovered in Hamburg after 9/11 scouted Jewish targets, including businesses and synagogues. Zarqawi's operatives have been implicated in an attack on a Mombassa hotel frequented by Israeli tourists and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli jetliner. He is also suspected to have played a role in the Casablanca bombings of a Jewish community center and a Spanish social club. In February 2002, a Jordanian court sentenced him in absentia to 15 years' hard labor for his involvement in a failed plot to kill American and Israeli tourists at the turn of the millennium, a scheme coordinated with Abu Zubaydah, a top lieutenant of bin Laden. And another Jordanian court sentenced him, again in absentia, to death for the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley. Zarqawi is also the prime suspect in the August 2003 truck bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.

'Zarqawi has been associated with other groups besides Tawhid. Most notorious is Ansar al Islam, a largely Kurdish organization operating out of Northern Iraq, which U.S. officials have linked to al Qaeda. Before the war, Ansar al Islam ran chemical warfare camps in northern Iraq. Last year British counterterrorist investigators traced poisonous ricin found in Manchester to those camps. Zarqawi has been linked with two less-known al Qaeda splinter groups, Beyyiat el-Imam, implicated in attacks in Israel as well as the November 2003 attack on a synagogue in Turkey, and Jund al-Shams, a Syrian-Jordanian group blamed by Jordanian authorities for the assassination of Foley. Zarqawi has also been linked to Chechen jihadis, and Indian intelligence says he belongs to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a Pakistani Sunni group responsible for slaying hundreds of Shias in South Asia.

'The slaughter of Shias touches on another Zarqawi beef with bin Laden. While both men follow the strict code of Salafi Islam, which reckons Shias as apostates, bin Laden prides himself on being a unifying figure and has made tactical alliances with Shia groups, meeting several times with Shia militants. Zarqawi, by contrast, favors butchering Shias, calling them "the most evil of mankind . . . the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy, and the penetrating venom." American military officials hold Zarqawi responsible not only for assassinating Shia religious leaders in Iraq, but also for the multiple truck bombings of a Shia religious festival this past March, which killed 143 worshippers.

'But though bin Laden and Zarqawi differ on strategy, Zarqawi too cloaks his plans for mass murder in the language of the religious zealot. To Zarqawi, "religion is more precious than anything and has priority over lives, wealth, and children." He considers Iraq ideal for jihad especially because "it is a stone's throw from the lands of the two Holy Precincts [Saudi Arabia] and the al Aqsa [mosque, in Jerusalem]. We know from God's religion that the true, decisive battle between infidelity and Islam is in this land [Greater Syria and its surroundings]. . . ." On the tape of the beheading of Nick Berg, entitled "Sheikh Abu Musab Zarqawi executes an American with his own hands and promises Bush more," Zarqawi rages, "Where is the compassion, where is the anger for God's religion, and where is the protection for Muslims' pride in the crusaders' jails? . . . The pride of all Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and other jails is worth blood and souls."

'The CIA has verified that Zarqawi himself spoke on the tape and personally beheaded Berg. Similarly, the videotaped beheading of Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal in February 2002 was carried out directly by another jihadi leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The latter, like Zarqawi, never swore allegiance to bin Laden. In this bloodthirsty crowd, it appears that slitting the throat of an American Jew wins laurels.

'IN JANUARY 2004, Iraqi Kurds captured a message from Zarqawi in Iraq to bin Laden. Zarqawi offered bin Laden a chance to expand al Qaeda's role in Iraq. Victory, Zarqawi instructed, meant fomenting sectarian war between Shiites and Sunnis. There are no indications that bin Laden responded, and there are now signs of cooperation between some Iraqi Shia and Sunni militants. Are bin Laden and Zarqawi running competing terrorist organizations in Iraq?

'Zarqawi's letter is addressed to a colleague or even a potential competitor rather than to one he regards as his sheikh or emir. He offers darkly, "We do not see ourselves as fit to challenge you." Zarqawi gives bin Laden two choices: "If you agree with us . . . we will be your readied soldiers, working under your banner, complying with your orders, and indeed swearing fealty to you publicly and in the news media. . . . If things appear otherwise to you, we are brothers, and the disagreement will not spoil [our] friendship."

'Zarqawi exemplifies Sunni terrorism after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, what some call "al Qaeda 2.0." The Western counteroffensive decimated al Qaeda's leadership, stripped the organization of safe havens and training camps, and disrupted its command and control. Former al Qaeda subsidiaries became franchises, receiving inspiration from bin Laden's occasional messages but operating independently. Historically speaking, the dynamic of revolutionary movements favors the most radical faction - the Jacobins, not the Girondists, the Bolsheviks, not the Menshiviks. If this dynamic prevails in contemporary Sunni terrorism, Abu Musab al Zarqawi represents the future.'

Robert S. Leiken, author of Bearers of Global Jihad? Immigration and National Security after 9/11, is the director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center. Steven Brooke is a program assistant at the Nixon Center>/i>.

Who Is Abu Zarqawi?
What we know about the terrorist leader who murdered Nicholas Berg.
From the May 24, 2004 issue
by Robert S. Leiken & Steven Brooke
Weekly Standard, 05/24/2004, Volume 009, Issue 35

© Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody."
- Bob Dylan

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out.
- Leviticus 6.13

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Sunday, July 11, 2004

Care Packages for Coalition Troops - Audience: Everyone 

Confronted with the fact people we know and care about are 'in harm's way' in an official capacity - being in the armed forces, serving our country - me and you - And knowing there are things they are going without - for our sake - we can so easily supply - What can we do to help?

There are the valuabe services of soldiersangels.org to 'adopt' a Coalition Forces person and correspond, send 'care packages' to, and so on; and booksforsoldiers.com also helps to support Coalition Forces personally with reading material, and such, too.

But just how to go about it, especially when we do actually, personally know some of the folks in uniform - How do we best support these beloved friends and family members in practical terms?

The following segment from our friend Patrick Douglas Crispen in the so Providential 10 July issue of Tourbus 'just happens' to address this very question.

We are most thankful for this provision that we might the better see to the comfort and support of our forces at risk in our behalf.

'A fellow Tourbus rider stationed in Iraq sent me the following email earlier this week:

'"If you could pass on to your readers that if they know somebody over here, they would enjoy receiving a care package of treats or a letter. It is great receiving something in the mail from home and friends."

'The key words are "know somebody." Because of security concerns, the military mail service is no longer accepting packages addressed to "any soldier" or "any service member." Some well-intentioned people have tried to bypass this new restriction by sending large quantities of packages to a single, known service member, but the Defense Logistics Agency Defense Distribution Center cautions against doing this because it "clogs the mail system and causes unnecessary delays."

'So, how can you support our troops in Iraq and other countries without clogging up the military mail system? Simple! Find a service member in your community who recently deployed - chances are someone from your work, church, or school is currently stationed overseas - and then contact that service member's family to ask if there is anything you can do for them.

'For example, offer to buy the family some supplies to be included in their next care package. Newsweek ran an brief article earlier this week talking about some of the more popular items among the soldiers in Iraq:


'Most military families already know this next part, but before you ship ANYTHING to our troops make sure to double-check the US Postal Service's most recent list of restrictions on overseas military mail. You can find the list buried inside the latest Postal Bulletin at


'The Postal Bulletin is updated every three or four weeks. Just look for "Overseas Military Mail" in the Bulletin's index.

'What if you don't know a service member but still want to show your support? Not to worry. The US Department of Defense has a huge "Support Our Troops" page at


that has links to dozens of support agencies that sponsor programs for members of the armed forces overseas. Better still, check out the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's "Gifts from the Homefront" page at


'This page lets you purchase gift certificates that the troops can use in any military exchange retail store. You can send the gift certificates to someone you know or you can donate it to an organization like the American Red Cross or USO who will distribute your gift certificate to a random service member.

'I hope this helps.' Amen

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Friday, July 09, 2004

Totalitarian Political Ideology & Marxist Dialectical Materialism/Leninist Ideology & Propaganda 

More than just interesting, it is illustrative of the mind of the Adversary in the form of Totalitarian Political Ideology - be it Communism or Islam, both false religions; in that both are so verified as such in their mutual denial to one degree or another of The Creator Creature Distinction - and of their use of truth to advance lies per hidden agenda, i.e., propaganda - the lie being the hallmark of The Father of Lies, The Adversary, The Devil.

In that Liberalism is felt not thought, it is the plaything of the Progressive - the Ideologue - which ideologues, the Communists, are more plainly evident today lurking below the Platform of the Democratic Party, pulling the strings. "... they shall be known by their doings..."

Should one experience a moment of disorientation at the preceding, that is not too surprising, today, as such is understood as the product of the so far rather successful inroads against freedom already made. The reader, then is urged to haul out the ole' Google and have a look at, for example, Dialectical Materialism, Marxism, Leninism and Totalitarian Political Ideology. Only, best to don eye protection, first, for it shall be an eye opening experience, of that you may rest assured! Don't get any on ya!

Who can wake the one who is already awake but prefers to feign sleep? - MC Gupta

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. - Emo Phillips

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other." - Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004), 40th US President.

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. - Henry Ward Beecher

Since the masses are always eager to believe something, for their benefit nothing is so easy to arrange as facts. - Charles M. de Talleyrand French statesman, 1754-1838

Facts are many, but the truth is one. - Rabindranath Tagore Bengali poet, playwright, essayist...1913 Nobel Prize for Literature.1861-1941

Don't confuse facts with reality. - Robert D. Ballard

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth. - Maya Angelou African-American poet, b.1928

"I have long believed that the guiding hand of Providence did not create this new nation of America for ourselves alone, but for a higher cause: the preservation and extension of the sacred fire of human liberty. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of these United States are covenants we have made not only with ourselves, but with all of mankind. Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, they are the universal right of all God's children." - Ronald Reagan (1991)

"Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves." - Theodore Roosevelt

"We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp." - Calvin Coolidge

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. - Ayn Rand, The Nature of Government

"The Declaration of Independence...[is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." - Thomas Jefferson

Daniel Webster was right, 'God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.'

Please, Vote.

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody." - Bob Dylan

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

Just in case you wanted to know, this post is provoked by viewing this, which is a thing entirely different from our kind friend Jonathan, to whom this Hat Tip is due.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Things Might Still Be In The Green Were Clinton's "Is" That Usama Bin Laden "Is" 'To Be Terminated With Extreme Prejudice' 

Courtesy The Christian Science




The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden. An additional $2 million is being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.

With Appreciation: FBI

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Monday, July 05, 2004

America - One Nation Under God - With Liberty And Justice For All 

"I have long believed that the guiding hand of Providence did not create this new nation of America for ourselves alone, but for a higher cause: the preservation and extension of the sacred fire of human liberty. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of these United States are covenants we have made not only with ourselves, but with all of mankind. Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, they are the universal right of all God's children." - Ronald Reagan (1991)

"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." - James Madison, "The Father of Our Constitution", and the fourth President of the united States of America

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship." - Patrick Henry

Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. - Attributed to Chief Seattle 1854

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody." - Bob Dylan

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out. - Leviticus 6.13

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Ronald Reagan's Fourth of July - On the 30th & Last Day of Official Mourning His Passing 

Independence Day 2004

The Better Angels of Our Republic

Was the founding of our Republic providential? Or is America an accident, an aberration, a result of happenstance? Moreover, if our country was merely a happy chance, how can we explain our peculiar destiny, as well as the character and courage of those who founded our nation?

These questions aren't arid or stale. On the contrary, they challenge us now more than ever. Our nation is in the midst of campaigns against determined enemies - foreign and domestic - enemies bent upon the destruction of liberty and free enterprise, and the Judeo-Christian foundation of our great Republic. And whether our nation survives this deadly conflict depends in largest measure on how we answer.

But how to answer? The time warp of analysis may be misleading. Seen as the past, history retains a distinct certainty. Yet that air of inevitability, particularly during the events swirling around the first Independence Day of 1776, was nowhere present. Armed hostilities had commenced on April 19, 1775, at the battles of Lexington and Concord, and the colonials faced the full power of the British Empire in their quest for American independence. A year before taking that step, on July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, beseeching the British king for a peaceful resolution of the American colonies' grievances. A day later, that same Congress resolved the "Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms." King George III refused to read the peace petition and assembled his armies. On July 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee's proposal for a formal declaration passed, and the document that was ordered printed on July 4th ended, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." They knew the cause of liberty was risky. And, yet, our Founders had great confidence in the rightness of that cause.

Just this past month, we witnessed an extraordinary reassessment regarding Ronald Reagan's role in ending the Cold War. The collapse of the Communist empire has recently been portrayed as nearly inexorable, with the only real debate involving quibbles over how much, if any, Reagan and his resolute allies contributed to the fall of the Iron Curtain. But while Reagan was in office, most elite commentators viewed the Soviet Union as a permanent fixture of global politics.

President Reagan, however, believed differently. In 1977, he stated, "My theory of the Cold War is that we win and they lose." Although he was convinced Communism could be defeated, he knew victory was not sure. His confidence was based in "a reliance on the protection of divine Providence," and his faith in the American people.

And he'd been saying so for years. In 1964, he challenged, "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."

In 1974, he spoke of the effect of the culture of liberty in producing the kind of people capable of great deeds: "[I]t might be appropriate to reflect a bit on our heritage. You can call it mysticism if you want to, but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage. This was true of those who pioneered the great wilderness in the beginning of this country, as it is also true of those later immigrants who were willing to leave the land of their birth and come to a land where even the language was unknown to them. ...[O]ur heritage does set us apart."

He continued, "Somehow America has bred a kindliness into our people unmatched anywhere.... Where did we find such men? They are typical of this land as the Founding Fathers were typical. We found them in our streets, in the offices, the shops and the working places of our country and on the farms. We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. ... We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth."

Interestingly, Reagan often spoke of America as the "shining city upon a hill," invoking the words of John Winthrop, written in 1630 just as he was to first set foot on this continent's soil. The image dates to the colonial founding of America, a century and a half before the Revolutionary Founding. The beliefs and principles of those settlers of the New World imparted a distinct character to American liberty - as Reagan well knew. Indeed, Ronald Reagan stands with the Founders in a seamless line of liberty.

In his first inaugural address of 1981, President Reagan referred to a little-known Founder, saying, "On the eve of our struggle for independence, a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans...." The Warren quote, which Reagan then repeated in part, is from March 6, 1775, and reads in full: "Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."

As he was departing the office of the presidency in 1989, Reagan asked a question we will repeat: "How stands the city...?" On this, its 228th birthday, the shining city is again "in danger,
but not to be despaired of." Ironically, the gravest internal danger comes from our courts, which in the guise of protecting our Founding heritage have been gradually overturning it. (What else can be concluded, with this week's decision from the Supreme Court that foreign enemy combatants, lodged outside U.S. borders after taken into custody for warring to destroy our nation, have recourse to our civilian courts?)

Has God's hand truly been in the history of our blessed land? If so, we may expect His blessings in our current war so long as we follow the precepts for our conduct laid down by our Founders.

Let us act worthy of ourselves - and of our history.

"What July Fourth Means to Me" - Ronald Reagan

For one who was born and grew up in the small towns of the Midwest, there is a special kind of nostalgia about the Fourth of July.

I remember it as a day almost as long-anticipated as Christmas. This was helped along by the appearance in store windows of all kinds of fireworks and colorful posters advertising them with vivid pictures.

No later than the third of July - sometimes earlier - Dad would bring home what he felt he could afford to see go up in smoke and flame. We'd count and recount the number of firecrackers, display pieces and other things and go to bed determined to be up with the sun so as to offer the first, thunderous notice of the Fourth of July.

I'm afraid we didn't give too much thought to the meaning of the day. And, yes, there were tragic accidents to mar it, resulting from careless handling of the fireworks. I'm sure we're better off today with fireworks largely handled by professionals. Yet there was a thrill never to be forgotten in seeing a tin can blown 30 feet in the air by a giant "cracker" - giant meaning it was about 4 inches long. But enough of nostalgia.

Somewhere in our growing up we began to be aware of the meaning of days and with that awareness came the birth of patriotism. July Fourth is the birthday of our nation. I believed as a boy, and believe even more today, that it is the birthday of the greatest nation on earth.

There is a legend about the day of our nation's birth in the little hall in Philadelphia, a day on which debate had raged for hours. The men gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king who had flouted the very laws they were willing to obey. Even so, to sign the Declaration of Independence was such an irretrievable act that the walls resounded with the words "treason, the gallows, the headsman's axe," and the issue remained in doubt.

The legend says that at that point a man rose and spoke. He is described as not a young man, but one who had to summon all his energy for an impassioned plea. He cited the grievances that had brought them to this moment and finally, his voice falling, he said, "They may turn every tree into a gallows, every hole into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die. To the mechanic in the workshop, they will speak hope; to the slave in the mines, freedom. Sign that parchment. Sign if the next moment the noose is around your neck, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the Bible of the rights of man forever."

He fell back exhausted. The 56 delegates, swept up by his eloquence, rushed forward and signed that document destined to be as immortal as a work of man can be. When they turned to thank him for his timely oratory, he was not to be found, nor could any be found who knew who he was or how he had come in or gone out through the locked and guarded doors.

Well, that is the legend. But we do know for certain that 56 men, a little band so unique we have never seen their like since, had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Some gave their lives in the war that followed, most gave their fortunes, and all preserved their sacred honor.

What manner of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants and tradesmen, and nine were farmers. They were soft-spoken men of means and education; they were not an unwashed rabble. They had achieved security but valued freedom more. Their stories have not been told nearly enough.

John Hart was driven from the side of his desperately ill wife. For more than a year he lived in the forest and in caves before he returned to find his wife dead, his children vanished, his property destroyed. He died of exhaustion and a broken heart.

Carter Braxton of Virginia lost all his ships, sold his home to pay his debts, and died in rags. And so it was with Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Rutledge, Morris, Livingston and Middleton. Nelson personally urged Washington to fire on his home and destroy it when it became the headquarters for General Cornwallis. Nelson died bankrupt.

But they sired a nation that grew from sea to shining sea. Five million farms, quiet villages, cities that never sleep, three million square miles of forest, field, mountain and desert, 227 million people with a pedigree that includes the bloodlines of all the world. In recent years, however, I've come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation.

It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history.

Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government.

Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.

We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should.

Happy Fourth of July.

- Ronald Reagan, President of the United States (1981)

- Text made available by the Very Great Courtesy of The Federalist

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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Evidence of Choosing Up Sides Continues - India 

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do
are in harmony. - Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

Chauhan asked :
PS : Can anybody tell me the number of muslims killed in Gujrat .
There are two respectable Gujarati dailies, one is Gujarat Samachar, being
published simulteniously from Ahmedabad and Mumbai, owned and published by
Shreyans and Bahubali Shah.
The other is India's oldest surviving newspaper ( established 1822 ),
Mumbai Samachar, belonging to a Parsi group, Bombay Chronicle Press and
edited by Jehan Daruvala, being published from Mumbai.

Gujarat Samachar reported 156 Hindu deaths and 455 Muslim deaths.

The figures from Mumbai Samachar were 156 and 464 respectively.

These papers carried count on daily basis, giving full name, age, address
( where available ), cause of death whether stabbing, arson, private firing,
police firing etc. of the unfortunate victims.

It was very clear that all Hindu deaths were result of attacks from Mulsims
with knives, swords, daggers etc. and by bullet firing by Musalmans.,
whereas the Muslim deaths occured largely from arson by Hindu mobs and
firing by local policemen, the ratio in two cases being roughly 3 : 1

Now one may ask the oft raised question as to why the police was targetting
only the Muslim trouble makers ?
The fact is, the Hindu mobs, as they are, disperse from the scene the moment
they get an inkling of arrival of police. The acts of arson killings were
done at locations where police was nowhere in sight and thus Hindu
fatalities in police firings is usually negligible. Hindus are generally
unruly in the absence of vigilante, i.e. state police, BSF, home guards etc.
but not really much in their presence. You may regard them as nominally or
somewhat respectful to the law enforcing agencies or plain cowards or by
whatever adjective you choose.

But the case with Muslims is different. In such a volatile situation, far
from staying indoors, they boldly venture out in the open, as if their
virility was on trial. All the Quranic teachings ( hitherto latent ) such
as 'not to be afraid of anyone but one Allah, not to obey anyone's appeal
but to proceed with fight according to Allah's injunctions in Quran" etc.
surface. They never show respect to the loud speaker announcements of police
to stay indoors during curfew and hand over the prospective criminal
elements. Instead they resort to cries of Islam in danger, Allah O Akbar,
Pakistan Zindabad and what you have opening bullet firing on police from the
rooftops and secret locations.
Now you do not expect armed police to say prayers while they are being fired
upon by the miscreants.
It is my firm belief that if Muslims excercise some control of mind and stay
cool indoors in the troubled days, many casualties will be avoided.
After all, the city streets are not the best venue to exhibit physical

Regret belated posting,

Rohit Zaveri.

Birth of Pakistan

It is generally accepted that the call for the creation of a separate home
land for the Muslims of Indian sub-continent was heard first sometime in
1935 through the mouth piece of Muslim League.

But a careful study of the anti-national mindset of this volatile community
takes us a hundred years backwards in the country's history to reveal that
as early as 1867 a similar, in fact more stronger call was given by Maulvi
Mohammed Ali in the issue of Jama Tafseer of the same year.

Quote :

Let all know this. In a country where the ruling religion is other than
Muhammadanism, the religious precepts of Muhammad cannot be enforced. It is
incumbent on Mussalmans to join together and wage war upon the infidels.
Those who are unable to take part in the fight should emigrate to a country
of The True Faith......... Oh Brethren, we ought to weep over our state, for
the Messenger of God is angered with us because of our living in the land of
the infidel. When the Prophet of God himself is displeased with us, to whom
shall we look for shelter ?


Soon after this publication, Hunter, chief magistrate in Patna recorded his

" A network of conspiracy has spread itself over our Provinces, and that the
bleak mountains that rise beyond the Punjab are united by an unbroken chain
of treason-depots with the tropical swamps through which the Ganges merges
into the sea.
Jihad is a source of chronic danger to India. "
Rohit Zaveri.

Courtesy nukkad

We do think Groucho Marx said it best: "Those are my principles. If
you don't like them I have others."


popped in
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A Match Struck 

Strike a match wooden,
a straight tender sliver:
the victim sacrificial,
to kill, destroy;
grabbed, grasped and ground along.
Coarse scorching scraping,
dragging by the head,
gouting combustion glares.
Oh! Oh!
Engulfing, heartless ignition -
Violence - kindling sparkling incandescent
incinerating immolation.

Riant horrific,
the bright, slender slip dances,
contorts writhing, flaming akimbo.
Conflagration! in small.

And, giving all -
one small, hot blazing -
illumination so brief!
surrendered, subsides:
Slowly, softly succumbing,
swiftly a cinder becoming...

And, the deed done black,
tumbles discarded, crumbling char
to ash falling, no ember remaining.

© 2004 JP

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In War, Surrender and Retreat Are Links Forged, Foundations Laid and A Nation United in Freedom At So Great A Cost in Blood 



On July 3, 1863, the Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended after three days in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated... Of which much was reported in The New York Times the following day.

The Great Battles

Splendid Triumph of the Army of the Potomac

Rout of Lee's Forces on Friday
The Most Terrible Struggle of the War
Tremendous Artillery Duel
Repeated Charges of the Rebel Columns Upon Our Position
Every Charge Repulsed with Great Slaughter
The Death of Longstreet and Hill
Our Cavalry Active on the Enemy's Flank
The Rebel Retreat Cut Off
Chambersburgh in Our Possession
Advance of the Militia Under Gen. Smith to Important Positions
The Rebel Pontoon Bridge at Williamsport Destroyed
The Contents of the Captured Dispatches from Jeff. Davis to Lee
A Peremptory Order for the Rebel Army to Return to Virginia
Official Dispatches From Gen. Meade

Special to The New York Times

Washington, Saturday, July 4 - 10:10 A.M.

The following has just been received:

Headquarters Army of Potomac, Major-Gen. Halleck, General-in-Chief:

The enemy opened at 1 P.M. from about one hundred and fifty guns, concentrated upon my left centre, continuing without intermission for about three hours, at the expiration of which time, he assaulted my left centre twice, being upon both occasions, handsomely repulsed, with severe loss to him, leaving in our hands nearly three thousand prisoners.

Among the prisoners is Brig. Gen. Armstead and many Colonels and officers of lesser rank.

The enemy left many dead upon the field, and a large number of wounded in our hands.

The loss upon our side has been considerable. Maj.-Gen. Hancock and Brig.-Gen. Gibson were wounded.

After the repelling of the assaults, indications leading to the belief that the enemy might be withdrawing, a reconnaissance was pushed forward from the left and the enemy found to be in force.

At the present hour all is quiet.

My cavalry have been engaged all day on both flanks of the enemy, harassing and vigorously attacking him with great success, not withstanding they encountered superior numbers of both of cavalry and infantry.

The army is in fine spirits.

George G. Meade

Maj.-Gen. Commanding

Washington, Sunday, July 5 - 4 P. M.

The latest official dispatch received here, up to this hour, from Gen. Meade, is dated at Headquarters Army of Potomac, 7 A.M., July 4, which merely states that the enemy had withdrawn from his position, occupied for attack, on Friday. The information in the possession of Gen. Meade, at that hour, did not develop the character of the enemy's movement, whether it was a retreat or a maneuvre for other purposes.

Reliable information received here to-day asserts that Gen. Lee's Headquarters were at Cashtown yesterday afternoon, and further represents that the rebels were fortifying at Newman's Cut in the South Mountains, apparently to cover a retreat.

Later official dispatches are expected this evening.

Second Dispatch

Headquarters Army of Potomac

July 4 - Noon

Maj.-Gen. Halleck:

The position of affairs is not materially changed since my last dispatch of 7 A.M.

We now hold Gettysburgh.

The enemy has abandoned large numbers of his killed and wounded on the field.

I shall probably be able to give you a return of my captures and losses before night, and a return of the enemy's killed and wounded in our hands.

George G. Meade, Major-General

Third Dispatch

Headquarters Army Potomac, July 4 - 10 P. M.

To Maj.-Gen. Halleck:

No change of affairs since my dispatch of noon

Geo. G. Meade, Major-General

Fourth Dispatch

Washington, Monday, July 6 - 12:30 A. M.

The following is the latest official dispatch:

Headquarters Army of the Potomac

Sunday, July 5 - 8:30 A. M.

Major-Gen. Halleck: The enemy returned under cover of the night and the heavy rain, in the direction of Fairfield and Cashtown.

Our cavalry are in pursuit.

I cannot give you the details of our captures in prisoners, colors, and arms.

Upward of twenty battle-flags will be turned in from one corps.

My wounded and those of the enemy are in our hands.

GEO. G. Meade, Major-General

The President to the Country

Washington, D. C., July 4 - 10:30 A. M.

The President announces to the country that news from the Army of the Potomac, up to 10 P.M. of the 3d , is such as to cover that army with the highest honor; to promise a great success to the cause of the Union, and to claim the condolence of all for the many gallant fallen; and that for this, he especially desires that on this day He, whose will, not ours, should ever be done, be everywhere remembered and reverenced with profoundest gratitude.

(Signed) A. Lincoln

The Great Battle of Friday

Our Special Telegrams from the Battle-Field

Near Gettysburgh, Saturday, July 4

Another great battle was fought yesterday afternoon, resulting in a magnificent success to the National arms.

At 2 o'clock P. M., Longstreet's whole corps advanced from the rebel centre against our centre. The enemy's forces were hurled upon our position by columns in mass, and also in lines of battle. Our centre was held by Gen. Hancock, with the noble old Second army corps, sided by Gen. Doubleday's division of the First corps.

The rebels first opened a terrific artillery bombardment to demoralize our men, and then moved their forces with great impetuosity upon our position. Hancock received the attack with great firmness, and after a furious battle, lasting until 5 o'clock, the enemy were driven from the field, Longstreet's corps being almost annihilated.

The battle was a most magnificent spectacle. It was fought on an open plain, just south of Gettysburgh, with not a tree to interrupt the view. The courage of our men was perfectly sublime.

At 5 P.M. what was left of the enemy retreated in utter confusion, leaving dozens of flags, and Gen. Hancock estimated at least five thousand killed and wounded in the field.

The battle was fought by Gen. Hancock with splendid valor. He won imperishable honor, and Gen. Meade thanked him in the name of the army and the country. He was wounded in the thigh, but remained on the field.

The number of prisoners taken is estimated at 3,000, including at least two Brigadier-Generals - Olmstead, of Georgia, and anothe - both wounded.

The conduct of our veterans was perfectly magnificent. More than twenty battle flags were taken by our troops. Nearly every regiment has one. The Nineteenth Massachusetts captured four. The repulse was so disastrous to the enemy, that Longstreet's corps is perfectly used up. Gen. Gibson was wounded in the shoulder. Gen. Webb was wounded and remained on the field. Col. Hammell, of the Sixty-sixth New-York, was wounded in the arm.

At 7 o'clock last evening, Gen. Meade ordered the Third corps, supported by the Sixth, to attack the enemy's right, which was done, and the battle lasted until dark, when a good deal of ground had been gained.

During the day Ewell's corps kept up a desultory attack upon Slocum on the right, but was repulsed.

Our cavalry is to-day playing savagely upon the enemy's flank and rear.

L. L. Crounse

From Another Correspondent

Gettysburgh, Friday, July 3

The experience of all the tried and veteran officers of the Army of the Potomac tells of no such desperate conflict as has been in progress during this day. The cannonading of Chancelorsville, Malvern and Manassas were pastimes compared with this. At the headquarters, where I write, sixteen of the horses of Gen. Meade's staff officers were killed by shell. The house was completely riddled. The Chief of Staff, Gen. Butterfield, was knocked down by a fragment of case-shot. Col. Dickinson, Assistant Adjutant General, had the bone of his wrist pierced through by a piece of shell. Lieut. Oliver, of Gen. Butterfield's Staff, was struck in the head; and Capt. Carpenter, of Gen. Meade's escort, was wounded in the eye.

While I write the ground about me is covered thick with rebel dead, mingled with our own. Thousands of prisoners have been sent to the rear, and yet the conflict still continues.

The losses on both sides are heavy. Among our wounded officers are Hancock, Gibbon and a great many others whose names I feel restrained from publishing without being assured that they are positively in the list of casualties.

It is near sunset. Our troops hold the field, with many rebel prisoners in their hands. The enemy has been magnificently repulsed for three days - repulsed on all sides - most magnificently to-day. Every effort made by him since Wednesday morning to penetrate Meade's lines has been foiled. The final results of the action, I hope to be able to give you at a later hour this evening.

S. Wilkson

Dispatch to the Associated Press

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Friday, July 3 - 6 A. M.

The enemy's guns opened on our left wing at daylight, apparently to feel our position. They found us "at home," and soon suspended operations. They also endeavored to push forward their front on our right; steadily drove them back for half an hour, when the enemy were reinforced, and a portion of the Sixth corps was sent to its support.

Failing in this, the enemy opened a heavy cannonade all along the line. The attack on the right is believed to have been a feint to cover a more formidable flank movement on the left. The cannonading is now heavy in that direction, and appears to be extending.

The Third Corps suffered greatly yesterday. The number of wounded is heavy, with a large number of officers. No estimate can be formed of the killed at this writing.

Heavy musketry has opened now on our right again and cannonading on our left is slackening. The enemy are fighting with the greatest desperation. Nothing can surpass the vigor and precision of our artillery.

Yesterday, the rebels took two of our guns, for want of horses and infantry support, but the division (Humphrey's, I think) rallied and recaptured them. We took one from the enemy.

Comparatively few prisoners have been taken on either side up to this hour.

Ten o'clock A. M. - The cannonading has slackened. Rebel prisoners say when their infantry charged our left-wing batteries yesterday, the massacre was beyond parallel. Some of the guns were masked, and did not open until the enemy were within canister range.

%%%%%<^><^><^> <^><^> %%%

July 3, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR FRED ANDERSON WRITES, What Would George Celebrate? from Boulder, Colorado

Because the Fourth of July commemorates the birth of our Republic, we might easily imagine that the holiday had a central importance in the lives of the men who made the Revolution. For many, it did. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, mortally ill, clung to life until July 4, 1826, in order to see the 50th anniversary of independence. Jefferson's last words bespoke his determination: "Is it the Fourth?"

An intense focus on "the Glorious Fourth" characterized the 1820's, when the passing of the revolutionary generation gave Independence Day the kind of emotional resonance we have lately seen in World War II commemorations. Yet for George Washington, at least, the Fourth of July seems never to have been as significant a date as the third.

Indeed, in a letter Washington wrote on July 20, 1776, as he awaited the British invasion of New York, he made no mention of the independence proclaimed two weeks earlier, but noted only his "grateful remembrance" of "escape" at the battle of Fort Necessity on July 3, 1754. That defeat, in which a French and Indian force wiped out a third of Washington's Virginia Regiment, helped precipitate the 18th century's greatest conflict, the Seven Years' War.

Because France and Britain and their allies fought in North America, the West Indies, Europe, Africa, India and the Philippines, some have called it the first world war. Today Americans barely remember it, and know it (if they speak of it at all) only as the French and Indian War.

In fact this great war was a watershed in North American history. It began when Washington, acting in the name of King George II (and also on behalf of the land-speculating gentry of Virginia), tried to exert military control over the forks of the Ohio River, where Pittsburgh now stands. Because the river represented the main avenue to the heart of the continent, the empire that controlled the forks would in all likelihood determine North America's future.

The French, whose fragmented settlements stretched from the St. Lawrence River to the Mississippi River, understood this only too well. They also understood wilderness warfare much better than Colonel Washington, and had little trouble trapping him and his men in Fort Necessity, a pathetic stockade near what is now Farmington, Pa. At the end of a murderous day, Washington had no choice but to accept the terms of surrender that the enemy commander dictated in the rain-drenched dusk of July 3, 1754.

Over the next three years, the French and their Indian allies continued to advance. They made big gains along Anglo-American frontiers — from the Carolinas to Maine — driving settlers back to within 100 miles of the Atlantic.

In 1758, however, the tide began to turn in Britain's favor. The shift did not come without sacrifice: it came only after the heroic mobilization of colonial populations, huge commitments of British military resources, phenomenal amounts of British money spent to subsidize the colonies and determined diplomatic efforts to woo the Indians away from their French allies.

But the efforts paid off. Quebec fell in 1759; the following year, Montreal, France's last bastion in North America, surrendered. Fighting continued for two more years in the Caribbean, Europe and the Philippines, producing further triumphs and further expenses. The Treaty of Paris, signed in early 1763, ended France's empire in North America. Britain emerged as master of everything from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

It took the British a little more than a decade to squander the victory they had won, alienating colonists to such a degree that thousands of them took up arms against the king's troops in 1775, with George Washington, once a loyal soldier of empire, at their head. The Americans' complaints, as everyone knows, centered on Parliament's attempts to tax them, as it tried to impose order and fiscal stability on a vastly extended, virtually bankrupt empire. Yet we cannot fully grasp the colonists' willingness to resort to violence in defense of their rights without seeing the Revolution, as they did, in light of the recent imperial war.

The French and Indian War had convinced the colonists that they had achieved full partnership in a British empire that stood for liberty and individual rights — especially property rights — under the rule of law. When Parliament tried to impose order on the colonists between 1763 and 1775, however, it treated them not as partners but as mere subjects.

The colonists' sense of betrayal was palpable not because they understood themselves as Americans at the time, but because they saw themselves as British patriots who had shed their blood to preserve the rights that Parliament now seemed determined to destroy. When Britain responded to their protests with force, it seemed only to make manifest a tyrannical intention to destroy their liberty and expropriate their property.

The 250th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Necessity reminds us that imperial victories can endanger the victor as much as the vanquished. Success in the Seven Years' War convinced Britain's leaders that their nation possessed the world's greatest military power. From that accurate perception, they drew the fatal inference that they had nothing to lose by using force against colonists whose genuine affection for British institutions, rights and liberties had hitherto constituted the empire's strongest bond.

In this light, the Revolution can be seen as an unintended and perhaps paradoxical consequence of imperial victory: an empire shattered when leaders, backed by tremendous military might, failed to understand that their only enduring basis of control lay in the consent of the governed.

Fred Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, is the co-author of the forthcoming "Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


In America, elections are won by making deals and putting together alliances of voters.  To put together enough to win a presidential election takes a lot of compromises. It works pretty good.  So far, we have had only one [un]civil war. It's messy being an American.  We have to win the majority to an opinion before we can get action.  A dictatorship takes less effort, but then you have to have a dedicated army, and that can get even messier.  Not many Americans are willing to kill their fellow citizens to advance a political agenda. Considering the history of the world, I think I am glad for that. - CW Powell

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Open Letter to Al-Qa'ida 

From a Marine officer on the Iraqi front in the war with Jihadistan...

(This is an open letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, "Islamic Response," and the rest of the so-called al-Qa'ida "insurgents" in Iraq and elsewhere. We don't have an e-mail address for these swine - though we are closing in on their snail-mail address, but we are forwarding this letter to Federalist Patriots around the world in the hope you good people will forward it to as many other Patriots as possible to rally prayer and support for our fellow Marine, Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun. Should these al-Qa'ida pigs spill his blood, we want them to rest assured that the contents of this letter will eventually be nailed to their foreheads. Thank you for your assistance.)

To al-Qa'ida terrorists in Iraq:

I see that you have captured a U.S. Marine, and that you plan to cut off his head if your demands are not met. Big mistake. Before you carry out your threat I suggest you read up on Marine Corps history. The Japanese tried the same thing on Makin Island and in a few other places during World War Two, and came to regret it. Go ahead and read about what then happened to the mighty Imperial Army on Tarawa, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They paid full price for what they did, and you will too.

You look at America and you see a soft target, and to a large extent you are right. Our country is filled with a lot of spoiled children who drive BMWs, sip decaf lattes and watch ridiculous reality TV shows. They are for the most part decent, hard working citizens, but they are soft. When you cut off Nick Berg's head those people gasped, and you got the media coverage you sought, and then those people went back to their lives. This time it is different. We also have a warrior culture in this country, and they are called Marines. It is a brotherhood forged in the fire of many wars, and the bond between us is stronger than blood. While it is true that this country has produced nitwits like John Kerry, Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Jane Fonda who can be easily manipulated by your gruesome tactics, we have also produced men like Jason Dunham, Brian Chontosh and Joseph Perez. If you don't recognize those names you should. They are all Marines who distinguished themselves fighting to liberate Iraq, and there will be many more just like them coming for you.

Before the current politically correct climate enveloped our culture one of the recruiting slogans of our band of brothers was "The Marine Corps Builds Men." You will soon find out just how true that is. You, on the other hand, are nothing but a bunch of women. If you were men you would show your faces, and take us on in a fair fight. Instead, you are cowards who hide behind masks and decapitate helpless victims. If you truly represented the interest of the Iraqi people you would not be ambushing those who come to your country to repair your power plants, or sabotage the oil pipelines which fuel the Iraqi economy. Your agenda is hate, plain and simple.

When you raise that sword over your head I want you to remember one thing. Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is not alone as he kneels before you. Every Marine who has ever worn the uniform is there with him, and when you strike him you are striking all of us. If you think the Marines were tough on you when they were cleaning out Fallujah a few weeks ago you haven't seen anything yet. If you want to know what it feels like to have the Wrath of God called down upon you then go ahead and do it. We are not Turkish truck drivers, or Pakistani laborers, or independent contractors hoping to find work in your country. We are the United States Marines, and we will be coming for you.

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" - Samuel Adams

Well said. And Semper Fi, Cpl. Hassoun.
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