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Tuesday, 20 September 2005
Former US Embassy Hostages ID Ahmadinejad
Topic: Iran
You know? One of the trickiest and most subjective things can be eye witness testimony.

I have NO doubt the Embassy Hostages are convinced beyond any doubt that this man was one of their tormentors.

I am also well aware from personal experience how tricky Post Traumatic Stress Triggers can be. My own experience has been a situation close but not the same can trigger and episode, where you do not exactly remember events you actually re-experience them.

That said, I find it hard to understand, why he would deny that event in his past if it were true.

Being at the Embassy in Tehran at that time, would be like a Bolshevik being on the Aurora or taking part in the Storming of the Winter Palace.

One could make the claim that it would be denied for present political concerns, but why would it have been hidden and denied for all these years when in that Society, that experience would give one a claim to Herodom?

He insists he was not there
and several known hostage-takers - now his strong political opponents - deny he was with them.

His website says he joined the Revolutionary Guards voluntarily after the revolution, and he is also reported to have served in covert operations during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

That Ahmadinejad was involved in those events goes without saying.

In 1979, Ahmadinejad

was the head representative of IUST to the unofficial student gatherings that occasionally met with the Ayatollah Khomeini. In these sessions, the foundations of the first Office for Strengthening Unity (daftar-e tahkim-e vahdat), the student organization of which several members behind seizure of the United States embassy which led to the Iran hostage crisis, were created. Ahmadinejad became a member of the Office of Strengthening Unity. Before the seizure of the embassy, Ahmadinejad had suggested a simultaneous or similar attempt against the Soviet Union embassy, but was voted down, resulting in independent pursuit of the idea by its proponents.

US embassy siege
As a young student, Ahmadinejad joined an ultraconservative faction of the Office for Strengthening Unity, the radical student group spawned by the 1979 Islamic Revolution and staged the capture of the US Embassy.

According to reports, Ahmadinejad attended planning meetings for the US Embassy takeover and at these meetings lobbied for a simultaneous takeover of the Soviet Embassy.

To my mind being on the planning committee is more involvement than being a Guard at the Embassy, but I guess it is not as dramatic.

The Bulk of my view was influenced by an article on
Benador Associates
founded by Eleana Benador, is located in New York City as well as in Paris and London. However, the activities of the firm are expanding throughout the American continent, as well as in Europe and the Middle East.

Each of our experts is nationally and internationally recognized on issues of the Middle East and national security, among others. We are confident each of them makes your event, radio or television show a unique one

A source which does NOT have a reputation as an Apologist for Fascist Thugs in the Mideast. Amir Taheri, is a leader in the struggle against International Extremist Jihadism.


Gulf News
July 4, 2005

Even before the polls had opened in Iran's recent presidential election, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the eventual winner, was at the centre of controversies regarding his past

This November 9, 1979 photo shows one of 60 US hostages being displayed to the crowd outside the US Embassy in Tehran by Iranian hostage takers

He makes no secret that he is a professional revolutionary,
having spent all his adult years in the service of the Khomeinist movement.

But was he the chief interrogator of American diplomats held hostage during the occupation of the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979-80? And was he involved in the assassination of three dissident Kurdish leaders in Vienna in 1989?

On the basis of research in the past few days, it is almost certain Ahmadinejad was not directly involved in the US embassy episode.

But it is equally clear he was present when the three Kurdish leaders were gunned down by a hit-list from Tehran.

The allegation that Ahmadinejad was one of the hostage-holders at the American embassy is based on an Associated Press photo unearthed and published by a pro-Rafsanjani website hours after the election.

In it a bearded youth, holding the arm of a blindfolded American, is identified as Ahmadinejad. But anyone with the slightest understanding of morphology would realize the man in the photo is not Ahmadinejad.

The man in the photo has almost slanted eyes with eyebrows that point upwards. Ahmadinejad, however, has almond eyes with almost drooping eyebrows.

In any case the man in the photo has already been identified as Jaafar Zaker, one of the student leaders during the embassy raid.

Zaker's younger brother Mohsen told journalists in Tehran last Saturday that he recognized his brother who died in the Iran-Iraq war in 1984.

The second youth seen in the photo has been identified as one Ali Ranjbaran who was executed for his alleged links with the Mujahedin Khalq Islamic Marxist group.

That Ahmadinejad was not personally involved in the hostages drama is also borne out by his denials.

The occupied US Embassy in Tehran became a seeding ground for a new generation of radicals thirsting for action to gain revolutionary credentials.

Of the 400 or so students involved in the operation, nearly half died in the eight-year war against Iraq. The rest had differing fortunes. A few dozens were executed after being linked with leftist groups.

Some, like their ideological mentor, the dentist Habiballah Peyman, lapsed into an eclipse produced by disillusionment.

Others, however, used the episode as the centrepiece of their CV to claim senior posts in the new regime.

Maasumeh Ebtekar, the group's spokeswoman, operating under the code-name of "Sister Mary", became Assistant to the President for Environmental Affairs under Mohammad Khatami.

Reza Shaikh Al Islam, known to the hostages as "the tooth" and regarded as the most vicious of the captors, became deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Syria.

Mohammad-Reza Khatami, a brother of President Khatami, became a vice-speaker of the Islamic Majlis (parliament).

Mohsen Kadivar transformed himself into an ideologue for the self-styled "moderate" wing of the establishment.

Javad Zarif became ambassador to the UN. Abbas Abdi, Hashem Aghajari and Bijan Abidi joined the regime's loyal opposition. The remaining occupy high places in the Khomeinist nomenklatura.

Not personally involved

They all assert that Ahmadinejad, although a member of the Central Committee of the so-called Office of Consolidating Student Unity (OCSU) at the time, was not personally involved in the holding of the hostages.

It is almost certain that had Ahmadinejad been involved, he would have trumpeted the fact as part of his "glorious" Khomeinist background..

Instead, he has always said that he was opposed to the embassy raid because he saw it as a manoeuvre by the pro-Soviet left to provoke a clash with the United States and force the new regime into Moscow's arms.

Iranian author Amir Taheri was the editor-in-chief of Kayhan, the most important Iranian daily under the Shah. He is also a member of Benador Associates.

The rest of this article deals with the assassination of Kurdish dissidents in Vienna in

Correction for the record I originally researched this topic a couple of months ago and in posts and emails recently, I mistakenly stated that the Kurdish Hit took place in Switzerland, I was WRONG in that statement
If there are doubts about Ahmadinejad's involvement in the embassy raid, his presence at the killing of the Kurdish leaders in Vienna on 13 July 1989 is an established fact.

Ahamdinejad was wounded in the shoot-out and spent a day in a Vienna hospital before being whisked out of Austria with a diplomatic passport.

Iranian author Amir Taheri was the editor-in-chief of Kayhan, the most important Iranian daily under the Shah. He is also a member of Benador Associates.

Now I got into a little flurry on this subject over at

Cao's Blog

I presented from memory some of the above and the responce was.

If you can?t understand what it is I?m trying to say, I?m sorry?but don?t call me ?emotional? when you?re not being logical and examining the facts.

You?re measuring a lying terrorist scumbag by your own standards (saying he isn?t guilty because he hasn?t admitted his guilt) and Arab terrorists do not fit within our standards of thought. Obeidi wrote about that in his book when he was able to get what he asked for from the American University.

These guys don?t tell the truth; they LIE to further the cause of Jihad and Islam.

That?s not ?emotional?, that?s ?FACT?.

If you?re not familiar with that you should monitor what Robert Spencer writes over at Jihadwatch.

I am familiar with Jihadwatch, but I also prefer the testimony of Secular MidEasternors such as Taheri and Heggy and others.

I fail to comprehend where I dissolve this man of any guilt. But somethings he DID and somethings he did NOT do.

That in one instance memory may have played false with some of our fellow Americans held hostage all those years ago, in no means absolves him of a just label as a Brutal, Oppressive, Murdering, Torturing Fascist Thug, It just means that in this instance he was one of those who planned and directed it but did not engage in hands on activities.

Now if someone wants to disagree with the above and has verifiable sources we can discuss?

I welcome the input, my aim is to find the reality of a situation, not to defend an intellectual turf,

I will try not to descend to ad hominen attacks and if you have pc problems or are maybe tired and thumb fingered when you post?

I value substance over form any day.

"There is something wrong with your spacing, what?s the matter, did the cut and paste not work very well?

tsk tsk"

Actually I was very tired and having PC problems.
Happens. LOL


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 5:21 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:19 AM CDT
OK Cupid Politics Test
See where YOU stand

I am a

Social Moderate
(55% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(73% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

You know this test for me at least seems spot on.

I recall once going to the minature golfcourse with my step-daughter and at the time future Ex-wife.

We came to one hole that had a register, the sign said if you rang the bell you got an extra stroke,'

My wife looked at my step-daughter and said,
"Dan is so into business he is going to get that extra stroke for sure."

So I address my golfball carefully and rang the bell AND got a hole in one for two extra strokes.

Yep mark me down as a Capitalist. ;-)
You are a

Social Moderate
(55% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(73% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 6:52 AM CDT
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Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005 9:10 PM CDT
What's Wrong With This Picture?
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
A little something that is in the local Las Vegas news, but if it hits National, it will be drastically edited.

Hat tip toTim Covington at

De Opresso Liber

Picketers for Hire

The strange business of protesting jobs that may be better than yours

By Stacy J. Willis

Wal-Mart picketers
Photo by Iris Dumuk

The shade from the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market sign is minimal around noon; still, six picketers squeeze their thermoses and Dasani bottles onto the dirt below, trying to keep their water cool. They're walking five-hour shifts on this corner at Stephanie Street and American Pacific Drive in Henderson?anti-Wal-Mart signs propped lazily on their shoulders, deep suntans on their faces and arms?with two 15-minute breaks to run across the street and use the washroom at a gas station.

They're not union members; they're temp workers employed through Allied Forces/Labor Express by the union?United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). They're making $6 an hour, with no benefits; it's 104 F, and they're protesting the working conditions inside the new Wal-Mart grocery store.

Below Area Standards, picketer and former Wal-Mart employee Sal Rivera says about the notorious working conditions of his former big-box employer: "I can't complain. It wasn't bad. They started paying me at $6.75, and after three months I was already getting $7, then I got Employee of the Month, and by the time I left (in less than one year), I was making $8.63 an hour." Rivera worked in maintenance and quit four years ago for personal reasons, he says. He would consider reapplying.

The group has no transportation to go elsewhere?they are dropped off by a union van and picked up later. On weekends, they have to find their own transportation, Greer said.

Inside, the store manager at the Stephanie Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market says he's perfectly happy with his job, and that his insurance is fine.

"The average rate of pay for Nevada Wal-Mart workers is $10.17 an hour. We have a good insurance program, and every associate?even part-timers?are eligible for the 401k," says Mark Dyson. "There's actually different levels of insurance, dental and medical?I have a $500 deductible, but there's no cap on it. Some other companies' plans have a $1 million cap, but here there's no cap. For example, not long ago we had an associate whose husband needed a liver transplant, and that alone was $600,000; but they didn't have to worry about a cap.

In Dyson's market, the air-conditioning is cool, business on this day seems brisk, and the employees seem not so miserable; two checkers chat it up as they ring up customers.

This is not lost on the picketers outside.

Rivera removes his watch to show the dark tan his arm has gotten working in the sun; he talks about how he takes three buses to get to this work site on weekends; it takes two hours to get there and two hours to get home?a nine-hour day including that transportation for a gross pay of $35.

"I asked him (union organizer Hornbrook), I said, 'How come we're working here for $6 an hour? I need you to help us find a better job. I want information on the union,'" Rivera said.

I clipped out just part of the story, go to the website and read it all.

What sticks out to me is that these people are walking long hours in the hot sun for next to nothing for a pittance. They are protesting working conditions that compared to theirs look like paradise.

What happens if they do a REALLY good job? Well then the Union calls the Temp Agency and tells it they do not need these workers anymore, BUT if they can get jobs in a Union shop all by their own efforts?

Why the Union will be HAPPY to represent them and collect their dues.

At least the Union is being smart, they are using Temps. They are therefore not obligated to pay Workman's Comp. Unemployment benefits and ALL the little details that they demand and insist Employers be responsible for.

Let us call a spade a spade they are running a literal sweatshop operation outside in 100+ temperatures and when they no longer need these workers, they will discard them.

The Union justifies their actions with this sentiment

"This is an informational picket line only," Hornbrook said. "We're paying these people. They were out of work before (joining their picket lines). This is an in-between-jobs stop.

I see. They were out of work, so they are being done a favor by having this job, otherwise they might not be working at all, OR they might have gotten jobs with someone who would treat them like human beings with decent wages, raises, benefits and working conditions.

If I were Walmart, I would pull all my employees up front, point at the picket lines, point out some of the items I listed above, and ask them, Who around here is treating the people working for them like YOU want to be treated? Us in here or the Union out there.

What is WRONG with this picture?


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 5:48 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:20 AM CDT
Monday, 19 September 2005
Let Yourself Be Heard.
Thank you for taking time to complete the survey.
If you know anyone who would like to join our panel, please click on this link to send them an invitation:

That is what I get after I fill out a Zogby Poll.

Why not join in yourself. Have fun and scew the results. I get a kick out of the idea that I may be 3 standard deviations or more but I make them work for their results.

Oh and NO I don't get any kind of kickback if you become a zogby poller. Except for the knowledge that this post may result in a few more people who think something like I do, being counted in their results.

That's enough for me.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:05 PM CDT
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Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005 7:14 PM CDT
We Are Engaged In An International Struggle
Because communication and understanding between those of different nations who agree that Civilization is itself under attack,is vital, I have added to the right side of my website at the top an online translator.

It will translate this English page into
Russian, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

This service is Free and I will derive NO financial compensation for referals.

If you wish to add this service to your website, go here,



Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 8:09 AM CDT
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Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005 8:16 AM CDT
The Left Is More Compasionate
Topic: Iraq War
Understanding, tolerant, giving and caring, than the Right.

That's what they keep telling us.

Then when they have a chance to DEMONSTRATE it?

Hitch vs. the Angry Elf

one man immediately shouted "No!" as comrades began jeering and booing the journalist. >

I simply cannot think of a thing that needs to added to the above, besides the fact that it does not surprise me.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:50 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:19 AM CDT
Sunday, 18 September 2005
What Schroeder Needs Now
Topic: Eurabia
Is some American DNC style Chad counter. You know the Washington State Scenerio. When the vote is close, and you have lost, call for a recount.

2005 German National Election: Unexpected Results
+++UPDATE+++: Because of the relatively close CDU-CSU results relative to the SPD, both Schroeder and Merkel are laying claim to the Chancellery. It still looks like the CDU-CSU has the slightly better position, but anything is possible, with Schroeder pointing to the fact that he is far more popular than Merkel in a one-on-one comparison. It may be that the distribution of seats is very close indeed between the CDU-CSU and SPD once all the counting is done

Find some "lost" votes and if that STILL does not
put you in a winning position call for ANOTHER recount. Repeat this process until you eek out a victory and then loudly demand the ceasation of counting because it is devisive and now is the time for "healing" and "coming together"

Besides yet another recount might result in you being in the losing position again.

If all the above fails to result in Victory, just claim that you REALLY won the election and that the other side "Stole" it. Continue this claim even though neutral organizations do exhaustive studies proving you are wrong. After all the Big Lie will always work better than the Real Truth with the Lumpine Masses. The core of your political philosophy is that the People cannot think for themselves and need you to do it for them.

It does appear that polarization of the body politic is not confined to the US or the fault of Republican Neo-Cons, but rather a "Sign of the Times"

Election Results: Divided Germany

Many observers noted during the 2004 Presidential elections in the United States how entire regions of the nation were either "blue" for Democrat states or "red" for Republican states. Germany looks much the same, with "red" representing SPD districts and "black/gray" representing CDU-CSU districts.

Anyway, once the media circus and the hype die down, the fact remains that the SPD was the largest overall loser of votes in this election and that the SPD has lost almost every state election over the past four years. The SPD also lost a significant chunk of its voters to the "Left/PDS" party throughout Germany. The reason that the SPD still looks like a winner despite it all is explained by the low expectations on Schroeder and the high expectations on Merkel. Merkel clearly underperformed and also lost votes and Schroeder indeed had a strong surge at the end. But this SPD loss is still a loss and sober political reality will govern Germany's unclear and divided future


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 10:22 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:17 AM CDT
Saturday, 17 September 2005
Bush's Missed U.N. Opportunity?
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
Bush's Missed U.N. Opportunity

By Sebastian Mallaby

Monday, September 12, 2005; Page A19

Sometimes what the Bush administration doesn't do is as amazing as what it does do. This week is going to bring a Class A error of omission.
Which brings us to this week's error of omission. After two years of planning, the United Nations is convening a summit of world leaders that was supposed to relaunch the organization 60 years after its creation. The key challenge was to refashion the Security Council, whose five permanent members reflect the power relations of another age, excluding the second-biggest economy in the world (Japan) plus 1 billion Indians and all of Africa and Latin America. Intelligent Security Council reform, which would create a weighted system of representation modeled on the World Bank's board, would serve the United States well. It would end the Russian and Chinese vetoes, and, by bringing in emerging democracies such as India and Brazil, it would strengthen the Security Council's ability to legitimize global action.

Rather than seizing this chance to bolster a key global institution, the Bush administration joined the debate on Security Council reform belatedly and limply. Bowing to congressional pressure,

it declared that reform of the patronage-ridden U.N. secretariat was a higher priority, even though such reform has been on the U.S. agenda for years and is largely hopeless.

Having made the wrong strategic call, the administration compounded its error by picking petulant fights over the U.N. poverty-fighting Millennium Development Goals, jeopardizing the limited prospects for secretariat reform still further.

So whatever comes out of this week's summit, it's not going to be the full-blown relaunching of the United Nations that its sponsors had aspired to. And a large part of that failure will reflect the Bush administration's refusal to get behind reform. It is a squandered opportunity.

Let me see if I understand this. The US thinks that the UN is hopelessly corrupt. The US thinks its a good idea to address THAT before going to great lengths to

"strengthen the Security Council's ability to legitimize global action."

Loose translation give the UN more power, open Pandora's Box open a Can of Worms, take your pick.

I am trying to figure out the Missed Opportunity?
I know I laid it down somewhere, it cannot have just gotten up an walked off by itself.

OH! I get it! This guy Sebastian is UPSET and disappointed, that we did not what? Take one more step towards Transnational Progressivism?

What we really need is more Oil for Food Scandals, more UN official run pedophile and prostitution rings in UN run refugee camps and of course we need more UN officials in the employee of genocidal dictators.

All I can say after reading this article is "Thank God for the Supreme Court and how did Jane Smiley put it? Oh yes "The unteachable ignorance of the red states" or fellows like this Sebastian Mallaby could have been running this country.

PS maybe someone could clue in Smiley that a dialogue is when two parties speak and a statement by just one person is a monlogue? Or maybe she is in the habit of using the Royal "WE" and gets confused.? I noticed in a google hit she is referredt to as an "Award-winning author" that usually means doesn't sell many books or she would be called a "best selling author" has to be on the Left if an author is on the Right google would turn up something not quite as positive as "award winning".


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:13 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:16 AM CDT
Friday, 16 September 2005
I Was For It Before I Was Against It.
Topic: Iraq War
Does that sound familiar?

Let me run down this current logic train.

We should not go into Afghanistan, it will be a disaster.

We went in, it wasn't.

We should not go into Iraq, it will be a disaster, and deflect us from the important job of Afghanistan. Same folks who opposed us going into Afghanistan, then opposed us going into Iraq, because they decided to support the efforts in Afghanistan. To listen to them, they always had too,

Then the attacks shifted. We don't have enough troops in Iraq, we need more. Charles Rangles even penned a return to the Draft Bill, though I am uncertain if we really wanted to help with military levels, or engender more and larger Anti-War Protests. The Draft worked so well, as an Anti-War tool for Vietnam, I think the Left really misses it.

When Katrina hit, they suddenly noticed, that there was NOT too few troops in Iraq, but too many, which were needed in Louisiana. Did not really matter that most of the Louisiana National Guard including the Combat Engineer Battalion which had the heavy equipment to be effective in Relief and Rescue were STILL in Louisiana. I did sound good though. Righteous indignation is always good publicity, even if it's patently false.

They figure by the time the truth comes out the Public's attention will be riveted elsewhere..

But I have to admit of ALL the asinine statements I have read in recent times this one will have to take the Number One position, and I shudder to think of the level of venality something would have to sink to, to replace it.

I am truly hoping that this will remain forever in the Number One position.

Amid the Miserable Failures on the Same Planet
A Message from Cindy Sheehan

"George Bush need st to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans"

Excuse me? I do think those GIs are NEEDED there.
I wonder if she asked the people affected what their desires are?

Of course not, how silly of me, the Far Left, KNOWS what is best for all of us, They don't need to ASK us, or fool around with such undependable mechanisms such as Constitutional Government or Elections. Oh they must sorely MISS Stalin and the Politburo!

One of these days someone needs to tell them, sometimes issues and slogans do not travel well.

We need to pull our troops out of Iraq, NOW, and Terrorism wil stop,is one kind of statement

The American People do not buy it by the way,

12% Say US Troop Withdrawal Will Stop Terror Attacks
August 26, 2005--Just 12% of Americans believe that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq will stop terror attacks like the summer bombings in London. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 71% disagree and say that troop withdrawal will not lead to an end of terrorist attacks.

The survey also found that 54% of Americans believe the situation will get worse in Iraq if U.S. troops are withdrawn. Twenty percent (20%) take the opposite view and believe the situation will get better.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of men believe a troop withdrawal will make the situation worse. That view is shared by 48% of women.

There is a sharp partisan difference on this question. By a 4-to-1 margin, both Republicans and those not affiliated with either major party say a troop withdrawal now will make the situation worse in Iraq.

Democrats are more closely divided. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of those in Harry Reid's party believe things will get better in Iraq if U.S. troops leave. Thirty-seven percent (37%) say they will get worse

Think of it something Republicans, Independents and 38% of Democrats oppose and only the DNC leadership, Cindy Sheehan, Michael More and Friends of Howard Dean, Teddy Kenendy etal believe in.

Like I said that shows them out of touch with the Hear and Soul of America, far enough


"George Bush need st to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans"

Is something else entirely,

It Mis the kind of thing one expects from the Michael Moore website that is true.

I ask you. Can any political movement which rests on such sinking sand positions and platforms be taken seriously?

Can we trust them with the Security and Defense of the United States?


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:50 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:15 AM CDT
Topic: Islamic Jihad
Some time back I stumbled upon the

Communities United Against Terror Website.

This particular page of it, the "Why we signed"

Christopher Hitchens (Writer)

Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat. It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.

My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.

Both of these observations, and indeed this very statement, would be redundant if it were not for the widespread cultural presence of a pseudo-Left, and an isolationist Right, both of whom have degenerated to the point where they regard jihadism as some form of "liberation theology". The old slogans are often the best, and "Death to Fascism" is life-affirming in these conditions.

I figured any petition against terrorism signed by Christopher Hitchens was a good place for me to put my signature.

This morning I received this announcement from them.

Dear UAT signer,

One of the authors of the statement 'Communties United Against Terror',
Alan Johnson, has launched a new free online review of books. Its
called Democratiya and you can check it out at

In the first issue you will find an interview with Jean Bethke
Elshtain, the author of Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American
Power in a Violent World.

Please consider sending a note about Democratiya to your own friends
and email lists. Many thanks.


The UAT organisers

One thing that is obvious from the Title of the Website, it is an International Website, and looks like it has some valuable and informative reading.

Peruse, and if you agree with the premises, spread the word about it.

Here in their own words is a brief bit About Them

Democratiya is a free bi-monthly online review of books. Our interests will range over war, peace, just war, and humanitarian interventionism; human rights, genocide, crimes against humanity and the responsibility to protect and rescue; the United Nations, international law and the doctrine of the international community; as well as democratisation, social and labour movements, 'global civil society', 'global social democracy', and Sennian development-as-freedom.

Democratiya aims to contribute to a renewal of the politics of democratic radicalism by providing a forum for serious analysis and debate. We will strive to be non-sectarian and ecumenical, and our pages are open to a wide range of political views, a commitment to pluralism reflected in our advisory editorial board.

Democratiya believes that in a radically changed world parts of the left have backed themselves into an incoherent and negativist 'anti-imperialist' corner, losing touch with long-held democratic, egalitarian and humane values. In some quarters, the complexity of the post-cold-war world, and of US foreign policy as it has developed since 9/11, has been reduced to another 'Great Contest': 'The Resistance' (or 'Multitude') against 'Imperialism' (or 'Empire'). This world-view has ushered back in some of the worst habits of mind that dominated parts of the left in the Stalinist period: manicheanism, reductionism, apologia, denial, cynicism. Grossly simplifying tendencies of thought, not least the disastrous belief that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' are once again leading to the abandonment of democrats, workers, women and gays who get on the wrong side of 'anti-imperialists' (who are considered 'progressive' simply because they anti-American).

This attitude is especially unfortunate at a time when there is 'reform ferment in the Arab world, an emerging democracy in Iraq, and the colour-coded democratic revolutions in post-communist societies', as Michael Allen notes in the inaugural issue of Democratiya. In this historical moment, as an editorial in The New Republic noted, '[L]iberals must realize their own future is at stake. Should democratization succeed with Democrats deeply involved, they will be able to claim a share of the credit. But, should it succeed despite their puerile detachment - or, worse, their objections - Democrats could well be branded as the party that opposes bringing human rights and responsible governance to people who don't yet benefit from them'. To which Norman Geras has added, 'For "Democrats" in the US, read "the left" in Europe'.

When over 8 million Iraqis voted in democratic elections in January 2005, at polling stations guarded by American and other foreign troops, emerging to dance for joy, their purple fingers held aloft, only for Britain's leading liberal newspaper to sneer that the election was 'at best irrelevant', it was clear that something had gone terribly awry. When Iraq's heroic free trade unionists were called 'collaborators' and 'quislings', while their torturers and murderers were hailed as a 'liberation movement', one could hear the rattling of loose political and moral bearings.

Of course our task is not to sing 'America! America!' As Irving Howe put it, 'The banner of critical independence, ragged and torn though it may be, is still the best we have'. But this is 2005 not 1965. It is no longer enough to say 'no' where the US says 'yes'. A more self-condident and constructively critical stance is needed.

We democrats will fare better if we are guided by a positive animating ethic and seek modes of realization through serious discussion and practical reform efforts. Democratiya will stand for the human rights of victims of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. We will be, everywhere, pro-democracy, pro-labour rights, pro-women's rights, pro-gay rights, pro-liberty, pro-reason and pro-social justice. Against anti-modernism, irrationalism, fear of freedom, loathing of the woman, and the cult of master-slave human relations we stand for the great rallying calls of the democratic revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Democracy, even for the 'poorest he'. Liberte, egalite, fraternite. The rights of man. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those precious ideas were rendered the inheritance of all by the social democratic, feminist and egalitarian revolutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. No one left behind. No one. We are partisans and artisans of this fighting faith and we pit it against what Paul Berman has called 'the paranoid and apocalyptic nature of the totalitarian mindset'.

In line with these aspirations, Democratiya will embrace what the Italian democratic liberalsocialist Norberto Bobbio called 'the most salutary fruits' of a certain intellectual tradition. He had in mind 'the value of enquiry, the ferment of doubt, a willingness to dialogue, a spirit of criticism, moderation of judgment, philological scruple, a sense of the complexity of things'.

Democratiya aims to be accessible to 'the common reader'. The discipline of the plain style, and a refusal of the obscurantist prose of contemporary academia, is today a political act of the first importance. We seek good writing, less adorned and more luminous, as well as thoughtful analysis, and a bit of style. Anyone seeking a model should look at Dissent. Careful exposition of the central arguments of the book under review is important. But so is the critical response of the reviewer. Authors will have a standing right of reply and reviewers a standing right of rejoinder.

Publishers may send books for review to Alan Johnson, Editor, Democratiya, Department of Social and Psychological Sciences, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP. All correspondence can be sent to the same address or to If you would like to offer a review, please get in touch.

Alan Johnson


(emphasis added)


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:08 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 7:15 AM CDT

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