Monthly Archives: December 2007

Hill Country Open Trackbacks

Visiting the hill country of west Titan with the family. It looks remarkably like the hill country of central Texas if you are familiar with that area.

Have at it. Link your excellent posts!

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Wii wants to play Open Trackbacks

Wii Ruuls!

Light blogging ahead. Ii bet you could sii that coming a miile awaay. Ii wiil bii baack laatiir.

The linkfest isn’t working so I’m closing comments on this.

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The Assassins Got Benazir Bhutto

The modern-day Assassins led by their vanguard in al-Qaeda managed to murder Benazir Bhutto and roughly 20 bystanders in Rawalpindi. The Canadian Press reports:

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, about 18 kilometres south of Islamabad, the capital. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Bob Krumm states this is the biggest news story of 2007, and claims that this could be as big a deal as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. That would imply it would start a war as big as World War I. I don’t think it will cause that big a reaction because it will not offend Muslims the same way that any offense committed by Americans would, but would put it second, after Petraeus’ success in Iraq with the surge.

From the first day she came back to Pakistan, the Jihadists were out to kill her and she seemed to be seeking martyrdom. In that first day back she held an enormous, well publicized, rally down the middle of a main road. A Jihadist carried an infant to her, wrapped in explosives, for her to kiss. But luckily for Bhutto, she had retired beneath the top of her transport and was uninjured by the explosion that killed 140 people, including the infant bomb. Yesterday the police stopped a 15-year old suicide bomber with a bomb full of nails. She has been going out into crowds too frequently. She went to Rawalpindi, where her father was hanged to death by General Zia ul Haq, who overthrew him in a military coup.

Mark Steyn writes:

Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan had a mad recklessness about it which give today’s events a horrible inevitability. As I always say when I’m asked about her, she was my next-door neighbor for a while – which affects a kind of intimacy, though in fact I knew her only for sidewalk pleasantries. She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be – though in practice, as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world’s most corrupt political classes.Since her last spell in power, Pakistan has changed, profoundly. Its sovereignty is meaningless in increasingly significant chunks of its territory, and, within the portions Musharraf is just about holding together, to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation. […]

As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions. Rest in peace, Benazir.

The best thing that might come out of this martyrdom is that al-Qaeda’s allies in Pakistani military and intelligence services finally awaken to the reality that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have overstepped, that they are not allies by any stretch of the imagination, and that Pakistan finally acts decisively to destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban branch and root.

The second best thing that might come out of it is that NATO, the UN, the EU, and the US will finally stop fooling themselves about whether the Taliban is a reliable partner in negotiations. It is not. It never will be. Hopefully, this tragedy will open some eyes.

Who has roundups? Jules Crittendon. Pajamas. Instapundit.

More on Pakistan.

Trackposted to Is It Just Me?, third world county, Right Truth, DragonLady’s World, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, Cao’s Blog, Chuck Adkins, Adeline and Hazel, and Stageleft, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Afghanistan expels footloose UN and EU staffers for visiting with the Taliban

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has asked a staffer from the UN and one from the EU to leave the country. If the pair hadn’t had diplomatic immunity they would have been arrested. One of the pair is a Briton from Northern Ireland, and the other is from Ireland. Which one is from which NGO is not yet known. It also seems likely they have connections to British Intelligence. Apparently the two were wondering around in Helmand province talking to Taliban elements and otherwise threatening the national security of Afghanistan. UN spokesman Aleem Siddique claims this is a “storm in a teacup.” Judging by an article Siddique wrote for Australian ABC last week, the UN was “reaching out to groups hitherto involved in the insurgency,” presumably without Afghan government approval. The beeb ties these talks to drug eradication efforts in Helmand. The Telegraph confirms the report and adds that British Intelligence (MI6) has been holding secret talks with the Taliban, contrary to explicit denials from new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Note that Siddique has a semi-famous, 5-star quality quote at ThinkExist.com.

We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice swiftly.

So he’s the guy who said that! I would have thought that was a line from Casablanca. </sarcasm>

Across the line in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto has been busy identifying the elephant in the room.

Speaking to about 25,000 supporters near her ancestral home in the southern town of Larkana, she also renewed accusations the government had done nothing to stop militant violence.

“They always try to stop democratic forces but don’t make any effort to check extremists, terrorists and fanatics,” she told a rally at a cricket stadium, two days after a suicide bomber killed nearly 50 worshippers in a mosque.

Bhutto said President Pervez Musharraf had spoken of the need to reform religious schools, or madrasas, but had done nothing. She said she respected genuine religious schools. […]

“Then there are the political madrasas, the political madrasas that teach their pupils how to make bombs, how to use rifles and how to kill women, children and the elderly.”

God bless her and keep her alive long enough to make a difference. Also, God please help guide her towards true morality so she does not once again rob her country blind if she gains office.

A dozen Jihadists belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen surrendered in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the sort of thing that the political attempts to speak to the Taliban in Afghanistan are trying to create: Cracks in the alliances between the Taliban, various Jihad organizations, and al Qaeda. The problem is that al-Qaeda is a revolutionary vanguard that spins off cells and subsidiary organizations like a semi-truck tire throws off pebbles. A different name is no guarantee of any meaningful difference in goals, methods, or morals.

But it is, like the 40% drop in cross-border attackers from Pakistan into Afghanistan, an indication of progress.

On the other hand, Afghan intelligence agents near the Pakistani border arrested a 50 year old foreign woman who was transporting a bomb-vest in her burka to be detonated by someone else. In this case foreign means Pakistani.

Recently some bomb-makers in Afghanistan have begun to defile corpses by placing bombs in them.

The British Army Field Hospital at Camp Bastion is doing impressive work, though the treatment of the Taliban is a step too far.

2500 tons of Afghan opiates (mostly heroin) are getting into Iran every year, 25% of which stay in Iran. The rest is going through Iran in the direction of Europe.

The India Times reports that al-Qaeda poses a threat to Musharraf’s life. Duh!

Trackposted to Is It Just Me?, Right Truth, The Uncooperative Blogger, The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog, and Chuck Adkins, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Pakistan accepts counter-terror aid from USA, spends on Jihad against India

Animesh Roul refers to a NYT report on the Counterterrorism Blog:

Today’s New York Times has a story which paints alarming picture about Pakistan’s intention and puts question marks against it’s role in the US led War on Terror campaign. According to the report, US aid worth billions of dollars, given to Islamabad administration towards counter terror efforts have been ‘wasted and much of it was diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to counter India rather than fight al-Qaeda/Taliban

The heart of the problem (and I am being charitable this Christmas season by not mentioning mendacity as part of the problem) is the different understanding of what terror means. Americans think that terrorism is any act of illegal warfare directed primarily at civilians that is committed by non-uniformed irregular fighters. There are other accepted meanings of terror, such as the state-sanctioned terror committed by totalitarian governments from Jacobin France to the Soviet Union to Cambodia, the terror caused by strategic bombing, and the balance of nuclear terror that was part of the Cold War. The Muslims of Pakistan do not agree with these meanings. They think that warfare directed at civilians by non-uniformed irregular fighters is just fine, as long as it is part of a Jihad for Allah.

So the USA gives money to Pakistan for anti-terror purposes and it is used to commit terrorist acts.

OK Mushy, time to give that money back. You can’t keep it if you are going to use it to kill your neighbors instead of chasing after your terrorist population up in the mountains of Bajaur and Waziristan.

Abortion is killing one out of three black children in the womb

People believe some pretty strange things based on their prejudices. A commenter claimed that most abortions are done by white teenagers whose parents pay for it (spoiled white anglos was his term). This prompted me to analyze the numbers myself.

I found useful sources for some of this data at Kaiser Family’s statehealthfacts.org. Note their statistics are weird because they are based on statistics reported by the states. California does not report on the number of abortions performed, though it had been responsible for 23% of the abortions performed in the USA before 1998, when it stopped reporting. Yet if it were to be added back in, California alone would increase the number of abortions performed by 23%, or almost 200,000. One wonders what caused famously Democrat-dominated California to stop reporting the number of abortions performed there.

Update: Correction, adding California back in would increase the number of abortions by about 30%, or 250,000.

Agewise, 17% of all abortions involve a mother up to the age of 19. 56% involve a mother between the ages of 20 and 29, and 23% are between 30 and 39. Racewise, 53% of abortive mothers are white, 35% are black, and 13% are other or unknown. Taking 53% of 17% shows that roughly 9% of abortive mothers are white teens. 9% is not a majority.

Let’s look at this further. According to the US census data, 13% of Americans are black. If 35% of abortions are on behalf of 13% of the populace then abortions are disproprionately affecting that 13%. Let’s see how it works by analyzing abortions as a percentage of live births by race. In 2004, 4.112 Million children were born. 2.296 Million were white. .578 Million were black. Also in 2004, .839 Million children were aborted, 53% by white mothers, 35% by black mothers.

Working out the numbers, the proportion of abortions compared to live births overall is 20.4%. Of white mothers, it is 19.37%. Of black mothers, it is 50.8%. Half as many viable black children are killed before they can be born as get the chance to live. This calculation does not include miscarriages, which are fairly common. But the result falling out of Kaiser’s data, reported from the states, is that one out of three viable pregnancies among black women ends in abortion and one out of six viable pregnancies among white women ends the same way.

In the US, 69% of all abortions are performed at 441 abortion clinics. 89 out of 320 metropolitan areas and 86% of all counties (the rural ones) in the USA have no abortion providers, leaving about 230 metropolitan areas with at least one abortion clinic each. Who lives there? The women who live nearby, those are the women who are being encouraged, far out of proportion, to abort their children instead of giving birth to them. Reminder, only 17% of these women are teens. The vast majority of these women are grown women.

Note that the CDC’s calculations are similar to mine, though its analysis was done for 2000.

In the 41 areas for which race was adequately reported, approximately 55% of women who obtained legal induced abortions were known to be white, 35% were black, and 7% were of other races; for 3% of the women, race was unknown. (Table 9). The abortion ratio for black women (503 per 1,000 live births) was 3.0 times the ratio for white women (167 per 1,000 live births). Additionally, the abortion ratio for women of other races (329 per 1,000 live births) was 2.0 times the ratio for white women. The abortion rate for black women (30 per 1,000 women) was 3.1 times the rate for white women (10 per 1,000 women), whereas the abortion rate for women of other races (22 per 1,000 women) was 2.2 times the rate for white women.

The question that comes to my mind is how is this not a massive, publicly financed program of defacto extermination aimed at black and minority children?

Who is responsible for killing black children like this? They are NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the Democratic party, who have supported the progressive principle of eugenics by encouraging the abortion of black babies ever since the time of Margaret Sanger.

Even leftist-feminist Julianne Malveaux admits that Margaret Sanger, founder of the organization that became Planned Parenthood, was at best a eugenicist and at worst a racist who favored a reduction in the black birth rate.

In a 1921 article in the Birth Control Review, Sanger wrote, “The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” Reviewers of one of her 1919 articles interpreted her objectives as “More children from the fit, less from the unfit.” Again, the question of who decides fitness is important, and it was an issue that Sanger only partly addressed. “The undeniably feebleminded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind,” she wrote.

Sanger advocated the mandatory sterilization of the “insane and feebleminded.” Although this does not diminish her legacy as the key force in the birth control movement, it raises questions much like those now being raised about our nation’s slaveholding founders. How do we judge historical figures? How are their contributions placed in context?

It is easy to see why there is some antipathy toward Sanger among people of color, considering that, given our nation’s history, we are the people most frequently described as “unfit” and “feebleminded.”

A pretty good student paper here covers much of the same ground.

Summing up, 1 out of 3 black babies are aborted before being born. This has been going on since 1972, for a total death toll of 14 Million black babies. If only the same proportion of black babies had been aborted as all babies, there would be 8.4 Million more black people in the US, for an increase of 23% in the number of black people in the US. If a racist who hated black people wanted to kill as many off as possible, then he or she could do no better than voting Democrat. Legal abortion has killed just about one out of five black Americans before they even got the chance to live their lives. Not even the KKK ever approached numbers of that magnitude.

Related: Abortion is Killing the Child in the Womb

Trackposted to The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, Faultline USA, Chuck Adkins, The World According to Carl, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Farah: The Taliban and the Drug Trade

Douglas Farah writes:

Well, for those who have argued there is no smoking gun linking the Taliban to opium production, the jig is now up. NATO forces discovered 11 tons of processed opium in a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan, meaning the opium was at the stage where it can be converted to heroin on about a one-to-one ratio. In other words, it was almost 11 tons of heroin.

Farah disposes of the objection that the Taliban punish drug use severely, so they could never stoop to the profitable trade in illegal drugs.

There has been a long-held predisposition in the intelligence community to believe that because Islam severely frowns on the use of drugs (particularly the kind of Islam espoused by the Taliban), the group did not really participate in the drug trade. If they execute people for drug possession, then how could they justify trafficking in the product?

Well, the answer lies in creative theology. There have been several fatwas issued by Taliban theologians since 2001 allowing a Muslim to engage in activities that are harmful to the enemy (that would be us), even if they are actions that a Muslim normally could not take.

Previous:

1. Problems with Afghan heroin
2. Helmand Means Heroin: Al Qaeda’s Heroin Smuggling Operation from Afghanistan

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Hillary, Bonhoeffer, and Lies

In his seminal work on Ethics the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that “it is worse for a liar to tell the truth than for a lover of truth to tell a lie.”

Read it all.

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Problems with Afghan heroin

Way back in May, I wrote about the bumper crop of Heroin that was going to be coming out of Helmand province in Afghanistan, and what to do about it.

It’s better to pay the farmers for 610 metric tons of opium than to have it all flooding the EU and US streets in the form of cheap heroin, with the revenues paying for weapons and salaries for Al Qaeda. There are contractual and social solutions for the problems noted in Transform, and it would help to decouple the ordinary people in Helmand from Al Qaeda and associated criminal gangs.

Today the CFR interviews Romesh Bhattacharji who provides valuable data in support of this idea.

India is one of only a dozen countries allowed to grow opium poppies to export for the manufacture of legal drugs such as morphine. Romesh Bhattacharji, former narcotics commissioner for India, says he thinks India’s system of legalized opium growing can work in Afghanistan. Bhattacharji says India’s success with poppy growing (PDF) though an international licensing program for medicine production is largely due to a village control system, where if one farmer sells their crop illegally the entire area loses its license. He urges the adoption of this method in Afghanistan, where he says eradication efforts are ineffective and swaying support for the Taliban.

It took long enough for the lefties in the CFR to wise up to this idea!

Musa Qala, recently retaken from the Taliban in a battle that killed hundreds of Taliban fighters, was home to dozens of heroin processing labs that paid protection money to the Taliban and most likely sold the heroin to Taliban approved smugglers for transport over the mountains to someplace where it could be shipped to Europe and the US. The resurgence of Afghan Heroin has provided funds that enable the Taliban and Al Qaeda to return to action in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But the fighters did collect “taxes” from businesses, farmers and others, money used to help fund the insurgency that raged across the northern part of Helmand province in 2007, a year of record violence in Afghanistan.

Fariq Khan, a Musa Qala resident in his early 30s who owns a telephone shop, said the Taliban would take about $8 from each family every month during a collection at the mosque. Though small, the amount is significant; teachers in Afghanistan are paid only $50 a month.

Trucks passing through paid $50 and poppy farmers had to turn over 10 percent of their profits, Khan said, speaking to The Associated Press in Kandahar.

Musa Qala was the site of 50 to 70 heroin labs used to process the opium poppies.

Musa Qala is iconic for the battle in Helmand province. But every little village and town around it is in the same situation. It is smack in the middle of the Afghan poppy belt, and those opium poppies grow everywhere. Every village has more than its share of heroin labs. Every lab and farmer pays protection money to the Taliban and the Taliban smuggles the heroin out of Helmand using the same smuggling lines they use to smuggle themselves and their weapons across the border with the ungoverned parts of Pakistan.

How bad is the heroin problem exactly?

Afghanistan this year produced 93 percent of the world’s opium, the main ingredient in heroin. Helmand produced more than 50 percent of the country’s opium. More than 80 percent of the province’s farmers are involved in the opium trade.

Afghan Heroin is not just a problem for the US and Europe, but also for Afghanistan.

“I have been addicted to heroin for five years now,” said Faqirullah, sleepy and half-stoned in a bombed-out building in Kabul just a short walk from the national parliament.

Today Online has more to report from a story that appears to be written by Sardar Ahmad for AFP. Snippets follow.

Nearly a million Afghans, about four percent of the population, use drugs, according to the last UN survey in 2005.
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The figure is no doubt higher now, says counternarcotics ministry spokesman Sayed Amanullah Abdali, flicked upwards by the return every year of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Iran and Pakistan, where many first take drugs.

Another snippet.

Afghanistan is estimated this year to have produced 93 percent of the world’s illegal opium — about 8,200 tons, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
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Until a few years ago, most of it was exported in its raw form. Today the lion’s share, perhaps 90 percent, is turned into heroin inside the country, a UN official said in June.
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This means more profits for the drug traffickers, who are said to be linked to Taliban insurgents, and more heroin for the local addicts.

Trackposted to Faultline USA, Woman Honor Thyself, Adam’s Blog, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Celebrity Smack, Big Dog’s Weblog, Chuck Adkins, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Karzai prays for the Taliban on Eid al-Adha

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Karzai prayed for the Taliban today.

‘Today … is a day we should remember those families who have lost loved ones in different terrorist acts like bombs and suicide attacks,’ Karzai said after prayers to mark the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival.’Today I also ask forgiveness from God for those Afghans who have been killed in the fight against the homeland if they are Taliban or otherwise,’ he said.

Karzai also chided the USA for fighting terrorists in Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Afghanistan is not a hideout for terrorism, but a victim of it.During an address Wednesday marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, Mr. Karzai urged the U.S. and its allies to target terrorists outside of Afghanistan.

That means in Pakistan. How, exactly, the US could operate freely in the Talibanistan regions of the borderland between Pakistan and Afghanistan is not clear.

The US military provides humanitarian aid, especially for the kids, in Afghanistan.

Each patrol was a foray into villages regarded as Taliban sanctuaries. Each began with tension and the possibility of violence. But the Taliban did not confront the heavily armed paratroopers, and within minutes the mood of the patrols shifted.Once the villagers realized that the platoons were accompanied by medics, they pushed forward sick children and pleaded for help.

A catalog of pediatric suffering quickly formed into queues: children with grotesque burns and skin infections, distended scrapes and scorpion and spider bites, bleeding ears, dimmed eyes or heavy, rolling coughs. Some were bandaged in dirty rags. Others were in wheelbarrows because they lacked the strength to walk.

The US can help people and their kids, while all the Taliban can promise is an ugly, painful death.

In even sadder news, Ismail Gulgee was discovered murdered in his home in Karachi, Pakistan.

Ismail Gulgee, Pakistan’s most prominent artist, was found murdered today with his wife and a maid in their Karachi home, police said. He was 81.They said the three were found gagged in different rooms of the house, which is in the city’s most upmarket district.

The hands of his wife, Zarina, were tied.

See some pictures here. Follow the links to the Painting Gallery.

And finally, convicted felons have charged Pakistan with secretly detaining terror suspects. This is hard to confirm or deny, as false accusations of illegal imprisonment and abuse in prison are standard operating procedure for Al Qaeda operatives who spend time in jail.

Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, Faultline USA, Adam’s Blog, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Cao’s Blog, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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