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Archive for January, 2004

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004


A good column by Arnaud de Borchgrave on the recent crackdown on radical Wahhabist Imams in Saudi Arabia precipitated by the recent discovery of terrorist training camps in the Saudi desert that had been disguised as religous seminaries and mosques. De Borchgrave gives a concise description of the factions within the House of Saud, which apparently is funding Islamist terror schools in Southern Thailand along with Pakistan and Indonesia.

The House of Saud had been divided in the 1950’s and 1960’s by dynastic competition ( Saud vs. Faisal) and the spread of Nasserism and Pan-Arabism which infected younger, less influential princes but the current threat posed by Islamism dwarfs that struggle by several orders of magnitude.

Neocon Addendum

The Perle-Frum op-ed. in the NYT. Perle/Frum take a much harder line on the Saudis for their global Madrassa threat that they pose – which in my view is a serious, substantive, long-range ideological threat to Western values. ( Link found via Milt’s File )

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004


A brilliant column by Nat Hentoff on the pernicious effects of and the undemocratic, elitist, motivation behind McCain-Feingold, recently upheld by the Supreme Court. The money quote:

“Last spring, I was at a conference of journalists in Boston discussing the Patriot Act, McCain-Feingold, and other issues. A reporter asked Democratic congressman Martin Meehan of Massachusetts, an especially aggressive supporter of the McCain-Feingold bill, why the time frame for forbidding issue ads was set at 30 and 60 days.

Logically, honestly, Meehan answered, “That’s when people are most interested in the elections!”

Indeed. The sorriest decision by the Supreme Court in a decade.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004


Here is the English version of the Hizb ut- Tahrir website. For the Mideast scholars on the web, here is the link to their pages in Arabic and various Turkic and European languages

In their own words, Hizb ut-Tahrir aims for world domination:

“Its aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. This objective means bringing the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in Dar al-Islam and in an Islamic society such that all of life’s affairs in society are administered according to the Shari’ah rules, and the viewpoint in it is the halal and the haram under the shade of the Islamic State, which is the Khilafah State. That state is the one in which Muslims appoint a Khaleefah and give him the bay’ah to listen and obey on condition that he rules according to the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and on condition that he conveys Islam as a message to the world through da’wah and jihad.

These are not stupid people – read the lists posted of members who have been arrested – you see highly educated professionals, army officers, doctors and engineers – these are the sons of the elite or the rising middle class of their nations. Men of modern technical and scientific training with the moral horizon of the 7th and 8th centuries fired with the vision of a reactionary myth of a golden age that never existed.

A dangerous combination and one history has seen before.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004


I’m pretty amused at the deflation of the Howard Dean balloon. I’ve found most of his supporters posting on various comment boards to be a fairly obnoxious and humorless bunch so if they are wallowing in gloom tonight it might take their self-righteous quotient down a few notches.

On the other hand, as a caucus the Iowa vote bears little resemblance to a normal general election and has little, if any, predictive value. Dean’s financial operation still makes him the one to beat in the next few primaries and after Iowa he desperately needs a win in New Hampshire or a dead heat tie to prevent a media feeding frenzy from nibbling his campaign to bits. As they had annointed Dean the nominee without much in the way of evidence the media is apt to now turn on him for not living up to their predictions.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004


What science has to tell us about Buddhism and meditation.

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