Tag Archives: al Qaeda

Ex-Phil Schilling a Witch Hunt Victim

By now, most people are aware that former Phillies 1990’s pitching ace Curt Schilling was recently suspended from his gig covering the Little League World Series for ESPN, and removed for a week from his Sunday Night Baseball broadcast on the network.
What most are unaware of is the true reason: a “witch hunt” mentality which saw his actual actions distorted completely by the numerous people who dislike his outspokenness and his politics.
Now the rest of this post is going to deal with difficult topics like “math” and “truth”, so if you have a rough time with either of those, or prefer your “sports” in the tame realm of scores and trades and such, you might want to just move along.
But if you genuinely care about why it is important that you NOT blindly follow the anti-Schillites, not allow yourself to take part in this partisan witch hunt, then please, read on.
Let’s first address what actually happened to cause the suspension. Schilling was accused of making, or more appropriately sharing, an “anti-Muslim” statement.

He was further charged by some with comparing Muslims to Nazis. Some never actually state what it is specifically that he said or shared, just that whatever it was, was “offensive” in some way.

Here is the specific post that caused all of the uproar, unfiltered:
Schilling
Now let’s see what this posting and graphic does not do: nowhere does it compare “Muslims” to “Nazis”, instead it compares Muslim “extremists”, radicals such as ISIS and al Qaeda, to 1940 German “extremists” known as Nazis.
If you disagree with this graphic or his tweet, is your argument that Nazis were not extremists? Is your argument that there are no Muslim extremists? Is your argument that Muslim extremism is not a genuine problem in the world today?
Yes, there are extremists of all ilks: religious, political, sociological. And not all Nazis were Germans. But if your answer to any of the questions in that last paragraph is “Yes“, that any of those statements is not true, then you are simply wrong, and you are ignorant of the truth of world events. I would ask, where were you on September 11th, 2001?
What DOES the graphic do: it compares the extremism of the Nazis of 1940 to the extremism of Radical Islam today. It also lists percentages. Maybe your problem is with the math, or the statistics?
In 1940, the population of Germany was approximately 70 million. Meanwhile, the Nazi Party membership in the country has been estimated at 5.3 million and rising by that year.
The point? That the graphic shared and commented on by Schilling is correct in regards to that issue. In fact, it may even be understating the 1940 problem. Do the math yourself.
In 2010, the global Muslim population was estimated at approximately 1.6 billion. Anti-extremism activist and national security expert Brigitte Gabriel, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, was quoted as follows:

“The radicals are estimated to be between 15 to 25 percent, according to all intelligence services around the world…You’re looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization…
Now keep in mind, she didn’t mention violence by Muslims anywhere in that statement. The destruction of Western civilization, according to the radical Islamist fundamentalists, would involve simply the replacement of our current democracies with adherence to Sharia Law, however such a change can be attained.
Let’s say her figures are greatly exaggerated. Let’s say that the low figure in the graphic is closer to truth. Doing that math, 5% of 1.6 billion is 80 million radical Islamists.
These people want our society changed to one obedient to Sharia Law. If you don’t know already, research how such a change would affect women, homosexuals, alcoholics, gamblers, those having unmarried sex, and frankly anyone who is not a Muslim.
If you don’t see the analogy to 1940, especially with actively violent groups such as ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, and numerous other groups waging violent Jihad, then I would suggest that your first and most important effort should be in removing your head from the ground in which you have it buried.
Curt Schilling added his own little statement to the graphic. As seen above, Schilling tweeted out: “the math is staggering when you get to true numbers.
When there were 5 million Nazis and rising in 1940, we saw the destruction and violence they were capable of wreaking on the world in just a few years. When we see that “the math” Schilling talks about results in some 80 million radical Islamists today, well, if you don’t agree with him that the numbers are staggering, again, I suggest the problem is yours, not his.
I also suggest that the problem is ESPN’s, which put out the following official statement:
Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective. We have removed him from his current assignment… pending further consideration.
I ask them, and those who have subsequently attacked Schilling, even calling for him to be outright fired from the network: what SPECIFICALLY was “completely unacceptable” about this tweet? And to ESPN, what IS your “company’s perspective” on those specifics?
I would absolutely love to hear anyone from ESPN, or anywhere in fact, explain with specificity to the kids playing in the Little League World Series exactly why Curt Schilling was suspended from broadcasting their games.
My take? Political and social liberals, radical Islamist apologists, and simply those who just plain don’t like Schilling because they think he is a big mouth in general all raised their voices, and ESPN acted rashly and with cowardice.
If you don’t like Curt Schilling, that’s one thing. If you simply think he is a bad broadcaster, that his opinions on baseball are hogwash, or that his voice is like chalk on chalkboard to you, fine. But guess what, that’s why God made chocolate and vanilla. We all like and dislike a lot of things.
To take our personal dislike for a person and turn it into a witch hunt that calls for him to be vilified publicly as a human being, and to lose his livelihood? That’s something else entirely.
One factor that I am not aware of, and one that has not popped up anywhere in public, is the idea of a contract between Schilling and ESPN. Is he under contract, one that specifically lays out policies on refraining from commenting in public forums on societal issues outside of baseball or sports while under their employment?
Curt Schilling is 5th on the Phillies all-time franchise Strikeouts list, 7th in Wins, 9th in Innings Pitched, and 7th in WHIP. That makes him a Top 10, possibly Top 5 all-time starting pitcher for a 133-year old franchise.
Plenty of Philly media types consider Schilling a big mouth. He is, and has frankly called himself one as well. None of those critics of his style can speak badly about his performance on the field.
None of those outstanding career baseball statistics would excuse reprehensible speech or behavior by Schilling. This ain’t that. This is a witch hunt, plain and simple.
Sports fans and media members, anyone who cares about freedom in America, especially those who care about freedom of speech, should be supporting Schilling – loudly.

The Most Dangerous Woman in the World

However you may personally think that the most dangerous woman in the world is supposed to look, it probably is nothing like this 29-year old Northern Irish white mother of three.

Samantha Lewthwaite, also notoriously known as the “White Widow”, is arguably the holder of that ‘Most Dangerous Woman in the World‘ title. The current internationally wanted fugitive has certainly earned a nomination for the title.

She was born in Banbridge, County Down, on December 5th, 1983 to parents who met when her father, a British Army soldier, was stationed in her mother’s native Northern Ireland during the 1970’s.

The family moved to Aylesbury, a town about 45 miles northwest of London, when she was a small girl, and it was there that she attended school. But it was not to remain a happy family life. At age 10, her parents separated. Friends say that she was greatly affected and disillusioned by the split, and gradually sought comfort in relationships with her Muslim neighbors, whom she felt had a stronger family ethic.

During her teenage years she seriously began to turn to Islam herself, and at about age 17 she officially converted, taking on the name ‘Sherafiyah’ in her new faith. She enrolled at the School of Oriental and African Studies near the British Museum, and began work towards a degree in Religion and Politics.

Sometime in 2001, she ‘met’ a man named Germaine Lindsay online in an Islamic internet chatroom. They soon met in person, and by October of 2002 the couple married using Islamic names, ‘Asmantara’ for her, and ‘Jamal’ for him. Though using an official Islamic ceremony, the wedding did not take place in a mosque or other licensed location, and so was never officially registered. Her parents, who never approved of her conversion, did not attend.

The pair would have two children together (she is now believed to have 3-4 kids altogether), but much as her childhood, her own family was not destined for a life of happy togetherness.
On July 7th, 2005, Islamic terrorists carried out a series of attacks targeting civilian passengers on London’s public transportation system. There were more than 700 casualties in what became known as the “7/7 Attacks”, with 56 people killed, including the 4 suicide bombers. Germaine Lindsay was one of those radical jihadists.

In the aftermath, Lewthwaite at first became a sort-of cause celeb in the Brit tabloids. She reported him missing six days after the bombings, and when it was learned that he was one of the attackers, she denied any knowledge of his activities, and in fact publicly condemned them. She defended her husband as having been a recent convert who was tricked into complicity by extremists. The white local woman who had married a black Muslim was treated sympathetically in front page stories for a time.

However, interviews with her family members, and the continuing investigation began to reveal cracks in her story. Her own early life conversion became known, and a pre-7/7 association with Mohammad Sidique Khan, ringleader of the attack, came to light. At some point in the next couple of years, she met and married suspected Islamic terrorist Habib Saleh Ghani. In 2009, she had another child which was likely Ghani’s, though no father was ever named officially.

Around that time, Lewthwaite and her children simply disappeared. Reports had her in the north of England, and then somewhere in the Middle East or Africa, possibly in Tanzania or Somalia. In February of 2012, she re-emerged, or at least her identity did. Anti-terrorist police in Kenya issued a warrant for her arrest under the name Natalie Faye Webb, and it came to light that she was an integral player in the Al-Shabaab cell of al-Qaeda.

Investigators uncovered her diary, which among other things related that she was the “devoted wife of a mujihadeen” (holy warrior), and that as such she must be discreet, obedient, and must understand that “both he and his wife would be cut off from their families” while pursuing jihad (holy war.)

Subsequent investigations have revealed that she is a leader and organizer in the cell, not usually carrying out attacks herself directly, but a key cog in the important areas of fund-raising, weapons acquisition, concealing and transporting of individuals, and more. In March of 2012, the CIA joined the hunt for Lewthwaite, who would begin stepping up her activities.

In June 2012, patrons were crowded into a bar in Mombasa, Kenya to watch a Euro 2012 match between Italy and England. The bar was attacked by Islamists who tossed grenades, and a number of people were killed and wounded. She is now wanted as having orchestrated that attack.

Today, Interpol has issued what is known as a ‘Red Alert’ on the woman born as Samantha Lewthwaite. This amounts to an international warrant for her arrest. This month, the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was attacked by Al-Shabaab. Information has surfaced that 2-3 American natives were involved, as well as a Brit female who accompanied them. This is believed now to have been Lewthwaite.

Despite some reports that a white woman was found among the dead bodies at Westgate, believed to have been one of the terrorists, early speculation that this was perhaps Lewthwaite appear to run contrary to today’s Red Alert issuance. Was the ‘White Widow’ finally brought down in Kenya, or is ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in the World’ still out there, waiting to strike yet again? Time will tell.

The tale of Samantha Lewthwaite, the young girl born into a typical Northern Irish family, is the story of a criminal and a terrorist. But it is also a cautionary tale, representative of a growing problem: the changing face of radical Islam.

Young, middle-class, white natives of European countries, especially Great Britain, as well as Canada and the United States, being seduced into the Muslim ‘faith’, indoctrinated into radicalism, and growing into less conspicuous, and thus in many concrete ways more dangerous, allies in the Islamic Jihad against the west that continues today.

Benghazi

It’s amazing how little so many know about one of the most important terrorist attacks in recent years. So I’m taking it upon myself here to educate and inform those who have heard something, but don’t know the details, in nutshell form.

Benghazi is the 2nd largest city in Libya, and is located along the Mediterranean Sea in northern Africa. Just last year it was the scene of one of the key uprisings in the rebellion against the longtime dictatorial government of Muammar Gaddafi.

Towards the end of his 2nd term, President George W. Bush and his security people made the determination that Africa was under such a large threat from various sources, particularly from al Qaeda and other Islamist terror organizations, that a separate ‘Africa Command’ for American forces military response on the continent was required.

In 2008, ‘AfriCom’ was officially activated. However, with the Bush administration leaving office, it would be left to the incoming Obama administration to fully establish the commands effectiveness. To say they dropped the ball would be generous.

A full four years after it’s establishment, General Carter Ham was in charge, but AfriCom was still a command “in paper only” with “very few assigned forces“, as The Washington Times reported in a comment from a former Bush administration official.

At 9:40pm on the night of September 11th (date sound familiar?), the CIA reports that senior security of the US State Department called the CIA and requested assistance. The CIA states that it was told to wait. Just before 10:00pm, Ham, who was in Washington at the Pentagon, directed a drone to Benghazi to assess the situation visually. By 10:04pm, a CIA team finally responded to the embassy.

It was not for another half hour that the US Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs were notified, despite the fact that it was now obvious that a US  ambassador’s life was in jeopardy as the American embassy was under attack.

Roughly 20 minutes later, Defense Secretary Leon Pannetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey entered a previously scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama, each with full knowledge that the attack was well underway.

The CIA team rescued all surviving personnel of the initial attack on the American embassy, but this did not include our ambassador, Christopher Stevens, who died from smoke inhalation during the fiery attack on what was essentially his home in Libya, his home on what is considered American soil.

On returning to their annex, the CIA team and the survivors of the embassy attack immediately came under fire from small arms fire and RPG’s, and began making calls for help and air support. Back in DC, Pannetta takes until almost five hours after the attacks began to formally order US Marines and Special Forces teams to respond. It was too late. Way too late.

The questions and repercussions began to emerge almost immediately: who knew what about this specific attack, when did they know it, and why was the embassy so insecure? The President, presumably with knowledge of American interests around the world, most definitely knew that AfriCom was unprepared and that the situation in Benghazi was perilous.

In the months leading up to these September 11th attacks, the American consulate in Benghazi had come under attack, had requested increased security, and was denied it on the basis that the threats against it were not sufficient to justify such forces.

Further more, the Obama administration had received intelligence information through a diplomatic cable a full two weeks prior to these attacks, alerting it that the embassy at Benghazi could not withstand a coordinated attack, particularly from the Islamist militia forces and al Qaeda itself, which had training camps within the city.

So the facts as President Obama knows them are these: AfriCom, a key American strategic initiative in a highly unstable area of the world, was in need of serious security attention the entirety of his first term. He did nothing. The American consulate in Benghazi was in particular danger. He did nothing. During the attack, which he became aware of at some point, he and his key advisers delayed to the point where they may as well have done nothing.

This is not political rhetoric. An American diplomatic official at an Amercian embassy in a foreign land on American soil was murdered. Very little was done to protect him and the diplomatic mission, either on the front end or the back end. Nothing has been done since the attacks in response against the attackers.

This is a fundamental example of the ineffectiveness and/or unwillingness of the Obama administration to protect and defend American diplomatic and security personnel and interests around the world.

Another problem? Many in the former “mainstream media” knew all of these facts well in advance of the election, knew it to be a major story with political implications for the President’s leadership and possibly for his re-election itself, and suppressed the bulk of the story details intentionally.

There are many problems in America today, and three of them are perfectly highlighted by the attack on our embassy and murder of our ambassador in Benghazi:

One, the President of the United States, who promised that his would be the most open and transparent administration in history, is anything but.

Two, the American mass media are clearly “in the bag” for the Democratic Party, to the extent they are now willing to bury a story that is bigger than Watergate.

Three, the Liberal supporters of the President have given this whole system carte blanche to exist, despite their cries of wanting honesty and openness from their government officials.

That is Benghazigate in a nutshell. It is a sad story, not so importantly about politics, but about how insecure the world is becoming with a shrinking American will to respond in crisis situations, even to the point of defending our own citizens and direct interests.

Nothing will change, because the President was just re-elected with help from the mass media, and with his constituents unwilling to call him on his greatest transgressions.

Can you imagine the headlines from that media, and the howls from these Obama supporters, if the only thing that were to change in this story were that the President behind this scandal was instead named George W. Bush?

2011 American of the Year: Seal Team 6

Embed from Getty Images

 

The United States Navy ‘SEAL’ teams are the Navy’s principal special operations force. The ‘SEAL’ acronym stands for Sea, Air, and Land, and each of these factors was on display on May 2nd, 2011.

On that day, the Navy’s “SEAL Team 6”, it’s Special Warfare Development Group, got revenge for America and exorcised a ghost that had haunted the nation for two decades, particularly in orchestrating the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. On that day, they killed Osama bin Laden.
“Operation Neptune Spear” was led by the C.I.A. and included their own agents, U.S. Army Airborne Rangers, and Seal Team 6. Their target was a compound in the Bilal Town section of the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan where intelligence gathered over the previous 9 months had led to the conclusion that Osama bin Laden, the murderous leader of the al Qaeda Islamofascist terrorist group, was living.
The mission was to be a “kill or capture” one in theory, but information developed from the intel had led most to feel that those inside the compound would not allow themselves to simply be captured. The American team was ready for a fire-fight.

In discussions between the President and leadership within the National Security Council, it was decided to leave the Pakistani government in the dark as to the planned raid. There was a complete lack of confidence in their government’s ability to keep such a plan a secret.
Approaching the compound using newly designed helicopters, the SEAL team dropped in and made their attack. They came under fire as they entered the main building, and in the end there were five people killed, including bin Laden and his son. Watching from the White House Situation Room, President Obama said “We got him!”
The identities of SEAL Team members are supposed to remain classified for many reasons, including the potential for retaliation against individual members and their families for actions such as this raid on the bin Laden compound. The President came under scrutiny for releasing some of this information in the aftermath of the attack.
Here we will not concern ourselves with the individuals, and will absolutely respect their necessary anonymity. What we will do is recognize this group and their actions in avenging 9/11 and ridding the world of one of it’s worst-ever terrorists. For their heroic actions in May, we recognize the entirety of the group known as ‘SEAL Team 6’ as the 2011 American of the Year.

War is Not the Answer

One thing that should be fairly clear from Soviet involvement in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, and American involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000’s, is that waging war in the Middle East is not a winning long term strategy.

In the short-term, deposing dangerous regimes and tyrannical rulers with military force is something that may indeed be necessary.

Sadam Hussein certainly was tyrannical, torturing and killing his own countrymen. The Taliban and al Qaeda certainly were dangerous, deadly entities. All had to go.

But in the end, there is certainly one truth that has to be faced up to: the United States of America cannot be expected to place large numbers of troops in any foreign country forever.

There comes a time when we need to bring our troops home or redeploy them. I believe that President Obama is right in bringing our troops home from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Now, I don’t agree with this President on very much. He is likely a Socialist, certainly an ultra-liberal, big government, anti-capitalist. But to say that he is wrong about every single thing the man does on every issue at every turn is to simply be a partisan contrarian yourself.

The important this is the balancing of the mission against the costs. The mission was to remove Hussein, to help Iraq establish it’s own sound alternative governmental process, and to provide the security to allow that process to grow. We have done that. We have done it at the cost of more than 4,000 American lives, more than 30,000 more injuries, and more than a trillion dollars.

The sign displayed on the USS Abraham Lincoln back in 2003 when President George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier to give a speech at the end of the first phase of major combat operations, the infamous “Mission Accomplished” sign, was correct at that time. The subsequent Iraqi guerrilla insurgency led to another phase, and here we are, eight years later.

Our American troops, along with those from Great Britain and a number of other allies, have done an outstanding job throughout these Middle East conflicts. Their work has been one piece in helping to keep the U.S. homeland free from further Islamofascist terror attacks following 9/11.

But the sad, truthful fact is that the world will never be completely free from these threats, and we can never do enough policing to ensure such safety. And the economic ramifications of continuing to dump tens of billions of dollars in the Middle East? Simply irresponsible at this time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am no dove. There is a time to stand up and fight. The United States intelligence services need to stay vigilant. The U.S. military needs to remain prepared to respond to any actions against our nation’s security interests. And our leaders need to remain committed to encouraging and supporting freedom and democracy around the globe.

But the Iraq War is over. We won. It’s time, past time actually, for our troops to come home, at least in this man’s opinion. In the short term, yes, mission accomplished. But in the long term, war is not the answer to the problems of the Middle East. It is likely not going to be avoided in the future, but as history has shown over thousands of years, it will likely settle nothing permanently. That ultimate peace will take an act of God.

Welcome home, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for your service from an eternally grateful nation. We hope that it is a long time before you are called into active combat service again. God bless America.